I stand on cliffs with rocky points and wind
To lean against the rain, the stinging lash.
Great waves, whose roaring tauntings never end,
Reach up and turn my thorny torch to ash.
With darkness wrapping ’round, I scan the storm
To beg a sign, just one, of coming day.
A whisper draws aside my rain-clad form.
It breaks above the gloom and rainy fray.
It points to unexpected lanterns, bright,
The sea and cliffs and cloud cannot reduce.
My quest reframes within against the night,
Moored down by weight of hope without excuse.
Across the hopeless sky the truth’s made known:
The Lighthouse pierces through: “You’re not alone.”
“And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them . . .” Mark 6: 47-48a
I have a deep respect for storms.
Living in the Midwest, I have nurtured a wariness for weather’s fury: the power of sudden, golf-ball sized hail in a summer thunderstorm, the screaming wind that announces the arrival of an F-4 tornado overhead, the smothering white-out of a winter blizzard rolling over the the frozen prairie land of Illinois . . . mountains of powdery, dry snow . . . and the deafening silence after.
Storms have a way of commanding our attention. Sometimes, too much.
Read the story of Jesus walking on water in the middle of a huge storm, and see this picture: the night’s blackness, the pitching waves in the Sea of Galilee, the growing unease with what may be coming, the small group of men in an open fishing boat terrified of it all.
But focus too much on the storm, and we can miss one of those, ” wait a minute. . . ” moments that signal something . . . astonishing.
Continue reading “Against them.” →
A yellow light in a bluer night
Holding the home inside:
A signal out that all are in-
Save one who, journeying, tried
To beat the sun in its setting down,
-To cross the countryside.
Continue reading “PORCH LIGHT (keep with care)” →
Tune, rare hope to each of life’s swift chords,
Played softly in wind,
Played surely in stars.
Continue reading “THIRD ROW: BALCONY” →
“A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.” John 16:16
These are the words of Jesus to His closest friends, hours before His betrayal, arrest, trial, beating and crucifixion. They were having supper together. The mood of the room was serious. Passover was underway. As if with a riddle, He prepares them for what is to come.
Soon, He would be gone, but then He would be back.
Their eyes locked on His, the disciples fill with silent questions. Continue reading “In between” →
“Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.” Psalm 66:5
I read this and thought, “Do I really think that God is awesome?”
Do you really believe that the One on Whom all time and existence now relies upon to be sustained is the same One who orders the steps of your day? Continue reading “Awesome” →
“Some of the Pharisees said, ‘This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.’ But others said, ‘How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?’ And there was a division among them.” John 9:16
Jesus and his disciples are in Jerusalem, and as they walk in the streets, they stop near a man who has never been able to see. It is the Sabbath. Lots of questions…Jesus spits in the dirt and smears mud on the man’s eyes . . . tells him to wash it off in the Pool of Siloam. The blind man does so, and he receives the gift of eyesight.
This story is steeped in disbelief, doubt and misunderstanding, and the people in it are riddled with it. They are confused and doubtful, and their actions betray the disorienting fear that episodes like this can create. Their expectations of how life “ought to be” challenge their acceptance of real life before them.
But really, among the people in this story, who are the ones who can’t see? Continue reading “Great expectations” →
“And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ And he said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.'” Revelation 21:5-6
There is something about the start of a new year that is transforming. New day, new month, new year, (new budget-ha!) And for me, it helps when it is sunny on New Year’s Day. We’re at the top of the calendar with 364 days to come. It’s an adventure.
But what if it isn’t sunny that day, or on January 2nd the budget still doesn’t pay the bills, or the 364 days to come are known to be already brimming with likely pain, overwhelming challenge or stinging regret? What do we do when the coming year is merely new, but not . . . happy? Continue reading “All things new” →
Rich earth. Rain. Snow on bitter wind. Time in the dark stillness. Quickening, warm sunrises of spring.
Recipe for hope.