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, December 28, 2021

Privilege is a problem

A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.

Dwight D. Eisenhower


I sit on a man's back choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am sorry for him and wish to lighten his load by all means possible… except by getting off his back.

Leo Tolstoy, What Then Must We Do?


When we identify where our privilege intersects with somebody else's oppression, we'll find our opportunities to make real change.

Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want to Talk About Race



I have privilege

I have rights

I have protections

I have advantages


that are the result of my being white




empowered (by role and title)


just call me the Rev. Dr. Father, Sir!


The question is not whether I have privilege,

but whether I see it and admit it


And what really matters is what I do with it!


Jesus, as he walked through the dust of Palestine,

and hung out with the poor and the outcasts,

and challenged the rich and positioned,

said in various ways,


if you want to be first you must be last,

if you want to be great you must serve,

if you want to experience the Kingdom in its fullness you must give it away


perhaps what Jesus was implying is this


you have to use your privilege for others

you have to release your hold on your privileges so that those who are






and worse…


can be blessed

can be supported







and more …


This is the “stewardship of privilege”  (Stephanie Spellers)


Blessing others by giving our privilege away in love


One of the great tragedies of the modern “church” is that it has chosen

to use its privilege to protect itself and the status quo.  It has chosen to use its privilege to protect power and accumulate wealth,


rather than use privilege to give power and distribute wealth


we cannot hug privilege to ourselves

we must give it away


This Thanksgiving, I am joyfully aware of all my blessings

All the advantages that I have


Some have been given to me

Some I have worked for


I am so blessed.  So privileged


I am also painfully aware of the fact that I have not done as much as I could,

and that the church has not done as much as it could

to be a blessing to others


And so this Thanksgiving I do not simply offer prayers of thanks,

but prayers of repentance.


And I pray that the Holy Spirit will break me open and pour me out

so I might not only be blest

but be a blessing.



Monday, December 27, 2021

remember love

We are endlessly forgetting and remembering


Forgetting love remembering love

Forgetting hope, remembering hope

Forgetting that we participate in something big, really big

Forgetting that we are one


That we all participate in “The Story” (Rohr)

Participate in God, and the rolling out of Sacred History


We think, somehow we are alone

Surrounded by other’s perhaps

But alone


Isolated individuals in a world filled with other isolated individuals

Who are threats


No wonder we are afraid

No wonder we must grasp all we can

No wonder we must use political power to bludgeon

No wonder we must carry guns


We have forgotten what is real (love)

And who we are (Sacred children)


And in our forgetfulness

We are toxic


Toxic individualism

Toxic masculinity

Toxic capitalism


We are so confused that a member of Congress (Madison Cawthorn)

has urged mothers to raise their sons to be "monsters"


a young man infamous only for fear and death-dealing

is seen as a hero

and perhaps the role model


we are constantly forgetting


and so we must remember

we must gather at table, and break bread and drink the cup

and remember servanthood and radical love


we must gather at table

and eat meals of thanksgiving

and remember we are part of a larger family


we must watch the sun rise, and the sun set

we must walk the dog

and pet the cat


we must dispel the myth of our separateness

and remember our oneness


that we are bound together

that we are embraced by Love

that we are part of something inexorable


If we do not remember,

If we remain in a fragmented, confused, and very unsafe world

We are doomed to fall into anger, fear, and narcissism

Into the monster masculinity of Cawthorn and Rittenhouse


This morning my day was halted by a cat

By a dumpster kitty, picked up off the side of a road in mid-winter

Who now years later

Is a messenger of God


Who persistently, insistently leaps onto my lap each morning

And drapes herself, as only a cat can

Across my arms


There is no reading, no typing

Just cat (a sacred creature)


Stopping me in my tracks


Stopping me for a moment





Remember to breathe

Remember compassion

Remember connection

Remember love


Sunday, December 26, 2021

Mother God

From Mirabai Starr, in her book Wild Mercy, comes a quote to think about, as we look at the mess religion has made of the planet, and us.  As we think about the ways we end up cooperating with our own oppression (and destruction).


“Pretending God’s a dude hasn’t exactly worked out well for the vast majority of the human family, let alone the animal and plant communities or the air or the waters”




Certainly any image we have for what we often call God is going to be deficit.

We simply cannot contain Sacred in any image, any word.


Certainly not the word father

Or king


We can only grab facets of the Sacred.

And those facets, which we finally grab them melt in our hands like snowflakes


Our very attempts to capture them destroys them.


We take the concept of God as dude and find ourselves with a religion that mimics toxic masculinity.  Pushy, aggressive, dominating, careless.


We take the concept of God as King and we end up with an abuser, dispensing favor to the favor and curses to the cursed  We end up with righteous cruelty.


There are many words, and we must embrace them all, and cling to none.

The Sacred is wisdom

It is wind and fire (Spirit)

It is life-giving water

It is love


The Sacred is expressed through truth

and creativity,


and love.


It is confusing!

Holy Spirit, water, and fire


One sears, one greens

One quenches the other

Add wind and what do we have?


We cannot know or understand, other than

that this power that flows in our veins like blood

changes things

changes us


This day, as I think about injustice done

and bloodied bodies at a Christmas Parade

and the hate fill machinations of the political right (and sometimes left)

and the plight of the poor

and the oppression of the vulnerable


I need Sacred in all its fullness

I need to believe that somehow, in some way

Sacred can touch all of this


In the same way that Jesus touched

the world with healing and kindness

and newness


I need to believe that there is power here

but not the raw power of empire

or the ravaging power of guns

or the cruel power of piety


but the power, perhaps, of a mother


and as a child, I want to run to my mother

and be gathered in her arms

and comforted


not so that I can ignore the pain

but so that I can face it

and touch it

with love


to return to Starr

“Gather your burdens in a basket in your heart.  Set them at the feet of the Mother.  Say ‘Take this, Great Mama, because I cannot carry all this shit for another minute.’ And then crawl into her broad lap and nestle against her ample bosom and take a nap…”


Give us rest, O Sacred

That we might re-enter life as those made new

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Utterly IN

I am completely and utterly in God, I cannot fall out of God, I am imperishable.

Dorothee Soelle


Nothing can separate us from the love of God




where does it come from?


that capacity to love the neighbor

who is so unlovable?


that ability to sit in the gutter with the addict,

or warm hands by a fire under a bridge with the homeless?


where does it come from?


that ability to bless and not curse

to let go and give

to walk the second mile

to turn the other cheek?


where does it come from?


the energy to get out of bed on a cold dark morning

and look into the day

with hope and expectation?


where does it come from?


the courage to stand against structural sins

imbedded in our culture

maintained by the fearful?








where does it come from?


the ability to resist the lure of abusive power

and life-denying politics

and the lust for more

the clarion call of greed which proclaims

that enough is never enough


how do we follow Jesus?

the lover

the suffering servant

the crucified one?


how do we walk down that path

in a world of rising authoritarian nationalism

and toxic individualism?


we cannot do it



we know we are imperishable


and that no matter what

God is in us, and we are in God

Love is in us, and we are in Love




and there is nothing we

or anyone one else

can do about that

Saturday, December 18, 2021

just be - you are enough

there are times that try my soul


certainly there are moments when what is happening in the world around me presses in

insistent and overwhelming


but there are also moments when it is what is going on in my own mind and heart

that afflicts me the most


I am not going to pretend I have had a difficult life

I am a child of privilege

and have been gifted with a fair share of intelligence and talent


I had good parents

and a blessed childhood

a solid education


and I have lived what has been

by most standards

a “successful” and productive life


but somewhere along the line

some malevolent voice started whispering, snake like

in my ear


“you are not enough”


“no matter what you do, how much you accomplish, it is not enough”


“you will never be enough”


and that insidious hissing

has been a consistent part of my life

even in those times when it seemed patently untrue


even as I gathered my various degrees,

became a large church pastor

got married

had children

ran a thriving mental health program


it is amazing how that kind of internal falsehood can impact one’s life


the details are unimportant

suffice it to say

I tried to drown those words with striving and accomplishment

I tried to medicate the pain of those words in ways healthy and unhealthy

I did great things

I did destructive things


my accomplishments did not silence the voice

my failures made it louder


and far too often I uttered words that were uttered by Paul (Romans 7)


“I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.”


and with Paul I wondered “who will rescue me?”


the one who rescues me, who gives me moments of peace

who helps me walk down the path of love

is the one who whispers in my ear

“you are enough”


that is the secret power of Jesus

the one who ate with sinners

and hung out with the poor and welcomed the outcasts


the one who looked with compassion

on the Sadducees and Pharisees, poor souls

who also did not think they were enough


to all of them

to all of us

to me

this one says


you are enough

you don’t have to prove yourself

you don’t have to earn love

you don’t have to pile degree on top of degree


just stop


for a moment


stop talking

stop striving

stop doing

stop ruminating

that just makes you miserable, and a misery to others (dysfunctional)


and listen

hear what I have to say

I love you

you are enough

just be


be the original blessing

know you are loved

know you are enough

and then


freed by that knowledge


be at peace

be open

be humble

be caring

be a servant

be you


that is enough

Friday, December 17, 2021

the way of love

The Way Of Love (The Episcopal Church)

1.     TURN again and again to God

2.     LEARN Jesus’s ways through scripture and holy reading.

3.     PRAY and dwell intentionally with God every day.

4.     WORSHIP God weekly through community praise, thanksgiving, and petition.

5.     BLESS one another by giving our lives away in love.

6.     GO across borders to join in solidarity and heal brokenness

7.     REST in God’s grace, because the revolution is not ultimately up to us.


The way of Love

The way of Jesus

The Way


When Jesus said he is the way, the truth, the life, this is what he is talking about

A way

A way of life

A way of being and doing


He does not ask us to walk the way of domination

or embrace the way of wealth


He does not tell us to consent to an ideology

to accept a set of rules

or take seven happy hops to heaven


Jesus asks us to engage in a relationship

opening ourselves up through study, prayer and worship


Jesus asks us to be a part of a community in which we bless one another

by offering unconditional love

and creating a space where our connection to all that is Sacred can blossom freely.


Jesus asks us to under stand that the community is not a protective bubble

but a petri dish in which love and passion can grow

and that it is simply the starting place

from which we are to go forth

into the world


crossing the normal boundaries establish by human creatures


the boundaries of nationality


economics and class





crossing those boundaries not to coerce and control

but to welcome and include


Jesus also reminds us that it is not about us

not really

but about the relationship


it is about the fact that the Sacred is present in us

and we are present in the Sacred

and this reality called the Spirit

blows like the wind, driving us from comfortable place

and burns like fire, searing us with a passion for justice and equity


and that the Sacred uses us

as we engaged

and learn

and grow and risk


to change the world


through the way of love

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

follow means follow

Jesus said you are to love one another as I have loved you, a love that will possibly lead to the bloody, anguish gift of yourself, a love that forgives seven times seven, that keeps no record of wrong. This is the criterion, sole norm, the standard of discipleship in the New Israel of God.”

Brennan Manning, The Furious Longing of God



most people

who haunt the musty environments of older churches

and the gaudy auditoriums of mega churches


those who gather around humble communion tables in tiny rural church

and those whose eyes are fixed on a big screen

in a vast theatre


would say that they are disciples of Jesus


meaning simply that they claim in some way

to follow Jesus


for what does it mean to be a disciple but that you try to pattern your life

after another


but what does it mean to follow?


as one person simplistically put it

to follow means to follow, to replicate


that can happen anywhere

there can be followers in tiny dusty church

in tiny dusty towns


there can be followers hidden among the theater seats

in the palatial mega churches


Jesus does not care where or how it happens

just that it happens


what Jesus does care about is what happens when it happens

what happens when our eyes meet his

and we see the pain,

and the love,

and the plea

and the vulnerability

and the power


and are drawn into a love relationship

which moves us like wind

and sears us like fire

and transforms us


when we are drawn into the vortex of Christ’s love

we are filled

not so that we can contain grace

but so that we be broken open and poured out


and sent into the world to love

to give

to serve


we are not sent into places of privilege

to anoint the rich and powerful in their white houses

but into the streets


to the blessed poor


for grace trickles up

and unless the “least of these”

are feed, clothed, housed, healed


the whole system is ill

the center cannot hold

the kingdom cannot come


to follow means to follow Jesus

into the broken and messy places

where love is difficult

and often unreturned


to follow means to expend to grasp

include not exclude

forgive not judge


to enter the world

with love that rises up

and carries everyone with it

Monday, December 13, 2021

Don't die in dread

W.H. Auden was a deep poet.

He wrote a final long poem, called "The Age of Anxiety" in the late 1940s.  It was a very long poem (200 pages) set in a bar in New York City, where four strangers, three men, and one woman, meet, drink, and talk.


It explores emptiness, loneliness, and a lack of purpose.


These lines jump out (reminded of them by Richard Rohr, but I read the poem as a literature major in college).


“We would rather be ruined than changed, / We would rather die in our dread / Than climb the cross of the moment / And let our illusions die.”


This is the American right.  This is perhaps the "right" of every time and every place.  The so-called conservatives would rather conserve the status quo than change, no matter how deadly, unjust, inequitable the status quo is.  But even so-called progressives can be afflicted with this problem.


This is the dilemma of the addict.  Rohr suggests we all have an addictive component to our nature.  A need to medicate and control.  To find stasis, even if the means we use to find that dead space is deadly.


We can be addicted to a substance, to buying, eating, smoking, even to an activity.

We can be addicted to power.  To an ideology.  Even it appears that we can be addicted to a lie.


It is interesting that the first thing Jesus says when he begins his ministry is “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  And of course, John the Baptist, preparing the way for Jesus’ ministry, said the same thing.  Repent!


Which is another way of saying, “Change! God’s new thing is at hand.”  This is why the church, evangelical, progressive, conservative, liberal, must always be about change.  About seeing who and what we are addicted to.  What ways we must change.  What things in the world must change.


What is it about us that would not work, would not “fly” in the kingdom of God?

What is it that is present in the world that would not be allowed in the kingdom of heaven?


Exclusion, for one.

A hungry child, for another.


Toxic individualism.

Economic inequity.


Make your own list!


Some suggest we will never really change until we are in fact ruined (Alcoholic Anonymous for example).


Nazi Germany could not die to its ideology of power and racism until it was ruined.

Alcoholics have to hit bottom to start recovery.


I don’t believe that.

I believe that God can wake us up to Sacred presence

The Spirit can move in our souls

Love can motivate us to create change


Right now!



We can choose Love

We can choose God

We can choose change


We do not have to die in our dread!




Saturday, December 11, 2021

seeking peace

Enter the garden

Where walls melt and trees blossom

Vibrant quietude

                           Mirabai Starr


The more you intentionally turn inward, the more available the sacred becomes.  When you sit in silence and turn your gaze toward the Holy Mystery… the Mystery follows you back into the world.

                           Mirabai Starr


The presence of God is infinite, everywhere, always, and forever. You cannot not be in the presence of God. There’s no other place to be. The only change is always on our side—God is present, but we’re not present to Presence.

                           Richard Rohr



quietude can be dangerous


sitting in the dark, waiting for the light

can be a time of peace, but it can also,

for some of us,

be a time when a flood of thoughts, memories, and emotions arise


this morning, as the darkness lingered

a question arose in my brain


have I ever really been at peace?

have I ever really been content, or happy?


certainly there have been moments when I have been surprised by joy

at the birth of my children

as I have stood in the middle of nowhere and watched the sky blaze

with the grandeur of Sacred Love


but my life has also been a matter of striving





something more


I have worked hard,

striven for knowledge

fought for respect

searched for love,


and from a worldly perspective I have done well

I have had important jobs,

obtained degrees

accomplished much


but always, always

I mutter under my breath

to convince myself (ala Stuart Smalley)


I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!


except all too often I don’t believe it


and now, in my 70th year, what I have come to understand

is that everything I need

everything I have sought for

everything I have longed for


is right here inside me

in that deep place where the Sacred dwells

in the Presence


in the Love that permeates me and will not let me go


and I have come to understand that the hard I work,

by “doing things”, and seeking to “be“ somebody,

the more I am just creating noise

the more distracted I am from what is

really important


from what I really need


what I need

is to fall in love with the Mystery

and to be healed and nurtured by all that the Holy Mystery offers



it is when I have been touched by the Mystery (that some of us call God)

that I am filled, sated, made whole

and it is only when I am so transformed


that I can then go forth

into the world

and be a person who loves and is loved

and be a person

who finds joy


if I do not experience vibrant quietude first,

I go into my day, my life, needy


trying to “make it happen”


what I need is to go into my day, my life

thankful, grateful, filled with the Mystery

which never leaves


for it is only then that I am truly able to offer myself

in the service of love


joy is available

so is love

it is a near as my next breath

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Remember the light

God is light!

And that is true.


But not all is light.

There is a Via Positiva but there is also a Via Negativa (Hildegard of Bingen)


How well we know!


Darkness abounds!

Think wintertime, when it is dark when you get up, dark when you go to work,

and dark when you come home.


Think of all the things that are going wrong in this world!



Toxic Individualism.





The list goes on!


The way of sin is real.

But so is the way of grace and love.


Hildegard suggests that when the darkness seems overwhelming,

we have to remember.


Remember, remember, remember.

“I must remember,” she laments, “now is a time for remembering,

for remembering goodness.”


It occurs to me that we have to choose goodness,

and the Via Positiva.


I know the dark is affecting me.

The dark mornings, the long dark evenings

I feel sometimes like Eugene O’Neill, as if I am taking a “Long Day’s Journey into Night”


As if the negatives (the Via Negativa) define me and my life.


And so my challenge, and I think the challenge of all those who

believe in Sacred (in whatever form)


is to find the light!


To embrace the light.


One way to do that is to choose to make each day significant,

each day meaningful.


The Dalai Lama once wrote,

“Old friends pass away, new friends appear.  It is just like the days.

An old day passes, a new day arrives.

The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend

or a meaningful day.”


It is still dark.

I look out the window and see myself!

How depressing!


And yet the light will come

It will come.

And this day I will do what I can

To make the world better.

To bring light.

To help another!


The light does shine in the darkness

And the darkness cannot overcome it.



Wednesday, December 8, 2021

This is a wonderful world

I once sat, along with many others, with Thich Nhat Hanh

in the shade of a large tree on the Boston Commons


Therapists, physicians, we were all there to explore healing


Not cure, for that is a different thing,

but the healing of the soul, the mind, the body

that can come when we are mindful


Thich Nhat Hanh has an exercise he likes to use

as he practices breathing


“Breathing in, I dwell in the present moment;

breathing out, I know this is a wonderful moment.”


It was easy, there on the common,

under a blue sky, in the shade of a tree,

to say, “this is a wonderful moment”


but sometimes it is not so easy

try saying that phrase after a foray into Facebook

trying saying that after a trip to the grocery store

after the evening news


we are surrounded by selfishness





violence (of all sorts)


how can we sit

and breathe

in and out

and say, this is a wonderful moment


there is so much suffering


there is





but there is beauty too

the beauty of a sunrise

of fresh fallen snow


and for every greedy soul with a bank account in the Caymans

there is a generous soul making a costly (to them) gift to help the poor


for every racist, there is a person who embraces those unlike themselves

for person spouting an angry word, there is a person speaking words of love


There are those who embrace lies, and fail at compassion, and create suffering

But there are those who stand up for truth,

Care for others

Protect the plant

Protect and comfort the vulnerable

Fight for justice


As Kaira Jewel Lingo notes, “There are those in every corner of the planet who are quietly doing the things no one else wants to do: caring for the forgotten people, places, species, and doing what needs to be done.”


beauty and suffering live together

life is always a matter of both/and rather than either/or


life is beautiful and terrible

hate and love dance together


and we make it through this confusion and chaos by walking

as Hildegard of Bingen puts it the via positiva


we remember, in each moment

goodness, divine origin, original blessing


we look around us in wonder, awe, gratitude and delight

we fall in love with creation

we fall in love with our fellow creatures

we fall in love with Sacred


we recognize that the presences of evil does not negate the presence of good

that they are woven together in this creation,

woven together in each of us human creatures

as individuals


but that in spite of it all

there is good

there is beauty

there is Sacred


and we live out of our gratitude

rather than our fear and disappointment 


“Breathing in, I dwell in the present moment;

breathing out, I know this is a wonderful moment.”


and know that

we live, we love

and accepting that both good and bad things happen

we work to heal our world

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

if the children are suffering

Tonight we hope

that our agony will bear fruit;

that birth and death will cross

the stream of being

and love’s spring bathe then thousand hearts;

that man will learn the language of the inexpressible.

Then the babble of a child

will teach the way.

          Tich Nhat Hanh (1964)


The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat,

the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.

          Isaiah 11:6


But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

          Jesus speaking in Luke 18:16



it is the little one’s who show the way

not the Gerber babies

plump and full of food


not the children of privilege

protected and pampered


but the children of poverty

of war

of abuse


that child Jesus pointed to

and said, “be like this”


was indeed a little one

a “least of the least”



probably afraid


hungry too


in the kingdom of God that child

every child

should be able to play

free and unafraid

that child, the least of the least should be those we embrace

welcome, protect



the immigrant child

the black child

the indigenous child

the poor child


we know we are doing it right

when we hear the laughter of children

when we see children

loving life

loving themselves

loving others

all others


if the children are suffering, we are not doing it right

if the children are immersed in and reflecting

our fear, our hate, our bias

we are not doing it right


I know a child (named Ryan – and his sister too)

who in my eyes is a child of the kingdom


life has not always been easy

it has not always been fun

and yet he is a child of God


his eyes are open, his heart is full

he is caring and kind

he loves with abandon


ah, that we were all so free

free to let the divine image shine


children teach us the way of how we are to be



with the look of hope and expectation in their eyes


ah, that we could all have five-year-old eyes!


children are a measure of how we are doing

as human creatures

as society

as a nation


are the children playing






may the babble of children

teach the way



Monday, December 6, 2021

I really do care

(Occasioned by a Facebook meme that celebrated toxic individualism, and suggested calls for kindness and respect are a form of tyranny – and features a two-handed one-finger salute – no that doesn’t violate FB community standards)



I love Jesus (he/she said)

but I don’t care about you.


You with the colored skin whose people have been killed, oppressed, and minimized.

You whose ancestors were enslaved.

You whose creed is different than mine.


I love Jesus but forget you and your request that I refrain from saying and doing things

that hurt and harm you (the language was stronger).


I love Jesus but I hate being politically correct.

I will say “Merry Christmas” and consider “Happy Holidays” as tyranny,

I will say whatever I want and use whatever labels I want.

If that offends you “too bad, so sad”.


I love Jesus

but I don’t care about you.

I don’t want to wear a mask,

and my keepers have told me that vaccines are just a liberal plot to control.


So thank you very much,

but I will ignore your age, your cancer treatments,

and your auto-immune disorders and I will refuse

to wear a mask or get vaccinated.


I love Jesus

but I also love “sticking it to” those I don’t agree with.

I love money (it’s a sign of heavenly blessing right?!)

I love guns. I love political power.

I love dominating and controlling,

and I really (!) love retribution.


I love Jesus

I am just don’t love the Jesus who said the last will be first,

the poor are blessed,

turn the other check,

give up all that you have and help the poor,

welcome the stranger,

forgive, forgive, and then forgive again,

bless those who curse you,



love all.


I love Jesus,

or do I?


Honestly each of us must ask,

Right-wing or left-wing, it doesn’t matter.

Each of us must ask what it means to “love” Jesus.


I suspect it all comes down to one simple thing,

that one thing

one thing,


that Jesus commanded

(he wasn’t subtle)




Love your neighbor

Love your enemy

Love those like you.

Love those who aren’t like you.

Love those you like.

Love those you don’t like (you don’t have to like them, just love them)

Love those who look like you.

Love those who don’t

Love those who deserve it.

Love those who don’t

Love those who are rich (yes!)

Love those who are poor.


Love others

You know, the way Jesus loves you

I really do care (and I’m trying)

Do you?

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Catch the wind

In the chilly hours and minutes

Of uncertainty, I want to be

In the warm hold of your loving mind

To feel you all around me

And to take your hand, along the sand

Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind…


When rain has hung the leaves with tears

I want you near, to kill my fears

To help me to leave all my blues behind

For standin' in your heart

Is where I want to be, and I long to be

Ah, but I may as well, try and catch the wind…

Songwriters: Leitch Donovan Phillips



in those hours and minutes

in the darkness


in that time between when one wakes,

and when one dares to brave the morn


in that time when the hungry ghosts

rush screaming through one’s head


in that time when all the ills of the world

come rushing in


it is time

to be held by Love


yes, Sacred comes like the wind,

which we cannot containing

rushing through us, disturbing


yes, Sacred comes like fire

hot and searing



but Sacred also comes like a Lover

holding us close


like a mother embracing and comforting

like a father protecting


nightmares come

and the darkness seems unrelenting

evil seems ascendent


but the Comforter comes

the Helper

surrounding us with Love


so that we stand in the Heart of God

if only for a moment


but that moment is enough


we have caught the wind

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Maybe it is not too late

Every morning I wake up and think, what a beautiful day to be alive!


I would like to feel that way.

Sometimes I do feel that way.

But very often my monkey brain is too busy, too stressed, too full.


There is a world out there that is beautiful to be sure.

There are people out there who make me smile.


But the planet is struggling.

And there are people who are immersed in lies,

and enslaved by toxic individualism,


and the lust for power and wealth,

and a willingness to abandon truth and kindness to achieve power and wealth,




At times I get out of bed with purpose, ready to embrace the day

and make things happen.


At times I feel so very small and helpless,

and wonder why I should bother to get up at all,

while every fiber of my being says,


its impossible.


But I know it is not!

Oh, I have no illusions that I will change the world.

But I know that the Love that dwells in me has the capacity

to make the impossible happen.


That is what the force we call Yahweh has always done.

Think creation!  Order out of chaos.

Think Abram and Sarai, impossibly barren, and yet, Isaac

Think Zechariah and Elizabeth!  Again the impossible.

And think Mary.

And the empty tomb.

And Pentecost.



Which is why there have been those among God’s people who have always dreamed the impossible.  Who have envisioned the impossible.


And who encourage us to join them!  Who encourage us to believe that maybe what seems so impossible is possible after all.


Maybe guns will be beaten into garden tools

Maybe justice will flow like a river.

Maybe the predators (corporations and people of power) will lie down with the prey (the poor and vulnerable).

Maybe war will become a thing of the past.

Maybe the kingdom will come.


Maybe it is not too late.

Maybe something beautiful can happen.


What will it take?

The Spirit for sure, roaring like a fire, rushing like the wind.

Waking us up.

Making us feel.

Challenging us to let go of the old, so we can be open to the new.


It will take us

Spirit driven,

being broken open, and poured out

and willing to work to make a difference,

even when it feels impossible.


Even if that difference is only manifest one person at a time.