Not Just The Light

I celebrate God who is the Light
the Dayspring
the Radiance
the Lamp unto my feet

Yet I will not neglect to celebrate God who is also the Darkness
the Midnight
the Shadow
the Hidden woven through all life

God the Darkness is my creed today
the Subversive
the Unexpected
the Unknown to my quest for certainty

God in the shadows
inviting me beyond the false normative
God of the shadows
thriving in the glimpse of untangible reality

Like a climbing moonflower vine
rooted to bloom when all else is asleep
God trumpets with beauty and creativity
in the Darkness

Just to make me really look for the Divine

“I Will Not Slow Down The Witness”

I hope that you have already seen and read the article that follows, that it is circulating far and wide for Christians–indeed, for all people–to affirm and to uphold in our religious bodies and in the public sphere. Here is Bishop John Shelby Spong’s recent essay, linked through another blog that reprinted the essay with permission. Spong begins without apology: “I have made a decison. I will no longer debate the issue of homosexuality in the church with anyone.”

A Manifesto! The Time Has Come!

And let all of God’s people say “AMEN!”

Dog Stories: Sermon Illustrations (sans sermon)

Now that the leaves are falling in earnest, MoMo occasionally snarls and jumps and snaps to catch an autumn leaf that crosses in front of him on the breeze. It’s quite a sight to watch MoMo snag a leaf between his teeth with instinctive aggression, smack his jaws to test the taste and chew-ability of this mysterious morsel, and then let it drop to the ground quickly when he realizes that the leaf doesn’t suit his palate.

When do you find yourself grabbing for something that you want, without really pausing to assess the “nutritional value” (spiritual, emotional, physical) of that item?

Or, to look at the illustration from another direction: how often do you lash out impulsively when something or someone crosses your path, perceiving a threat without (again) pausing to see what or who is really in front of you?

A Morning Prayer

Take care of us today, O God.

Take care of my family, as our paths part and merge.
Take care of friends I miss, though they feel so close.
Take care of children around the earth, who step cautiously into this new day.
We are all growing up in the same world.

Take care of us today, O God.

Take care of the people on that airplane; keep them safe.
Take care of those kids, starting another week of school.
Take care of the rushing stream of commuters, who know the daily grind.
May they each find a moment to breathe in peace.

Take care of us today, O God.

Take care of the homeless, stressed for food and shelter.
Take care of sick babies, surrounded by tubes and machines.
Take care of the aging, separated from loved ones into corporate “homes.”
Too often we forget those who need us most.

Take care of us today, O God.

Take care of us like you take care of the bird:
Lifted in instinctive faith by invisible air currents,
Sharply defined against the landscape by the rising sun;
You would know if even this one little bird–out of millions–fell.

Take care of us today, O God.

Take care of us like you take care of the tree:
Peaked with color in autumn after the fullness of summer,
Statuesque and asleep while snow falls around it;
You give the tree rebirth with the dawning of each spring.

Take care of us today, O God.

Take care of us because we are not birds or trees:
We struggle for the confident faith of the bird in flight;
We dread the discomfort of rebirth in our springtimes;
We worry that we are too complex to be cared for simply.

So take care of us today, O God.

Take care of us, in Jesus’ name.

KKK in Eden

An open letter to the resident on Euclid Drive with cone-shaped ghost figurines in the front lawn:

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please reconsider the ghost decorations on your lawn. With their cone frames draped in white cloth, I could’ve sworn as I drove by your home that the KKK was standing proudly in your yard, and my heart dropped into my stomach. Although I realized within split seconds that these white-hooded cones were figurines, not real humans, nevertheless I had to pull an abrupt U-turn to view the figurines more closely and try to convince myself that they were intended to look like ghosts.

The wrong kind of ghosts, in my opinion.

My seven- and ten-year-old children had a necessary but difficult history lesson because of your Halloween decor. I don’t have the grace within me to thank you for prompting that conversation. With racialized slurs, white fear, and overt racism featuring so prominently into our public discourse these days, your lawn ornaments–whether intentionally or not–hint strongly of a gruesome violence that we must always be resisting; a violence that we Whites must never forget and for which we must always be accountable.

Your “ghosts” certainly struck fear into my heart, just in time for Halloween.

Please take them down.

A concerned passerby