I Was One

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Shaken deeper than deep, hiding in the shadows from authorities and creeping fears—named and unnamed,
no light, no hopeful horizon even with the bending rays of first light.

But morning breaks the mourning in thunderous quiet within an unblocked tomb, in a soft step in the garden, and on dusty Jerusalem roads.

Fear breaks,
sin breaks,

and from the inside out a cry of liquid joy flows like a stream—He’s alive.
Just as He said, but we missed it, were blind to it—to Him.

But possibility and promise have rocked the dark kingdoms, and God’s Own has broken through, leading a parade of captives.

I was one. Praise Him.

Renfrew church (2)

My Easter Prayer

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Is it just another day, another ritual performed,
a chance to wear new clothes and serve festive meals,
a celebration to mark our days and orient ourselves in a new year?
Is it just another obligation,
a compartment to fit in all the praiseworthy things
we ought to feel,
hope to feel,
about One so distant, so long ascended?

Has the burning in our hearts been quenched by familiar practices
and institutions?
Has the finger-in-the-side-faith lost its exclamations,
replaced by programs, distractions, and holy soundtracks?
Has our communion in the garden become commonplace
rather than ablaze with revelation and intimacy?

Oh, God of the resurrection,
God of the unruly and easily sidetracked,
burn within my heart this day.
Renew this shabby faith, these tattered shreds of almost belief,
with an obsession,
a knowing,
a persistence,
and an urgency to love the faltering, the lost.
To be the Kingdom person you suffered to make me is my Easter prayer.

The Silence of Saturday

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Do you hear the silence in the tomb—hard and lifeless—vacuous hopes of my heart buried in a borrowed grave with one who would save us?

Do you hear the silence in the streets where palms, faded and brittle, blow to the wadis by dry desert winds—blow along with our visions of an overcoming respite?
And the pain of that black moment has dissolved in my tears and loss, and we mourn for him, but probably more for ourselves—myself.

And in the weeping and the regularity of another’s day, a great silence fills and empties me of will and belief. Behind my eyes, inside my head, the palpable quiet pushes out hope and in my hands where once we held his bread and wine, I hold despair, pressed down, dark, and bloody.

The Pain of God

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Blood-red, crimson poured, bruised and slashed,
cross-crisscrossed, tissue, nerve and sinew,
Sacred threads bleeding, “Father, forgive them— ”
Thorn and nail, sin and curse,
opposing timbers track and soak rivulets, tears ruby-red,
dripping, dripping.
Heaving heavy, breaths sucked searing,
rising, falling, out of joint, lots cast, seamless prize,
a Savior’s scream, “My God, my God, why— ”
Creeping clouds, shake the thunder,
separated sun, temple veil top to bottom, human veil rent,
ripping, ripping.
Pale, drained dry,
a Spirit’s surrender: “It is finished.”

Off-roading in a Little Blue Honda

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We are experiencing what is called a superbloom here–wildflowers galore. And so of course, I needed to go get pics.

We followed this innocent looking path into the fields. Okay, it was one car width wide, but we were only one car, right? There were amazing sites back in the off-roading beyond, and we had fun with many oohs and ahs. Met a couple from Ventura, CA, who insisted they take our picture for posterity. They, it might be noted, had a big truck.

We were fine until our path-road turned to waves and humps of silty sand. We kept ploughing through–literally–all the time wondering if AAA would rescue us out here. And could they even find us. We prayed and kept driving, shaving off the middle of the trail with our under-carriage, swerving now and then as our trusty tires desperately sought to find grip. We breathed a sigh of relief when the road firmed up again; but then, we held our breath as the bottom sunk out from below us once more.

Amazing! Amid screams and jolts (The screams were not from me but from the grit caught in the tire wells, I assume.), we managed to see civilization in the form of Ave. D.

It took us about 10 miles before sand stopped coming out from under our vehicle on every breaking, stopping, and turning.

Bless our wee Honda and the mighty Lord of not only wildflowers, but also of wily seniors who insist on venturing into the unknown.

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