Patience (Lent 17)

I bless the earth
for nurturing the daffodil
in secret until the robins are ready
to herald its cheery bloom.

I bless the spring peepers
for freezing solid in wintery woods
to wait faithfully until the early spring thaw
beckons love’s chorus.

I bless the sun
for biding its time through the night
without fear of shadows or stillness until the dawn
has its shades of blush ready to paint.

I bless the soloist
for lingering over and letting go of
every note so reluctantly until even eternity
holds its breath with longing.

I bless the Everlasting God
for abiding beyond hours and seasons
with mysterious patience until the rigidity of chronos
yields to the miracle of kairos for life.

Lent 31

my spirit measures:
one sunrise for each day
one foot in front of the other
one load of laundry at a time
one breath in, too shallow
one sigh out, too weary
one bill, then the next
one hot cup of tea…
it seems i can barely manage
these ones and twos and threes
but there you go, o god, free as a bird
(so to speak) counting in ages and in eons
leaping from generation to generation
like the ocean is just a hop, skip
and a jump, staring dreamily
at the stars like there’s no tomorrow
and for all you care there might not be,
because these moments are but
the blink of an eye while i
count every second
like it’s the most important
penny that no one uses anymore.
how do you suggest we meet
across such chasms and
confusions, o god,
o eternal jester?
catch me and suspend me
in moments of your wild presence,
i pray, and i will try to set down my counting
(albeit like a dog setting down its favorite toy, so
if i make sad eyes at you, o divine prankster,
know that i am struggling to understand
the holy joke and purpose of
living without measure).
laugh and scatter my ones
and twos and threes if you must;
with faith and a few jitters, i will try to keep up.

on Haggai 1:5

Lent 28

email
bills
bank
soccer
soccer
store
email
store
laundry
homework
email
email
If I accomplish all these things (and a few more) — are you listening, God? — then I will be satisfied with this day from sunrise to sunset. I’m telling you all that I hope to cram into this gift of allotted time. Aren’t you impressed? This is my confidence in how the day will be managed from start to finish … and just look at my “to do” list that will harness tomorrow:
paperwork
email
soccer
store
email
homework
new plans
new lists
stop
email
errand
stop
homework
stop
store
stop
email
homework
Stop it, God, you’re interrupting my agenda. I have a schedule to keep. Just keep the world in motion and keep life’s changes at bay so I can organize today and accomplish tomorrow. You do your part, I’ll do mine, and I have big plans for next week with a growing laundry list for next month.
no
I’m on a roll, God.
it’s not yours
Of course it is — see? I have a calendar.
these are my days
I have a very long list.
this is my time
I have three alarms every morning.
you are a mist fading under the sun
Well that’s just mean.
i am  your work and your rest, your goal and your distraction. your being is within my time, and my being is beyond all time. you scurry but i whisper. you hoard control while i undermine power. you plan, i surprise — let me surprise you. seek me out like a curious child. take one breath. now rejoice to take another. trust me to keep your days.

on James 4:14-15

Lent 20

This moment of prayer stretches like a lover in the morning,
a suspension of time, a lingering sigh, an unhurried savoring
of the knowledge that you are present and not leaving
without the promise of your love and of your return
to watch the nightmares with me once again
when the moon rises. So many times
I rush, appealing to the clock for
speed, too eager for memories
to fade, longing for futures
that dance out of reach
to draw near … but
once in a while
in prayer I
set down
haste
and
fear
and
as time stills, I find that the pause is plenty.
In this endless moment, I bless you, O God my rest & my love.

on Psalm 34:1

Holy Timing

My annual frustration with the Advent season (now three weeks behind us) is that “the time is not yet,” even though it’s evident all around us that the time of God’s redemption is needed now. And so I find soul-soothing relief in a longed-for thread of good news weaving through this coming Sunday’s Revised Common Lectionary texts: “The time is now.”

THE TIME IS NOW

The LORD says, “For the sake of my people I will no longer keep silent, and for their healing I will not rest until they shine like the dawn.” (Isaiah 62)

THE TIME IS NOW.

Now you shall no longer be called Forsaken or Desolate, but you will be called My Delight Is In Her and She Who Is Loved. (Isaiah 62)

THE TIME IS NOW.

All people will feast in my house; I will give them drink from the river of delights. And I will continue in love — now and always. (Psalm 36)

THE TIME IS NOW.

When the jars of wine have run dry and the celebration begins to fade; (John 2)

THE TIME IS NOW.

When the hour is late and a miracle is needed; (John 2)

THE TIME IS NOW.

When pride overshadows the common good; when members vie for attention and argue over their claim to the Spirit; (1 Corinthians 12)

THE TIME IS NOW.

The time for speaking is now
when white silence is a threat
to Black and Brown lives. (Isaiah 62)

The time for affirmation is now
when the image of God in the LGBTQ community
has been forsaken by the church. (Isaiah 62)

The time for hospitality is now
when refugees are hungry. (Psalm 36)

The time for generosity is now
when those who were served last at the wedding
rightly insist that the wine which flowed abundantly for the first
be distributed in equal portions. (John 2)

The time for participation is now
when political seats provide a feather in the cap
and a dollar in the pocket rather than
a service for the good of all people. (1 Corinthians 12)

THE TIME IS NOW. Thank God, praise God, the time is now.