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.



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


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 


So far beneath the buried heart 

Of this vertiginous stone 


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.


“I will never leave you nor forsake you”

Over the course of my life I have been booted out of a variety of clubs..oh…I mean communities of faith.   Always for taking a stand on some issue, always with the subsequent silence and loss.

Financial accountability. Child safety.  Confronting greed, lust or both–there are all kinds of ways to trudge down the “narrow road” in christianity.

Which is sometimes confusing and disorienting but never totally forsaken.

Jesus is there, saying what he says to all of us–I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

We will never get that kind of promise from anyone else.  We humans are nothing if not forsakers. We bolt at a pin drop.

Not him.  Jesus stays with us.

And always he says the same thing. “You are in good company, darling…always.”

Saul Alinsky, kerfluffles for old radicals

I just read a poorly-written article from the Washington Post desperately attempting to disentangle Hillary Clinton from Saul Alinsky and Lucifer.

While I personally doubt she will ever be able to divorce herself from Satan, there seems to be little reason for Mrs. Clinton to distance herself from Alinsky.  He was a bit of a badass, sloppy theology notwithstanding.

Jesus (the original anti-Lucifer) told a parable about two brothers who had opposite responses to their father’s request that they both go work in the fields.

One said sure then did nothing; the other said naw then went to work.

Mr. Alinsky seemed to have been the second guy.  He went to the poorest, least powerful communities in this country during a time when the people in those communities were genuinely oppressed and disenfranchised and gave them power and a voice.

When asked why he focused on African American “ghettos” he spoke of pervasive  oppression of African Americans through lynchings, the Klan, and systematic disenfranchisement. 

He chose to go to the people who had the least reason to refuse any offer of hope.

Saul Alinsky was a do-gooder.  He refused labels, especially political labels.

He was wrong about metaphysical hell–there are few have-nots there.  But right about the hells on earth that men engender through systemic avarice and racism.

I don’t know Alinsky well.  In fact after Carson and the bedraggled WP article I plan on getting to know him better.

But I leave you with a fact and a suggestion–

Alinsky once suggested a fart-in at a concert to combat social injustice.

And I bet you a pork-pie hat that Alinsky’s version of the Fox TV show Lucifer would actually be worth watching.

“Most Americans” and “This message has no content”

There are these nuggets of meaning (or anti-meaning) floating around

Zika fears, Pokéstops

Two presidential candidates

Each holding silk screened banners

The lesser of two evils!


When “most Americans”

Were once again depicted by 

The hastily gathered

Opinions of just a few of us

Through the ghostly-lit rectangular screen

The message seems important somehow

But when we look further

The news is bleak-

This message has no content