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, June 30, 2013

Who the Hell Am I?

(With thanks to Carl Jung)
A cork atop the ocean
sometimes that is what I know
about myself
about life
about God
I like to think I am a rational being
And that I have insight
(as if this conscious self
is who I am)
And yet
all I actually know about myself
may only be a cork atop the ocean
beneath my conscious point of view
so much more
depths unimaginable
made unseen
by my chaotic mind which stirs the depths
and by the very vastness of all that is

It is funny how things work
how we say and do things
with one intention
but which produce oddly different outcomes
than we intended
We like to think it is all about them...
but perhaps it is the ocean
those things that lurk in the unconscious
like strange creatures of the deep
that surface
like the Loch Ness monster
half formed
that simply come to the surface and show themselves
telling us, and those we meet
that there is more going on
than even we know

what is in there
in those depths?

What would I learn if I could
only plumb those depths and understand
the deep currents that drive my life?

Perhaps it is time
perhaps it is always time
to dive deep
into the ocean
into that unknown
but also creative source

that is me
Ps 139:23-24:  Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting. 
(Funny how much wisdom is in the Bible isn't it?)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Kiss me God!

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
and it gets worse God
because we don't even know how to 

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….
you offer us unconditional acceptance
and we

we continue to wallow in
self deprecation 
and doubt
 you won't to comfort and heal
and we persist
in misery 
and woundedness

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!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

the REAL Game of Thrones

I learned it as a child
That prayer so many pray
No, not “now I lay me down to sleep”
Although that too was daily staple
For my young spirit
Which delighted in things known
And familiar

“Thy Kingdom Come”
Is that what I meant to say?
I am not too sure Lord!

Your Kingdom is kind of scary
I mean with horsemen, and trumpets
And all that dark and violent
Kind of like Game of Thrones on steroids!

One thing I am sure of
If I have to earn my way into your kingdom
I am royally screwed

You love me,
And I love you God
And I know I have the responsibility to respond to your love
Love is a responsible thing
It means I do something
And I avoid others….

But Lord all too often I do the wrong things
And I don’t do the right things
Its almost like there are demons Lord
And they haunt me
They drive me
And so, mixed up, confused
And all too often in messes of my own making
I think of the Kingdom
And it seems
So far away

A place I will never find
A home I will never know

And yet, oh Lord
You are patient
You love me (and there is nothing I can do about that)
And you never give up on me

And you use it all
My success, my strength
But also my failure and my hurt
My fear and my grief
To open my heart to you, and your power, and the Kingdom

Thank you
that It is in those moments when I feel I don't belong
and can't fit in
and are no longer worthy of being included
that the kingdom is near  (thanks to Thomas Moore)

Mother God

In their book "Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar...." Cathcart and Klein open up their chapter of the Philosophy of Religion with this brief statement.
"The God that philosophers of religion like to argue about isn't one that most of us would recognize.  He tends to be more on the abstract side, like "the Force" in Star Wars, and less like a parent who stays up at night worrying about you."
Sometimes when I think about God
I can only think BIG
I mean really big
Like Master of the Universe big
God is up there
out there
a little bit vague
a lot scary
The mean old guy with a beard and thunder bolt
or worse
God is totally transcendent 
and frankly
not exactly very real
and helpful?
can a cosmic bowl of tapioca pudding 
(yes, that is my other image)
be helpful?
But sometimes I think of God as immanent
and intimate
I think of the Christ
The Word made flesh
God living among us
I think of God in the Exodus
with the people of Israel
present and in their midst
And I think of how God comes now
in special people whom God places in my life
in sisters and daughters
dear friends
God is in the person who listens deeply
In the one who notices my pain
and shares my joy
God is in the smile and the hand shake
I get from the person at the Blue Banana (my favorite coffee spot)
and in the quick hug I get
when I walk through the door of my church.
God is in the little child who tugs at my pants leg
and smiles up at me
and in my granddaughter as she laughs
God is
But God is also
in all the little things
And yes, God looks down at me
and worries
as a mother worries
over a difficult child
and loves me
and comforts me
as a mother who loves that chld

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The importance of being rooted in the sacred

The rains come and go
the sun
makes brief visits
a welcome guest amidst
the showers of June
my reluctant flowers
lazily decide to emerge from
their long sleep
and reach toward 
the gray skies
showing and the
like a miraculous gift
bud and bloom
iris and lilacs
bottle flowers and daisies
monk's hoods and columbine
each take
their turn
some flourish
some weakly emerge
never to fully bloom

its all in the roots
and in the rain

they must be rooted
connected with the life giving soil
about to cling to and 
reach deeply into the source
of all
the sacred earth

and they must be watered
by the gift of heaven

so too

this day O Lord
may I sink deeply in the ground of my being
into the richness of Your sacred presence
and may I be nourished
by your
which waters my soul
like a spring of living water
welling up

this day O Lord
may be I be sufficed 
with the 
divine presence

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Deeply, Madly Loved

Shane Claiborne talks about a talk he once had with an old hippie friend who, he says “loves Jesus and smokes a lot of weed”.  He and the friends often end up in friendly debates about faith and the Bible.  One day he said to Shane, “Jesus never talked to a prostitute”.  Shane immediately went on the offensive.  “Sure he did” and got ready to spar.  But then his friend looked him in the eye and said “Listen, Jesus never talked to a prostitute because he didn’t see a prostitute.  He just saw a child of God he was madly in love with.”

Ah child of God
Battered and beaten

Ah child of God
Confused and lost

Ah child of God
Fear full and anxious

Ah child of God
one seen
by the eyes of love
the eyes of the sacred
the eyes of

seen as that beautiful
wrinkly wonderful

has five toes
and five fingers
and yes, its father’s nose
and mother’s smile

that perfect child
of promise
of The Promise
who is

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sanctuary 2

a place
a safe haven
a place to rest
a holy place
made holy by presence
and by love
so many need sanctuary
from the birds of the air
to the animals in danger
of extinction
from people beset by
human and conflict
and hate
to people beset merely
by their own personal demons
may the church O Lord
be a sanctuary
a free and friendly space
where people can
and rest
and be loved
may the church O Lord
be a sanctuary

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sacred Love

Late at night
In the clamoring silence
My unquiet mind searches
For the keystone

For that small piece of wisdom
that will help me understand
what cannot be understood

to search among the fallen ruins
of ideas and beliefs
the rubble of what I once thought
so clear

there are many things I do not understand
the sacred
dancing in my soul
giving me joy yet driving me into discontent
and endless search

ripping at my certainty
making me more, and less

why is it that answers do not come?
Or come only to become, once again questions?

But there is this sacred love
which I cannot understand
but which always

is there
brilliant and alive
like a lonely flower
among the stones