Damselfly 40:16

People look for hope in all kinds of things–money, elaborate shelter, the absence of risk, the presence of satiety.

Other people

It is not hard to believe in God

By the power of blinking stars and damselflies, it is hard not to believe in God

But what is hard

Is choosing to only

Believe in God

For the hope where there is none

For the rain in a dry land

For miracle in the Iron Age of science

Hard to believe that God could comfort every soul in Lebanon when Lebanon is not sufficient to burn

Hard to believe in Resurrection at the foot of the Cross

But if you can or do

Cling to Resurrection

All things are possible

Miraculous little


And all the pleasant pictures

I have been having the mildest of stress dreams–quirky, bureaucratic hotel check ins, attempts to gather the hard-to-shepherd, things washed away. I know why the dreams have come, and I doubt they will leave me soon, even if the heat and intensity of a gathering sun should cause them to lose their inevitable grip and dissipate

I turn to morning songs and croak out broken praises

Think I should listen to the Gospel, but chose Isaiah instead

Because these are old

And New Testament times

And we are all in wont

of fierce faces

Isaiah 2:16 KJV

[16] And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures.

The Way Love Anchors

I wonder, did he stick to the margins of the day? Hold palms aloft for shade? Trudge through the seasons? Chafe at this appointed endeavor?

Think, “surely this will vouchsafe my peaceful demise?”

I do not know anything except

The hours he had

Squinting into morning sky, evening sky

Lovely clouds, all sea foam and flocks

Anchored by love

Isaiah 40

Small Prophets

Sometimes I can hear them through the digital quilt of my son’s smartphone, San Antonio songbirds not unlike the full-throated prophets I hear in the backyard, not minor prophets, like Micah or Nahum, although come to think of it these would be good names for the night birds. No. They are small, easily overlooked, not altogether heard which leads me to my theory about Isaiah, not a minor prophet at all but must’ve wanted to be for awhile in the naked days when his voice competed with the spectacle of it all–ordinary-man-naked, not rendered complete until the blood-and-agony Redeemer he sang about

Proves true.

You worm Jacob

Isaiah 41:14 NIV

[14] Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob, little Israel, do not fear, for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

Badass Isaiah walks naked through the streets of Jerusalem, stopping occasionally for a tuna sandwich and thinking about clothes. Clothes of the invisible God. Clothes of the kinsman-redeemer. Clothes eventually gambled away at the foot of an impossible Cross.

Who trades a God for a worm? Who does that?

A fisherman, I guess.

Luke 5:10-11

Tree King

The before and the not-yet

Become the metaphysical geography of a mid-afternoon discourse-

What is the last holiday of a person’s life?

Passover?  Kwanzaa?  Thanksgiving?  Cinco de Mayo?  Christmas?

Christmas-I know you love Christmas!

As do the trees

Poised as they are, impatient,

On the far tether of human reckoning

Waiting for the signal

To clap 

Clap before their King

No One Is that White

I have clung to this verse rather feverishly through the last 4 years:

Isaiah 53:12 (NIV)
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Because I am a transgressor
And he was numbered with me

It really does not feel good being a transgressor. First there is the spiritual malaise of sin. Then there is the divide it creates between me and God. Next there is this fun fact: while all regular humans are sinners, we pretend we are not.

Jesus was no regular human.

He was poor, dark, and hated. His nickname was “bastard.”

He bore our shame.
He bore my shame.

Isaiah 53 is a chapter as hard as obsidian, so painful, so crucial. And it was written by a guy who walked around naked for 3 years just because God told him to do it.

I figure the naked walking was God’s writing seminar. Not fun or pretty, but soaring, redemptive, essential.

Do you know Jesus?

If you do, you know the only color that matters when describing him is blood red. Blood shed for me, one miserable transgressor.

And if you don’t? Walk that road, that narrow road he lights for us, to the Cross that sets us free.

Isaiah 1:18

Mark 1 The prophecy and the Man

Mark 1:1-4 (NIV)
The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. [2] It is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way”— [3] “a voice of one calling in the desert, `Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ ” [4] And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

There are 4 men here–Jesus, Isaiah, Mark, and John the Baptist. If you, like me, believe that the biblical record is true then you also probably see these men as prophets. Each of them would have acknowledged that among them, Jesus was God.

Mark wastes no time stating his purpose–


he says,

this is the good news about God/Jesus. Here he is.

He is not just stating his belief about Jesus, he is sharing Jesus’ immaculate credentials–first Isaiah with his words of extravagant hope, then John the Baptist, nutty one man revival, messenger of God.


And hard to line up so many prophets unless you are God. In which case it is just what you do
For love.

And while we are at it, allow me to say we are all wilderness without him.

How do you and I need to make a straight path for the Son of God?