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, February 3, 2024

How Long

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?

How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?

How long will my enemy triumph over me?

          Psalm 13


"Open wide the door of your formless heart and allow God to God in you."

Conor McCourt (Whispers from the Sanctuary



I have heard it said

that we have shapeless hearts

we are creatures unformed


ready to be shaped and molded


it matters, it seems

what we take into our souls

what we read

who we listen to

whom we trust


we cannot remain empty

for the world assails us

we sink deep into the depths and the pressure grows

as we watch the machinations of human creatures

who have lost their compassion

who have chosen the way of power and cruelty


we watch liars adored

the rich prosper, the poor suffer

we see evil people prosper

and good people die too young


we watch as the planet burns

and humans rain death and destruction on other humans

we watch children killed

We see the blood on the floor of American schools

The shattered bodies of Palestinian, Israeli, Ukrainian children


It is all too much


empty we would implode

and so we seek to fill ourselves

we look for a savior


desperately seeking we consume whatever we think

will keep us powerful, wealthy, safe


and our shapeless hearts are shaped

by whatever we draw into ourselves

by whomever we choose to listen to, and follow


it is easy in our pain, our fear

to choose poorly

to seek power, or wealth

to choose the path of domination and control

to lust for retribution


so easy


and thus we let hate-filled leaders

fill us with hate

people caught up in greed, seduce us with promises of wealth

people filled with resentment fill us with a desire to hurt and punish


our shapeless hearts become hard

and we respond to pain by creating more pain

to violence by creating more violence

to hate by creating more hate


we drop bombs

send drones

close borders

shame and abandon the vulnerable

embrace racism

pursue power and wealth


This is why the wicked prosper


Open our hearts, O Beloved one

Open our shapeless hearts

And fill them with your presence


The world is a mess

The evil do prosper

Justice is a joke

Equity is a distant dream


Fearmongers on the right

Fearmongers on the left

And there we are in the middle


Crying out “How long!”


Shape our hearts O Lord

So that we may resist the world with love

So that in the midst of our lament, we may still love

So that as everything falls apart around us

We may still love



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