Coffee

O Most Holy,
O Most Inspiring,
O Most Enlivening
Fount of Daily Renewal:

overflow abundantly upon our dust

that the stiff joints of our spirits
might leap
with joyful wonder,

that the bleary eyes of our hearts
might open
to recognize you,

that the dragging feet of our faith
might race
to your next revelation.

We drink you in with thirsty delight,
no longer numb to holiness,
no longer wary of life,
but renewed.

Clinging to Metaphors

We are underwater.
Let there be a Rock that is higher.

We are weary and worn.
Let there be a Peace beyond understanding.

We are frustrated, impatient.
Let there be a Seed in every season.

We are heartbroken.
Let there be a Fire to gather us together.

We are frantic, anxious, scattered.
Let there be a Plumb Line that remains steady.

For the sake of our salvation,
O Most Inscrutable God,
let there be metaphors.

Lions

Listen to the roar
of your people’s prayers,
O Holy Lamb,
as our spirits growl
with hunger for your healing.
Bend your woolly ear in sympathy
as these great egos of dust
mew for comfort.
We ask:
do not mind
our snarls or teeth,
for in deep pain and distress
we have become
territorial;
in our woundedness,
we have stalked your grace
as though it’s the enemy.
O Lamb of God,
fold us
into your flock
in an answer to prayer.

Blessed

Blessed be the Wind: racing, eroding, unsettling, compelling,
and blessed are we that the Wind does not leave us alone.

Blessed be the Flesh: grieving, straining, delighting, satisfying,
and blessed are we that the Flesh reveals the fullness of life.

Blessed be the Insight: guiding, surprising, marveling, upending,
and blessed are we that the Insight finds us within one another.

cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals

Sensual

How beautiful you are, my love,
how very beautiful!
Your hair is like goats along the hills;
your teeth are like shorn ewes that have been washed;
your lips are like a crimson thread—so lovely;
your cheeks are like pomegranate halves.
(Song of Songs 4:1-3)

Sure, maybe it’s a poem about God. This poet wouldn’t be the first one to look at creation and imagine how it reflects characteristics of God: the wind as God’s whisper, the sunset as God’s smile, a sparkling stream as the glint in God’s eye.

It’s also possible, despite (or because of!) its location in the middle of the Bible, that it’s a poem of physical adoration, a celebration of human beauty, an unapologetic delight in the joys of sensuality. The poet gazes upon a beloved and cannot cease in adoration:

Oh my gosh, your eyes!
My goodness, your hair!
Be still my heart—your smile!

Then again, maybe it’s not either/or. To pause in delight, to celebrate a love (and to celebrate the Love of all loves), to be full of wonder, to be satisfied by the mutuality of adoration, to give thanks for the senses and sensualities that make life so acute—these too are gifts of the Creator. As the late Mary Oliver wrote about prayer: “Just pay attention … [this is] the doorway into thanks.”

Thank you, O Love, for touch and affection. Thank you, O Life, for the flood of your beauty through all of my senses. Thank you, O Creator, for putting my spirit in flesh.

written for the Stillspeaking Daily Devotional