Now

Now is the time of opening,
of receiving.
Now is the time of flowing,
of giving.
Now is the time of breathing,
of being.
Now is the time of cleansing,
of healing.
Now is the time of releasing,
of dying.
Now is the time of embracing,
of living.
Now is the time of accepting,
of forgiving.
Now is the time of waking,
of knowing.
Now is the time of holding,
of loving.

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Lent

What a gift.
He invites me to walk with Him.
Not behind. Beside.

Why me?
What does He see within my waters?
Surely He knows I can’t do it apart from Him.
I can’t, and wouldn’t if I could.
The Champion gives up His gold to run with me,
one who falls back.

I’m close enough to touch His robe.
Will He know my touch, that it is mine?
Will He feel power moving out of Him
to take faith’s feeble hand?
Will I be changed on contact?

The miracles. My God!
They move my soul to wholeness.
Will He weep for me in death and raise me up in Glory?
Will I believe and anoint Him with my life perfume?
Will the scent of it be pleasing in His courts?

The palms. I would like to lay down more.
Please, God. Make evil miss.
Help me not betray.

He wants to wash my feet.
I hide the dirty parts of me and deal with them alone.
But He washes, all the same.

He offers Kingdom wine.
Blood-red. Too fine for my being.
My lips touch the Cup.
I kiss the spike wound in His Flesh.
My soul grows full on dead Death.

I can’t go with Him there, can I?
I am so weary and afraid.
Afraid I never believed at all.
The sound shakes my inmost part.
His agony is real to me.
Forever in a moment.
We are scattered, each alone.
Will I deny? Can my eyes lock in His gaze?

I cannot walk His way, the way of Death to Life.
Too weak am I to bear a cross.
Can I be a Mother’s son He cannot be, for Him?

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A Lenten Prayer

Teach us never to forget.

When temptation’s barbs sink deep, snagging us short of true obedience, when weariness weighs eyelids shut as we should watch and pray, when parched throats thirst for savory sips of self-indulgence over bitter broth of sacrifice,

teach us never to forget.

When friends fall back into the crowd of callous calls, when shouldered woes break down our crumbling frame toward bruising cobblestone; when, in wearied haze, seeking encouragement from those who line our path we’re sprayed instead with venom from their lips,

teach us never to forget.

When flickering lives of loved ones fade as we hold their candles close, when brooding stormy atmosphere steals hope breaths yet to be drawn through ambient gloom, when disease’s dire hand wields ceaseless body blows, doubling us down in defeat, or wraps its wiry fingers around ones with whom we’ve shared life’s best to win from out our grasp, from out our soul its better half,

teach us never to forget…

that you’ve walked the lonesome valleys of our lives through barb-like snags, prayed without ceasing through parched throat that thirsted like ours, chosen sacrificial cup over flask of your own making, suffered reproach of foe and friend alike, fallen beneath timbers’ weight on the path to your life’s goal, wept from depth of soul as death laid claim to dear ones, laid hands upon the sores scratched out by fingers of affliction; and through all this mire of life’s low roads, have peaked upon the pristine Everest of our humanity in garments white, reaching low to lift us from our sinking muck to stand in radiance next to you forevermore.

Amen.

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