Psalm 57-59; Psalm 103; 2 Peter 3

Serious Slapstick

Sin snickered
When she convinced Pride to stick out his foot
Causing Truth to stumble, knocking over the lamp.
Righteousness got lost in the ensuing darkness and ran into the wall.
In the confusion, Justice could only grope his way around,
Unable to find his partner, Mercy, so they could help.
Knowledge was dumbfounded, though he would never admit it.
Meanwhile, Peace kept banging her shins on the maze of unseen furniture.
Faith repeatedly called for calm
As Kindness found a seat, unable to do anything else.
Just as Power was seizing the moment to take them all captive,
Love was able to light a candle.
Only then could Wisdom start to restore order
And Grace headed straight over to Sin.

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Isaiah 53-56; 2 Peter 2

My Horribly Wonderful Favorite Things

Moonscape deserts and bent, twisted oak trees,
My hands bleeding from picking black berries,
Finding a garden in a slum in the spring:
These are a few of my horribly wonderful favorite things.

Disfigured people bearing God’s image,
Disasters making service a privilege,
Emergency rooms that begin the healings:
These are a few of my horribly wonderful favorite things.

Hungry people finally getting to eat,
Runaway children being saved from the streets,
Seeing the oppressed strong in an uprising:
These are a few of my horribly wonderful favorite things

When my sins bite, when death stings,
When my life is dross,
I simply remember my horribly wonderful favorite things,
Including a grotesque cross.

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Isaiah 50-52; Psalm 92; 2 Peter 1

Teardrops

A teardrop seems such a fragile thing as the truth flows out of me,
splashing my soul across my face, if you can navigate the signs:
tears from cuts and tears from piercings,
tears for wallowing and tears for washing,
tears that turn me to mud and tears that cleanse the filth,
tears that drown and tears that sate,
tears that darken and tears that glisten,
tears of fears and tears of resolve,
tears of sorrow and tears of joy.
I wish I could dam the springs that flow from the walled garden,
teardropping blood-tinged hints of what I genuinely am.

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Isaiah 46-49; 1 Peter 5

In the Presence of Lions

I would be lying if I said lions didn’t frighten me:
When I run wild in the wild one could end up biting me.
But there is a lion who is trying to fight for me:
The jungle’s one king whose coming can quieten me.
When he is alighting it’s like lightning that whitens me,
As I fall down to the ground, no more might in me.
I am at my best when I am at rest with his sights on me,
While I am praying about the one preying to smite me:
“Mighty Lion, guard with your paws scarred by your delight in me.”

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Isaiah 43-45; 1 Peter 4

Life Together

It started with a look
that demanded an introduction
that progressed to a conversation
that provoked an invitation
that led to a dance
that sparked a kiss
that evolved into a friendship
that galvanized in a covenant
that deepened in intimacy
that enlivened the soul
that multiplied its love
that persevered through trials
that fortified joy
that produced a vintage life
that faced the inevitable
that sobbed a valediction
that looks forward to another look.

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Isaiah 40-42; 1 Peter 3

Lost Blessings

I didn’t mean to
but I got
lost.
I started on the trail with an intended destination:
an observation point for tourists.
I had read about it and wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
My map was marked.
My resolve was strong.
My soles were pointed in the right direction.
I didn’t need much else;
it seemed easy enough.
But I got
lost.
I don’t know when.
Sometimes the path was unclear;
sometimes the signs were confusing;
sometimes I got distracted;
sometimes I slipped and slid.
I don’t know when
I began to wander.
I only know that I became unnerved when I comprehended my disorienteering.
I couldn’t plot a course because I couldn’t find myself
on the map.
Besides, my compass was broken by one of my falls.
My anxiety mushroomed
as I felt myself drowning in the murky canopy,
pulled downward by the vortex of the detritus.
Yet, from deep within I had the will to fight
by running from my confusion.
That tormented haste brought me to the terror of a vast flowering meadow
that swallowed me.
I couldn’t stop.
Keep moving…
Keep moving…
Onward
to somewhere.
Breathless…
Keep breathing.
My escape left me thirsty,
parched,
desperate for Adam’s ale.
This wilderness conspired against me
until I had to surrender,
collapsing on a boulder for rest.
There the hunger triggered visions as I had never known
of a mountain home with indescribable vistas.
Capacious.
Precarious.
Glorious.
The sound of breaking twigs woke me and provoked me.
The dangers of predatory animals had not crossed my mind.
Now I was eaten up with fear.
I could not let myself sit there like a platter.
Not wanting to look behind,
adrenaline propelled me
toward I don’t know where
until I was stopped by nothing,
skidding to the edge of a precipice.
Before me was a landscape
that left me
gasping…
grasping…
grappling.
Lost,
I was privileged
to behold what others missed.
I still didn’t know where I was
but my hopelessness was nowhere to be found.
Again I heard approaching footsteps
and turned
to see a fellow hiker,
like me.
Except he wasn’t lost;
he just didn’t need other people’s trails,
their ruts.
Smiling with compassion,
he could see I had been through an ordeal.
He extended to me his bota bag
and gave me bread
and we stood there and soaked in the grandeur.
Then he invited me to follow him.
Apparently, he wants to show me even more of the glories of the wilderness.

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2 Kings 20; Isaiah 38-39; Psalm 75; 1 Peter 2

Affectionate Perspicuity

I described my wife as pulchritudinous,
But rather than being gratitudinous
She became truculent and attitudinous,
Her voice growing more amplitudinous.
Even when I explained I was beatitudinous,
Expressing my passions magnitudinous,
She said it wasn’t flattitudinous.
“Wax neither erudite nor platitudinous
True love must be made plain.”

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