Wednesday, August 27, 2008


purple pills
and online romance;
far-too-casual sex
and binge dating -
is there a more propitious period
to model genuine love?

angry gestures
echoed by hate-filled words;
violence flooding streets,
hate teaching our children -
is there a more apropos age
to feed our enemies with hope,
to offer a cool drink
to those burning with bitterness?

the lost sent around to
the kitchen's backdoor,
the least discounted
by hardened politicians;
the last shoved out of line
by shoppers armed with more credit,
the little squashed underfoot
in the rush to get more -
is there a more timely age
for blessing, not cursing;
for partnering with the oppressed
and not pretending they are not us?

in this stretch of selfishness
and narcissistic narrowness,
in this season of unbridled arrogance
and unchecked injustices -

is there a more opportune
time to simply

(c) 2008 Thom M. Shuman
(* - according to the NRSV, some ancient
authorities translate 'serve the Lord' in
Romans 12:11 as 'serve the opportune time')

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Q & A (matthew 16:13-20)

when it shows up
on the test
('who do you say I am?')
i quickly flip open the book
and copy out the answers . . .

'Son of the living God'
has become a research paper
(hopefully expanding into
a dissertation)
with experts, writing
in several languages,
quoted to support my view,
but a real Person:
calling me to follow;
willing to open my shut mind;
hoping to send me out
to confront the powers
in my corner of the world?

i have said
so many times
that i have lost count,
but the instances
i have (actually,
willingly, eagerly)
given you control of my life?
even if i include the
thumb on my counting hand,
i still have several fingers
left over . . .

so maybe i need
to close the book,
and open my self
to you.

(c) 2008 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

no more waiting (Matt. 15:21-28)

she had heard
of those promises made
under starry, sable skies:
blessings flowing
through the lines
of desert wanderers,
which would bring life
to every one
of God's children;

she had heard
of this wandering band
of foolish followers
led by the teacher
who reminded his kin
of those long-ago
spoken covenants;

but she was tired of
hearing only words . . .

even if it was only
she wanted to be fed
from grace's table;
even if it was only
a glance,
she wanted Jesus
to see her as
his sister;
even if it was only
a whisper,
she longed for him
to call her daughter
'my niece'.

the waiting was over . . .

Easter's Child had come
to her heart.

(c) 2008 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, August 07, 2008

as if (romans 5:9-10; matthew 14:27-31)

as if
it were so simple
to believe:
when i am offered
a smorgasbord of choices
by the culture around me;

as if
it were as elementary
as confessing:
when i am taught
that everything i do
is exactly the right choice
for me!

as if
it were easy
to get out of the boat,
when i rest so
comfortably in the bottom,
rocked to sleep
by apathy's lullabies;

as if
it were a piece of cake
to walk on faith's
crashing waves:
when everyone is
grasping and clutching
to keep me from taking
such a foolish step . . .

if only
i could live
as if . . .

(c) 2008 Thom M. Shuman