Raindrops are liquid joy
celebrated by the thunder
with claps of praise.

Dandelions

In the spring of the year
they rise from their slumber,
slender stalks supporting
saffron heads,
their bright composure
punctuating the cool green;
yet they are transient.

Bright blonde giving way to
tousled gray
until a breeze blows upon it
and it’s gone.

But God is a forget-me-not.
His steadfast love never ceases,
though He plucks and blows
upon the flower,
He spreads the seeds
upon the wind…
His breath carries life abundant
where many see death.

 

A reflection on Psalm 103 from my book Soil of the Divine.

Seeds Descend

Seeds descend
into darkness
lives extinguished
in the cool earth.

From death, life emerges
pressing through the soil
to reach the Light
always stretching, reaching
toward life’s Source
new life superseding old.

Why do we fear the darkness?

Overflow

A flood of emotion
tear’s cataract
overflowing grief’s banks
saturating the plains of consciousness.
The waters may bring death,
but they also bring life.
Our way is not around,
but through the sea.

Poets do not go mad; but chess-players do. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom. I am not, as will be seen, in any sense attacking logic: I only say that this danger does lie in logic, not in imagination…

Poetry is sane because it floats easily in an infinite sea; reason seeks to cross the infinite sea, and so make it finite. The result is mental exhaustion…

The poet only desires exaltation and expansion, a world to stretch himself in. The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.

-G.K. Chesterton

“The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing–to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from”–Psyche in C.S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces

At some point in their lives, every person should hear someone say to them, “you are beautiful.”-John O’Donohue

Why are we so afraid?

Why do we so commonly teach people to be afraid?

Afraid of bridges. Afraid of spiders. Afraid of the dark.

Afraid of red meat. Afraid of processed foods. Afraid of water from the tap.

Afraid of guns. Afraid of immigrants. Afraid of culture. Afraid of public schools. Afraid of democrats. Afraid of republicans. Afraid of Muslims. Afraid of our neighbors. Afraid of strangers.

Afraid of cancer. Afraid of ebola. Afraid of death. Afraid of life, at least one fully lived.

Afraid of conflict. Afraid of vulnerability. Afraid of truth. Afraid of exposure. Afraid of friendships. Afraid of disappointing people.

Afraid of being unknown. Afraid of being known.

Afraid of being a disappointment to God.

We set up cultures of fear. We lead people to believe that the Christian life is lived upon a tightrope. Blindfolded. One wrong step and…disaster. But that’s not what Jesus said. He said to his best friends, “why are you so afraid?” He invited them, and us, to live lives of love. St. John wrote that we cannot embody love and remain afraid.

Our mission is not fear, but love. We were not called to live life upon a tightrope weaved by the Old Covenant standards and laws of our own making, but to dance in a wide green pasture. We were not called to live with blinders on, but with our eyes wide open to the beauty and wonder of God.

I wish to enter every conversation,
whether in conflict or commonality,
whether with friend or foe,
with an overwhelming peace
grounded in the knowledge
of the steadfast love of God,
remaining present to whatever
the Spirit may bring about.

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