Blessings of the Birds

Bless the LORD, o my soul,
and forget not the One
who instructs your heartbeat
by the pulsing dance of starlings.

Bless the LORD, o my soul,
and forget not the One
who teaches your soul
in the stillness of the great blue heron.

Bless the LORD, o my soul,
and forget not the One
who calls you to rest
with the summer whippoorwill.

Bless the LORD, o my soul,
and forget not the One
who finds you hiding
though you like the junco lay low.

Bless the LORD, o my soul,
and forget not the One
who defends you
as a cardinal against intruders.

on Psalm 103:2-3

Leprosy

Stay away, God.
There is no sin here that you have not seen
and it is embarrassing to have you look.
Truly there is no need
for you to draw near:
you would only add to this
humiliation — your touch would
sting like salt on this wound that is
my spirit, broken down and
contrite for its failings.
Better for you
to remain unsoiled or at least
to be messed by the likes of more alluring
matters of life: love and faith and
children’s laughter and the
beauty of creation —
not this pollution of despair
not this erosion from wholeness
that hasn’t loved itself since the angel first
cut Eden’s gate into pieces with a flaming sword.
But you are still in the garden finding
new things to name and even
in your moments of holy
grace for the pathetic,
it seems best
to honor the sword’s divisions
and keep the distance as it stands between us.
No worries, God, and no
hard feelings.

on Jeremiah 23:23

Summer Storms

You surprise me, Summer Storm —
though I saw you slowly building in the west,
suddenly you descend amid upturned leaves and
clouds piled high across the face of the sun.
I know better than to fail to keep
a watchful eye on your coming
but no matter: you are here now and I am
wrapped up in you, twisted about and turned around
in awe of your power to break through a stalemate,
a stifling of life and spirit, a gridlock betwixt
sun and earth in which time
was held captive (as was I)
but now with the pounding of this Summer Storm
the air breaks and bends and makes way for life to move
again, for birds to sing again, for feet to dance again
while I am drenched in goodness and mercy.
Yes, God — by your Storm I am
drenched in goodness & mercy.

on Psalm 148:8b

Sunday Prayer

Have mercy, O God,
for destruction is our due
yet we hope in every sunrise
that the new day will bring new life.

Have mercy, O Christ,
for our separations are our death
yet we strive to live and love and leap
as though free from wounds, as though invincible.

Have mercy, O God,
for freedom has been neglected
in favor of toil and politics and ladders
that purport to reach our idols: ease & convenience.

Have mercy, O Spirit,
for we follow commandments
of fear more often than those of love,
thus we live always looking over our shoulders.

Have mercy, O God,
for death must reach us all
and our souls grieve what we cannot store,
what cannot be kept and held onto beyond this moment.

a prayer based on this Sunday’s RCL texts, cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals

Sunday Prayer

Hear the prayers of your people,  O God,
from the silent depths of the oceans
to the pounding tides of the shore,
from the tears poured out in crowded streets
to the songs raised joyfully under the open sky.

What are our prayers to the foundation of your grace?
Not even raindrops
not even dust
yet you know every word on our hearts.
Remind us of who you are, and where, and how.

Hear the prayers of your people,  O God,
from our silent sorrows to our wildest dreams,
in need of healing, in need of sustenance,
through our seeking and our working and our loving,
always with longing for you.

What are our prayers in the current of your faithfulness?
Not even skipping stones
not even a riffle among the rapids
yet you know every breath, every life.
Remind us of who you are, and where, and how.

In you we live and move and have our being.
In you we rest eternally grateful.
Amen.

cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals