What Will Destroy Us?

Ahab will come
armed with scripture
and swords and prophets
to say ‘you are wrong’
to say ‘your life
is anathema to mine’
to say ‘it is my
god-given task
to make your life hell’
and he’s right — not that he must
make your life hell but that he can, that he
can choose to destroy
without guilt or consequence.

The mountain too may threaten,
perhaps not with the same conscious intent but
with power and indiscretion
nevertheless:
roaring as a wind
that shouts to be heard
and does not stop
to listen;
breaking as an earthquake
that defies permanence
without regard for
safety;
consuming as a fire
that idolizes its own quick tongue
as the authority on all life
without noticing
the ashes drifting
in its wake.
All these too
will destroy without care.

But as we run from Ahab
as we tremble in the mountains
may hope be found, snatched,
held,
claimed and
proclaimed: that only One
will not destroy
only One will plant broom trees
for shade, only
One
will send angels
whispering “Get up again,”
only One will well up fresh water in
a toxic wilderness,
only One
will bind our hearts
for the long journey, only
One
will love our lives
when
kings and queens
and earthquakes and fires
otherwise rage to destroy life utterly.

What will destroy us? Too many things
but not
the Holy One.
Let mercy find & convict us
where we have lied to one another
in this regard. And may the One
forgive us when we
destroy.

on 1 Kings 19:1-13

All the Angels

Because we lose hope,
all the angels sing: “Glory!”

Because we lose our way,
all the angels sing: “Wisdom!”

Because we cede to fear,
all the angels sing: “Thanksgiving!”

Because doubts arise,
all the angels sing: “Honor!”

Because egos swell,
all the angels sing: “Power!”

Because hearts grow weary,
all the angels sing: “Might!”

Blessing be to our God forever,
amen and amen!

on Revelation 7:12

Traveling

With every flight and every new city,
I am mercifully one step farther away from you
in miles, in memories, in fresh molecules of air
on my skin to erase any trace of your breath.

[Where can I go from your spirit?
How far can I flee from your presence?]

Cleveland. Orlando. Chicago.
United. Delta. American.
And out of the skies: highways and byways
from city to suburb to country. Keep going.

[If I fly as far as the sunset,
if I hide beneath the ocean,
even there you find me.]

Let me leave you. Find a new heart to haunt.
You have no use for my rising or my sleeping,
and I have no use for your secrets, no matter how holy;
they elude but ensnare me. You are not playing fair.

[You surround my thoughts, my living, my being.
I am helpless as your hand & your eye behold me.]

Chase someone else with your ridiculous love;
find a new quest to win, a new enemy to test
but depart from me if you care at all…
…and I will depart
and depart and
depart until
I am all
gone.

on Psalm 139

suitcase

Psalm 80:1

God of mystery,
you who whisper through the shadows,
guide our feet as we walk this night.

God our shepherd,
you who lead with wisdom,
call to us clearly across the hills.

God most brilliant,
you whose throne is assembled by cherubim,
shine through with truth and healing.

God of many ways,
you who make a way when we have none,
herald hope for this wild journey.

God in the heavens,
you with your crown of stars, riding the wind,
come and be flesh among us.