Sunday, January 22, 2006

a computer,
a daily planner,
homework assignments,
the commute back and forth:
we have no problem
setting these aside
in order to follow you,
Pilgrim Jesus.

but picking up
your grace,
and generously offering
it to those
who are so stingy towards us;

taking up
your mercy,
and forgiving
everyone who has hurt us;

stooping down
to lift up those
we've nudged aside
in our eagerness
to be first in line?

we're trying to catch up
to you,
but our prejudices,
our fears, our arrogance,
our doubts
hold us back.

wait for us, please!
so we can follow
to life.

(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, January 16, 2006

for Rosa:
whose feet hurt so bad
and whose spirit wept so hard
that she had to sit down:

energizing a people
to get up and march.

for Martin:
who must have been tempted
to stay behind the pulpit;
to give his words
only to a few;
to keep his dreams a secret;
but chose instead
to be God's instrument:

and called a nation
to confession and repentance.

for all the unnamed
who were willing to say,
'no more';
who wanted a better life
for their children;
who hoped their country
could really be a place
where all are equal:

and who are held forever
in your heart.

for all these men,
for all these women,
for all these children,
for all these saints,
for all these sinners,
for all who dared to believe
that promises should be kept
and not broken:

we give you thanks,
God of each and every one of us:
for each and every one of them,
we give you thanks.

(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Hide and Seek

tell you what,
we'll go and hide
while you count to

that will give us time
to gather up our thoughts
and store them away
in the basement;

we'll be able
to dig a really deep hole
where we can throw all our words
and cover them up;

we can grab the broom
and sweep all our sins
off the sidewalk,
so you won't slip on them
when you come looking for us.

no fair,
Worker of wonders!
you just stand there
and call out,
"ally, ally, all in free!"
and wait for us
to run home.

(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

smooth my hard ridges,
so i might be
more gentle;

curb my wandering ways,
so I might walk
the streets
of your kingdom;

touch my frantic pace,
so i can slow down enough
to see the children at play;

calm my harsh words,
so i can speak
where there is none.

continue to make me
in your image,
Lord, so i might
be your child.

(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

i used to love
to stand in the rain:
my head tilted back,
my mouth wide open,
smiling in delight
as your tears
filled my mouth
and flooded my soul.

but now:
i'm too old,
too busy,
too important;
it's too cold,
i have an important
call to make;
the water might
ruin my shirt,
the mud might
stain my shoes.

please keep waiting
for me,
Cloud Shaper,
to become a child again,
so we can play
in the rain once more:
laughing and splashing
in the pure delight
which is You.

(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, January 09, 2006

if i have hurt
make me the bandage
for their healing;

if i have gossiped
about my friend:
let me tell her
the truth about my words;

if i have ignored
your children:
choose me
to welcome them
in your name;

if I have cursed
a stranger:
make me a blessing
to him;

if i have broken
every promise
i ever made:
use me
to fulfill yours,

Harbor of my heart.

(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Baptism of the Lord (January 8, 2006)

i long . . .

i long
to dance
in the Spirit
just like a child
in the rain
on a summer's day;

i long
to slurp up
the living waters
the way my dog
empties his bowl
after a long walk;

i long
to stand
waist deep
in the baptismal bowl
and feel
your tears of grace
wash over me;

i long
to hear
you call me
and know,
without any doubt,
that is my name.

i long . . .

(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

no answers today,
just a lot of questions,
Holy One.

what does one say
to the miners' families
whose joy
has turned to ashes?

what response
for the young person
who fears that her cancer
has returned?

what words
can comfort the widow
of the soldier
killed in Iraq?

I (we) have
more than enough questions;
I (we) trust
you have more than enough


(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman