Lent 23 (Stars)

I wait for you to be the strength of the Lion
but you are busy saving your own hide
from all who hunt the unconquerable.

I watch patiently for your Harp to rise
and soothe the world into peace
but your lyrics sag with lament.

I wonder if you wander like the Big Bear
without home or sanctuary while I
in vain seek you out for shelter.

I weep that you have slipped away from me,
the Fish too quick even for the sun to hold
and I am left in prayer empty-handed.

Tell me where you are in the skies, O God,
for I try to trace the signs of you at night
but now I am sleepless and overawed.

I wish on a star to find my way
but you are a black hole
in which all is lost.

Fourth Sunday in Lent (Pathways)

Turn away, O God,
lest you see our follies and vanities,
our violences and indifferences.
Walk away from us apace,
keep your distance,
only then will your footsteps
create a path for us to follow after you
— a faint hint of bent grass through the field,
a winding deer trail across the mountains,
the clearing of brush by your walking stick,
or perhaps the whisper of stars singing
where you have winged across galaxies.
Leave us, O God,
so we might follow you
and find a blessing.

on Joel 2:14

Lent 21 (Of Cats and Dogs)

I am certain that I have the faith of a cat
by which I mean — I have faith in myself
and I invite you, God, to love me if you must
but do not expect my flattery or my fawning.
Prove yourself to be impressive enough
and I might condescend to recognize you,
deign to share my space my life with you;
but dare to draw near for a moment of intimacy
and I will run — shy and suspicious of any joy
that might spoil my self-possessed confidence.

I am certain that I have the faith of a cat
but you, most devious God, understand
that I have the faith (and faithlessness)
of a puppy — impressed and overjoyed
by even a fleeting glance of your attention,
pathetically deflated and woefully confused
by your absence, so eager to please and so very
delighted to obey, always anxious to stay by your side;
clearly my faith has no self-esteem apart from your love.
God help me — why can’t I be a cat?!

Lent 20 (She Knows Me)

“They have me running here and there,” she tells me. “First I was at the register, then they called me back to stock the aisles, but folks are coming in so I’m still needed at the register, and of course the delivery man just arrived. But now tell me, how are the kids? They must be excited about spring break coming up.” How like you, O God, this friendly clerk at CVS who hasn’t seen me in weeks but still she recognizes my face and still she remembers my children. How like you, O God, this woman who is busy and put-upon by others to be in three places at once around the store yet she is so present with me. How like you, O God, this casual embodiment of holiness smiling with generous joy as the day begins. “Alright, baby, see you next time,” and she hands me my receipt.