Tuesday, May 31, 2005

why is it
we always find money
to rebuild city squares,
but not schools,
God of Wisdom?

how is it
that city councils
somehow find the funds
to keep a business open,
but not a homeless shelter,
Wandering God?

can we ever discover
that it is just as sound an investment
to free people from poverty
as it is to offer free parking downtown,
Suffering God?

when will we learn to pay attention
to your teachings about how we treat
the poor, the widow, the orphan,
Tender Heart?


(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, May 29, 2005

We remember, Griving God,
those, in so many places,
in so many times,
who have died in war;
and we pray
we might honor them
by becoming your children,
makes of peace to our broken world.

We remember, Mothering God,
children who have grown up
around us in our schools,
in our neighborhoods, in our churches,
and who have now gone to war;
and we pray for children
throughout the world
who are orphans
of violence and death.

We remember, God of Truth,
the wars which rage within us,
the aggression we feel towards others,
our unwillingness to forgive,
our desire to foster divisions and discord,
our discomfort in being called
to love our enemies;

and even as we despair,
we pray for new hope,

as we struggle to see you in our world,
we pray for discerning hearts,

as we confront ancient fears,
we pray for new love,

and for your old, old peace
to be born in us anew.

As we remember,
we pray, Healing God.

(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, May 28, 2005

who neither slumbers
nor sleeps,

give us the night:
when you can heal us,
where you can plant
the seeds of grace in us,
when you can strengthen us,
where you can pour your
healing Spirit
into our wonds.

who neither slumbes
nor sleeps,

awaken us
to greet the dawn with praise,
to rise to reach out to others,
to stretch out your hands
in service to your children.

who neither slumbers
nor sleeps,

be with us this day.

(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, May 27, 2005

for children
who are orphaned by war,
and the children who go off to war:
hear our prayer, O God;

for children
who are fed junk food,
and children who eat
out of garbage cans:
hear our prayer, O God;

for children
we send off to school,
and for children
we send to prison:
hear our prayer, O God;

for children
who break our hearts,
and for children
whose hearts are lonely,
hear our prayer, O God;

for children
whose laughter lights up a room,
and for children
whose cries go unheard
in the night:
hear our prayer, O God;

O God,
hear our prayers.

(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, May 23, 2005

You come in silence, Abba:

not in disappointment,
but that you might be with me
through the sounds of the day:
the demands on my time,
the sirens racing to an emergency,
the news that never seems good.

You come in silence, Word of Life:

not in judgment,
but that i might know your love:
in the smiles of little children,
in the fragrance of the flowers,
in the taste of the bread and wine.

You come in silence, Knowing Sister:

not in tongues of flame,
but in the eyes of my beloved,
in the sudden caress of your presence,
in the gentleness of the summer's night.

I wait for you in silence,
Silent One.

I wait!

(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, May 22, 2005

without you,
Weaver of willows,
Spinner of sunrises,
i would have no place
to put my foot:
stumbling face-first
into the mud puddles
of my mistakes;

without you,
Retriever of the fallen,
Mediator of the sin-splattered,
i would have no place
to put my soul:
adrift on the stormy seas
of seduction,
at the mercy of
bedlam's blows;

without you,
Whisperer of wisdom,
gift-bearing Dove,
i owuld have no place
to put my heart:
watching it shrivel
in despair's
bitter grasp;

in you
i find my place,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
Blessed Trinity;
in you.


(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, May 20, 2005

so much brokenness,
so much division,
so many angry words:

the Koreas cannot resolve
their nuclear issues;
the Senate argues
a 'nuclear option'
regarding debate;
communities divide
over who should have
what entitlements;
couples fight
over children;
even the church
cannot unite itself.

but if we are quiet,
if we listen,
if we put others
before ourselves,
if we put needs
ahead of interests:

you can bridge the brokennes,
you can heal the wornds,
you can unite us.

Loving God,
work in us,
work through us,
work despite us.

(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, May 19, 2005

as we plant
our gardens this spring,
Creating God,
remind us:

of those seeds of hope
we can plant
in the emptiness
of those who despair;

of those seeds of joy
we can plant
in the shattered hearts
of the grieving;

of the seeds of belief
we can plant
in the lives of our children
who doubt themselves;

of the seeds of grace
you have planted
in each and every
one of us.

Help us to plant
that which will live in others.

(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

you woke me this morning,
when i wasn't ready,
so i wouldn't miss
the chorus the birds were singing;

you pulled me out of bed,
as reluctant as i was,
so the dog could lead me
down to the lake,
where i was graced
with a smile
from a child
on her way to swimming lessons;

you broke my night's fast,
with the chatter of squirrels,
and the dew-laden lilies.

you have given me
this day,
Marvelous God,
that i might share it with others.

(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

we spend a lot of time
talking about the things
we cannot do,

remind us, Surprising God
how we are able

to change the life
of a single child
by the gift of an hour
of our time;

to feed a hungry person
simply by
cutting the portions
we eat in half;

to provide a family
with a safe, affordable house
by spending a Saturday
with hammers and nails.

you give us the people to serve,
you fill us with gifts to use,
you provide all the time we need,

God of Grace,
may we stop talking
and start


(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, May 12, 2005

did you speak in the thunder
last night,
or in the laughter
of the children
waiting at the corner
for the bus?

did you flash a sign
to me in the lightning,
or illuminate
the shadows of my heart?

did you try to
grab my attention
or simply, quietly
turn my face
to the suffering
in your creation?

do you talk to me,
O God,

and do I listen?

(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

some are sitting at desks
as i am half-awake;

some are grumbling as
Moms drag them out of bed;

some are shoveling cereal
as the watch their favorite

all are your children,
Mother God:

worried about tests;
afraid of being bullied;
wondering how
the teacher will treat them;
hoping that special someone
will notice them.

be with them
as they go to school
and keep them
in your grace and love.

(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, May 09, 2005

if only you had reasted
on Monday, Creator God!

Mondays are so difficult:
the traffic snarls
at my good humor;

the week begins
with anything but rest
the last two days;

the stress i left on my desk
Friday afternoon
is still there
waiting for me to pick it up.

if only . . .

but then Tuesday would be

so help me to welcome this day,
but more importantly,
see you in every moment
of this Monday. Amen.

(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, May 05, 2005

'. . . why do you stand looking
up toward heaven?'

we look for you,
straining our eyes
into the far country:
our vision disrupted
by the least, the lost,
the little, the last
among us;

trying to catch up,
we race after you,
turning the corner
only to find
a homeless family
in our path;

we wander the streets
calling your name
yearning to find you:
but it is only
a single mother who turns
and wearily smiles,
a little girl who pirouettes
and takes our hand,
a street person
who whispers 'hello'

but you are still here, Lord,

help us to see. Amen.

(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman