God Calls Us to Pursue

I break the second commandment all the time, sow dragon’s teeth in this suburban front yard, draw the greenest leaves down and through my fingers loosing embryo acorns and the shifting compass of the setting sun. It is the girls who say these most beautiful things, white linen things pinned to a line and lifted by the wind beneath a slivery moon

“It looks like a stone rolled away

Like a stone in the very act of being

Rolled away

Matthew 2:1,2 and 28:1,2

6 Minutes to Ballinger

6 minutes to Ballinger, Texas I missed you. Not possessing the ability to stop all the clocks, I watched windmills instead, recording the flat, hot, windy stretch of road while the Catholic radio station came in so clear with words of uneven comfort. I picture you a Ghibli bride, birdcage veil like Jackie Kennedy, always dainty, smallest, sweetest bouquet of flowers held between your front two paws as you proceed toward our mutual Savior, unswerving in his gaze.

Dissembling Wrong

So close

to a reclusive keeper

of memories, of wrongs

Shuffling among the forgotten objects

Placeholders for the barely living:

anonymous empty

water bottles, hollow and crumpled

Become the jury

Old newspapers still swaddled in

Their plastic rain protectors

Told to be 

Witnesses or spectators

Instructed to rise 

As a one-armed nutcracker assumes the bench

Rag doll court reporter records the proceedings 

Mr. Vinegar prosecutes while

the defense attorney was appointed from among the 

A pantheon of generic

Happy Meal toys.

But the victims are living songbirds

Twittering in the disheveled

cage of my heart of course

Always re-animating  dried bones-

Off-kilter, neglected, wrongs

Will inexorably be

Radically, fundamentally transformed

When the true King

Calls them back

To life

The Faraday Box

Close to 

La noche de Los muertos

I open the

Faraday box

Keep one leg out, door ajar, 

Bit of light

Lent by a friend

You inhabited when

The world was still

An old wine skin

Blood and Spirit

I tell myself this 

New litany of 

Places for the dead

Who will all 


Because of you

They kept it 

sealed for centuries 

Told ourselves we could 

be tourists there

Run our mortals’ hands along the stone

Ledge, trace rock, and DNA



Unshrouded Light

A million times

I tell 

The young man that I have

Fallen a million times

(Felt like it anyway)

A million falls

A million failures

A million times 

An arbitrary number 

Not as funny as bazillions or gazillions 

Arms spread wide to denote the bigness of the thing

God sent His one and only Son

…to fall like this?

Fail like this?

Criminal nailed to a tree?

His falling and my falling, so different

His fall just

To rise to life,

Me in His arms

Bread for stones

Jesus gives a powerful analogy for the love of God.

He said that human parents are evil but they still give their children good things. Fish instead of snakes. Bread not stones to eat. He then completes the thought–if we are so messed up but we still do right by our kids. How much more does God bless, love, and nurture?

Great, unless your parent doesn’t do those things.

What if your mother gives you a snake? What if your father gives you stones for bread? What then?

God is enough. He allows His precious children to be raised by wolves, but He sends a Lamb to save us.

Stones always remind me of Jesus. I think about the weight of small stones and imagine the size, weight, and impossibility of the stone in front of the tombs.

God gave his own most beloved son a stone. And that Son emerged alive. The Bread of Life.

Stones for bread.
Bread for stones.
Always Jesus.

Eliding Miracles

Mark 5:34-36 (NIV)
He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” [35] While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher any more?” [36] Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

This makes me weep with joy and gratitude–ignoring what they said.

I follow this man like a puppy dog because he ignores what they said and raises the dead.

If you are gonna travel effortlessly on the surface of water you gotta hold tight to the rope.

Meet Mrs. Whiskers

By the time M was two she had a fully realized world of people she had created. They were and are vibrant characters.  This past year she wrote a story peopled by punctuation marks.  Also quite interesting.

I say this because she is a beautiful survivor.  She was being abused by Charles when she created her first kingdom.  These people we still love.

But she is haunted as well  knowing that Charles continued to abuse her little sister for a long time after she asked him to stop abusing her.  She assumed he would not abuse her little sister.  She was seven.

I am haunted by the abuse as well. There is a wall in my life that signifies S’s solitary hurt.  One night this week I wrote on it, first a memorial, then a Bible verse, then a picture of a cross.  Then I got an idea.  I realized that my children’s vividness overcomes evil.  Jesus brings new life.  So I painted a chalkboard over my grief wall.

First we wrote each other love notes.  Then M drew Mr. and Mrs. Whiskers.  They are English cousins of Harvey and we love their accents.

When she tells me about the Whiskers, I just hug her really tight.  It is grace to see an ordinary resurrection of something as pedestrian as a wall.