in an Advent mood

someday
there will be hope
and so this day
i will spin its fairy tale
without snark or cynicism
with only imagination
and trust
in what God can do

someday
there will be peace
and so this day
i will welcome a stranger
i will let my heart break
to read the news
i will believe
that God is mending

someday
there will be joy
and so this day
i will laugh out loud
and share the abundance
of wonder and fellowship
those places
where God smiles

someday
there will be love
and so this day
i will wink in its direction
in appreciation
of mystery’s beauty
and all the secrets
God has in store

Friendship

Let me look at you, hold your face in my hands.
There you are — the light of God
is in your eyes, the beauty
of the Word Made Flesh
is in your flesh.
What a gift you are
and what a grace to let me
love you — just the brokenness of
my heart and of yours
risking
friendship
and hands held
through the hell that is
this life. You have been through hell:
the trauma of dehumanization, the
constant battering against
your spirit.
In the face of hell,
love feels inadequate
but we will persist
because daring to love
is at least something that proves
we are still alive, still fighting
that wellspring
of evil,
still doggedly
declaring God incarnate.
Beloved friend, I see you and God within you.

Blankie Prayers

Just the hem, O my God, just the hem.
Hide your face, turn your back even,
but let the hem of your robe linger
as a comfort through the long night.
Send your visions to one more gifted;
let another more foolish in faithfulness
glimpse the wonder of your wisdom;
for myself, nothing so glorious but
the sight of a stitch in your hem.
Would that I could catch its fibers
and with them knit a consolation
to bind up every aching heart
and bring peace to my own.
One prayer, O God: your hem.

on Isaiah 6:1

Lent 15 (Hope)

I believe
that I shall see
the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
(Psalm 27:13)

I no longer want to forestall hope
to locate it in God’s future
so clearly beyond
my reach,
beyond this life

It’s time for hope now, in the
land of the living that is
now — even if now
is only a deceptive tease
a shadow of the living land
on the other side of that curtain

I believe
in the goodness of the LORD
for today, for these fleeting hours
the goodness of the LORD taking on
time and space and beauty and togetherness
against the rush
the noise
the callousness
the neglect

It’s long past time for this land
to be living, so long washed
in a baptism of blood
as if
that would save us
but let the blood flow in veins again
no more through the streets
or under the swingsets
let the blood have being
so that the being might dance
and by the stomping rhythm of feet
the land itself might have
its heartbeat
jump-started
its pulse sparked
not electrocuted because
the dancing feet will finally teach us
that instruments of death
cannot start life

Stomp! the exclamation point of a demand:
I will no longer delay hope
we will no longer designate hope
for the after life — no
hope after
life
is not hope at all
but rather
a crumpled article in newsprint
reporting back from the other side
that things will change in the by-and-by
but this day
on this side
of life
I refute
eventual hope

Lent 4 (Rumba)

Just one step
toward the water
and another
toward an impossibility
Two steps then
a sidestep of hesitation
and now
we’re dancing:
approaching and turning
trusting and waiting
dreaming and fearing
slow-quick-quick
a rumba with God
between a rock and a hard place
‘twixt Egypt and the Red Sea
doubt and deliverance
Just one step,
my God,
then another
toward your impossibility