150 Days

Remember me, O Love, not only
when your kingdom comes but
when the storm comes too
and — for heaven’s sake —
also when the long nights come
because long nights always come.

Remember me, O Joy, not only
in rainbows but also in clouds
and in the fog of uncertainty
before hope prevails. Think
often of me and send a raven
or a dove to linger until you appear.

Remember me, O Love, not only
as days turn into years but also
as shells crumble to sand, as
beauty replaces pain and
we forget the vulnerable ache
of promises made only to broken.

Ego Issues

“When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, ‘Give this person your place.’” – Luke 14:8-9 (NRSV)

The Apocryphal Sirach offers the same truth without dressing it up in a parable: “Pride was not created for human beings” (10:18).

Sirach crushes any hope of wiggle room that we might be tempted to insert into Jesus’ parable. “Jesus said I shouldn’t place myself with pride in a place of honor, so let me just scoot down to the end of the table, where someone might notice me and invite me to a better seat. Surely it’s not pride if I conveniently position myself so that other people make a fuss about me.”

But no, according to Sirach. Pride was not created for human beings.

Period.

Not even for those who cloak their pride in humility and bad seating.

For whom then—or for what—was pride created?

Perhaps for the sun, which knows its work in creation and performs it faithfully. Perhaps for the tall sycamore, which is unafraid to shed its own skin for the sake of growth. Perhaps for the red-tailed hawk, which soars and dives with unwavering confidence in air currents it cannot see.

Perhaps most of all for the Holy Ego that has committed itself to an eternity of love.

God have mercy. In my not-so-secret heart of hearts, I want a better seat, or at least a better cushion for my seat. Teach me peace, not only humility, and I will boost your pride with praises.

written for the Daily Devotional

Bent Over

* * *

Kyrie eleison,
the weight of pain has worn me down these long years
so much that I have lost my faith in sabbath rest
and the hope of healing no longer
visits my deepest dreams.

Christe eleison,
I have longed to lean back and feel the sun’s smile
on my face, my neck, my breast, my open palms
but there is only the ground to watch
as it passes beneath my feet.

Kyrie eleison,
for my soul still repeats its prayers and praises
but my body can no longer watch your coming
like a boat as it returns home from storm
or the sun as it rises over the hills.

* * *

Kyrie eleison,
this is the yoke of my days, the destiny of my flesh
to bear ridicule for which I am not at fault,
but oh! My God and my Savior —
can you not rebuild cities?

Christe eleison,
what is the mercy and love of God among us?
What is the appropriate prayer of just one
for relief, when generations
weep for restoration?

Kyrie eleison,
upon you I have leaned for my whole life
like the staff by which I move and live;
do not let my faithfulness to you
by shamed by doubt.

* * *

cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals

Beloved

Let me sing for the Beloved,
and let the Beloved sing for me:

songs of delight and satisfaction,
of discovery and renewal,
of harmony and hope.

Let me hum for the Beloved,
and let the Beloved hum for me:

lullabies of comfort and patience,
of possibility and peace,
of justice and love.

Let me chant for the Beloved,
and let the Beloved chant for me:

rhythms of change and declaration,
of perseverance and promise,
of fire and devotion.

Let me sing for the Beloved,
and let the Beloved sing for me:

ballads of faithfulness and wonder,
of the turn of sunshine and rain,
of joy that does not sunset.

Come, O Beloved, and sing with me.

cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals