Monday, February 26, 2007

cross moment

there is such a huge chasm
between the cross of Christ
and the fashionable cross of our culture

the heroes of our time
wear it as a bauble around their necks
Christ bore it in bloody nails through His hands and feet

activists fight with pride for the right to display it
Christ fought in meekness for the strength to bear it

untold numbers clutch it to scale the heights of heaven
Christ stretched out his arms and plumbed the depths of hell

in stillness
week after week
my antiseptic rendition of faith is disintegrating
as Jesus calls for a response to what I see

it is if I have come to the cross for the very first time

it is so hard
and yet so necessary
to gaze at the face of Christ
hanging before me

to stay close to his suffering
hear his voice
feel his wounds
experience his broken heart

and I hear afresh
the invitation of God
the Father
to kneel
in the shadow of that cross

to gaze in awe at what I see
to bathe in the wonder of such love

the eyes of my battered
bloodied Jesus
pierce my heart
with a painful sore
that never completely heals

he fed the five thousand -
did anyone Him offer a piece of bread or fish

he calmed the wind
did anyone offer him a warm blanket

he washed the feet of his friends
did anyone wash his

he only asked those close to him one thing
remain here and keep watch with me

in the end
it was only the Father
who hovered near His child

Friday, February 23, 2007

majestic moment

I spent a few days this week
at the edge of a lake
a frozen lake
in the middle of a frozen land
a gentle giant of a man
who lives in the area
asked if I had heard the song of the ice
listening for songs and sounds
has been a constant for me
over the past twelve years
and so I asked this gentleman
about hearing this sound
following his suggestion
around 4am
I went out on this frozen lake
walking slowly
and I was simply stunned
by the beauty of the night
even the ice crystals in the air
seemed to be hovering in anticipation
and then I heard it
a soft moan
moving to its own rhythm
punctuated by gentle whistling
and a swishing heaving
coming from the womb of somewhere
I lay flat on my back
on this frozen lake
so that I could feel the sound
this song of the ice
so that I could be one with it
it was a majestic moment
back at the edge of water and land
I turned
just to look
once more
fingers of light
were stretching into the darkness
pulling night below the horizon
and I am forever changed
having heard
the song of the ice

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Elijah/Lazarus moment

last evening was spent with fellow sojourners

there was much peace
and an ease in rest
a comfortable stillness
although there was one in much physical pain
and more than one
in much spiritual pain

there was a sweet fragrance
in acknowledging the angst of this season

we worshiped
shared communion
celebrated a life

each one shared a bit
about the words that have been filling ears
and penetrating hearts

it was late
the separation of one day
from another
when I returned home

and then I awoke in the night
thinking again about Elijah
the cave
and what made him run to it

suddenly struck
by the similarities
with Lazarus

who died
was buried in a tomb
which actually was a cave
carved out of rock

until this man Jesus
who was his friend
came to his cave
and called him forth

speaking life
into death

and so with Elijah
hidden in his cave
who was his friend
and called him forth

speaking life
into death

caves are sort of like wombs
a womb can hold death
and become a tomb
until Jesus speaks
into that which was dead
and this tomb
again becomes a womb
birthing life

and everywhere
I am feeling the gentle breeze
and hearing
what are you doing there
come forth

it is time to relinquish
my cave of fear
into the pierced hands
of the One
who calls
for when He speaks
life is the result

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

feast moment

in the deep stillness of prayer my soul fasts

at its heart
is turning away from what keeps me from God

two things I must leave
the walls I build around the space that was made to be God’s dwelling
the absurdities I keep in that space
so jealously hoarded

taking down the wall that protects the false self I have been building
all these years …
risking exposure

the fast is silence

shard by shard
the wall begins to fall

inch by inch
the space clears
Love lights the shadows …

in letting go is abundance

in emptying I am filled

this is not denial
but freedom

fast is feast

Sunday, February 11, 2007

trapped moments

spent some time this evening
around a table
with friends

there was such familiarity
in the ache

a deep common yearning
piercing loneliness behind the smiles

made me think

no matter how well constructed the walls
how secure the bars

if you listen a bit
you can see the crack in the dam

I wonder if it is only true community
that will unchain us all
and open the gates
to discover who we are

cave moment

I have been camped out with Elijah overnight -
he defeated J -
but instead of resting in his defeat
he saw, felt, heard and tasted fear
fear of the spirit he had already defeated
he ran
fed and nourished by God in his running
but he still ran
deep into a cave
to hide
from something he had already defeated

and I wonder if there are times
we construct a cave
out of fear of an enemy
or out of unbelief that we have already defeated that enemy

and we surround ourselves with that cave
so that all we see and hear
are the echoing walls of that cave

and all the while
God is saying
"what are you doing there"

Saturday, February 10, 2007

gentle blowing moment

I have been moored lately
in Kings 19 with Elijah and the cave

took him 40 days to reach the cave
he went alone
nourished only by God given bread
and God given water

he went in fear
and stayed in the cave
out of fear

fear of something he had fought
and beaten

he lodged in the cave
he set up his tent to dwell
inside this cave

he intended to stay
inside this cave

it was deep inside this cave
this womb in the mountain of God
that the Voice found him

and called him to come forth
to see his God pass by

he saw the wind tear the mountain
and break rocks into pieces

he felt the earthquake shake and rip the land

he stood in the heat of the great fire

but he did not see his God

it was a gentle blowing
that told him
God was near

a soft breeze that caused him to cover his face
and leave his cave

he stood
through all the ways he had seen God before
and waited
for the gentle blowing

do you suppose
our busyness creates such a wind
that we miss
the gentle blowing

the gale of our rushing through life
our expectations of seeing God the ways we have seen Him before
swallow and blind us
to the gentle blowing

this gentle blowing
that is only recognized
in stillness

at the mouth
of our cave

could it even be
that we build our own caves
out of fear
and busyness
that we spend unnecessarily long seasons
deep inside a cave we have fashioned
to hide in
simply because
we are unable to stand still
and listen
for the gentle blowing

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


planting moment

over the past few days
I have enjoyed many different sounds
filling our home

life sounds of unexpected
but so very welcome
voice tones
foot sounds
rippling laughter
prayer moans
soaring worship

this afternoon seems very very quiet
and yet
I am loud inside
with the memory
of all these sounds

and it is good

every fall
I pull up and store the geraniums

it troubles me that we are so quick
to throw things away
once their usefulness is over

there are times
people are thrown away too
once they have served their purpose

I have learned through mistakes
that the plant must be uprooted for storage
when at its peak
before the late fall rains
or early winter snows

this afternoon
my memories and I
decided this is the moment
to re-plant the geraniums of last summer

all winter
hidden in the dark
in plain brown bags

and each spring
I am amazed
to see brilliantly colored flowers
tiny green shoots
budding leaves
all seemingly growing from something looking dead
in the dark

each branch has to be broken
off the main stem

great care must be taken
so as not to damage any tender new growth

sometimes I find a whole plant
very green
very lush
many flowers all blooming
looking perfect

it is only when tested under pressure
the trunk squeezed a bit
it is evident
there is rot within
disease in the root

and so
even though looking beautiful
it is a false picture of health
and must be destroyed
so as not to infect all the other plants

dead leaves must be pulled off
roots separated

each finger of the plant
is then pushed gently
into pots
freshly filled
with clean soil

and misted
only a little

then the floor has to be cleaned
I have to be cleaned
the excess dirt
and dead things
bagged and put outside

it is a messy job
as is life
getting down and dirty
in the soil of my own life
or another's life
throwing out the rotten stuff
while taking care not to damage a new shoot

spring is coming

life is to be birthed

if you get close
and examine carefully
that which looks dead
more often than not
a little moment of life
can be found

if you grab it
to hold and own it
it will die

if you plant it
with tenderness
in the soil of hope
it will live

bud moment

the bud stands for all things
even for those things that don’t flower
for everything flowers from within
of self blessing

though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing of its loveliness
put a hand on its brow
and retell it in words
and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within
of self-blessing

Sunday, February 04, 2007

sunday moments

it was a rare
and tender privilege
to be in the midst
of living stones
recently touched by God
and impassioned by his Spirit

the order of the day set aside
as one by one
these stones
stood to testify
of their God


these ones stood
with their outstretched hands
and flowing tears

and cried out
for more

before leaving
the older generation
ringed this younger generation

we stood
shoulder to shoulder
fingers linked firmly
one to another
calling out the words of God
over our sons and daughters

and made a promise
never to send them anywhere
we too would not be prepared to go

never ask them to climb a hill
we would not climb
nor enter a valley
we would not enter
nor fight a fight
we would not fight

at the end
we all were weeping on the floor
and on one another
a laid down band of lovers
of the most high God

samaritan moments

the samaritan
only needs to know
where the sore is
so he can anoint it with oil

Thursday, February 01, 2007

staining moment

confession time:

I am seriously addicted to coffee
especially my first cup of the morning
for some reason
my mouth just will not work
{some would probably say this is a huge blessing :)}
until caffeine has passed my lips
and travelled down my throat

unexpectedly called to an early morning meeting
I was rushing a bit

coffee cup in hand
filled to the brim with a fresh brew
readying to brush my teeth
I set the cup on the edge of the sink

within moments
the cup slid off the edge
crashed into the sink
spilling its contents
and splashing everything in sight

big brown stains
on everything within reach

and what I saw
was that we can be functioning as we are designed (gifted) to function
doing what is requested of us


if we are not positioned properly
where we are placed

we can slip
and perhaps stain those around us

the cup was doing everything it was made and designed to do
it was functioning perfectly

the mistake was mine

because I was in a hurry
I did not look carefully
and positioned it on the edge
of where it should be placed

it is mandatory
that we be positioned carefully
in our placement