Lent 28 (Seven Loaves)

I have seven
but you ask me
for twelve and I can’t imagine
how we can see the same
loaves of bread but
tally them
so differently.
“This is seven,” I say,
and you smile, “This is twelve.”
“Seven isn’t enough,”
I protest, “I need eight just to get by myself;
how can you ask me for twelve?”
But again you say, “Twelve.”
I want to retort, “There’s no compromising
in math,” but I’m learning to
keep my mouth shut
when you suggest
what seems impossible.
“I can’t see it,” I confess, “but
make it so if twelve
are needed.”

Lent 14 (Ashes)

I curl up on the hearth
all of my ashes together
in a weary pile, utterly spent
from generating my own flames
broken to pieces by
the very
heat I crave
Will you
set a new ember
in this heap of mine
Will you be
the fire
clearly I am not
And I
with a sigh
will nestle closer
to your divine warmth
glad simply to be a sigh
a wisp that shifts and floats
in response to your
heat waves
Yes, no need to wait
for dust to return to dust —
I will be ashes now
and gratefully so
down to my essence

In Bits & Pieces

O Eternal Knitter, Most Creative Potter,
you who gather pieces in the whirl of chaos
and create a beautiful new whole:
hold me together.

I am unraveling, chipping;
my shoulders are tight with knots
my spirit is raw from spinning
and the world is quaking
with the madness of its own violence.
What can be done? I am at a loss…

If I crumble
(as I suspect I shall)
will you be gentle and gracious
to catch and seek out whatever might still be
useful and sound from what has broken?

Will you please
make something new
as only you can?

Put what can be found
by your hands
and restore me
to your purpose, I pray.

Lent 31: Scattered

Is there grace for me to be scattered?
Is there even gift in it somewhere?

I want to be gathered in,
drawn close, secured and grounded,
but instead I am scattered like pollen
on the cool spring breeze.

The stories you tell of scattered peoples
decry unfaithfulness and lament divine action

and I am searching, searching,
for one good story to know
that my discombobulation
is not without hope.

Can you not
make a beautiful mosaic
out of these scattered pieces,
or grow a forest from scattered seeds?

Must all be in order and in place
before you give a blessing?
Can you not find me
in this disarray?

Though I am scrambled and scrambling,
O Gracious and Mighty God, do not let me
be separated from you or divided within myself.
Though I feel dismantled and disjointed,
in your mercy make use of me
where I am and
as I am

while we both wait on
these pieces to find their way
back to wholeness.