the whole slippery slope fallacy / analogy
makes the added assumption that you

started out at the top / in the superior position
but if that were really the case / if I started

at the summit and slid to the bottom
wouldn’t it have been easier than it was?

it felt more like an arduous exhausting
climb which leads me to believe I might

have started at the bottom / where you can
only see what’s in front of your face

where you can only see what’s obvious
where you can only take things literally

where you can’t see with the eye of a bird
with no concept of where you are in the world

you think you ARE the world

what happens when you realize you didn’t start out
on top of the mountain and slide down into a pit

you started at the base, felt the itch to climb
and see the world for what it really is

and oh my god what a view.

Marla Taviano, Unbelievable

more or less

Here’s what I would like to see:
more peace, less violence
more love, less hate
more gray, less black & white
more both/and, less either/or
more welcome, less exclusion
more conversation, less vitriol
more questions, fewer assertions
more beauty, less ugliness
more curiosity, less certainty
more wholeness, less fragmentation
more light, less darkness
more diversity, less homogenization
more inner work, fewer outward assumptions
more spaciousness, less bondage
more welcoming tears, less demanding smiles
more questions, fewer answers
more pursuit of wisdom, less trust in propaganda
more “is it possible I’m wrong,” less “I’m sure I am right”
more hugs, fewer fists
more plowshares, fewer swords
more circles, fewer pyramids
more kindness, less sarcasm
more downward mobility, less power-seeking
more “how can I love all people well?”, less how “can I protect my own rights?”
more true loving God, fewer wrong ideas about God.

Pharaoh’s son

I once had a pastor tell me, 
"I know your problem;
You lack courage,"
though it was clear he misunderstood.
I was setting out on a journey  
into an unknown desert,  
leaving behind all of the things 
that fed my false selves 
the influence,  
the accolades,  
the security,  
the easy community,  
the utterly familiar. 
I walked away from the promise 
of being Pharaoh's son 
because I could not do otherwise.  
I ventured into the desert 
of darkness 
of uncertainty 
of loneliness 
of suffering 
of death 
because the only way to find myself 
was to lose myself. 

merry-go-round

sometimes
pondering the world
leaves me breathless
and dizzy

verdant immensity
stretches out before me
and a vast sea of blue
holds its place
above my head

planetary
merry-go-round
spinning faster
than any carnival ride

is it any wonder
that I am filled with
butterflies and laughter
as I hang on
for dear life?

I have questions

Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer,

There are so many things I do not understand.
What was it like when you called the cosmos into being?
Did you speak your creative words matter-of-factly,
or did you sing as you hovered over the waters?

What do you feel when you look at the world you created?
When you look at me?
For so long, I imagined that you were angry, or disappointed,
but what if…what if
suffering stirs your compassion
and sinfulness moves you to love?

What if the great commission
was never about getting people into heaven,
but about bringing heaven to people?

What if you never intended your followers
to focus on who’s right and who’s wrong,
or who’s in and who’s out?
What if instead, you have invited us to love,
regardless of someone’s creed or culture?

What if we believed Jesus’ encouragement
to be whole, as you Father are whole?
What if we believed Paul’s words
that you are truly reconciling all things?

What if…

re-membering ourselves

What if we have misunderstood sin?
What if sin is not so much about behavior, but fragmentation?
What if sinning means that we have forgotten who we are?

What if holiness has little to do
with willing ourselves to comply with a set of external standards
but instead, is about re-membering ourselves?

What if we concerned ourselves
less with avoiding evil
and more with becoming whole?

What if righteousness has little to do
with condemning sin
and much to do with living from our true self?

What if holy living was never about
white-knuckled compliance
but about welcoming ourselves back home?

Love After Love

This poem, Love After Love by Derek Walcott, is one of my favorites.

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

dark corners

As darkness presses in
filling the corners of our minds
we long for your light, O God.
Frantically, we cry out,
“Where are you?”

Do not let the Great Sadness overwhelm us.
Remind us of your enduring goodness.
Reveal your tender mercy.

Help us to understand
that there is neither form nor beauty
without both light and shadow.

Open our eyes
to see your presence
even in these dark places.

There is nowhere we can go
that you have not already gone.
There is no darkness
where your light does not shine brighter still.

tempest

I am afraid.
I seek control
though I am powerless.

Waves crash
rip currents carry me
further into a sea of dread.

I do not know
what dangers lurk
in the depths.

I row harder
oars nearly snapping
under the strain.

Breathlessly, I cry out
Lord, don’t you care
that I am drowning?

In the deafening storm
I hear you whisper
Peace, be still.

Are you speaking to me
or the tempest?
I cannot tell.

The same hurricane
feeds the turbulence
within and without.

Close your eyes.
Breathe, beloved.
Breathe.