Do you believe

Some folks are sure there's no God there—
the one, of course, who never was.
Abandon proof of what you know to be imaginary.

Instead: Have you ever known love?
Have you ever felt the wash of a stream
flowing through you from the impossible?

Have you felt a surge of self-giving
not of your own making,
toward a neighbor, a lover, a child?

Has water ever flowed unexpectedly?
Have you ever followed a silent Voice,
from a dry rock drunk deeply?

Don't argue over someone else's fantasy.
Believe, not in the treasure in someone else's field
but the gem you stumble on in your own.

What mystery allures, believe in that.
What deep root sustains, believe in that.
What births love in this world, believe in that.

You may doubt you have been provided for—
but are you here? Are you breathing? Are you—
your hands, your thoughts—not a work of wonder?

Ignore the idea that has nothing to do with you.
Turn to the One who draws you into wondering,
who gives you this thirst, who is this asking.

Drink plenty from this deep-welled strangeness.
Throw your life into the fire of love
and whatever catches fire, follow that,

and believe in the fire.

   —January 22, 2018

Psalm 62 meditation

          For God alone my soul waits in silence
                —Psalm 62.1


O Love, I silence my soul and its thoughts,
         empty of all but my desire for you.

For you alone I wait.
         All other desires I release.

All my other desires push me around;
         you alone give me life.

A steady voice deep within me calls out for you;
         I hear it calling.

There is no success or deserving;
         no rank or degree of righteousness:

there is only reaching out for you,
         and learning to trust.

You are the power of love.
         I am your vessel.
 

   —January 19, 2018

Follow

         “Follow me.”
               —Jesus. [Mark 1.16-20]


Jesus,
you are not sending me off;
you are calling me to stay close to you,
you who go before me in my own life.

You are not asking me to do something strange,
but inviting me to be my true self,
to be who I am created to be.

You are not sending me to a foreign place;
you are calling me home.
The compass in my heart
already points to you.

Every moment you are going ahead of me;
you are right here.
Give me grace every moment to follow you
into this very moment.

   —January 18, 2018

To Hear, to speak

Samuel heard the call
to speak the Word for God.
He head to learn to listen,
and learned that to hear
is to speak. And he spoke.

Dr. Martin heard the call
and spoke the Word.

Don't listen for God
if you're not ready to speak,
to speak for truth and justice,
for love and mercy.
With God, to hear is to speak.

This is why we fast and pray.
It's not polite to listen
with your mouth full.
 

   —January 12, 2018

Meditation on Psalm 139

Holy One, Root of Being,
         you are not distant, but within me.
You are the core of my self;
         you are the stem and I am the flower.
You are the love from which I radiate.
         You are heart and nerve, and I am your flesh.
You know my pain; you walk each step;
         you understand my mistakes from the inside.
You are the treasure within me
         I have not yest discovered.
You are Presence itself: here, in this moment
         and at the bottom of the sea:
happy, I am within you;
         depressed, I am still in your heart.
I can't hide from you, who live in my unconscious.
         My awareness is the tip of your iceberg.
I flow from you like light from a flame;
         you create me in each breath.
I do not understand this mystery
         I simply celebrate your grace.
I open my eyes to see;
         I open my heart to receive you.
My life is praise. I sing
         with humility, gratitude and joy.
 

   —January 11, 2018

Calling

         “Samuel! Samuel”!
               —1 Samuel 3.4

God,
so many voices call to me.
I turn so many ways.
They are not you.

Help me hear your true voice,
the clear, calm voice
at the center of every cry,
the quiet, steady voice
that knows my name,
the mystery that speaks
in ways only my deepest heart hears.

Help me hear the silence
within the noise
and turn to listen.

Speak, Holy One,
for I am listening.
 

   —January 10, 2018

Smitten

         “I saw you under the fig tree”
               —John 1.48

Dear One,
the Beloved has seen you, unseen,
and fallen in love at first sight.

Drunk already with your loveliness,
they see in you what you can't.
The rose has no idea.

They watch for you when you're not looking,
plan as one consumed
how to happen upon you.

Your name drips from your Lover's lips
like wine they are still tasting,
as if the first kiss has already been granted.

The Smitten One sees your life together,
but ever the humble suitor,
waits for you to ask.

Perhaps a musician from the orchestra
has told you what makes the music so sweet:
the longing is within you.
 

   —January 9, 2018

Breath

Spirit breathes in you.
Does not take life from you,
doesn't judge or measure,
simply gives you breath.

No matter your journey or struggles,
no matter your pride or shame,
the imaginary account you keep,
your wounds and the gaping holes in you—
Spirit breathes in you.
Each breath is God's unfolding in you.

You may never hear the Voice,
or be sure you are following rightly,
never feel the Feeling,
or have whatever it takes to do
whatever you think you have to do;
you still breathe.
Spirit is still in you, making life.

Even when you die
it might take Spirit a long time
to draw that breath out of you.

   —December 8, 2018

Beloved

         Just as he was coming up out of the water,
                  he saw the heavens torn apart
                  and the Spirit descending like a dove on him.
         And a voice came from heaven,
                  "You are my Son, the Beloved;
                  with you I am well pleased."
                        —Mark 1.10-11


Beloved,
offspring of the delight of God,
spawn of light,
Bathe yourself in this grace.
You are God's, in whom God delights.
Oh, yes, you're screwed up.
You're more screwed up than you think.
But you are God's,
and God's delight.
Immerse yourself
in the river water of this womb.
Go into the deep.
Let this be your balm, your healing,
your salvation.
Your only sin is your inability to trust this
in your bones.
Soak in it. Practice believing it.
Walk through this new year in faith,
dripping with heaven.
 

   —December 5, 2018

Herod

         Magi from the East came to Jerusalem, asking,
         “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews?
         For we observed his star at its rising,
         and have come to pay him homage.”
         When King Herod heard this, he was frightened.

               —Matthew 2.1-3

Herod is afraid.
This is the root of his strutting, his meanness,
his cruelty to children, the poor and wayfarers,
his disdain of anyone who doesn't adore him.
He is afraid. This is the well of his bluster,
the spring of his violence and hatred.
In his fear he will insult his critics,
threaten his neighbors and and assault the weak.
In desperate fear he will strain for every illusion
of his grandeur, his excellence, his power.
He is most afraid of light,
so he will sow darkness and veil the truth.
He is most afraid of love,
so he will grow a calloused heart,
and tremble at true gentleness.
He is most afraid of grace,
so he will send his army to slaughter.
But he has already lost. This is why he is afraid.
He is no match for love and light and grace.
His evil has already failed.
His victims are already resurrected.
We are not afraid.
 

   —December 4, 2018

Inward magi

         “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews?
         For we observed his star at its rising,
         and have come to pay him homage.”
               
   —Matthew 2.2

Seers
who seek the divine Presence,
who look at earth and sky
and see what we miss,
who have traversed
dark woods and foreign deserts,
passed impassable mountains,
crossed uncrossable streams:
Do not stop. Keep seeking.
Among your treasures
treasure and do not give away
your wonder.

         

Conscious Ones,
who choose what others ignore,
who endure the scorn of cynical men,
who know whom to ask, or not,
who bring light into darkness,
and the dark into the light:
Where in the city of me
is the Divine Child,
who rules even you?
Don't be afraid to love.
Bow to the Small One,
the Tender One.
Attain your greatest height
on you knees.

         

Wise Ones,
who find your way,
a new way there and a new way home,
who know in your giving
what you have been given:
Do not betray the Child.
Even under the fist of power
do not surrender the fragile gift.
Another way will be given to you.
Even in the shadow of doom
do not give up on joy.
 

   —January 3, 2018

Hope

         Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth,
         for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.

                        —Revelation 21.1

         Then you will see and be radiant.
                          — Isaiah 60.5

I enter this new year with hope.
Yes, there is reason to be discouraged.
Of course we wish for the overthrow
of evil, greed and violence.
But our hope is not wishing:
hope is confidence
that God's future is already present.
The light shines in the darkness
and the darkness can't overcome it.
The spirt of love can't be snuffed out
by politicians and their hubris;
the life force can't be stopped
by corporations and their kept legislators.
God is alive and at work in this world.
Smart, thoughtful, compassionate, courageous people
are rising up, find ing their voice, taking their place.
We have seen tyranny and cruelty before,
but we will never see the darkness win out.
Love always has more to say.
God is creating, always creating, and if we look
we will see signs of it all around us,
and its light will fill us and we will be radiant,
ourselves signs of the very hope that sustains us.
Yes, I have hope—joy and delight, even—
for God is here, and God's world is still becoming.
 

   —January 2, 2018

A New Year's blessing

My hope and prayer and confidence
is that in this new year:
God will be lovingly present for you,
and you will more and more deeply trust
God's delight in you.
Christ will lead you every step of the new year.
The Spirit's gifts will unfold in you in new ways.
I rejoice that in this new year
beauty will surround you; grace will enfold you;
love will embrace and uphold you;
joy will bless you, and hope sustain you.
May you receive healing and wisdom;
may your creativity flower and your courage grow;
and in your hands may justice and mercy flourish.
I rejoice that these gifts await you in the hew year,
and pray that you receive them with delight.
I give thanks for the gift of sharing together
the journey of this new year.
God bless us all.
 

   —January 1, 2018

Enlarge our hopes

         Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon;
                  this man was righteous and devout,
                  looking forward to the consolation of Israel.
         There was also a prophet, Anna …
                  looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

                        —Luke 2.25, 38

The Divine Presence seeps into us
like the quietness that settles on the trees
in the snowy dark.

Geese on the pond
pause in their migration,
a gathering of hopes.

Anna and Simeon see
what others don't; they are looking
for something larger.

O Patient One, you have changed
what we are waiting for,
and how.

Enlarge our hopes and our horizons;
give us both the courage of deeper longings
and the peace of deeper trust.
 

   —December 28, 2017

My eyes have seen your salvation

The the forces of evil rise,
chaos running in their veins.
The armies of injustice and their corporations
are arrayed in power and might.
They are already in the a streets and alleys,
their wardens and traffickers at work,
their war machines hulking in the dark.

The Eternal One announces their doom.
Heaven's blacksmiths set to their dark labor
hammering through the night on swords and shields.
The forges spume.

But God walks past them all
out into the darkness.
The One who creates stars,
who spreads the earth out like a blanket,
the One who Sees,
stands and gazes at the devil's troops
and smiles.
“Peace.
I've got this.”

A newborn baby cries.
 

   —December 27, 2017

Baby's breath

He breathes his tiny delicate breaths,
little ghosts in the night air,
little angels unfurling their wings,
blessings with the power to raise Lazarus,
words that will hang in the air,
pillars of fire and cloud—
but so small, so fine,
so easily dismissed,
wafting into the blackness,
into the night wind you breathe.
 

   —December 26, 2017