If my pen is useful, You may have it
for writing poetry or brainstorms or grocery lists
or just stabbing the air after You read the news.
If my feet are useful, You may have them
for enjoying the grass between Your toes or kicking ball
with the kids at recess. They don’t run very well though.
If my hair is useful, You may have it
for combing Your hands through in frustration
or dying a bright blue when the mood strikes.
If my cable is useful, You may have it
although there aren’t any channels worth Your time
except perhaps Food Network for sleepless nights.
If my lips are useful, You may have them
for talking or singing or whispering — You like to whisper,
I’ve noticed — but also for smiling or for shutting to listen.
How is your joy, God?
Have you laughed long & hard today;
have you taken time to pause with delight?
In your heart, do you overflow with adoration
for the baby elephant playing with birds and
the child protesting gun prevalence?
As you tend the cracked & bleeding feet
of those who are fleeing violence and
those running from themselves,
do you also notice the daffodil
blooming along the path?
Is your mirth as public as
your tears, or have we failed
to give you space & affirmation to do both?
Has rage completely overtaken you
(if not depression), or
do you still enjoy listening to the stars’ song
in the wee hours while painting
the sunrise with a new set of brushes?
Are you still pleased
with the shades of pink you chose for the flamingo,
and do you cheer every spring when the crocus
dares to bloom before the snow is gone?
It makes all the difference
if you are holding onto joy, God.
I could listen to you for hours, O God,
if only you would say something —
say anything. Tell me a tale
of spring that interrupts winter, of birds
that coax the sun to rise with song,
of comfort amidst turmoil.
Say that trouble won’t last always, that
love will make the world go round.
Say that you are good.
Anything at all, if only you will speak.
My spirit dips its toes into your joy, timid and testing,
then immerses itself into the wellspring of your grace.
Let me soak in this luxury of gladness
long after the water wrinkles settle into
my soft heart and warp it to the foolish shape of peace.