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

Sunday, March 31, 2013

light dawns slowly

darkness rules
the night
robbing us of sight

we stumble through the darkness
but not finding

with clumsy hands
and bewildered minds
that will help us make sense of it all

dawn comes slowly
gray on black
breaking forth over the
dark mountains
pale at first
then with ever more power
of pink
and gold
bursting into the sky
turning blue
finally full rays
of brilliant light streak through the trees
bringing to life
the sleeping earth

so too 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

In the Silence

early morning
in that eerie
on the edge between darkness and dawn
I walk
smelling the 
and the trees
seeing vaguely the world around me
feeling the softness
of decay beneath my feet
 feeling the cold breath of early dawn

this day is not yet born
the day past
is still heavy on my mind

it is hard to grab hold of the promise
of what might be

it is a difficult time
this silent time
in between

Lord what must it have been like
for your followers
that day
with the darkness of the cross behind them
and the 
rising of the son
yet to come

what must it have been like
in the silence?


perhaps Lord
for you know us well
there is a purpose to this "empty" space

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Mystery of the Cross

How do I know what you are like
my God!?

perhaps you are to be known
in the beauty of the mountains
or in the gentleness of a 
asleep in the flower

perhaps you are to known
in the sun
or the rain
in the green newness of spring

perhaps you are to be known
in the smile of a grandchild
the joyous laughter
of people in love

but perhaps
you are best known through the cross

Crux probat monia
"the cross proves everything"

in the cross
the creator
the Word
the something behind everything
you participated in human suffering

you did not just passively tolerate it
or observe it (Rohr)

as we gaze upon the mystery of the cross
we see the real sin of the world
we see power misused and abused
we see evil attacked with evil
hate with hate
violence with violence

and as we gaze upon 
hanging, bloody
we see you
revealing the lie and absurdity
of hate and violence

as we gaze upon the cross
we are changed
we see You differently
we see ourselves differently

on the cross 
is revealed
your heart, my God

we see
pure gift!

we see Love

and as we gaze upon the cross
if we gaze long enough
we understand

On the cross you are saying
all other ways of being

the way of violence
the way of Law
and coercion

stop here

Thursday, March 28, 2013

God in the Dust

there he knelt
echoes of Hosanna's
ringing in his ears
the adoration of the crowd fresh
this one who was
kneeling in the dust
washing feet
calm and content
while those around him
writhed with embarrassment
their striving for position
for power
for a place a the table

by Jesus
taking on the role of a servant
by the Lord
kneeling in the dust
washing dust from their feet

what happens to us
when the Lord takes on the role of a servant?

what happens to our ideas of power?
there we are
all wrapped up in worry
about who decides, who controls
who is admired
who is ridiculed
there we are judging
our place in the pecking order
and there is God
the Word
on his knees in the dust
washing our feet

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Love in the Midst of Hate

There was a time
many years ago
in a place called Jerusalem 
when hate seemed to win

hate was everywhere
and fear
people were like sheep
being pulled this way and that by others
who in their hate and fear
stirred the fires of

I think of that time
and all i can see
are the masses crying "crucify him'
and the men beating Jesus in the courtyard
and the crowds lining the streets
as Jesus, cross laden
trudges the long way to Calvary

it is all happen
in the name of God

in the midst of it all was one
called Jesus

in silence
 and in sorrow
he took on the hate
and anger
and fear
he took on the self righteousness
the arrogance
the violence
he took it on
and took it to the cross
and said
"this dies here"
all of this
violence is not solved by violence
fear is not solved by stirring the flames of hatred
our problems do not 
respond to power
but to
giving, sacrificial, tolerant love
which fails to feed the energy of hate

as we talk to one another
as we post on Facebook
as we take on the role of 
protectors of God
and God's 'way'
we need to remember
Jesus on the cross

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


And then You are here, 
the one who sired every world,
flooding my every crevice, every pour, dissolving
any wound of loneliness, satisfying

every desire.......


In the darkness
of early morning I sit
encased in the loneliness that comes with dark and quiet
thinking of the One
the creator of the universe
that week in Jerusalem
cries of praise quickly dimming
in the midst of hate, and fear and misunderstanding
alone with his knowledge
of what would be
in the dust of the streets
the broken rubble of tables
the anger of the money changers

alone among the grasping hands
reaching for him


going through those moments 
leading to that moment
when he would cry
Why have you left me....
on this cross

going through those moments
so i would never have to be

Monday, March 25, 2013

Soft and Open

the rain falls on frozen ground
the earth receiving
and yet 
not receiving
the life from heaven

only ground that is not frozen
that is soft
and open 
can receive the rain
and allow it is slowly sink
deep into the earth
where hungry roots await

so it is with so many things
words come
and can be heard
but listening only happens
when soft and open
we allow those words to go 
deep and find
the roots of our soul
only then can understanding blossom

so too

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Touched by the Light

Early morning
the mountain looms
framed by a sky
suggesting blue
but not yet
kissed by the sun
and so unwakened
only hints at the brilliance to come

vagueness and grayness 
the blackness of rock and trees
the white of snow

and then
as if the Sacred had reached out his hand
and with just the tip of his finger
gently touched
a point of light
kisses the most
jagged and broken part

and the slumbering mountain
comes to life
as the grayness 
is transformed to
pure white
and variegated greens
and pinks
and yellows
the touch
the merest touch of God's love
is enough
to change everything

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Some Days

Some days
there is really nothing to say

it is simply a time to be
to feel the crunch of freshly frozen ground underfoot
to smell
the warmth of the horses
in the cold morning air

to gaze at mountain grandeur
and enjoy the doe
asleep in the flowerbed

it is time to simply pay attention
to the cat
who will not be denied attention

and sip one's coffee
shut down one's mind
and be


Friday, March 22, 2013

White as snow

dawn comes
after the darkness
the light
revealing a world
white and clean
pure beauty

as if the mud
and mess of early spring
never existed

God comes
covering me with grace
making me
whiter than snow

Thursday, March 21, 2013

breathe in, breathe out

breathe in
breath out 
breathe in 
breathe out
breathe in
breathe out
breathe in
breathe out
oh damn, I forgot to send that email 
what if.....
breathe in breathe out 
breathe in breathe out 
breathe in
man, I really wish I hadn't said that the other day
I wonder if those idiots in Washington will ever
get past their ideological blindness and work
together to help the people
 oh, oh, and I need to go visit ......
and what about my sermon
breathe in 
breathe out

Lord if I am going to be an instrument of your peace
I need peace within
help me to put down the things I carry
to accept your acceptance and grace
and trust in your love
and travel light
breathe in breathe out

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Still the waters

the water
is murky

all the junk
all the debris and floatsom
my view
and so i keep 
wanting so badly
to see myself
It is when i sit
it is when it wait
upon the Sacred
that the waters quiet
and I can see
Lord, help me to take time
this day
to breathe
to look deeply
to see

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Tissue of our Humanity

"It is not the tissue of our humanity that defeats us"
but rather our refusal to accept who we are....."  
Mark Nepo

When we look in the mirror
what do we see?

Do we look out ourselves with honest
and see our totality?

Or do we pick and choose?

Some of us may focus on the parts of ourselves we like
and refuse to look at those things we abhor

Others of us may be so obsessed with our weaknesses 
that we cannot grasp our own value and beauty.

What makes us strong
and unique
and human

is wholeness
we are at our best when we "face ourselves
accept ourselves
and share ourselves
blemishes and all" (Nepo)
This morning when you look in the mirror
be honest in your appraisal
Don't ignore those parts of you that you don't like
But don't deny your value either
allow yourself
to accept this child of God

Monday, March 18, 2013


A very wise man once said
that suffering equals the difference
between what we want
or think we need
and what we have

I supposed then that the deepest suffering
is related to those desires
that are closest to our heart
that are deepest
and perhaps the most powerful desire
is that we be appreciated
I listen to many people share their struggles
and so often the source of their pain
is the belief that they are not valued
perhaps worse
that they have no value
and thus, are not 
or loved
for many life is nothing more than an ongoing process
of trying to find love
or more accurately, earn love
they believe
that unless they give
and give
and give
they will not be loved

it doesn't work of course
because our sense of value
our understanding that we are loved
comes ultimately from within

it comes from knowing that Love
the Sacred
that God

who is love
dwells within

that we come from love
are part of love
and are loved, no strings attached
Mark Nepo has a challenging meditation
that gets at the heart of this deep ailment.
He suggests that we breathe, and then do two things
Think about a person important to us (Perhaps God might be a good target too)
and imagine ourselves being loved by that person if we did nothing
and then he asks us to do (what to me) is a really difficult thing
loving ourselves, if we do nothing
his point?
that we are at our core
and lovable 
If we can grab
and hold on to that deep truth
there is no gap, between what we want and what we have
we already have 
that which we so deeply desire!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Just relax (in God's love)

Crazy Kramer
my 18 year old barn cat
who for years
and years

has been a talker

each morning he comes in from the cold
and talks
rather complains
pacing the house 
he protests
as only a cat can protest
and looks at me
with those pleading cat eyes

he has
he has
what does he want
this insatiable feline?

I suspect 
attention and love
but perhaps his head just itches

but the harder he tries
the more irritated I get
(not knowing what else I can do)
 why doesn't he understand
that he will get all the attention he wants
if he simply shuts up
and curls at my feet
or on the couch next to me

this incessant whining
why doesn’t he just relax
and accept and enjoy my love?

So it is
With God
And me

I suspect God is more patient than I am

Friday, March 15, 2013

The God We Need

In the movie "Oz"
the soon to be Wizard says to the people
"I may not be the wizard you expected,
  but I may be the wizard you need."
How true is is
oh Sacred One
that you are often not what we expected
you are not a tame God

we have tried
so hard
so hard
to make you in our image

and yet
you are the Holy One
you are
who you are

and into our lives you come
a roaring water

we are 
singed around the edged
tossed about 

and yes

your presence is seldom comfortable
although it is loving and comforting
and out of the chaos
the tumult

your new thing

you are what we need

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Good morning, self!

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of it's furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.


 Greet each morning
 as a gift
as a chance to start over

after all
is it not the Sacred that insists
that faithfulness
and mercy
are new every morning
We are seen in the eyes of God
as fresh
and new

if we would see ourselves that way as well
we would indeed
be open
for some new delight
ready for that next right choice
that will come our way
a 1000 times 
this day

making choices with open hearts
and fresh souls
seems far preferable
than making those choices
than following the breadcrumbs of God
with hearts burdened
eyes clouded
and souls cluttered