Resilient

I sit down to write
And no words come.

I am tired,
Discouraged,
Overwhelmed by the never-ending
Reports of disasters and tragedies.
Weighed down
By too-much bad news.

Make me resilient
Like the grass whose seeds
Sprout and put down roots
In ancient stones.

Take heart.
Take root.
Love.
Live.
Trust.


I took this photo in Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, Ireland. This grass grew in the ruins of St. Mary’s Church. Built in the 10th century, this was the place of worship for the nuns of the monastic settlement which grew up around Kevin of Glendalough.

The Long View

When I feel despair about
The way things are
Or hopeless about
What is to come.

When I feel lost,
No longer sure of the paths
I am to follow.

When I have worn myself out
In anger or in worry.

I catch a glimpse
Of the blip of time
In which I live.

A fungus on a stump.
A stream of water carving a path through a boulder.
Prophets preaching in the wilderness
Or bearing witness on the street corner.

Let me not give up.
But, instead, hold on to
The long view.

Believing that the arc of history
Moves towards love,
Towards justice,
Towards life.

Show me my part
In this long journey.

A Message from the Trees

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I walk outside
And look up at the tree
In my front yard.

Its branches, bare.
Leaves, long shed,
Were raked and carried
To the backyard months ago.

But I see buds growing in the branches,
Promising life that will return
In its season.

What message for me, for us,
In these months of fear and challenge?

That though we have lost
Hopes and dreams …
That though our plans,
Swept up,
Now lie in the bottom of dust bins …

We are alive, growing,
Dormant, but still grounded in earthy hope.

Step outside and look toward the sky.
Life and hope and promise
Are growing in hidden places,
Preparing to break forth
In beauty and strength.

Seeds of Hope

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It’s not fair of me
To tell you (or anyone)
How to feel.
We all must find our own ways
Through these days.

But let me share that
This morning,
Seeds of hope were planted in me.

In The Upper Room chapel
Where a Shawnee man
(Talk about the long view)
Called me back to the Circle
That begins and ends with the Creator.
The Circle that always contains hope.

In a reception with six people
From a L’Arche community
Where I witnessed selfless love,
Where I sensed a larger perspective
Than the tunnel vision in my brain,
And where I saw God’s beloved gifts.
There I met one who told me
What day of the week I was born on
When I shared with him my date of birth.

May these seeds of hope be nurtured,
Taking hold, sprouting, and growing.

Shawnee Traveling Song

I am walking upon the earth
with people who love me
on the circle of Creator
I will always be home
I will always be loved.
I will be with Creator.

– Fred A. Shaw / Neeake
© 1987 Fred Shaw / Neeake, Shawnee Nation United Remnant Band

Hold on to Hope

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I saw the moon setting
As I drove to work
Early this morning.

It hung over the horizon,
Round and orange,
Its beauty suspended
Over the blackness of trees
The shadows of houses.

The full moon
Reminds me that life goes on
Even in the midst
Of chaos, of grief,
Of confusion or hopelessness.

Hold on to hope, to beauty,
To love, to the assurance
That no matter what we face,
God is there beside us, saying,
“You are my beloved.”

 
Find more of my blessings in my book Christ Beside Me, Christ Before Me: Celtic Blessings. Subscribe to my video channel at YouTube.