Rally

“Lacking in nothing”

Oh, the wonder of this –

This puny puddle

Rallies a little

A slack everything

Perks up with the suggestion

And thrills

To think

It possible

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Jesus Is

  

Jesus is kinda punk rock
No warning 

Unpredictable

All freedom

‘Cept drive’s not gone awry: 

No violence serving ignoble purposes

– He’s still hardcore –

Tumultuous and jarring as a mosh pit

He’s not all piety and whispers

But He is clean

Sometimes quiet

Reorienting 

Jesus is kinda Baroque:

Orderly 

Beautiful

Calming, invigorating

Jesus is kinda hippy:

Free, earthy

Not bound to norms

Colorful

Airy

Akin to blowin’ with the wind

Jesus is kinda conservative

Fitted too for suits

Intentional, shrewd, spot on, exacting, rigorous.

Calm, cool, collected

And still authentically authentic

As lion, lamb, dove, serpent.

No wonder all these appeal and

– Each but a strain of a more excellent way –

Speak to us

Trouble is, err too much on the side of one

And the others get forsaken.

Why not dig deep

Stretch a little and

Embrace smatterings of each 

Unabashedly

All out

Orderly 

Wild

Earthy

Carefully

Taste and see all the richness 

Of the one in the many

Not make up a limited mind 

Held in and unfinished

Towards one and only best way

But all in, eyes open, ready to see The Way

As it – as He – chooses to present

And so regard with love and awake to those

Who wear His other colors

And so 

Regard

The Him in the them

Crumbs

Feed me, Word of life.
I don’t mean to sound demanding –

Just desperate.

So much to think about 

Yet nothing too 

All these little lives 

Need filled right up

By You who has compassion 

Who leads beside springs of water* Is. 49:10

Otherwise we’d be left alone

To salvage and scrabble

In all this wide world

For some semblance of satiation

To at least fill these bellies

(Never mind nourish)

From all the shiny garbage heap-

So utterly much on the surface

But stinking underneath

‘Cause that’s the thing about all 

These many amusements:

Without Him

Nothing satisfies

All’s little more than a smoke screen distraction

Belying the true nature of life, of meaning, of real, of good.

So, Lord, please free the captives from all these many (false) warriors

Your plunder retrieved from the fierce.

Contend with all these many false gods

And please save these children.

May all mankind know that You, Lord,

Are THE Savior.

And in the meantime,

Thank You for (nourishing) crumbs

That constantly – consistently –

Keep the path blessedly illuminated 

With constant promise of fullness and expectation.

Thank You.

Thanksgiving

 Hard things turned sweet

Lap around my edges

What’s true and good

Trumping the dark and the hard

Life is everything I feared

And everything I hoped

And more still

Coming into my own

Even more momentous than I thought

This little voice in the wilderness

Is louder and clearer than I expected

My mouse squeak carries through the noise

My fibers pulse with lion strains

Hope doesn’t just rise

It travels ahead

And should I follow

Should I meet this melody

And sing strong with this (His) voice all intact

Other noises will continue to quiet

And take lovelier shapes

No longer fit just for silencing mine

Will sweeten in deference to the love song

Written and sung by the most unexpected and perfect and dependable

Of lovers…

Jesus, Lover of my soul

my Lion

my Song

my Savior

Culmination and realization of all the hopes and dreams of 

A world gone sour

– But that still longs to sing –

Can.

The evidence in a tiny voice finding its voice 

Clear and strong and Found

Thank You.

Return

Leading a study on the book Devotional Classics¬†for a number of weeks now, and we’ve reached Thomas Kelly. In the practice of returning more consistently to what he calls “the Divine Center,” everything changes. I knew this, I guess: knew that every single remembrance of God redeems, restores, affects everything it touches. But when it happens in my own life, it surprises me every time.

And this seems to me the very most important thing a person could possibly talk about… yet I worry that in communicating this experience that either I or the beautiful, life-changing reality of what I speak will be chalked up to what my husband would refer to as “flaky.” (Defined as “crazy or eccentric.”)

The thing is, remembering God in moments – more consistently, more wholly – is not only closer to the reality that I believed in as a kid (only to wake up as an adult a little bewildered and blinking in my present reality wondering where all the magic went), but on a practical level, really does change everything. Not to go all Brother Lawrence on you, but this morning the ironing and matching of socks had a very different feel. It wasn’t drudgery all of the sudden with God in the mix. It was sacred, peaceful, joyful, big and small and beautiful and simple all at once. Y’know, life without the ugly.

It didn’t take long for me to get prideful. To start taking credit for remembering Him in like two! consecutive! moments! So repentance is definitely a huge part of this practice. Not morbid self awareness, but more like a willingess to be honest. I’ve heard it said that confession of sin is really just being honest about ourselves.

So here’s to being honest today. Here’s to a God who knows my wretchedness and miraculously condescends to come down here and be with me, guide, comfort, and love me anyway. Jesus as the Divine Center isn’t flaky at all. He’s the best thing to get to happen to a person. (I know. I’ve been without Him.)

Praying for you today, dear one, and hoping that He will draw near to you and you to Him in increasing measure.

Burdens (and their proper carrier)

Swinging on this crazy pendulum

Between all right and all wrong

Is dizzying, wildly disorienting.

Atrabilious! This brainy black bile

And I feel to be held under by all this care.

Loving ought be liberating:

Come to find out that the world’s weight

Is anything but light.

Then I look up

(A common, but too uncommon theme)

And realize that You’ve been gentlemanly

Standing, waiting

For me to lay all this burden down.

I’ve been bent over with it,

Eyes to the ground

Impossibly straining neath all this weight,

Saturated with the sweat and the load.

I look up at You (finally)

And You smile at me:

All that impossible, tender, complete, understanding, compassionate love in a look.

With nary a word – it took but a second to see you there, to remember You there –

I hand over the load.

It’s not heavy for You:

I don’t know what or how You do with it,

But it’s gone

– or completely changed into something else –

And we walk, You and I.

And there is nothing superfluous or in question

(There is little to be said in true love’s companionship,

Once the repentance is over.)

No more swinging or straining

I find that I am standing upright

Eyes straight ahead

With You

Reconciled and whole and free of all those many burdens

Ready to tackle more

Now strong and courageous

Thanks to the nothing’s-impossible-for-God

God

The next step blessedly clear

And beyond it

A burden not mine to carry.

This moment, this quiet, His assurance

All I’m responsible for.

Hallelujah!

Move

  

When? When’ll it get written ‘cept now?

When? When’ll it get planted and how?

‘Less someone like me cares a whole awful lot

Nothing is going to get done, it’s just not.

‘Cept what happens when caring’s not in the equation

When my mind is so full but so dull

What happens when I’m paralyzed with my self

And I just can’t distinguish my call?

What happens when my brain’s so full of turmoil?

(I’ve been stewing, despondent and down)

Feeling a victim all over the place

Smiles are scarce ’round this face: s’mostly frowns.

See nothing gets done – I just stop and I stare –

Then obsess more with all that’s not done

I am weak, Lord, You know it, wish I had more of a scapegoat

But my self is at fault – I’m the one

That is faulty and sinful and wretched and dumb

Full of Amy and all of her woes

I forget – least don’t act like – all Your goodness is here

That I could myself on Jesus throw

I’m sorry, I am, I’m so sorry ’bout these:

These leanings towards over and whelm 

I don’t know what the cause is, the source or the problem

That threatens my place at the helm

‘Cause it’s that: it’s that feeling that I’m not in control 

Of my destiny, life, or e’en hope

And it leaves me despondent (yes I know it’s redundant)

And I wonder how better to cope

I can’t figure it out (it’s only been 40 years)

So maybe the answer’s not there

Maybe the answer’s in just looking up

To the One Who assures me He’s here

See “what would Jesus do” is slightly off base

It’s “what’s Jesus doing” that’s now

It’s a matter of aligning myself with His Self

(And relaxing these lines on my brow)

I can trust Him (we can!) we can trust Him always

And forever to do what is best

I can trust that my angst, and my self, and these pains

Can be completely shored up in His rest

It’s not a naive sort of trust that I mean

Rather it’s hard and a battle for sure

But it’s all not for naught – there is good purpose here

Makes us loving, gentle, right, and pure

In order to separate the good from the dross

Some fire’s required: heat and light

The yuck must be skimmed from this soul that is His

That His presence is all that’s in sight

See there’s too much of me too much world and distraction

That it muddles one’s right view of Him

So these troubles I feel – though they seem very real –

Must be brought more to Him so to dim

So now on to remember – Lord, help me do better –

Remember Your presence always

Remember what You’ve done, are doing, begun

Fixed-on-Jesus-eyes are what must stay

Thank You, Father, for even now I realize

That You’re helping me this very minute

To remember Your goodness, faithful, gentle leading

Redeeming all that is amiss

That’s the God that You Are, the One who rights all the wrongs

Who brings healing and light to dark places

Turns all things inside out, turns all things upside down

Transforms shame into beautiful spaces

Thank You for help, and thank You for love

And thank You for helping to love

And thanks for redemption, freedom, and reminding

Me blessedly towards You to move.