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

Thursday, March 31, 2022


I keep thinking about seeds

I was cleaning out a church closet


And found a bag of seeds





I planted them anyway

In a piece of empty ground crying to be used



who buys a 2lb bag of clover?


Jesus talked a lot about seeds

and a lot about soil


we think most of the soil

in our murky earthy thinking, we believe

it is mostly about us

our receptiveness


and that matters

I live on glacial rubble

sand and gravel and rocks

lots of rocks

where things struggle to grow


but it is also about the seed

what grows is what is planted


good seeds, good fruit

bad seeds?


Sacred plants bear only good seeds

not seeds of hate, or fear

not seeds of judgment and retribution


but seeds of love

all the beautiful gifts of God

are subsets of the kingdom of love






sprout from the one kind of seed

God sows




the great sower sows only love


we too are sowers

we walk through this earth like

demented Johnny Appleseeds


leaving behind us a trail of seeds


what kind of seeds do we sow?


I shudder to think of what is sprouting behind me

I would like to think

I have scattered love and hope


but I suspect that is not always true



there are weeds among the flowers

thorny briars among the wheat         


it seems that those seeds I allow to take root in my soul

are the seeds I then scatter


this day

as I cross the fertile ground of life

may I scatter good seed


the same good seed that Sacred has scattered in my soul


knowing that good seed only blossoms

when rooted in the good soil of grace

and nurtured by the ever-flowing stream of Sacred presence


Only then am green and alive

and bear the fruit of love

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Secret Agent of God

a screening test for the FBI

once asked this question


do you think you are a secret agent of God?


I’ve always thought it would be cool to be a secret agent of God

not too secret, mind you

but someone who in a stealth-like manner

works to carry out the agenda of love


Paul suggested that perhaps we could see ourselves

as ambassadors


people entrusted with the message of reconciliation

with the good news

“You are loved, deeply profoundly, perpetually loved”


which is the same as saying

you are loveable




so what does it look like?

being an ambassador

(or better yet, a Secret agent) of God?


it looks like being a person who

in a world that dehumanizes others

rehumanizes them


the forces of dehumanization are everywhere



voter suppression





social media


anything that denies the fact

that the other person is a precious soul

is dehumanizing


and when humanity is threatened with dehumanization

it is time for fight or flight

or freeze


let the ugliness begin

the abuse of power





so we need those people

who represent Love

and live love


those people of empathy

and compassion

those people who want good things for other people

who embrace the common good


who treat others in such a way

that they do not have to fight

or flee

or shut down


we need those people who create free and friendly spaces

where people can be safe

and change (not be changed)


and can become once again

fully human


in every human heart

there is a battle

between hate and love

hope and despair


we as ambassadors of Christ can

through our attitudes

our words

our actions


tip the scales

toward love and hope



Monday, March 28, 2022

True North

I step out of the woods

onto this road that is so familiar


I have been here before

time and time again


I know where I am going

I am headed north from whence

the honkers fly


north along rutted roads

and vague paths

winding through juniper and fir and pine


north with my bounding sniffing companion

who marks his progress

and randomly barks at phantom threats


north where the fox slinks along

the runway

chased by the big wheel plane as it too

soars north


I know what north is

and I know what my north is

call it love

call it truth

call it compassion


I know too what north is not

those side paths into ooze and slime

where untruth lies in wait

and selfishness lurks

and power lures


ah how dangerous life is

without a compass

Friday, March 25, 2022

God Carriers!

We are each a God-carrier, a tabernacle of the Holy Spirit, indwelt by God the holy and most blessed Trinity.


To treat one such as less than this is not just wrong. . . It is veritably blasphemous and sacrilegious. It is as if we were to spit in the face of God. Consequently injustice, racism, exploitation, oppression are to be opposed not as a political task but as a response to a religious, a spiritual imperative. Not to oppose these manifestations of evil would be tantamount to disobeying God.

          Desmond Tutu



there are a lot of ills in the world

there is a lot of pain in our countries (all of them)

there is a lot of anguish percolating in each community


and in each family, all the ills,

the pain and the anguish

become distilled


and it all makes our hearts hurt


we cannot help ourselves

for we are part of one another

bound together by our shared source of being

by the indwelling of Love

that is common to each of us


we are one

in the One

all God carriers       

all image-bearers


when harm is done to one

to anyone

harm is done to all


when in one person

the image is blurred

we are all affected                    


we can become ill as individuals

but our illness is contagious

and eventually permeates our world


greed, hubris, hate, tribalism, racism

spread like a winter darkness

squeezing the light                  


we try to combat it ideologically, politically

we try to use the power of the courts

we plot and plan, we grab power and abuse power

try to fix the problem with the very things that have created the problem


we are like addicts trying to drink away their addiction


we must try to combat the pain in this world

injustice, racism, exploitation, oppression are to be opposed

they are a violation of God, of all that is sacred


but they must be combatted sacredly


Jesus showed us what that looked like

He showed us that combatting evil is not a religious task

it is not a political task

it is a spiritual task


only when we are awake to Love in ourselves

only when we see Love in others

only when we see the inherent value and beauty of each one

only when we see that those close to us

and those far away from us



are brothers and sisters

and live love

sacrificial love

giving love

forgiving love

can we combat evil


only when we are willing to treat all

as God carriers

can we touch the pain


we have gotten it so wrong

look at our politics of domination and wealth

look at our religions of exclusion and privilege

look at our abuse of power

and our greed

and our toxic individualism


that denies the Presence

in ourselves and in those around us


We are on the wrong path


Lord have Mercy


set our hearts on fire

give us a singleness of heart

and action

that we might heal the world

Thursday, March 24, 2022

In this together

Put simply, we are in a perilous time, and the answer to the question “Who are we to be?” will have implications for generations to come.


We have a choice to make. We can answer this question with diminished imagination, by closing ranks with our tribe and hiding from our human responsibility to heal the world. Or we can answer the question of who we are to be another way: We can answer it in the spirit of ubuntu. The concept comes from the Zulu phrase Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu, which literally means that a person is a person through other people. Another translation is, “I am who I am because we are who we are.”. . . With this in mind, who I will be is deeply related to who you are. In other words, we are each impacted by the circumstances that impact those around us. What hurts you hurts me. What heals you heals me. What causes you joy causes me to rejoice, and what makes you sad also causes me to weep.

                     Jacqui Lewis (quoted by Richard Rohr)



the world is a hot mess

we are a hot mess


we can’t even agree why things are a mess

we just know they are

we feel it


at our core

in that deep place that makes us who we are


how did we get here?

to this place where we wonder

how shall we then live?


we got here by forgetting who we are

we got here by forgetting whose we are


we are people in relationship

with the Sacred, yes

but also with one another


we are connected

like it or not

for better or for worse

and when we forget that

we are in trouble


When we do not realize that we are all in this together

the planet, the plants

the animals

and yes, all the people

then we are in trouble


When we say it’s all about me

we are in trouble


It’s all about my country, forget yours

It’s all about my party, forget the country

It’s all about my power, forget the party

It’s all about my wealth, forget the planet

It’s all about my freedom, forget you….


We are in this together

We are deeply and profoundly connected


“What hurts you hurts me.

What heals you heals me.

What causes you joy causes me to rejoice,

and what makes you sad also causes me to weep.


and we will not, we cannot move forward

if we do not remember that

we cannot create healing

if we do not live that


we can only be who we truly are

who we were created to be

in relationship

when we are connected

when we are aware of one other

when we work together




the parts of a body


when in fact we are a body


by the presence of God



Monday, March 21, 2022

moral is a thing

That is just “immoral”!!!

When was the last time you heard those words?


When was the last time you heard a politician,
or the media say
flat out, with no reservation,
“That is immoral!”

Perhaps part of the problem is we don’t have
a concept of morality and immorality

what is right, and what is wrong?
I am not sure we know

is all about personal freedom and preference
I have the right to do what I want to do
and no one has the right to tell me otherwise

I have the right to believe what I want to believe
and it doesn’t matter what the facts are
my opinion is as important (or more so) than the facts

what is immoral?

I suppose that is a big discussion
but this is the simplest definition I can think of

“something that negatively alters the life of another person (or even yourself”

if I gossip about another person, damaging their reputation
if I intimidate another person, creating fear
if I lie to another person, misinforming them
if I act, or fail to act, in such a way that creates harm to another

that is immoral

we live in a world that has decided, to a great degree,
to ignore morality

and we act immorally, all the time
(at least I do)

and there are very few consequences (except to our souls)

so here is my thought for this day

Immorality is negatively impacting another person’s life
Morality is positively impacting another person’s life

This is not an earth-shattering insight
It is simple
Perhaps simplistic

But it seems right
and do we not find this basic concept everywhere
in the teachings of Jesus and his followers?

love your neighbor as yourself
do not call another a “fool” (ouch)
be light
be salt
don’t be angry
on and on it goes

So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another (Ephesians 4:25)

Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29)

Therefore encourage one another and build up each other… (I Thessalonians 5:11)

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3-4)

on and on it goes

don’t tear down, build
don’t minimize, don’t diminish,

do no harm!!

we should not be afraid of morality
we don’t have to be rigid, legalistic, and rule-oriented to be moral
we don’t have to be arrogant or pious

we just have to be kind

people who walk through life aware of the other
concerned about the other
and seeking to help the other

while trying to avoid those words, attitudes, and behaviors that
wound others
or put them at risk

it is that simple
and that complex

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Some day you are going to die

When you drink your tea, just drink your tea….
Everything is impermanent, including injustice, poverty, pollution, and global warming. In our lives, there is misunderstanding, there is violence, there is conflict, there is despair, but these things are also impermanent, and because they are impermanent, they can be transformed if we have insight in to how to live in the present moment.
Thich Nhat Hanh

some day I am going to die
each day, as I lift this aging body from my bed
I remember
that I am going to die

but in fact everything dies
everything, at some level, in some way
passes away


indeed every moment
what is become what was

every moment is and ending
and every moment is a beginning

so while we continually deal with the pain of loss
and the terror of “the new”
we also continually have another chance

a chance to get it right
a chance to change
a chance to heal

if we understand this we will leave each moment differently
if I know that those I love will some day die
I will do everything I can to make the most of my time with them

If I know that someday my mind will no longer work the way
it does today, that it will slow down and get fuzzy
it will do everything I can to use my mind fully on this day

the idea that all will end is scary
but it is also a truth that helps us make the most of life
it is also a truth that gives us hope

each moment is a little death
each moment is a little resurrection

Jesus got this
he reminded us that to find life, we have to let it go
(and place it in the hands of Love)

Paul definitely got this
“we are new creations”

May I live this day remembering
that I will die
that this day will pass
that everything will pass

may I thus live this day ready to change
ready to accept change
and ready to hope for change

may I remember that all will die
but resurrection (renewal and transformation) can
and will