A Lament in Haiku

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They will know us by
our love, he said. But we are
known by who we hate.

Go and do likewise,
he said. But we have gone and
done the opposite.

You are the light of
the world, he said. But we spread
darkness and judgment.

Love your neighbor, he
said, and your enemies too.
But we say, Not them!

And Jesus weeps for
what we have done and not done.
May his kingdom come.

Lord! Lord!

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–A reading of Matthew 7:21 and 25:44

Lord! Lord!
You didn’t mean the bread on my shelves, did you?
The food pantry does great work.

Lord! Lord!
You didn’t mean the water from my faucet, did you?
The wells in Africa serve hundreds.

Lord! Lord!
You didn’t mean my room, my bed, did you?
The Syrians believe different things.

Lord! Lord!
You didn’t mean my shirts, my jeans, did you?
The racks at Goodwill have all sizes.

Lord! Lord!
You didn’t mean placing my hands on fevered heads, did you?
The hospice workers and nurses are trained.

Lord! Lord!
You didn’t mean face-to-face with a criminal, did you?
The mailed Bibles will bring lasting change.

Lord! Lord!

New Mercies

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New mercies always seemed like supernatural,
hard-to-miss displays of souls coming out
of darkness and bodies coming into healing.
Look at that! How amazing!

But then I caught the brave dandelion heads
waiting for the noon winds to render them
stems to spread their life;

And a tiny sparrow pick a buried twig out
of overgrown grass to surround
her marbled eggs, beginning to crack.

And I filled my cupped hands with cold, clean
water, lifting them to my mouth to drink.

Look at that! How amazing!

In Whom We Live and Move and Have Our Being

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Jesus Christ—
our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace;
the One through whom and for whom all things were made; and
the One in whom we live and move and have our being—
became flesh and made His dwelling among us.

And nothing—neither death nor life, angels nor demons, the present nor the future, not any powers, height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation—can separate us from the love of our God, which is in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Come to Me

Come to Me

Come to me.
Here I am.
Here is my burdened heart.
Here are my weary hands.

I will give you rest.
Carry me.
Breathe my breath.
Relieve this weight.

Take my yoke upon you.
Attach me to you.
Make my steps your steps.

Learn from me.
Open my eyes.
Show me how.

I am gentle and humble in heart.
Soften my edges.
Break down these walls.
Loosen my grip.

You will find rest for your soul.
Ease the anxiety.
Banish my fear.
Cover these wounds.
Unleash your love.

Words for Our Daughters and Sons

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Before your first breath
God planted deep within you
a longing to bring forth into the world
his goodness and grace,
crafted as you were by the hands of the master.

Oh, you must know that
before the foundation of the earth,
you were assigned the eternal task
of reflecting the beauty and life
that is yours alone in Christ Jesus.

Let it sink in –
you have a song, buried deep within
which was readied for release before you
knew the notes so the wondrous treasure
of the composer’s love would sound and stir
and move among the trees.

Release all your fear,
for you are God’s masterpiece–
his most beloved creation–
designed to breathe your unique version
of his love and compassion into a waiting world.

Until I Come

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Do this in remembrance of me
in dining rooms after soccer games and swim meets;
next to strangers over oysters and Chardonnay;
in shadows of water tanks and graffiti cries;
under cement ceilings and raining rocket raids.

Do this in remembrance of me
under seashore umbrellas and piles of rubble;
in fallow olive groves and hidden cave chapels;
in the midst of calls for revenge, bodies burning;
when despair snuffs out hope and doubt fills every mouth.

Do this in remembrance of me
while you ache and long and
wait and weep.

Do this in remembrance of me
until I come.

Abide

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Maybe it’s not so much about escaping
the noise of life for the hush of the woods
to discover a place for my soul to listen,
but about leaning in close to the open spaces
that faithfully abide between each breath.

The Forgotten

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I see that you are here,
your head aching and your
hands lined with your years.

I am not afraid to touch you,
though your eyes water and
you feel forgotten.

If you could reach out a hand
to touch his cloak,
you would.

If you could fall at his feet,
trembling and seen,
you would.

For now, see that I am here, and
place your throbbing head in my hands.
Do not be afraid, he will not let you go.

 

 

 

Photo: Volkan Olmez|Unsplash