Friday, October 19, 2007


i thought
it would change you,
Listening God,
i would indeed
pray without ceasing,
believing that,
you would respond
as i want.

i thought
it would change
the people i am praying for
(especially those i know
are not praying for me!),
Attentive God,
i would be on my knees

so perhaps,
in those very few moments
i begrudge you,
Persistent God,
you would be
gracious enough
to change


(c) 2004/7 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, October 15, 2007

nine out of ten

nine out of ten hours,
i am hard at work,
chained to my computer,
addicted to meetings,
drowning in expectations -
then you show up,
interrupting my stress,
saying, 'they need us down
at the soup kitchen - let's go!'

nine out of ten minutes
i am thinking about
worries, fears, burdens -
then you grab my hand,
pull me down to my knees
beside you,
saying, 'let's pray for the lost,
the last, the least, the little.'

nine out of ten times
i am patting myself on the back
for all i do for you,
racking up points
on salvation's scoreboard -
then you hand me
a bouquet of grace,
whispering, 'have you stopped
and smelled these lately?'

full of myself,
i am like nine out of ten people -
let this be the one time
and then the next time
and the next . . .

that i turn to you
and say
'Thank You!'

(c) 2007 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, October 07, 2007

by the rivers of babylon

Lord Jesus:
by the park bench
where i sit each morning,
i hang up my giftedness,
my productivity,
my life.
i'm not needed any more;
the company knows best.

out at the mall
where i walk each day,
alone . . .
the laughter,
the frustrations,
the gentle touch,
the days and nights
and months and years
before memories are all
i have left to hold.

in pain
with the pain of othes;

in sorrow
for the loss of my friends;

in anguish
over suffering i dare not touch

my wordless cry
filled with questions
i cannot ask
and horrors
too desolate to understand

is lifted to you
who knew the loneliness of life
and the forsakenness of God.

(c) Thom M. Shuman