Attentive

You would do well to be attentive:

attentive to Love
as to a lamp
at midnight

attentive to Solidarity
as to an oasis
in the desert

attentive to Glory
as to a lullaby
at bedtime

attentive to Humility
as to a seed
freshly planted

attentive to Hospitality
as to a path
through the wilderness.

Thou our love and companion,
You our aspiration and embarrassment,

Most Holy Host of Heaven,
we attend to you
with all heart and soul and strength.

on 2 Peter 1:19

heart

Passing Away

Who will mourn death
when it dies?

Who will cry out against
the drying of tears?

Who will offer their shoulder
when pain passes away?

You have promised it, O God, and it is certainly so that all things are being made new. But in our gleeful grabbing at the latest & greatest, in our rush to be done with anything displeasing, we have turned willfully away from the grief and the growing pains and the death that accompany new life. We have brushed aside tears and mocked the weary. “Life and faith are ours!” we crow (and alas to those who haven’t the privilege of joy for surely it is their own fault).

Do not let me hold you back from all that is new, Risen Christ. Pay no mind if I ask a friend to sit with me through an unspoken heartache — then again, if there is room enough in your resurrection for slow-healing wounds, you are welcome to sit with us too while we watch the slow sunset and take the time to learn of new constellations that rise with the moon. I am not so courageous in change, but if you stay with me, I could try.

The bed remains unmade in case death comes quickly or if life dawns without remembering to include us, and we wait beside it while others chase the promised by and by. When at last they run out of breath and their vision blurs in the dazzle of newness, the bed will be ready and we will be there to keep prayerful watch alongside the Spirit who, it turns out, is more like a hospice nurse than a plastic surgeon in Her understanding that death comes to us all.

Do not be afraid to mourn.

Let tears fall as they will.

Feel the fullness of your pain.

Pass away in the love of Christ and wake in the delight of God.

on Revelation 21:4

Covenant

Come close:
for rage has dawned instead of the sun
and blood has flowed in the riverbeds.

Come close:
for fear grows faster than a weed
and loneliness swarms like locust.

Come close:
if death is coming (or if God comes first)
let it find us together. With love together.

on Zephaniah 2:1-2

Do Not Be Afraid

I am. Terribly so.
Fear steals my breath
and entangles my soul.
There is no release,
no grace, only
nightmares
of suffocating
because love is lost
because the world is dying
yet still she tries to be
her own salvation
still I try
to be my own
resurrection and life.
But this — this good news:
“you are not alone” and
“you are not God”
and “you
need not have
all of the strength” and
“you cannot hold your own self up.”
Breathe breath back into me.
Ease the knots until
I can extend
my hand to yours
for holding — you, me, us.
Let us find love
together
against the fears
and therein will be the God
who calls the scattered
who comforts the
mourning
who is faithful
through the nightmares.

on Isaiah 41:10