Rage

my heart is a burning wildfire of pain and conflict
a loud blare of frustration and alarm
a raging army of trumpets
marching against
their own breath, protesting
the vain efforts of their own harmony
building, calling, mocking, pounding, replaying
the horror of reckless heat and smoke
until at last they fizzle and fade
to a quiet ash heap
which is where you find my heart,
tracing your finger through its fragile powder
with a blessing, a scattering, a releasing to restorative peace

Mountaintops

We climb the mountain to wait.

Surrounded by a cloud, we wait.

While the nations conspire, we wait.

When brightness overwhelms us, we wait.

Through the long night, we wait.

Until the Spirit speaks, we wait.

As we wait, we are already:
your witnesses,
your inheritance,
your collaborators,
your beloved vessels,
your anointed,
your freedom.

on today’s Revised Common Lectionary
cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals

Choosing Life & Death

Holy and Gracious God:

Today we choose life —
the bloom of hope,
the breath of humility,
the proximity of tenderness.

Holy and Mysterious God:

Today we choose death —
the sunset of greed,
the erosion of pride,
the burial of violence.

Holy and Creative God:

Today we choose prosperity —
the harvest of peace,
the healing of all nature,
the sustainability of love.

Holy and Disruptive God:

Today we choose adversity —
the troubling of wealth,
the disordering of power,
the resistance of injustice.

We choose life,
O Eternal God,
and we choose death.

on Deuteronomy 30:15
cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals

Saltiness

My flavor is lost and
my spirit is faint within me,
but o my God, surely this salt of humanity
can still be scattered on the ground
to melt the ice we fear.

My light is dim and
my flesh is so very weary,
but o my God, surely this lowly lamp
can still hold one shadow at bay
until rest comes.

My root is withered and
my dream has fallen on rocks,
but o my God, surely this bare seed
can still nourish a sparrow
so its song continues.

Sometimes the palate dulls,
the basket hides, the rocks hinder,
but o my God, let there be eternal grace
and unexpected goodness.
And forever mercy.

cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals

Trial and Error

Hear, you mountains, the controversy of the LORD, and you enduring foundations of the earth; for the LORD has a controversy with the people, and God will contend with Israel. “O my people, what have I done to you? In what have I wearied you? Answer me!” – Micah 6:2-3 (NRSV)

A trial is underway. God is both plaintiff and judge. The people together are the defendant. And all creation – from the highest mountains to earth’s deepest foundations – is the jury.

It strikes me as appropriate that creation should assess humanity’s culpability for injustice and injury. When we judge one another, our own sinfulness distorts our assessment of others’ sins. In another’s abuses, we notice our own greeds or traumas. In another’s errors, we find reflections of our own fears or schemes. We assess too harshly or too leniently. We acquit our own guilt. We obstruct one another’s well-being.

The jury of creation is much more impartial, having known the faithfulness of God across decades and centuries, having experienced the upheaval and patience of change across millennia. By comparison, humans are fickle and impulsive, reckless and weak.

What has God’s faithfulness done to us, that we reject humility?

How has God’s love wearied us, that we neglect mercy?

How do we defend our case to the jury of mountains?

How do we answer for our persistent injustice?

The tabloids of heaven broadcast the controversy of a holy covenant broken by the people. Broken by us. Corrupted by us.

Do we not already know creation’s verdict?

God, have mercy: we are guilty of the charges against us. Christ, have mercy: we are guilty of excusing injustice. God, have mercy: we are accountable to the mountains, to one another, and to you.

written for the Daily Devotional