Carefulness

My Lady and My God,

May we see with your eyes and hear with your ears,

the needs and wants of our neighbor,

Grant that we have the patience, courage, and strength,

to love as you love.

Engender in us the tenderness, kindness, and gentleness

to promote communion with all things.

Prevent us from hurting anyone in any way,

rather encourage us to take care of everyone in every way.

Forgive us our offenses,

and inspire us to forgive those who have offended us.

For we know being careful

begins with your care for us,

and ends with us being careful with our neighbor

Indeed it is.

Cover

Cooperation can be difficult,

to have each other’s back…

I told her that she is protected,

I will provide her cover.

Assurance is idyllic and wonderful,

what happens stays between us…

She will never be canceled,

regardless what nay-sayers uncover.

There are no guarantees,

but there are always possibilities…

I am with her always, open

to the opportunities we discover.

Sometimes the way is unclear,

and our path appears to be blocked…

She must not fear losing her balance,

I am here and we will recover.

Secure with faith we can rest,

having walked side by side…

I showed her I safeguarded

her place with complete cover.

Calculus

Ironically my pockets were too deep

and needed to be emptied of calculus.

The tartar’s algorithm suggested

geometric damage plus tooth loss.

After a few “pinches”, I lay back in the chair.

Now numb, I let him do the math.

With pictures in hand, he calculates

what has to be rendered and sorts the variables.

Keeping account with a bright light,

he moves his deft hands with rapidity and alacrity.

Of the basic subtraction, I marvel, how well

he assesses both my comfort and his progress.

With scalers, curettes, and burnishers,

he completes his calculus reckoning.

He adds careful notes regarding the upper and lower bite

and makes his computation with mathematical exactness.

In addition, to maintain proportionate checks and balances

with formulaic precision, he shows his work.

Closing with sutures and “band-aids” he submits the solution,

confident of a correct de-calculation.

At home, with alternating ice packs, I reduce the swelling

and rest assured that I will continue

to render mouthfuls of good answers

with my whole teeth and nothing but my teeth.

Faithful

Blessed are you when people insult you,

lie about you because of me,

for you will be rewarded.[1]

It is truly hard to be calm

amid gross misunderstanding…

peaceful about malicious slurs.

It is tough when slander becomes

accepted as orthodoxy…

false prophets become truth-bearers.

Unconditional love affords

a life of real relationship –

standard conduct does not apply.

Rewards are not retributive,

rather they reconcile us through

benign acts of restoration.

Those who bear invective insults,

tolerate vicious backbiting, are graced with patient kindness


[1] Matthew 5: 11-12

Skinned Alive

Like Mother Earth, our skin is multilayered

and it is essential to our existence.

Skin promotes touch sensation,

maintains body temperature regulation,

provides harmful elements protection…

Like Mother Earth, our skin is both precious and frail.

Parts of us are thick-skinned

and like mountains not much bothers us –

difficult to get under the skin.

Parts of us are thin-skinned

and like sacred ground are holy veiled –

comfortable in our skin.

Like Mother Earth our beauty

is more than skin deep…

mining and deforestation

cost us the skin off our backs –

windmills and solar panels

save us by the skin of our teeth.

Mother Earth co-creates with us

together we have skin in the game.

So, if we want to show some skin

and go skinny dipping with Her.

Let’s get the true skinny

and save our skin by reverencing Hers.

Countless Blessings (Psalm 104)

My God, You are awesome,

   You are absolutely adorable.

You wrap Yourself in the sunlight’s splendor,

   You cloak Yourself in the stars’ wonder.

When You bring darkness, it becomes night,

   when You bring light, it becomes day.

With the moon, we mark the seasons,

   with the sun, we rise and rest.

You soar with the clouds

   and whisper with the wind.

Yes, the rain refreshes us like kisses,

   the winds embrace us with Your breath.

The seas cover the earth,

   whose waters are as deep

   as the mountains are high.

By Your design,

   streams awake in the mountains,

   course the plains,

   and rest in their ocean bed.

The boundless brooks have banks,

   which channel their flow;

   forming rivers that enliven the earth,

   refreshing all the hills and dales,

   and supplying water to all of creation –  

All who are thirsty may drink.

The earth is quenched by Your rain,

   nurturing all of nature

Yes, the trees of my God are well-watered,

   they are strong and sturdy.

The birds nestle in them,

   they are content in the branches,

   they sing in harmony with all creation.

 She makes the grass grow and the plants bloom,

   cultivating fruit for us to share,

   bringing forth sustenance…

      wine that gladdens the heart,

       oil that makes the face shine,

       and bread that delights the body.

Countless are Your blessings, my God,

   Your creation is full of wonder.

Earth and sea are vast and spacious,

   teeming with life both large and small

   beyond number.

Our ships frolic

   with the whale and all at sea.

Our wagons dance

   with the elephant and all on land…

We have faith in You

   for we know that we are dear to You,

   we enjoy our harmony.

When You take your kisses away,

   we are afraid.

When Your breath is not felt,

   we wallow in loneliness.

When You send Your Spirit,

   we are renewed.

Your beauty will endure forever,

   and we rejoice in Your goodness.

For You put up with us

   and take care of us

   always in all ways –

All of creation has joyful expectations.

I will pray with My God all my life,

   I will sing in harmony.

May my pondering and brooding be pleasing,

   as I balance my desires with pain and hope.

Take away my fears and doubts

   and give me the courage and freedom

   to be undone and vulnerable.

Yes, we dwell in the House of Love,

   we rest assured with our God.

With all our hearts we affirm,

   “She is our refuge and our strength,

   our God, in whom we trust.”

At a Loss

Blessed are those who mourn

for they will be comforted[1]

Weeping the loss of a loved one

professes the acute aching

mitigating the grave anguish.

Yes, grief can be overwhelming

but our shadow must be embraced

to find lasting comfort and joy.

Sadness is inevitable…

shedding true tears is both healing

and necessary for wholeness.

Being open to the helplessness –

yielding to the powerlessness –

closes the emptiness

Those who heartily mourn

are graced with  consolation


[1] Matthew 5: 4

More Beatitudes

Some contemporary practices I believed condoned by God:

Blessed are those who listen, for they will find accord

Blessed are the marginalized, for they will be sustained

Blessed are the builders of bridges, for they will be welcomed.

Blessed are the truth-tellers, for they will have peace of mind.

Blessed are the contrite for they will be free

Blessed are the caregivers, for they will enjoy satisfaction

Blessed are the hearth-makers, for they will have harmony

Blessed are the advocates, for they will be safe

Blessed are the kind, for God cannot do it without them

Sense-less

How you see…

is what you see[1]

observe with eyes wide shut

and look through the window of the soul

How you listen…

is what you hear

be attentive to the sounds of silence

and receive the noise in between the notes

How you speak…

is what you say

entreat with your lips pursed

and be a whisperer of being

How you sniff…

is what you smell

take a deep breath nasally…

and inhale the fragrance of union

How you grasp…

is what you hold

embrace the wind

and be touched by an angel

How you live…

is what you live

trust God’s Word

and take a leap of faith


[1] Richard Rohr

Baptism

John calls, Change our ways

and make straight the Way.

Jesus wants to join

the narrow Way…

He answers the call.

He asks the brazen John

to baptize him – a rite of passage –

to begin his ministry

But John is humbly hesitant –

the pain of change…

the path would not simply straighten.

Jesus rejoins it must be done

to embrace all that is expected

and fulfill all demands.

John submits with Jesus

their wills conjoin with God –

to realize their mission.

John submerges…

the Spirit emerges…

Jesus is reborn.

God enjoins, my breath breathes

I am well-pleased.