Sunrise

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I watch the sky this morning
Wondering what the sunrise will bring.
A hint of pink
And then, gone.
Oh, so you will tease me
This day.

From the kitchen window
I see a splash of color.
Rosy clouds floating beyond the trees.
Your beauty is such a mystery to me.

In the car, on the way to work,
I have nearly forgotten you.
And then I see in my rearview mirror
A glow, a brilliant gold ball
Shining through clouds above the horizon.
Ahead of me, in the west, the pink returns
And then clouds fill with dazzling white light.

Sunrise, you remind me
That each new day is a mystery, a gift.
May I never forget to see you.
May I never forget to watch for you
With wondering, awestruck eyes.

God’s Welcome

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Last week we gathered
As United Methodists,
As Episcopalians,
As clergy and lay,
As people with different opinions
On the politics of the day,
And we considered “God’s welcome.”

We listened and laughed,
Prayed and praised,
Wondered and worshiped,
Sat in silence together.

We welcomed guests
From Bolivia.
Our words translated
From English to Spanish,
From Spanish to English.
We communicated with smiles,
With gestures,
With love.

We broke bread together
Around tables in the dining hall
And in the beauty of St. Francis Chapel.
One loaf, one cup, one body of Christ.

We talked and listened and wrestled
About difficult things.
About topics
That often leave us divided, broken.
Yet we remained one people
Even in diversity.

Willing to admit
“I might be wrong.”
“You might be wrong.”
“It’s ok to think or believe differently.”
We are still one body,
Welcomed with love
Into the heart of God.

Reflections on a rich week at a 5-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation. The topic, “God’s Welcome.” The location, Camp McDowell, the camp of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama. The Faculty: Amy Oden and Kee Sloan. We gathered and were richly blessed.

The Endless Chatter

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I am powerless to ignore
The endless chatter of The News.
The pre- and post-disasters,
The Shocking Revelations,
The dire forecasts
And somber analysis.

I seem unable to remember
That what I need, really,
Is just a bit of silence.
A walk outside,
A time of meditation,
A few deep breaths.

What I need, really,
Is the sound of the birds,
The kiss of the sunrise,
The feeling of the cool breeze on my skin.

Help me, God of Peace,
To find moments of you
That break through
The endless chatter.

If You Knew

All the hatred, divisions, and polarization in our world today has gotten me thinking …

If you knew all of me,
Would you still be my friend?
Would you respect me, think highly of me, love me?
Or would you count me as stranger, as less than, as condemned?

If you learned my immigration status,
My HIV test results,
My choice to terminate a pregnancy.

If you discovered my divorces,
My politics,
My sexual orientation or gender identity.

If you knew the mistakes I have made,
The people I have hurt,
The demons I fight,

Would you still look at me
Through eyes of love?
Or would you turn away,
See through me as you walk
To the other side of the road?

A Clematis Love Story

  
For ten years
I had broadcast love
To the purple clematis
Climbing the mailbox
At Ace, the bird dog’s house.

I watched for it to sprout,
To grow, to bloom.
I took pictures of its beauty.

Then I realized
That I could plant my own.

The first plant
Went in the ground
Late in the year
And was overmulched
The next spring.

The second plant
Never got put into the ground
And died in its pot
Over the winter.

And now, finally,
There is a beautiful, purple clematis
In my garden
To which I can broadcast love,
And tend and watch,
Photograph and share.

Clematis mystery,
Clematis beauty,
Clematis love.

Love Came Down at Christmas

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Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love divine;
Love was born at Christmas;
star and angels gave the sign.

Worship we the God-head,
Love incarnate, Love divine;
worship we our Jesus,
but wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token;
love be yours and love be mine;
love to God and others,
love for plea and gift and sign.

– Christina Rossetti, 1885