May 21, 2014

Groping

Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, "Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, 'To an unknown god.' What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him — though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For 'In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your own poets have said,
'For we too are his offspring.' - Acts 17:22-28






There is somewhere in the murkiness and dusk
that fills in the spaces between the photons
somewhere between strings of nanoseconds
and the fine wire of time holding them in necklace

There is somewhere in the thin pages of the dogmatics
between the Trinity and the Christology and the
ink and fiber paper that forms a lucid notion of God
in your neurons and transmits it to mine and theirs

There is somewhere between the flowing stream
and the sound of the flowing stream and the ear
that receives its gloshing as gift of delight and chaos
and the brook trout that hides silent beneath the current

There is amid the known and the unknown numinous
another who is neither and the same, both more and less
named and unnamed, present and inside of presence
a this and a that for which we grope and never grasp

Kyrie and Gloria call and more than echo answers
it is not the squeezing of the mystery in our arms
that gives this holy life pleasure and purpose but the
feeling of it eternally slipping like silk through our fingers

May 15, 2014

Show Us

Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?





Show us the Father we prayed and Jesus
stood before us crazy calm and unkempt
fingers rough from the lathe and chisel, mind
open to absorb all even us into compassion

Show us the Spirit we chanted in the night
and the wind exhaled through the sheer curtains
and our hair and confusion, we breathed in
the lively scents of rosemary and desert sage

Show us the mystery we hummed and every
cancer fighter on the globe lit up orange
as dots of fear and courage, life and passing
joy and humility at death beds and healing hands

Show us the divine we uttered into the universe
and water assembled together as a reflecting pool
we stooped and strained, peered long and deep
until we saw each other and not only ourselves

May 6, 2014

Signs and Wonders



They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.


They do not fall like a fireball from the western sky and boom
they do not announce themselves with brass and timpani rolls

while you wait for literal Merlins and alchemists to turn
the dull lead of your life into something prized and shiny

while you wonder if Jesus himself might spit in mud and
make you see or get you up off the invalid matt to dance

signs and wonders happen when people gather in memory
of the one who broke bread and shared it beyond frontiers

community emerges from nothing, possessions are shared, a common
wonderful within us is sloshed and drunk and sung into new existence

the poor are honored, gladness swells like full moon high tide
awe fills dumb-founded souls with mystery secreted in each hour

tears flow from all who are lost in it and cannot explain it and do not
have to, tears of exuberance, tears of good grief, tears for life itself

this is our sign and our wonder: we are here at all and we share
love together with transplanted hearts bigger than our rib cages