Tuesday, June 15, 2021

For Love Of Leaning

 She comes and leans on me, and I bury my fingers in her fur                                                                       Her lean deepens and she looks up at me with the contentment of satisfied longing                                  She still eats things she shouldn't,                                                                                                              And obedience isn't always her strong suit                                                                                                    I have called her to me,                                                                                                                                  only to have me look as though to say                                                                                                          I am not done with what I want, I'll be there when I'm ready                                                                      But I have also called her name                                                                                                                      to have her spin on a dime and dash to me                                                                                                    as though I am the only thing in her world                                                                                                    I think of this as she leans.                                                                                                                        How like her I am with You my God                                                                                                        fickle in my obedience                                                                                                                                  all too often reckless in my behavior.                                                                                                            Let me never lose my longing to lean into Your love for me                                                                        Let me never stop craving the intimacy of Your touch                                                                                  I have learned new meaning from the gift that is Oreo                                                                                A richer sense of the words to the old hymn:                                                                                        What a fellowship, what a joy divine                                                                                                Leaning on the everlasting arms                                                                                                            What a fellowship, what a peace is mine                                                                                          Leaning on the everlasting arms

Tangle Your fingers in my fur Lord                                                                                                          And let me lean on You forever

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Oreo At One Year

We've been together
slightly over a year
She still eats the remote
If it's left in reach
But she walks beside me
so much better now
and responds to my voice
with greater regularity
Sometimes the first time I tell her
She also plays
And hikes
And snuggles
And communicates her love.
I love her back
Not because she's perfect,
or even because she's obedient 
(truthfully that's a crapshoot on some days)
But because she's Oreo
And we are bonded together
Do I think that Jesus loves me
any less?
That He only wants to talk to me
When I am good?
That He only wants to play fetch
When I do it His way
That if I ate the remote
that day
He will not rub my stomach
when I push His arm
and roll on my back?
Am I a better doggy daddy
than Jesus?
Oreo reminds me
God did not create me
for obedience,
but for relationship.
Obedience is a means to that end
Not the end itself
God did not make me
So that I could learn tricks.
We play together
because it is a joy
Oreo's been with me a
little over a year
If God knew me
forming in my mother's womb
We've been together
quite a bit longer.
And both of us
Oreo and I
Are still figuring out
that we are loved
Whether we've
eaten a remote
Or pushed our head 
under our Masters hand

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Benediction For Easter 2021


To One who knows each sparrow's fall,
And feels each bullet's thud;
Who cries for grief at graves
And for joy at births;
To the God who put on flesh;
Partied with sinners
Died at the hands of torture,
And when He rose from the dead
emptied hell for the first,
but not the last time.
THIS is the Risen Christ we praise.
To THIS God be praise given forever,
This redefined majesty be ever before our eyes.
Let the Kingdom He promised come quickly,
Transform this world completely,
And continue forever.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Psalm For A Holy Saturday

Come on this Holy Saturday                                                                                                                          When it feels all hope is gone

Sit by the tomb
Stare at the stone and weep
Weep, but do not flee this moment.
Sit by the tomb, but not alone
Sit with all the broken, weary ones
Who, like you, wonder if the morning
will ever come
Beneath your feet
Can you feel it
The tiniest quivering rumble of earth
Strain your ears
Can you hear the distant voice singing
Holy, Holy, Holy
Even in the depths of hell.
The gates there have burst open  as they will again.

Friday, March 5, 2021

Oreo In The Morning

 Jesus talks about a widow                                                                                                                            and an unjust judge

to tell us how persistent
we should be in prayer.
Oreo, my dog,
has been sneaking scripture.
Otherwise how could she be
so persistent each morning.
Long before I am ready
she decides that I should wake
To rub her belly
and run my fingers thru her fur.
God forbid that I should stop
or pause
or, horror of horrors,
fall back asleep.
Her indignation knows no bounds.
I have learned to do these things
from that place between sleep
and waking
And realize that this is just
how she wants to start her day.
Being loved and touched
by one who loves her
Til she rests content
with just my hand on her coat.
O Jesus let me learn to be
this persistent in wanting
just to hang in Your presence.
To push and prod just to feel
Your hand on me
To bring my joys to You
like a Oreo with a ball
My needs to You
like Oreo with her bowl.
Jesus teach me how to be
like Oreo in the morning. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Lent With God's Puppy

 When she was a puppy                                                                                                                                   She was tiny and cute                                                                                                                                     And new.

After months of caring
for a dying dog
Her boundless energy
was a joy.
Now it is a demand 
dragging me out into rain and snow
She takes up more room on the bed
not to snuggle
but to claim ownership
She is still a joy,
but one I now take for granted
And the lessons about life with God
that I learn from life with her
aren't always ones I want.
For I can come
Often do come
to take my life in God
for granted.
What was joy
after nursing a life that was dying and a walking grief
Now feels like demands
to go out into freezing rain.
And face it
God takes up way to much room on the bed.
Yet we are a bonded pair
Just as I cannot fall asleep without touching soft fur
behind flooping ears,
Neither can I bear
a day that does not bring
some wispish faint reminder
of early joy;
some invitation
to go romp in the world
despite the cold;
A day that reminds me
that there is a difference  between the warmth thrown out by a lifeless furnace
And the Living Warmth
of a dog, or a God
who takes up too much room on the bed

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

America Is A Junkie; Will It Ever Get Sober

 America is a junkie 

who will shoot almost anything that will give it 

the rush, the high of racism, violence and white nationalism

Having lost the Oxycodone of slavery 

it has a long history of using

Jim Crow and the KKK

booted thugs and violence against people of color

Black men die in the streets. 

Brown children are caged at the border.

The rush for Junkie America is incredible 

so it will do anything to get high.

Today Junkie America broke into it's parent's house

to steal the keys to the family car.

America's parents need to sent it to treatment

have it committed 

as a danger to self and others


It will take some time.

America will kick and scream and curse

it may spend some time in seclusion.

But maybe, just maybe

one night, drinking bad coffee

it will sit down next to a grizzled old ex-junkie

with scarred knuckles and broken nose

named History

and listen

Admit that it is powerless over it's bigotry and hatred

and it's life has become unmanageable

Then it must make a decision.

It will be a bitter pill to swallow.

But it won't be the hardest one

Dear America,

I hope you get sober, but I need to warn you

That 5th Step is a bitch

and Step 9 will nearly kill you.

But if you do it, if you work your program

The world will look at you again with respect

and your family might actually have a decent Thanksgiving Dinner again