Archive | June, 2021

To Live In The Not Yet

28 Jun

Faith is a dare to live in the almost.

A challenge to live in the not yet.

The Midwife works, but the timing of birth
is not ours to set.

It takes courage, trust, and self-abandon to risk it.

Faith is highly counter-intuitive, but when the
Light breaks from behind the cloud, it is breathtaking.

Virtue Vendor

23 Jun

The Virtue Vendor came to town today,
his wagon filled with assorted goods.
It didn’t take long for a line to form,
I hesitated, but I knew I should
restock my supply of Patience and Peace,
and while I’m at it, I’ll ask if I could
have a small container of Joy.

The Vendor rolls in about once a month
with everything a man could need,
boxes of Kindness, sacks full of Hope,
Generosity, too, to fight off our greed.
One time he got sick and missed a month.
You should have heard us beg and plead.
You just can’t live without Virtues!

I rue the day the Vendor dies.
Some dependable person will take his place.
But the Vendor knows what this village needs.
We can’t get along without a case of Grace.
We all wonder who the replacement will be,
it will take a strong person to keep up the pace.
What’s that? Who, me?

Choose Life

22 Jun

Here’s a survivor.
Was it a lightening strike?
No matter, the scar is there
and will be there as long as the tree is standing.

At first glance, the scar is a
serious distraction from the overall charm
and beauty of the tree. “Too bad,” someone said,
“it could have been such a lovely tree.”

But it is, scar and all. The neighboring trees
are nice but they have no story to tell.
This one, though, remembers all the details:
the jolt of the strike, the searing pain,
the long process of healing.

Scars are sometimes invisible, but whether seen
or unseen, they present two options: relive all the
painful moments over and over again, or regard
the scar as the completion of healing.

One looks back in sorrow, the other looks
forward with courage. The decision point
between the two is the critical moment.
“Choose life that you might live…”*
Always choose Life.

*Deuteronomy 30:19


16 Jun

“So Pilate sentenced Jesus to die…as they led him away, a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, happened to be coming in from the countryside. The soldiers seized him and put the cross on his shoulders and made him carry it…” (Luke 23) He didn’t know what was to happen that day. And neither do we. Simon was forced to carry the burden by power and threat. We are willing to carry our neighbor’s burden because of compassion, the sacrifice of self for the welfare of the other. Today may be my day…your day. May I be aware of others around me and available to the opportunity to share someone’s heavy load. May my eyes be open and my heart be softened by the Spirit. May I live what I say I believe.

8 Jun

I heard a phrase the other day that will stick with me for a long time. Only two words, I don’t remember the topic of conversation but I remember being caught off guard by what sounded to me like a genuine contradiction. The two words simply don’t go together.

Intense simplicity.

And hearing those words, I thought to myself: what a perfect description of the breathtaking beauty of our little corner of creation, here in the Sonoran Desert. The simple beauty is so intense at times that it is overwhelming, one step short of sacred. I complain about the summer heat, the scarcity of water in the future, the sameness of colors and landscape. But give me one good sunset or one beautiful sunrise and my spirit sings about the intense simplicity of this amazing place.

Perhaps The Way of Jesus could be called intense simplicity. I think I hear that in his voice and from his perspective on human life. The complexities we create finally cave in under the weight of excesses. Why don’t we decide, as the people of Jesus, to live intense simplicity. Creation needs it, and so do we.