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

Saturday, November 25, 2023

like a mighty wind

And Jesus

When he had cried again with a loud voice

Gave up the Ghost


The nephesh,

The pneuma

The breath of God which had filled him to overflowing


So that God poured out of him like a mighty wind



Ah, Holy Spirit

Breath of God


It makes sense to me

To think of the Presence of the Almighty as breath

It makes sense to think of it filling Jesus




Until he was the Son of Man

God with us


But there were others who also

Who inspired Sacred Presence

Breathed it in


People who were mostly good

Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob

People who had their issues

Ananias, Sapphira, Herod


All we are told “gave up the ghost”

Which meant, they all had it.

It was there, in Jesus and Herod


It is there in me and in you

We all, this is the mystery of life and grace

Have inspired Sacred


God is in us

As close as our breath


When we were born

God became a guest

Incarnate if you will


When we were born

We became the cradle into which Christ was born


And we carry the Sacred with us

Throughout our lives

The more open we are to that Spirit

The more we breathe God in

The more our lives are shaped by God’s presence


But all of us

From Jesus to Herod

From a person like Rosemary Carter

To the worst person you can think of


Carries the pneuma

In Spiritu


And that presence will not leave

Until our time on spaceship Earth is done

Only then

Do we give up the ghost


Today I am going to look for the “ghost”

The nephesh/pneuma of God


I am going to look for it in the wind that bends the trees

In the frosty breath of the horses


I am going to look for it in each person I meet

Each person I see on the news


In the rise and fall of each chest

I am going to seek God




And I am going to know

That as long as there is breath, there is God


And there is hope

For change, for transformation,

For goodness

For love


Monday, November 20, 2023

What have I (we) become?

it is dark
too dark, too early
there are a plethora of things
"not working"
a myriad of things unfinished
a today I got a look in the mirror
one of those moments when someone special and honest
laid it on the line
and what i know is that I don't like what I have become
it is not just the age
and the chronic pain
and the mind that no longer remembers appointments
its not just the voice that is no longer clear
or the house, which after 20 years, is showing its age
it is not vendors who don't come through
it is me
it is what those forces that I see as negative
are doing to my soul
I have to admit
A lot of what is going on in American hits me hard
And I am confused and pained by trends I see as
But those movements I disagree with
those people I find difficult
are winning
they are winning because they change me
they make me fearful
angry, yes angry
and all of that seeps out of my soul
it is not that i think I am wrong about what values and priorities
we need to hold
it is that I think my response is wrong
There needs to be challenge.
A calling out
But it is the “how”
and i have allowed those things that are problematic
those people I think are problematic
to change me
and make me, fundamentally
the same as them
In all faith I say, we have to fight hate with love
but functionally I slip into hate myself
I lament judgementalism and exclusion
and I get sucked into judgementalism and exclusion
We can overcome
Love can overcome
I believe that
But that will not happen
if we become what we resist
There is plenty of room for mea culpas here
maybe maxima mea culpa
But all one can do is look in the mirror
do some repairs
say, "I was wrong"
and keep walking
trying to be the change

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Be yourself

In his book Seeds of New Hope Thomas Merton observes that “a tree gives glory to God by being a tree.”  I often recite this phrase like I mantra in my head as a reminder that my only job is to be my most authentic self.  I’ve discovered that the more I embrace the person God made me, the more I’m able to love God.  And, really, that’s the only thing I can offer to God and to the world.

          Ann Kansfield, Be the Brave One



Here is to the weird ones.

The skinny late bloomer ones.

The quiet ones

The loud ones

The confused ones

The Lost ones


Here is to the macho ones

Roaring down the road in their pickups

Here is to the musical ones

The creative ones

The queer ones*


Here is to all those who are different

And are trying so hard not to be

All those who feel as if they are not enough

And are trying so hard to be


Someone others value


Ah, yes, and love


You are a child of God

Just as you are!


Try, yes try

To be your authentic self





Not someone else’s


Just be who you were born to be

Quiet and shy

Loud and confident



It doesn’t matter


You are

You might never have been,

But here you are!


And the world would be incomplete without you


You are loved

You participate in the love

The love that brought all into being


And you are here for a reason

Not sure what that reason is?


Then stop


Be your self

That is your one job




Look around

“The place God calls you to

is the place where your deep gladness

and the world’s deep hunger meet.”  (Frederick Buechner)


Not your greatest guilt

Your greatest joy


In all joy take your authentic self

And touch the pain with the joy of you


“Where your feet take you

That IS you” (Buechner again)


So don’t hide

Don't try so hard

Don’t live in fear

Don’t be led into evil by people

Who hate everyone (and probably themselves too)


Be your authentic


One loved by God

And thus able to love yourself

And those around you.


It is as simple and complex

As that


For you give glory to God

Simply by being you



*The word queer is used intentionally in this post to refer to people whose identities are outside of heteronormative, binary gender or sexuality. Queer was once a pejorative term used in ridicule, but today the word has been reclaimed as an expression of LGBTQIA+ pride.