Jerichos

Long before her son’s whirling and untimely demise, my paternal grandmother believed in her traction with elected officials. I remembered this belief upon my first campaign, which was, parenthetically, about the loss of a single child and an unjust judge.

Who save me

would draw a line between Mamaw and the rise and fall of Hasmonean kings?

Amidst all this talk of unjust judges and rising kings

I tell myself there must be

sycamores in Jerichos still

Awaiting His return

Rapture

Waited in the animal clinic

(It was touch and go those days)

looked up at the plastic picture fitted

over the flat fluorescent light

A joyful tangle

of cats, dogs, suitcases, lamps, unicycles

Bowler hats and other ephemera

as though a world populated entirely by domestic animals had

Lost its purchase on gravity

Things rise in a riotous jumble

Rapture, I think

One day we will

Rise and float

Balloons in blue sky

Tethered

In the end, I picture you

Crossing paths unexpectedly with someone much like me only nicer

Between trains in a crowded station

She is going one way, you the other

And she knows there is only one minute left

Amidst the noise, the crowd, the excruciating sound of braking

To say something

To change the course of your endless

Destination

There is no end of the line?

Who will meet you at the station?

Jesus, the ticket pressed into your hand

The only way home

Lazarus

He walks into every room looking for someone who might comprehend

what it is

he has seen and heard

He weighs their solemn waiting-room-faces

Do they have

Better memories now? Do they still need to write things down or

Know every word by heart?

Are all the lambs among them and

can we see their scars?

Who can end this waiting

By calling us out

Out into life

My Covid Story

Around Thanksgiving I got Covid. I work in a doctor’s office, so eventually all of our staff got the disease as did our immediate family.

Symptoms and severity sorted out by age. The youngest two had the mildest symptoms, the oldest–me, ended up in the ER for a day, facing a diagnosis of damage to my heart and lungs.

First, let me say, that I am mending. I am the recipient of miracles and healing.

But the 24 hours leading up to the ER visit were really scary. The day in the ER was a gift. The oxygen machine they sent me home with was a gift.

And my current pulse, O2 stats, and general health–belong to the grace of my Ransomer.

Jesus gave me miracles, as He has done my whole life.

Covid is a really scary disease. It leaves some scars. It leaves fear and memory of the pain and uncertainty.

But Jesus is bigger than mountains. Jesus is bigger than tiny killer viral agents.

And Jesus never walks away from us.

I know I have been saved and given the gift of my life back.

I will do what I can to praise the One who saved me.

And I will use these beautiful lungs to pray for all of us.

That we feel him there with us,

No matter what.

The Namesake Dilemma

I have been waging a Sisyphean campaign to draw scrutiny to a large business deal.

One of the companies involved has clearly secular goals which are in frank opposition to the stated identity of the other.

The other bears the name of a good friend of mine. My best friend–

It troubles me that in recent years this second company seems to be more concerned with monetary transactions than honoring the name applied to its legal entity.

It is a good reminder for me–if I want to mark my life, my identity, my business, my things, with the name of my Beloved, well

I better make sure

They all really belong to Him

And we both know

He is my best friend, my boss, my king

Savior, Redeemer, Lord

God’s strong right arm.

Revelation 12:17 NIV

[17] Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.

Lazarus was at the table

John 12:2-3 NIV

[2] Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. [3] Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

What do you or I know about spikenard? It is named for a place or places, it grows in the Himalayas, it came from afar, a pint would have been a fortune, an amount of almost incomprehensible treasure.

I say almost because Mary knew what she was doing.

The incomprehensible treasure was the Man at the table.

This scene so similar to the earlier one–

Martha served

And Lazarus was at the table

Only we know now, what Mary knew then–

He is the perfume that fills the house

Dead raised to life, his life for mine,

Nothing will ever

Be the same

Killer Dogs/Beautiful Clouds

As you well know, I have been trying to focus on the presence of signifiers–the feral blender noises the dogs make when they are behind the dark door–the way the clouds pool and furl in beautiful splendor–let us say our daily prayers

Swap the signifiers

Killer clouds for beautiful dogs

This savage world/all ripped to pieces

While the light of one ordinary star is enough to

Remind me

Just how good you are

At holding on to me

All the same.

Silverfish

What happened to me, that in a moment of gargantuan hubris, I smudged it out? So what if it lived in the books or the play things? So what if it preferred the damp and closeted nocturne?

The moment before it was a glinty, wriggling alive

Then it was just an undoable regret

A life I should not have taken

We all have them–

Our ghosts, the ones we wish we could

Bring back whole

A parade of The Returned–

Uriah, John the Baptist, Stephen, Joan of Arc

Leaping and unfettered procession

Amidst the boundless sea of

The Redeemed

these trees of life