Thursday, February 26, 2009

lead me

tempted to slide
as far away from
my cellmates in
sin's dank, dreary tombs,
nudge me till
i am sitting side-by-side,
our brokenness
a mute witness
to our solidarity;

tempted to remain
at the Jordan's edge,
with my feet tingling
from the bracing water
swirling between my toes,
open my eyes to see
you on your knees,
cradling those
i shoved aside
in my impatience
to be first;

tempted to simply tread
water while the flood
of my fears sweep me away,
show me a new stroke,
so i can make it to
the safety of your hope.

teach me your ways . . .

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, February 19, 2009

until (Mark 9:2-9)

we see the faces
of those tossed onto
the world's garbage heaps
dazzling bright with
hope and wholeness;
we respect the prophets
we have been yearning for
in the hip-hopped, do-ragged
teenagers strutting
through the malls;
we hear God's sweet
songs of peace and reconciliation
in the mother tongues
of all we turn
a deaf ear to;
we catch a glimpse
of you (out of the corner
of our shut-tight eyes)
coming down off
the shelf where we store you
to enter our frayed lives;
we should have nothing to say . . .
(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, February 12, 2009

the right time

speak . . .

. . .aloud
for those whose voices
have been stilled
by all who know best;
. . .in whispers,
to a child
tossing and turning
in fear's fever;
. . .caroling
the joy of bathing
in grace's sweet arms.

keep quiet . . .

. . .tongue-tied
when caressed
in a seaside sunset;
. . .tight-lipped
rather than flapping
one's gums
in gossip;
. . .muting
that inalienable right
to lash out
in anger.

there is a time to speak
as well as a time to be silent . . .

may i discern
the right time,
Word of my heart.

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

in God's image

when we would gossip
over the pew backs,
whispering behind our hearts,
you thump our ears,
silencing our pettiness
with that 'look' of yours;

when we would
sit in judgment on others,
you dump us
out of our chairs,
taking us by the hand,
so we can walk with you
through the alleys,
past the doorways,
under the bridges
where your children huddle;

when we would stop
to fill up our selves
with arrogance's free air,
you puncture our pride
with the sharp point
of the gospel,
'haven't you been
haven't you figured me out
by now?

you are a servant,

follow me.'

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman