Sunday, March 25, 2007

A Fragrant Offering

because we have
preserved our joy
in manna jars
for the long winter of despair
and stored them
in the dark corners of our soul,
we have forgotten
its gritty taste;

because we have
put a tight lid
on our grace
and put in the back
of the pantry,
we have forgotten
how it can tickle our noses;

because we are so busy
prattling pious platitudes
about the poor, the least, the lost,
we ignore your words
which anoint them
as your children;

because we have
put up the shutters
and storm doors
to keep your future
from sneaking in,
we have missed
the sweet breeze
carrying your hope
to us;

because we are
who we are,
restore us, O God,
and make us
a fragrant offering
to the world.

(c) 2007 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, March 19, 2007


hungering for more
that we deserve,
we demand our way
and you give it.

we stuff ourselves
on the empty husks
of pleasure and selfishness,
our shallow souls
hungering for more;

we party our way through life,
awakening in sin's gutters,
our hollow hearts
hungering for more;

stumbling and stammering,
we hunger to find
our way back to you -

you fling wide
heaven's doors,
dragging your stainless robe
through the litter of our sin,
to sweep us up
in your arms
and carry us home

where we will hunger
no more.


(c) 2007 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, March 11, 2007

in this life

on those days
when i hunger
for some people to be hurt
the way they've hurt me,
i feed eagerly at the banquet
of judgment and retribution
proclaimed by some;
yet you offer me
an abundant feast of what is good:
loading my plate with a mound of mercy,
pouring grace over it
and asking me to pass it on
to my worst enemy.

in those moments
when i am so dehydrated
by not having my desires met
that i drink deeply from the fountains
of self-pity and pettiness,
you turn the handle of hope,
filling that dented cup of compassion
you have had since the beginning of time,
and hand it to me, saying,
'Drink up! It's good for you!"

in this life
where it seems
i never get enough of me,
help me to seek
to get enough of you, O God;

help me.

(c) 2007 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, March 04, 2007

yet . . .

in this season of holiness,
in that unholy mess i call life,

i yearn for your face, O God,
but i see only the anger
of those who rush by me;

i hunger for your word of hope,
only to be deafened
by the voices of bitterness
on talk shows;

i ache for your healing touch,
as i am bitterly gripped
by doubt and despair;

i thirst for someone who
will gather up my brokenness
and shape me into your peace,
but find few guides
in this maddened culture.

yet . . .
in the laughter of children,
in the gentle encouragement of a teacher,
in the comforting laps of grandparents,
in the mentoring hope of a teenager . . .

i believe we can see
your goodness.

Blessed are those who come in your name,
O Lord,
even to me.

(c) 2007 Thom M. Shuman