Thursday, July 31, 2008

the crossing (Genesis 32:22-31

laughing and chatting,
piped aboard by
flutes of champagne,
the crowd pours onto
the chartered liner
for the crossing,
tables groaning with
the finest food;
nine-piece band
tuning up for the dancing;
the captain waiting,
tanned, smiling, nodding,
promising a gentle crossing;

down the beach,
i clamber
into the rickety rowboat,
paint faded into a dull gray,
water sloshing in the bottom,
the seat stained and creaky,
the shipshape shaky;

you hand me
the nicked and cracked oars,
and noticing the askance
on my face, whisper,
'look, this way
you get to know the water,
its ebb and flow,
the tides that can
rip out your heart,
the rocks lurking beneath
the smooth glass,
the way the surface can
change in an instant;'

pushing me out into the water,
you continue,

'it's harder, i know . . .
i've done it myself.'

(c) 2008 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, July 28, 2008

enough (matthew 14:13-21)

there was more than enough
for Jesus,
hearing the news
that beloved John
had lost his head
to Herod;

there was more than enough
when all those folks,
men, women, children
(the press reported
more than 5000)
crowded after him;

there was more than enough
following each person,
gnawing away at
their hopes and dreams;

there was more than enough
feeding the fears
of his disciples,
whining for Jesus
to send everyone packing;

but what they did have
was more than enough
for Jesus -
their paltry panic
into manna's joy.

when we look into
our picnic basket of scarcity,
'not enough money,
not enough people,
not enough time,
not enough energy,

remind us, Overflowing Grace,
that it is all Jesus

(c) 2008 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, July 25, 2008

[nothing] based on Romans 8:37-39

not the death
i fear,
or the one
i long for;

[nothing can]
not the life
i sleepwalk through,
or the one
i fantasize about;

[nothing can separate]
not the hubris
that carries me
to the top of Mt. Arrogance,
or the skeptics
who push me
into the Sea of Doubt;

[nothing can separate me]
not the foolish choices
that tripped me up
or the terrors
i imagine
lurking in tomorrow;

nothing can keep us apart,
not a thing
not even

me . . .

(c) 2008 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, July 24, 2008

this or that (matt. 13:44-52)

in this kingdom
where the hopeless
are thrown into
Lake Forgotten Forever,
you cast your net,
drawing them
into your embrace,
cradling them in your heart;

in this kingdom
where folks turn anorexic
gorging on greed,
while the poor scratch
in famine's fallow fields,
you wander in,
offering top dollar
for the pearls of grace
they uncover;

in this kingdom
where hope and faith,
patience and peace
have been sold as showpieces
for fancy museums,
you come,
purchasing them back,
polishing off the dust,
handing them to us
so we can see the reflection

of that kingdom
you forged for us.

(c) 2008 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, July 21, 2008

you know . . .

you thought for a moment,
and creation sprang forth
from your Wisdom;

and now,
you know my thoughts:
anger that can
crush another's spirit;
contempt that can
drown a dream;
hatred which could
cripple a lover.

you spoke a Word,
and healing walked
among death's dark shadows;

and now,
before i can say a word,
you know
the loneliness
stalking my nights;
the sin
corroding my heart;
the emptiness
flooding my soul.

you know

and yet
you reach out
to grasp my hand,
walking with me
so that
at last,
i am finally with you.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Psalm 119:105-112

your grace is a lamp to my feet:
lighting my way
through the shadows
my sin casts;

i was baptized
and affirm those promises:
to honor your tenderness;

i struggle with
my soul's pain:
so fill me with life,
Tender Heart,
for you will

i lift my songs of joy
to you, Hope's Home:
opening my spirit
to your generosity;

holding my life
in my trembling hands,
i remember:
you cradle me
in your love;

the world tries to seduce
me from your kingdom,
but i stick close
to your kindness;

your goodness and mercy
were my gifts at birth:
they continually fill my soul;

i lean my heart
towards yours,
that i might live
your grace
through all eternity.

(c) 2008 Thom M. Shuman