Hannah’s Song

Though my soul is dry,
the stream is swollen with rain
because God’s goodness has not failed.

Though the bread crumbs are stale,
the doe and her fawn graze without worry
because God’s goodness has not failed.

Though death looms with certainty,
the sun sings a new song every morning
because God’s goodness has not failed.

Though soldiers sharpen their weapons for war,
the sidewalk yields to a stubborn dandelion
because God’s goodness has not failed.

Though arrogance shouts from its mountain,
the hummingbird continues to savor earth’s nectar
because God’s goodness has not failed.

on 1 Samuel 2:1-10

Commandment

I am the LORD your God.

Through grief and despair,
no matter violence or devastation:
I am the LORD your God.

Across the glorious heavens,
in the silent echoing of stars:
I am the LORD your God.

Though the vineyard yields no fruit,
though rocks torment the vine’s roots:
I am the LORD your God.

When justice is sweet as honey,
when injustice festers like a boil:
I am the LORD your God.

Do not break the bread of fear;
daily manna rains from heaven.
Do not pour the cup of bitterness;
the stream bursts from a dry rock.

Draw near to the LORD: be not afraid
of the rolling thunder and loud trumpets
that announce God’s goodness.

Unpacking

boxesI relocate
hope
Take it back from
finite places and
finite people
where I imagined
it belonged
Wash off
the crud and
cynicism
it’s gathered
Place it in
that Holy Fire
where it can be
an incense
warming
and emanating
a sweet perfume

I unpack
faith
from the boxes
on the shelves
in the closets
where it has collected
dust
instead of growing
roots
Take it outside
to let sun and rain
alike fall on it
Nestle it deep within
that Ground of All Being
from which
comes life
to which
returns life
by which
all life sings

I excavate
trust
from my own heart
where it has grown
stiff and sore
(also stubborn
and vain)
Hold it in my hand
with compassion
at last for
its brokenness
Give it to
that Wise Storyteller
who might oh so impossibly
reimagine it
alongside such fairytales
as justice
and love
Wait and listen
for a new yarn
to be spun

Happy are those whose help
is in the LORD their God.
(Psalm 146:5)