Inspired by John's telling of the Story

God, O God!
Creator of the cosmos
Origin of life!
What pain you endured
Your bowels overcome
With agonizing love
a Father severed
from the children he adores
The unthinkable
Unimagined plans!
You couldn't!
You did
Your own life -
You gave
slung up on a Roman tree
shamed, mocked, despised
ridiculed by the ones you cherish
Curses!
This cannot be
but true it is
for all
man, woman, child
the whole lot of us
and the soil we trod
this felt world, gritty, beautiful
darkened
but Your light!
Blazing, brilliant and true
untouched
penetrated the darkness
our eyes, if only we'd look
and see
then we would truly see!
And gaze upon a Story
inked in love
penned in grace
written with the punctuation of justice
You overcame all that we could not!
A daddy waits
beckoning his children to come home -
rapturous joy!

Inspired this morning by the Apostle John's words in chapter 3, verse 16.

Words for Tonight with Friends


Imagine, will you
This moment
a thousand years ago
No phones
Smart ones?
Certainly not.
Electricity a dream
Fresh baked cookies
A fantasy
People we remain
Beating hearts
Thinking minds
Moving hands
Looking for love
Looking for life
Is it here?
The story evades.
This moment true
Still
Our story.

A working analogy

This morning, while contemplating the origins of the material realm, the following analogy sprouted in my mind.

As a preface, I had some engaging conversation on this subject last year with a Chinese friend. He was curious about Jesus and the teachings of the Christian faith; we had many conversations over Chinese cuisine. One of the first questions he ever asked was: How could a spiritual "God" create a material world of which he was not? Good question.

This morning, the image of a match came to mind. The fire does not know the match yet, but the match exists. The match is an image of God eternal, the living spiritual, self-sufficient Being. But the match can create a flame, sparking a new reality - i.e. an image of the material realm. Now, of course this analogy - as all analogies are prone to do - breaks down. The material world will not consume God as a flame will consume a match :) But it continues. God was not content to let the flame die out, as it will certainly do. So, God in his infinite wisdom and joy, set up a new pile of kindling, twigs, branches and large logs nearby. Upon the death and resurrection of the Incarnate God - Jesus Christ - a new age was begun. This can be imagined as the moment when the match reaches over and ignites the bonfire. The kindling sparks and crackles, a new flame has emerged while the smaller flame on the match still exists. This dual flame can be likened to this present age, in which brokenness still stains the world - the old flame still sizzles. But a new fire has commenced, resurrection is happening. As many have put it: the kingdom of God is "already but not yet." There will come a day when the old flame of the material world as we know it will die out, but a new fire is being kindled which will burn with a glorious blaze that will give greater warmth and light than ever could have been imagined under the luminescence of the old flame. A day is coming when the breath of God will be breathed out, extinguishing the old flame and simultaneously bringing oxygen to the new fire, causing it to burn bright and anew. Creation groans for that day, when all will be made right and God will make his dwelling with his people in a new creation!

Around the Bend

A powerful story of a family unraveled and wound back together again. Forgiveness, fatherhood, fast food and road trips. Beautiful, sweeping, southwest 'scapes, decent cinematography and a soundtrack that is a boon to this film as well. Pleasantly surprised by this random library pick-up. 83 minutes. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0384810/

Shaped Anew

Many fears to persevere
Many fears to die
Many fears to change -
myself to deny

Who can save me from myself?

Only one who has shed these tears
And beckoned me from despair
Into the bright, rolling hills of love
terrestrial Mercy - flesh he bears
Absorbing a torrent of destruction
Releasing a fury of grace
Drench me in this downpour
Cleanse me, no, recreate -
A new sprout in the soils of your lands
Where glory alone from the gardener's hands
Shapes me

Early morning scratchings

September 19, 2012

Quiet once more
A new day dawns
Silence upon my ears
The earth yawns

Shadows of dreams
Dance in my mind
Like memories of old friends
Not seen for some time

All is still here
Mimicking my calmed heart
That has not wakened
No path it charts

Yet - choices already
I have made
Coffee, pen in hand
All is not fate

Desire what ye?
I call to my deep down soul
Echoes; a cardinal's song
The only sounds that toll

And so I turn my attention
The present gift I have
to my God in the pages
who illumines my path

Words

The words of this sonnet by Madeleine L'Engle echoed true in my soul today.

WORD

I, who live by words, am wordless when
I try my words in prayer. All language turns
To silence. Prayer will take my words and then
Reveal their emptiness. The stilled voice learns
To hold its peace, to listen with the heart
To silence that is joy, is adoration.
The self is shattered, all words torn apart
In this strange patterned time of contemplation
That, in time, breaks time, breaks words, breaks me,
And then, in silence, leaves me healed and mended.
I leave, returned to language, for I see
Through words, even when all words are ended.

I, who live by words, am wordless when
I turn me to the Word to pray. Amen.

Corinthians

After reading through Paul's two letters to the Corinthian church, I am really blown away by how personal these letter are. So real. Such emotion. What a gift it is that we can peer into these intimate and powerful letters penned two thousands years ago!

Foreign Fruits

While browsing at the farmer's market, I was about to purchase a bundle of vine-ripened, juicy red tomatoes. But, as I passed the five dollar bill across the table, these unfamiliar green and yellow tomatoes caught my eye. "What are those?" I inquired. The man, a veteran farmer from near Mt. Vernon, quickly replied, "Zebra tomatoes. They're delicious. Juicy and tart." Always an adventurer when it comes to cuisine, I passed on the juicy reds and snagged the eye-grabbing Zebras. A lover of tart things, I was not dissapointed. Next to peach tomatoes, these little guys are my pick when it comes to biting into the ever-variable summer-season fruit. 




 Home alone for dinner that night, I was in the mood for something quick (where's the box of mac-n-cheese and a can of tuna when you need it?), but semi-nutritious so I decided to see what I could whip up out of my market fresh zebra tomatoes and kale.

Here's what found it's way into the pan - it was so good I had to pass it on.

Olive oil
Fresh garlic
White onion, finely chopped
Kale stems, finely chopped
Kale leaves
Leftover oven-roasted potatoes
Zebra tomatoes, coarsely chopped
White balsamic vinegar
Salt
Fresh cracked pepper
Cumin
Over-easy egg to top it off.