Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A question for you! Seriously!

It has been a number of years now since I started this post
from less than a 100 hits per month, to...
well, more

it has grown
evidence that at least a few people
and few computer generated websites have found their way to "Dancing Faith"

But this has been a difficult year
Lots of changes
Lots of challenges.....

And I am contemplating not doing the blog anymore.
So I am asking this question
Does anyone read it... I guess some of you do :)
and is it meaningful, useful.... worth continuing
So i am asking you to answer this question
using the comment option at the bottom of the blog....
Am I looking for affirmation? 
But i am also looking for guidance about whether to continue
to "put my stuff out there"
Thanks for listening
I will look forward to your responses!
Anonymous is just fine BTW


W.H. Auden once wrote, "We would rather be ruined than changed.  We would rather die in our dread than climb the cross of the present and let our illusions die."
Soon or later, as we walk down the path of life,
We hit a stumbling stone
I have stumbled more than my fair share.
a stumbling block is some event
some hurt
some disappointment
some loss
that you simply can't deal with....
at least not with the resources you have available
not enough love
or strength
or hope
no tools for doing the job
such moments can freeze us,
cause us to shut down
or anguish us
bringing tears that we simply cannot deny
they can anger us
generating hate, or merely a violence in the soul
this week I have faced
personal loss
I have lived in the shadow of death with people I love
I have seen fear and confusion in the presence of an illness
I have struggled with my own limitations
as a man
a person who is in leadership
a person who wants to be, but so often is not, what he wants to be
I have hard decisions to make
and fears about decisions already made
I am stumbling
and what I want most to do is fall
and stay
there in the dust of the road
I want to quit, and let the tears roll
but is suspect
that this falling
that all the losing, failing, fearing
are part of the process
of growth

they are part of the journey

it is when we are lead to the limits of our current game plan
our current resources
and find them to be
not enough

that we reach out and seek
that we become open to
the real source
the deep well
the constantly flowing stream

Help me to pick myself up
Out of the dust
And drink

Isa 35:5-7:  Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
6 Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.
7 The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Buck Stops Here

I just read a bunch of passages in Exodus, follow up passages to the Ten Commandments, that are nothing but pages of rules.  Rules about everything.  Rule about how the people of Israel were to live together.

As I read these I found some I agreed with, some that made me almost laugh, and some that were, well, scary. 

The first thing I thought about, as I read these verses was that sections like this  illustrate profoundly how much we “cherry pick” the Bible.  How much we  pick and choose.  We insist on keeping, to the letter, literally the 10 commandments.  We hang on so hard to some of Paul statements about gender, and sexuality.  But we totally ignore a whole lot of stuff found in these passages, and in Leviticus and elsewhere.  How many of us will hold literally to the idea that if a person “curses” his or her parents they should be put to death?   Most of us wouldn’t have made it out of Jr. Hi.   Do we literally take an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a bruise for a bruise.  No, of course not.

It really is all about the big picture ethically when it comes to the bible.  That even Jesus approached the rules that way and made, for example the 10 commandments two.  Pointing to the spirit of the law, which he knew to be the most important.

So what is the spirit of these three chapters?  I would put it this way.  The buck stops here.  Or, perhaps, to put it another way… I am responsible… specifically, I am responsible to care about, to be careful with, the people around me.  The people who come in to my life.

Responsibility is a big word.  Lots of people have talked about responsibility
Responsibility is the price of greatness. -  Winston Churchill
Responsibility is the price of freedom. -  Elbert Hubbard
Responsibility walks hand in hand with capacity and power.  -- Josiah Gilbert Holland
What a man does defines him, not what is done by others.  - William Golding

I see all of the rules in these chapters as talking about some basic responsibilities we have for one another

First  ,  we have a number of related laws regarding taking responsibility for the safety of others. We are to take steps to prevent injury or death to people or animals. We are to make sure our oxen are well behaved.  That we don’t strike others with violence.  That we keep our anger under control.

We are responsible, in other words, to do what we can to prevent damage to others. OK, watching out for my ox doesn’t say much to me, since I don’t have one.  But I there are many ways I can protect others, or fail to do so.  I can choose to be “non violent” and control my anger.  I have a car.  I can drive carefully.  I can not drink or text and drive.  As God’s people we are called to be careful with the people who we work with, who come to our homes, who are in our business

But wait, there is more.  There is a quite a bit in these verses about our responsibility to “make it up to” the person we have harmed.  We should make restitution for the losses and hurt we have caused.  It is interesting to me that the Hebrew word translated “make restitution” is shalam. It’s root meaning includes the idea of making peace. When someone causes a loss, they make peace by restoring what was lost.

 It takes more than confession of guilt for an offender to make things right; it also demands effort on his or her part to make amends to the people who were hurt. Only then can the torn fabric of relationships be mended. Making restitution helps heal relationships.

Do you have someone we you have harmed?  And there are so many ways we can create harm.  By what we do.  By what we don’t do.  How we act.  What we say.  We all harm others.  When we do we are given the responsibility to “make peace” if we can.  As I thought about this issue I thought about the 12 step program.  Listen to these task…..
1.            Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
2.            Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
3.            Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
4.            Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
5.            Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
6.            Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
7.            Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

Can you think of one person with whom you might “make peace” this week?

OK, yet another.  This has to do with our responsibility to show respect to those around us.  In these verses it is mostly about respect for authority.  The big examples given in the passage relate to respect for parents. – In 21:15 it says, “He who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.” The word translated “strikes” means “to strike, smite, hit, beat, slay.” Here, it probably does not mean to strike to death, but it refers to any kind of striking that would bring injury. Then in v.17 God says, “And he who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death” (cf. Lev. 20:9).  So here is an example of our responsibility to treat others with respect.  Parents of course make a great example.

Many suggest this concept should be applied to anyone in authority.  The President.  The law, such as policemen, judges, and the like.  Probably bosses…. I like that!  Its not that we have to have blind obedience.  It does mean that when we disagree we still act respectfully.

But I would like to push it just a little further.  If we are responsible for, and in a sense accountable to everyone God puts in our path, then respect is something we should be offering to everyone.  We should never be people who disrespect those in our lives.  There are .lots of places this can play out.  Think about men and women.  Whether it is easy to admit or not, this is a fact -- males minimize women in our society, a lot.  They marginalize them, erode them.  They use them.  Treat them as objects.  According to a recent poll women are paid 77% of what men are paid for exactly the same job. 

Respect means equal pay.  Respect means not treating a woman as an object.  Respect means not cutting to woman down, manipulating her, controlling her.  It means taking what she wants and treating it as seriously as you would your own wishes.

Ok another example.  Go to the internet.  Read an article related to politics.  Or a blog.  Then go to the comments section.  Wow!  You have people calling people stupid, and evil.  You have people demonizing other people.  Is this respect?  Is putting out misinformation about Muslims, if you are a Christian, or spewing hatred toward Christians, if you aren’t, because you don’t agree with their way of thinking, respect?  We would have a much better chance to deal with the ills in our country, if we treated each other with respect.

Next, I want us to consider our responsibility toward the vulnerable.  In this passage all kinds of vulnerable people are mentioned.  Widows.  Orphans. Slaves.  Pregnant women.  And yes, immigrants.  In 22:21 God says, “You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were
strangers in the land of Egypt.” The word translated “mistreat” also means “to oppress, treat

So how are we doing?  As a nation, I think right now, not so good.  We are in fact writing and enacting laws that will mistreat and oppress, essentially violate the vulnerable in our country.  And I am not even going to go into territory of immigration law, or voting laws. 

I am thinking about how we think about health care programs, aid for students, programs to support those with mental illness.  As a nation, as states we are throwing the vulnerable under the proverbial bus.  We talk about being a Christian nation, but I think we will have a lot to answer for about how un-Christian we in our attitudes toward and care of the poor, minorities, immigrants.

I people talk about entitlement and the responsibility of the people in these programs to “work hard”, to make their way.  Ideally yes, although many really can’t. But if we think about the parables of Jesus, that whole concept of whether people deserve to be taken care of and treated in a way that enables, and empower and supports is a non-starter.  Non-Christians can play that game.  We can’t.  We must take care of “the strangers”…. Expand that to read, the poor, the ill, the children, the mentally ill, the immigrant, in our midst – no matter what

Now I have laid out some pretty heavy stuff here.  Bleeding heart stuff, some of you might say.  But I would like to point out that as far as Jesus was concerned, even all of this was not enough.  He said time and time again, and said it in the passage we heard today.  “You have heard it said…..”  but I say…..

You have heard it said, don’t murder… I say don’t get angry
You have heard it said, eye for an eye… I say, so not resist and evil person… if they strike you on the cheek, turn to him the other also.  If someone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat as well….love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you…

Wow!  Martin Luther really got it.  In 1520 he began his “Treatise on Christian Liberty” with two propositions.  1. The Christian is a perfectly free, lord of all subject to none.  2. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all

Its election season
We are being asked to define our values

The value that shouts at me from these pages in Exodus
Is we ARE responsible for each other
We are to be the servants of all, responsible to all

It is not about me, or you
It is about US
Being responsible for one another….In a radical way.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Problem Inside the Solution

I was reading in Richard Rohr's wonderful book "Falling Upward"

This passage caught my attention
"The genius of the Gospel was that it included the problem inside the solution
The falling became standing
The stumbling became the finding
The dying because the rising.
The raft became the shore."
The paradox of faith is always centered around what God can
around that "great reversal' most clearly seen in the cross
where defeat became victory
and death became life
The are times when life seems defined by words like 
And yet the promise of God is this
that with Christ those were are not the totality
of experience
There is always

There is always hope
and the grace of God
which goes beyond all understanding

Friday, July 27, 2012

It was a day

Sometimes Lord
I think you have a really warped sense of humor

I started today
a little frayed at the edges

and it was day
full of death
and goodbyes

full of incredible hurt
and pain

people who wondered whether
you even exist
for if you existed 
how could life be so unfair?
It was a day to think
to listen
a day for compassion
a day to look inside
and wonder
to look at my own stuff
and be humbled
at how wounded this 
healer is
and yet
at the end of the day
there are the mountains
the sun
the trees waving in the breeze
the brilliance of black eyed Susan's
a mother doe
with twins
it was a day

Thursday, July 26, 2012

House of Joy

Mirrors are interesting things
What we see there
Can change

Simply because of the eyes
we look through

When our eyes are tired
worn down by a tired soul
we see a gnarled face
full of wrinkles and spots

But when we look with eyes
that realize
that we are the keepers of a great treasure

That in us dwells
all that is sacred
and good

That God is there
and love
and grace

We would see
for all the wrinkles and spots
a "most beautiful face"

and we would smile


If you knew yourself for even one moment,
if you could just glimpse
your most beautiful face,
maybe you wouldn't slumber so deeply
in that house of clay.

Why not move into your house of joy
and shine into every crevice!
For you are the secret
and always have been.
Didn't you know?
-- Rumi

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Kiss me, now!

Hey beloved [God], my soul is a raging volcano of love for you!
You’d better start kissing me, or else!

You are so amazing
You love us with the love of a passionate love
And all you ask

Is that we love you back

Perhaps our problem is we don’t really know how to love
Not very well

We are seekers

We demand and complain
And expect

And seldom
And respect
And give

We seldom even ask for what we need
Instead we send indirect clues
And hopes
And then resent it when
We do not get what we think we want….

We are not very good lovers Lord
Of you
Or of those whom you have placed in our lives
Or of those you have simply put in our paths

Lord, teach us to love!

Silence is deafening

silence is deafening

there is something special about being connected with another
to have them there
on the the other end
of that invisible bridge
that binds us one to another
across that bridge
come many things

Some are not pleasant
And yet across that bridge
that tether
come love, and hope
sometimes even faith
sometimes even God

that connection is 
feed and nurtured
by sharing
of time, and energy
love and talk

but sometimes
there is silence
and when the tether still exists
that silence is deafening

it is like
or love
or someone we are tied to by history or heart
has simply hung up
and there we are
still on the line
listening to the crackling silence

it may be death
or merely a rendering that feels like death
that leaves us hanging there

in that silence may I hear
the still small voice 
of God
and know that I am not alone

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hope against hope

In the quiet of the morning
I sit
and watch the sun
inexorably conquer the shadow
assaulting the darkness of the woods
it is a time to think
of life
and love
this day
I look at myself and wonder
whether I am still viable
I look at my heart
and it feels like there are pieces missing
as if parts have been pulled away
leaving something incomplete
barely capable of beating
of filling me with llife
my soul is tired
and my
mind is swirling chaos
of things done and left undone
a tumultuous chaos
of names and tasks
and hope?
I dare not hope again
and yet the sun
once again rises
and once again marches
into the darkness
perhaps this tattered life
held together with 
spiritual duct tape
and bailing twine
this fragile
can walk through one more day
and see the sun rise
and feel the darkness

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed   Romans 4:18

Thursday, July 19, 2012

To my girls

I was wandering through my head the other day
It is a specialty of mine
These treks through the tangled jungle of my mind

It is easy to get lost in there
and to lose
what is out there
right in front of me

They say that life can be lost in the living
It is certainly true
That one can wander through the day
and never once make contact

Never engage
with the moment
with the task
with the person

never "be"

Thank God for little girls
who pull you out of yourself
and make you smile
and bring you back to the world
and to yourself

to my laughing little granddaughter
and my wonderful daughter 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Traveling Light

I thought I had stripped down
To only the essentials

A slightly portly
Aging man
Looking much like
A marshmallow on toothpicks

Ready to dance in the rain
Or at least cavort in the sprinklers
with baggy shorts and spindly legs

But alas

The lightness isn’t there
I carry things in my heart
I cling to things
My soul
That have weight

And keep me earth bound
And still my dancing feet

Lord help me to
Travel light

Friday, July 13, 2012

Reflections on holding a granddaughter

Tiny toes
perfect nose
the smallest fingers
gripping mine
holding on as if life itself
depended on it

Life is simple right now
cry a little

they do it all again
interlaced with chronic snuggling

its not all smiles
there is that gas thing...
that hunger thing
that heat rash thing
that need to be held thing

but being held
what bliss
burrowing into mom
curling up with dad
even I get to hold
her balled up little body
as she peers suspiciously up at me
with eyes barely open

I think God
I can learn some lessons here
about how beautifully you made me
the miracle of life itself
the grace of being able to cling
to the one who made me

and I think in the joy I feel
as those little fingers latch on to mind
and that little body snuggles
and relaxes
and then rests

suggests, however inadquately
the deep contentment you must feel
when finally
for at least one moment
I cling to you

ah sacred love

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


you just can't sleep
oh I know
it is good to sleep

I tell those I work with
get your sleep

but sometimes
you just can't sleep

life intrudes
your mind goes crazy
and so there you are

on your computer
early in the morning

not surfing
not reading the political news
how depressing is that?

just wandering around
looking for a place to land
sometimes reality sucks
realizing who you are
what you life is like
you can pretend
you can practice denial
a specialty of mine
but at 3 or 4
in the morning
pretense dies
and you must look in the mirror
and see

Monday, July 9, 2012

How did I get here?

How did I get here?
I have been scrambling up this trail for so long

fighting over boulders
through bogs that at times threatened
to suck me down
into the depths

I have fought my way through brush so thick
I could not see more than one step in front

Always I believed,
Always I sensed my guide
was leading me on
to the right place

It all seemed to fall in to place
it could not be coincidence
all those opportunities, those moment

I seemed that I was going
to where I needed to go
to where I was meant to be

but here I am
at trails end

there is no way to go further
dark walls tower above me
casting deep shadows over me
obscuring even the sky
until I cannot see

even the trail behind me seems vague and obscure

so here I am
how did I get here?
I guess I will just sit for a while
and wait
and see


There are always choices, always paths from where we are to a better place. To be alive requires choices every second. There’s no such thing as the absence of choices. It’s only our lack of awareness that blinds us to all the possibilities. Even choices that appear undesirable could turn into a key experience that reveals hidden paths. We may never know in advance where a path will lead us or how long our journey will take. Only our inner wisdom knows the journey we are supposed to be on. 

Look for the next right choice 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The 10 Commandments

I just finished reading the 10 Commandments
The 10 Commandments are a force on the landscape of American Christianity.
They promote controversy
They are placed everywhere
There is a copy of “the tablets’ on a rock outside my local grocery store.
And on set of stones outside a church in a neighboring town.

A lot of Christians put a lot of emphasis on the Commandments.
But what are they all about?  Really?

We know they are a set of rules.
But is there something more?

Look at the opening commandments

2 I am the LORD your God…
3 you shall have no other gods before me.
4 You shall not make for yourself an idol….
7 You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the LORD your God….
8 Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy.

All those commandments have to do with honoring God—loving God.  Not forgetting to make the sacred a critical part of life. 

The later commandments, the one a lot of people seem to be fixated on, have to do with honoring those around us.  Or rather, honoring God through the way we live with others.

When I first thought about honoring God and honoring the people around us, I couldn’t help but think of the man who came to Jesus asking, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”  Jesus replied,“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the greatest and first commandment.  And a second is like it:  You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Jesus took the Ten Commandments and redacted them down to two:   We can please God if we do two things. Love God! Love our neighbor! It's that simple!  But what does it mean to love God? If we loved God, what would that look like? What would we do? Well the Ten Commandments offer us one picture of what that might look like. 

• If we truly love God, will put no other gods before him. We won't let money be more important than God—or sex—or hobbies—or entertainment—or food—or drugs—or friends—or even family. We will not let anything be more important than God.
• If we truly love God, we will not make any idols. We won't worship idols made of word or stone.  What does it mean to worship?  To put something first in our lives.  We worship that into which we invest our time, money and energy. We can worship people.  Sports.  Our work.  Things.  Its scary how many things can become an idol.
• If we truly love God, we will not use his name disrespectfully. In our culture, that has come to mean not using the words God and damn together. But honoring God's name means much more. We are God's children. When we take the name of God, claim to be God’s, and call ourselves Christians, we honor his name when people can look at us and say, “There goes a Christian.  They claim God, AND….. they live God’s love.  They are kind, compassionate, given.  If we claim to be Christians, to be God’s, and don’t love, that is using God’s name disrespectfully.  What is even more disrespectful is to do what is hateful, or greedy, or hurtful in God’s name.  And that seems to be happening a lot these days.
• If we truly love God, we will rest from our labors on his day—not easy to do in a world that demands that we work days, nights and weekends.  We will rest.  And reflect.  We will connect with our God.  We will allow ourselves to be fed, re-created so to speak.

Love God! Love your neighbor! What does it mean to love our neighbor? What would our lives look like if we loved our neighbor? The last commandments tell us that: 

 If we truly love God, we will honor our father and mother. God calls us to honor our Heavenly Father, but he also calls us to honor our earthly fathers and mothers.  This means caring for them.  Respecting them.  Listening to them deeply.

If we love our neighbor, we will not murder him or her.
If we love our neighbor, we will not cause hurt in their relationship.
If we love our neighbor, we will not steal from them.
If we love our neighbor, we will not tell lies about him or her.
If we love our neighbor, we will not allow ourselves to be jealous, want what they have in a way that creates pain for them, or us. 

In his book True Love, Thich Nhat Hanh (Tik · N'yat · Hawn) says that love involves just a few things, and two statements.
1. Being present to the other and sayinig, “Dear One, I know you are here”
2. Being there in the other’s suffering and saying,  “Dear One, and I am here for you” 
3.  He also suggests that if we love we have to overcome our pride and allow the other person to be there in our suffering.  “Dear One, I am suffering, I need your help.” 

I love the way what he says lines up with the commandments of Moses and the commandments of Jesus

But I have to admit I struggle with commandments - A lot.  I don’t always do that well in living them.  And I am pretty convinced that these commandments, and the two offered by Jesus were not rules God ever really expected anyone, post fall, to be able to live up to.  We all know, painfully, that we just can’t do it.  We try, but like Paul often find that what we want to do, we can’t do.  And what we don’t want to do… well we do that very thing.

So people talk a lot about what role these commandments play.

Some say they are God telling us, this is what you SHOULD be like.  If you don’t live up to them you are BAD, and you are just DARN LUCKY that Christ came and died for you.  In other words they drive us to grace.  I suppose there is something in that, but it doesn’t seem quite right.

Some really do believe that if you violate a commandment you are toast.  You might as well start looking forward to hell, because God hates you for your failure… In short the commandments are there to essentially scare, or guilt us, into heaven.  I am convinced there is nothing in that.  Fortunately there is the cross, and all that it implies.  I believe that God doesn’t hate us, even when we goof up, but loves us and sees us as beloved children.

What I think is that the commandments of Moses, and even more so the two commandments of Jesus are meant to give us a glimpse of the kingdom.  In the 10 commandments we see what the kingdom will look like.  It will be a place where people are connected to God, and reflect that connection in the way they live.  Same thing for the two commandments of Jesus.

And I think we get an enriched picture of kingdom living in another powerful set of statements.  What we call the beatitudes, or the ‘blesseds”

Blessed are those who are…. Its kind of a cool shift.  In the beatitudes it is less a matter of what we should DO to how we should BE.

Blessed are the humble
Blessed are the compassionate,
Blessed are the meek,
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice,
Blessed are the merciful,
Blessed are the pure of heart,
Blessed are the peacemakers,
Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice sake,

Richard Rohr laments the fact that many Christians are so focused on the law and the ten commandments, and functionally neglect the 8 beatitudes.  He asks why we fight to have the ten commandments posted on walls of schools, etc, but never fight for the eight beatitudes to be posted on the wall? Interesting question.

And this brings me to an important point.  I think that at the highest level, not only the beatitudes, but also Jesus commandments and the 10 commandments are relational.As I look at these powerful teachings I see a progression.  I see a movement from a rigid approach of the 10 commandments, to the broader and softer two commandments of Jesus with their focus on love, and ultimately to the Beatitudes. 

They all go together in my head… as the development of a theme…. Kingdom living, from a concrete set of rules (which we often turn into something rigid and guilt producing, into weapons that crush and defeat ourselves and others) to a powerful principle of love of God and love of others, to the laws being fleshed out again, in a new way, in a New Testament way, in the Beatitudes. 

The 10 commandments the kind of rules we set for kids.  The commandments of Jesus, perhaps we could see as the rules for young adulthood.  And the beatitudes?  Those we start living out as our faith matures and deepens.  We can follow the 10 commandments at a shallow, legalistic level.  You can’t be the person of the beatitudes in a shallow way.

 I would like to close with one last story. A businessman, notorious for being ruthless, once commented to Mark Twain,

Before I die, I mean to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.I will climb Mount Sinai and read the Ten Commandments aloud at the top.

Mark Twain thought for a moment and responded, I have a better idea!  You could stay home in Boston, and work at living them!

We have the laws, an early glimpse of what kingdom living is like
We have Jesus summary of the law, his more compassionate, and in many ways more powerful simplification… where the focus is not right and wrong, but love
And we have the Beatitudes, which in my mind may be the ultimate expression of kingdom living

Let us not spout laws
Let us not give lip service, even, to love
Let us simply do the best we can, in the power of God’s Spirit
To live the Kingdom, in our life with God, and our life with others

Friday, July 6, 2012

When love is there

When love is there
You can make it through anything
When love is there
You can let go gracefully
When love is there
You may want to grasp and pull
But you may find the strength to open your hands
And let the other fly

When love is there
You goal will be to make them happy
And in their happiness find joy

When love is there
You heart may hurt
And be joyful at the same time

When love is there
You will expect much
Perhaps too much

But be joyful in what you get

Love is
The cross
Love is, putting the other first
Love is, being there
Love is, listening deeply
Love is, being present in the others pain
Love is, sharing your own pain

And humbling yourself
Saying “help me please, I need you”

Love is not
A feeling you feel when you feel like you are going to get a feeling you never felt before
Love is not
Love is not peace (just the opposite)
Love is not using another to get what you want

But love is
a gift
and rare

when you find love,
never let go

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Morning in the Soul

deep darkness
a world undefined

then there,
yes, right there, 
a hint of a tree
a stone

then a sliver
just a hint 
of gold
and soon the darkness
befuddled begins a slow
and confused retreat

light grows
and dances through the trees
leaving splashes of color in its footsteps
purple and yellow flowers leaping to greet it
and so the world comes alive
inch by inch
moment by moment
sometimes my heart is filled with a darkness
that seems to blanket my soul with blackness
leaving me frozen

no next step
no next choice
just nothing but that blackness

In this void
I wait
as my heart is torn open by the weight 
of all the griefs I have so carefully collected
and created for myself

I wait for the darkness to retreat
before the sun
I wait for God's love to shine 
through the tears in my heart
a lamp in the darkness
illuminating my path
one step, on breath at a time

I wait for morning in my soul