Sunday, June 26, 2005

dash a cup of cold water
in my soul, Dearest God:

that i would share
with the hungry of my community
even as i feed my family;

that i would speak
for the voiceless mothers
as freely as i talk
to mine on the phone;

that i would work
for the healing
of the wounded of the world,
as often as i
treat my own pain;

that i would embrace
the lonely
in my neighborhood,
even as my friends
nurture my spirit;

that i would water
the perennials
of love, hope, and grace
you have planted
in my heart,
with my tears.

dash a cup of cold water
in my soul, Dearest God.


(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

out here on the deck,
in the quiet of the evening,
with the fireflies
flickering through the fading light,
i come to you,
Gentle God.

from another fizzled day,
i would fall into the comfort
of your cradling arms;

by the noisiness of the world,
i would surround myself
with your healing silence;

from burdens
i have carried too far,
i would offer them to you
to throw into your sea
of everlasting peace.

comforted, stilled, lightened,
i go into the house,
to rest in Spirit's embrace.


(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, June 19, 2005

i must admit that,
while not bodily,
i know what it is like
to be cast out
by people i thought
cared for me:
ridiculed by a parent,
rejected by a lover,
downsized by an employer,
gossiped about by a friend.

pain's wilderness,
feeding on my bitterness,

until you
bent over to hear
the breaking of my spirit
and my tears
striking the rock garden
planted in my soul

and you
wiped away my anguish
with the Spirit's waters,
lifting me up
holding me tight
in your own
broken heart.


(c)2005 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

it's easy to see ourselves
in some of the stories Jesus tells,
God of Parables.

The Good Samaritan -
now, that's a role we could
play in your divine drama;

and we are always eager
to see ourselves as the parent
who runs down the road
to embrace the returning child.

But a dirty, homeless beggar
who depends on the scraps
from a table;

a rich person
who fails to see
the hungry at the doorstep?

no, thank you,
we'll just stand on the sideline
and listen to those stories.

after all,
we can't be that poor,
or that uncaring . . .

can we?


(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman
(see the story of Lazarus and
the rich man in Luke 16:19-31)

Sunday, June 12, 2005

i long to lay hands
on my loved one
lying in the hospital bed,
and seeing them get up and walk,
healed and restored:
but you call me
to sit by their bed
and hold their hand
during the sleepless night.

i would give almost anything
to make a paste out of dirt and spit,
and to rub it on the eyes
of my neighbor who is sightlyess
and witness her joy
at seeing a sunrise for the first time:
but you call me
to read a book
with a child
who stumbles over the words.

i would like to win the lottery
so i could give the money away
and improve the lives
of all those people
saturated with poverty:
but you call me
to help frame walls
for a Habitat family.

may i take all the ordinary gifts
you have give me,
Exuberant God,
and use them
where you send me.

(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, June 11, 2005

it's Saturday,
and i need
mow the lawn,
help me to find the time
to lay out on the grass
this evening
and drink in your heavens,
Wondrous God.

it's Saturday,
and i have
to get the car washed.
Help me to find the time
to splash in the pool
with the kids today,
Living Waters.

it's Saturday,
and my 'to do' list
is getting longer.
Help me
to find the time
to be with you,
God of Saturday
and every day of my life.

(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

fill me . . .
when i am empty,
fill me with your love
that i might be poured out
in service;

fill me . . .
when i am speechless,
fill me with your Word,
that i would be a voice
for the ignored;

fill me . . .
when i am arrogant,
fill me with your humility,
that i might stand
with those taunted by the world;

fill me . . .
when i am selfish,
fill me with your tears,
that i would see
my sister's heart.

fill me . . .

fill me . . .

till i overflow.


(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, June 05, 2005

the car is packed,
the paper is stopped,
the door is locked;
the trip we have planned for
after a lifetime of work
stretches out before us
on the horizon:

dare we throw away the map
and go down unknown roads?

the monthly report
was due 5 days ago,
the accounts do not balance,
the boss is standing
over my cubicle, tap-tap-tapping
his fingers on the wall:

dare i get up
and follow that stranger?

My physician says
it's all in my mind,
the experts tell me
there is nothing they can do,
mt friends and family
insist that i learn to live with it:

dare i take heart
and reach in trust?

Is that a double-dare
i hear, Entreating God?

(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman