words

The flatness that surrounds is dull,

deadening the senses, slowly leeching

life from hapless souls stuck in the

wicked sameness of daily life.

 

I wake to this morning by morning

wondering if today will provide the

moment of color – deep, renewing,

capable of restoring my voice which

 

has become sullenly silent.  Why,

I wonder, has the flatness of life

stolen my voice?  How do words

hide in such plain sight?  Is there

 

a secret to call to them, to bring them

back home, to unleash their power

to reshape the flatness, to renew

what has grown weary, to bring life?

 

 

16 October 2015

Blessing

Music forms as the notes float upward,
little fingers dancing across black and white.

Her voice joins the notes encircling them,
forming a sacred melody of joyful praise.

What calls forth this response of prayer
through song? Who breathes life into

her small voice? O Divine Spirit, ’tis You
who animates the breath pushed through

throat and chords, who leads fingers in
their walk across the ivory keyboard.

Gracious Spirit, You call forth prayer in
ways no words can utter. Only by You

do our music and dance, flowing words,
simple drawings and molded clay emerge

from the creative space, transforming
simple offerings into beautiful Praise.

1 October 2015

Red moon

All this talk about the moon – why not?

Bright and round,

the moon lightens

the night darkness.

No where along

the sidewalk can

I escape the lights

of the cities. Yet

Your Light breaks

through the hazy sky.

From the heights,

blood-colored Moon,

you call to order the

stars to ponder

the heavy matters

of the night. Look

mercifully upon this

pilgrim and guide

my feet with your

dark light. Red

Moon, pouring

your life’s blood

upon all who

gaze, fill me with

the fire of courage

to walk on through

this dark night in

search of the Holy.
29-30 August 2015

Enough!

Yesterday brought another tragic shooting at a Mississippi college.  When will we begin to have some serious conversations about violence and theological reflection on ways we followers of Christ might be at the forefront of change?  I don’t know about you, but I have had enough…

 

 

Enough!

 

No more let guns kill.

No more let innocent lives

be lost in the acrid smoke

of powder and lead.

 

Enough!

 

No more let words fly,

untouched by grace, 

sharpened by the tongues 

of hateful hearts.

 

Enough!

 

No more let bombs drop.

Keeping peace is a charade

meant to make killing

and torture righteous.

 

Enough!

 

No more let prisoners

die in the name of justice.

The needle and chair,

revenge legally executed.

 

Enough!

Enough!

 

No more death! No more war!

No more hateful words!

No more legal injustice!

 

Enough!

 

 

23 July 2015

Healing a memory

Awakened by the phone,
mind in a coffee-less fog,
“Are you watching this?
A plane hit the
World Trade Center!”

Uncomprehending, I flip
on the TV. The mighty
tower standing, smoking –
until it collapses, killing many
under hate’s awful weight.

Our world has changed
much since that morning.
Suspicion, anger, revenge
have become constant
companions. Fears abides.

Yet, peace lies dormant
below the surface of our
hearts, waiting to emerge,
to break through the soil
of our fearful hearts.

Forgiving One, teach us
to forgive, teach us to love
those who hurt us, who
would destroy us. Help us
to forgive.  Let Your Peace
bloom in our hearts. Grow

it’s tendrils, stretch them
out into our world that they
may overtake our violence
and anger. Let Hope flower,
Your peace-filled Light shine.

11 September 2015

Curve ball

Feeling a bit low after my little injury, a friend reminded me that this was just a curve ball and that blessings might lie on the other side.  And today I am aware of many who have been thrown some very nasty curve balls in life.  And I thought of St. Paul.  I pray these words might bring comfort and hope.

“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8.31)

 
No baseball pitcher can match the
nastiness of the curveballs life throws.
Just when I thought I had a good
read on things, a sense of rhythm
 
and timing, here comes the pitch.
I stand mesmerized as the ball moves
unpredictably leaving me off balance
neither swinging nor checking as the
 
ball slides past me.  The unexpected
in life is similar. We are caught by
the surprise call from our doctor, by
the policeman at our door, by the
 
middle of the night ringing of our phone.
Death, especially the tragic kind, steals
our breath. Chests tighten. Jaws clench.
Throbbing starts at the temples, then
 
moves to our foreheads, as we see
that loss is changing the world as we
have known it. The important becomes
unimportant. Plans fade away like smoke.
 
“Life is precious,” we say blithely. Yet,
only in face of death can we really see
the truth in those simple words. Through
the lens of dying we can see clearly
 
the life we’ve been given.  And it’s through
the Dark Night that we find the New Light
of the promised New Day where sorrow
still exists while Hope glows on the horizon.
 

 

7 September 2015
 

Being still

If I had a choice, being still

would not be an option.

 

In fact, pushing, increasing

my speed, is my preference.

 

But, the footing isn’t always

sure, the tumble can injure.

 

What’s left is slow stillness;

not by choice, but just because.

 

Plans fade in the fog of meds,

and a new awareness emerges.

 

I’ve been training for the race,

But it’s not as I had envisioned.

 

God has had another race in mind;

the reward is not medals, but eternity.

 

Sprints and squats cannot get me

fully ready for this joyful finish line.

 

Only failure, set backs, sorrow, death

can strengthen me to run the race,

 

persevering to the end, crossing the

line, not finishing, but beginning again.

 

6 September 2015

A Poet’s Prayer

On Wednesday morning, August 26th, Alison Parker and Adam Ward, members of the television news team of WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia were shot and killed while on the air doing a live interview by a very disturbed man.  Once again, misdirected anger has boiled over leaving sorrow in its wake.

Yet another act of violence confronts us. Yet more lives are lost in a hail of bullets. Yet more hearts are shattered. Yet more dreams will go unfulfilled, more potential unrealized, more promise unmet.

Join me this day in prayers for the family and friends of the victims and the shooter.  And join me in asking for the Peace of Christ to wash over us, giving us the courage to be blessed peacemakers who – through an act of Christ-like service we offer daily – love and serve all those whom Jesus loves.
Peace,
Ram

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. – Colossians 3:15

This broken heart will not ever mend.

The unbearable, excruciating pain left
in the wake of violent acts becomes
the only physical reminder of beautiful
loved ones whose lives will be unable
to embody the fullness prepared
for them by their Creator.

Brass, lead, powder and an inexhaustible
supply of resentment combine in the
crucible of anger becoming a deadly,
destructive force unleashed on innocents,
ending, changing untold numbers of lives.

The presence of violence is the absence
of hope. The absence of hope can only
be reversed by the presence of Love.

The presence of Love is
the presence of God
made real by the love
we share with one another.

How shall I share God’s Love today?
Whose life can I touch today with
the Peace of Christ? What kindness
can I cast into the pond of despair
creating ripples of hope to clear away
the tears, to make way
for new, hopeful lives to emerge?

Show me today, Deep Love, with whom
I am to share your Life.  Bless those
whose lives won’t suffer because

of one simple act of imitating your Love.
27 August 2015

On words

The poets understand God.

For it is they who can play

with words in the deep

awareness that words are

inadequate to the task of

describing God. Poets see

that words can only be etched

in sand. For it is the task of each

generation to fill the water’s edge

with all we can say about God

and then to sit quietly, enjoying

the waves of the incoming tide

wash away our greatest thoughts

in the deep resonance of God’s

laughter. To feel the deep joy of

a parent for a child who offers his

best effort; who delights in the delight

of that young one who sees his

gift admired by the eyes of Love.

21 August 2015