Stillness

stay in the box

All cardboard and glue 

The bars you have hewn with your fingernails

Purely arbitrary 

But wait still 

Look for the way the open spaces

Casts shadows 

Train your ears for approaching 

Footsteps that

Do not come

You will be alone with the voice in your head

Telling you be still 

And know that I am God.

U.S.S. Indianapolis 

used to be an ordinary name

A ship, an honor, champagne broken across the bow?

The rules change in war

Sharks in the water

Pick men off one by one

Hope mixed with hunger thirst despair

A hell of a lot of

Time, minutes, seconds, days 

Become this feeding frenzy

No one is coming.



*What is so compelling and unthinkable about the sinking of the Indianapolis is that there were men who knew it was missing and men who received the distress signals.

For a variety of typically human reasons not a single one acted.

Resulting in the deaths of hundreds.


Vorkuta

halo

One hundred miles above the

Arctic circle

So cold the sun

Will fail to even graze

Skin of men bound in iron and chains

Click of light and dark, tracks and ties

Train.

To a string of gulags

Resembling nothing less than

Rough pearls

Which are surely

The opposite of coal

Torn from the frozen chest

By men whose bone-deep desperation 

mix with their fear

As air bleeds out

We all dream of 

of fire 

Archangel

So far beneath the buried heart 

Of this vertiginous stone 

Planet

Splitting the difference 

According to His most ardent biographers, when Jesus was born he got a star, an angel choir, multiple prophetic and celestial intros, a visit from some prominent foreign astronomers, and an animal feed tray for a bed.

It seems like the divine side of the birth announcement for this kid was legit–angel choirs and all.  But the human side was sub-par.  The innkeeper could have let the pregnant girl use his digs.  But he did not.

Easy, I suppose, to judge the inhospitable of Bethlehem for their general indifference to an infant King.  Harder to face our own.

The question for each so-called believer in this tiny bundle of Infinite Light is–do you see Him?  At the breakfast table or the DMV?  In the bad driver or the white-collar criminal?

It is hard to see Jesus in us. We are often a selfish, short-sighted, venal bunch of sheep.

Sheep on a hill somewhere in the night.

Beneath a star.

In the presence of angels, so close to our King.

The other alternative 

The sermon was lovely–feeding of the five (to 20 plus) thousand.

Five loaves and two fish expanding out to a feast for thousands.

Is it difficult to miss the metaphors?  The abundance of God?  Jesus providing through his own personality to satisfy all those souls by the sea.

But what if the boy had said no?

What if he had not shared? 

Jesus never needed us to contribute.  He tells us that if we don’t praise Him, the rocks will cry out.

He doesn’t need our help.

But if we keep our lunch to ourselves?  We miss our portion in the miracle.

We need Him to make us characters in His story, not the other way around.

Good reminder when I am hungry and not sure it is a good idea to share my lunch.

When Jesus gives, He pours it all out for us.  

Down to the last drop.

Good Will Tenting

when I was wee-small I corrected the store name Goodwill to Oldwill.  Also I once inadvertently hurt the feelings of a much-beloved pre-school teacher when I applied an age-equals-wisdom rubric to her chronological age.

She seemed exceedingly wise and kind and calm.  So I told her she was 85.  At the time this was the Nobel Peace prize of ages to me.  I did not see wrinkles or old as a factor with humans.

Resale stores, absolutely, but people–not so much. My teacher was probably in her late twenties to mid-thirties?

I am going somewhere with this: assessment.

When I scan my junk mail for the misplaced real mail, I find message after message from hardworking Davises and Millers trying to give me some relief from student loans and a variety of entities using female given names and announcing their desire to date me or worse.

Oh, the anomalous anonymity of the Internet! These hardworking phishers and scammers just don’t get me.

We all want to be truly known and loved for who we really are, yet this is mostly a mirage.  At least in my culture.

We are often not capable of deep commitment or unswerving faithfulness, and we are quite damaged by the sturm and drang of this flawed and broken world. We like empty images and cliches, not the challenges of maturity, restoration, and love.

Which leads me to Big Agnes tents…

After one disastrous night in a tent at the beach during a storm, I do not consider myself a camping girl, but when I saw the (again, junk email!) ad for Big Agnes tents it was love at first sight.  Big? When seeking shelter, big is good. And Agnes?  Agnes rocks.  The name means pure but sounds a lot like the Latin word for lamb–agnus.  Big Pure?  Big Lamb? Lamb of God?

Lamb of God 

Who takes away the sins of the world 

Have mercy on us...

…damaged goods

Damaged goods in a storm 

In need of shelter

I will run to the Lamb, find shelter in Him.

Forever