Sunday, October 29, 2006

sitting duck

i would wear
steel-toed boots
to nudge my friends
out of the way,
or high-heeled boots
so i am not dirtied
by the muck of the world,
but you rub
my Achilles' heel raw
with the pebble of

i would take
self-defense courses
to protect myself
from all the blows
the world throws at me,
but you pull off
my gloves
and show me
the wide open stance
of grace;

i would build a fence
of cynicism and doubt
around my soul
so no one can sneak past
with their pain and need,
but you hold out
your heart to me,
naked and bleeding
from its brokenness.

Jesus, Son of David,
have pity on me:
so when I want to be
safe and secure,
i can become a sitting duck
for your vulnerability.

(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, October 22, 2006

where you sit

we leave our box seats
at the symphony or ball park,
and pray you won't catch our eye
as we pass you
sitting with the homeless;

we wait for a few minutes
at the doctor's office
to get a $10 shot
so we won't catch the flu,
while half a world away
you sit for a week
hoping medicine
which will cost you a year's wages
finds its way to your village;

we sit in our home theaters,
watching the latest "reality"
on our plasma screems,
while you sit in the darkness,
rocking your child asleep,
as she cries from the ache
of an empty stomach.

Lord Jesus:
(like James and John)
we want to be at your side
in glory:

remind us where you sit.


(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Mirror, mirror, on the wall

this morning,
in the mirror,
i saw the person
i want to be:
dauntless, doubtless,
capable, caring;

at lunch,
when i peeked,
i saw a stranger
who resists
every invitation
to illimitable life;

i glanced
out of the corner of my eye
i saw him!


Grace me, O God,
(if i dare look
i will see
only you . . .

whose i am.


(c) 2003 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, October 01, 2006


you can be found:

in the rich, deep aom
of our apathy,
where you plant
the seeds of justice;

behind the barbed words
of our angry retorts,
as you whisper
of our oneness;

in the list
of our exhausting schedules,
when you pencil in
oases for our weariness;

through the tangled briars
of our deep-rooted hates and fears,
as you clear a path
for your healing peace.

and so

in the cracking of our hearts,
and the brokenness of the Bread,
we will find you;

when we empty the Cup,
refill it with our gifts,
and offer it to a little child,
we will find you;

as we move the chairs around
to make room for everyone
at your Table:

we will find you.

(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman