My Book of Uncommon Prayers: Once Again

These witchy trees, bare and lifeless, cold and leafless:
One might wonder where life has gone and if all hope is gone,
receded into the dark earth. But
in one moment, that gifted second,
a nub of green sprouts, a speck of promise appears, and the sleeper rises,
stretches to the sky. Renewal happens once again—
from death to life.
That these dormant praises in me would rise again, unchained.
That these sleeping sermons once more would reach my mouth that I may speak of Your wonder,
once again.

 

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Upside-down World

When what was and now is not happens in a wisp of a moment,
when friends become foes, exchanging their trust for biting and isolating words,
then it is plain to see that we are living in an upside-down world.

When conversations meant to break down barriers instead erect the worst kind of walls,
when what I see and what you see suddenly are
oddly at odds
to the vision once shared,
then it is pain to see that we are as much a part of this upside-down world as everyone we have observed from afar. Tut, tut, what a shame it was. And is.

We are in it, of it, and yearning for all to be made right.
What makes it worse is that the reflection is somewhat like what we hope for; but
in its rippling distortion and ever-changing color, what’s hoped for seems like some cruel illusion.
Far off, unattainable, yet present enough to hunger the soul.
======================
Proverbs 13:12 (NLT)
Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.
3-24-18

 

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My Book of Uncommon Prayers: Have mercy

Oh, Lord of the broken and heartsick,
of the world weary and tumult tossed,
have mercy.
Oh, Lord of the fractured and failing,
of the wounded and flailing,
have mercy on us.

May our beliefs align with Your truths,
and may our weakness not hinder Your kingdom work
here in this battleground
between earth and heaven,
between the cross and the crown.

Oh, Lord of the blind and beleaguered,
the willing but wanting,
have mercy on us here below.

May our hearts break for the living lost
and our hands be quick to holy tasks
here on this hallowed ground
between world and wonder,
between sacrifice and song.

Oh, Lord, have mercy on us here below we pray.

 

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These Carnal Threads

I look down at my hands and know that within those tissues and cells, blood is coursing,
coming from,
going to,
minute after minute, circuit upon circuit. But where is my soul in this pink, freckled flesh? Where is my spirit in this troubled, pondering life?

Is the soul hitching a ride on red blood cells as they careen by the white?
Is my spirit holed up in one of my vital organs? My brain, maybe? Concentrated in a command center, overseeing all my worldly cognition.
Perhaps soul and spirit share space, intertwined in the four chambers of my pulsing heart.

But when the soul is gone, the hands are still there, and even the blood; but what stops really when we say life is gone? As the flesh cools, lying motionless, is the me-part that is really me immediately absent,
or hovering, waiting for further instructions?
It is said to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, but I am wondering when the absent happens. What changes in that one fragile second to another when what was thought alive is now

dead
and these carnal threads release their hold?

3-9-18

 

 

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My “Post”: The Story of Stupid

I have been reminded of my breaking rib adventure recently. With all the coughing and sneezing thanks to the series of plagues I have had this winter, the area where my rib was cracked got all inflamed. Perhaps I loosened some adhesions or something. So not just the occasional weather event reminds me of my “stupid” episode.

A p r o n h e a d -- Lilly

There once was a fence—a white rod-iron fence—

to keep big pines in from wandering the neighborhood,

or perhaps it was to keep cars out from trespassing the corner yard.

Didn’t work.

A car left a gaping hole in the yard’s mouth;

it stayed that way for months.  Years?

Fix it?  Okay.

Last week, it was laid as flat as a downed fence,

waiting . . . waiting.

This week, it was gone . . . all but one post,

one lonely post,

one malevolent post

ready to pounce.

A pounce post!

I rounded the corner on my bike,

dog on leash in tow.

Stupid to not have gone out in the street,

stupid, stupid.

Trash cans were holding a conversation with the lone post,

but keeping their distance,

plotting how to arrest those who ride on sidewalks

rather than on busy streets—maybe.

Or maybe talking about the weather.

“Incredible…

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My Book of Uncommon Prayers: God of the Slimmest of Chances

via My Book of Uncommon Prayers: God of the Slimmest of Chances

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Asking you, asking me . . .

via Asking you, asking me . . .

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Not Home Yet

Walking in shadows, occasional whispers of light remind me I am

indeed

in Him

inadequate, but on the path to home.

The yearning, the longing, keeps doubt in check—

somewhat,

somehow, hoping that

someday what we partly know will be known in whole—

unbroken,

unfettered,

understanding.

The here seems material, the then so far off; and this shadowed world, so full of souls and stains would break even the strongest, if not for the

glimmers,

the gracelets,

the glimpses of the intangible, leading us from discomfort to discovery

and home.

 

 

 

 

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Recipe for Joy

via Recipe for Joy

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Recipe for Discouragement

Apronhead

261 - Copy

2 parts resentment

1 part pleasant façade

A dash of memory

Mix well.

Add 3 parts criticism, sliced and diced (optional)

Sauté in a broken heart and mind.

Slowly add equal parts shame and guilt.

Fold gently. Let settle covered overnight . . . or longer (The longer it rests, the more potent it becomes.)

In the morning, beat in enough sugar to cover the bitterness that has risen to the top.

Bake in individual tins. Take one, share one, and freeze the rest to take out when needed . .  or not.

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