Wednesday, October 28, 2009

all day, every day

st. lucy stopped for a moment
while she rested her arms and legs
from pushing her little
brother down the sidewalk
in his electric car whose
battery had run down;
stroking Dusty's nose,
her eyes shimmered with delight
and she exploded in a giggle,
'you're a silly dog!'
when he suddenly baptized her
with a sloppy kiss.

pausing for a few moments
from helping his elderly neighbor,
st. chuck leaned on his rake,
smiling as his grandkids,
eagerly and deliberately
scattered the leaves he had
spent all afternoon carefully
piling by the curb,
whispering, 'what a life!'

slowly, painstakingly, as if
she were joining together a puzzle,
differently-abled st. jennifer
put each item in its place
in the cloth bags,
not making them too heavy
(as the customer requested)
making sure the bread
ended up on top,
and nothing too heavy
was near the eggs.

they're all around us, aren't they,
those precious drops of grace
sprinkled in our lives?

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

tumbling act (mark 10:46-52)

not by marching round and round
seven times (or more),
but by simply
standing still;

not in great tumult
or loud curses,
but by a gracious,
welcoming invitation;

not with a parable
or recounting of past
wonders and might,
but by a gentle

the meek find their voice,
blind trust becomes the path to walk,
futures are put at risk,
masks are taken off,
walls fall down

in jericho.

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

able? (mark 10:35-45)

hand me a
steaming cuppa,
swirling with just
the right mixture of milk and sugar,
and i am content
to curl up in my chair,
listening to you
all day;

but offer me
your chipped, stained mug
filled with that vinegary
mix of discipleship and obedience,
you'll forgive me (i'm sure)
if it slips through my fingers,
shattering on the cold, hard
floor of my soul.

i'd bellyflop eagerly
(and all too easily)
into those warm
baptismal waters,
floating the rest of my life,
stretched out on my back,
watching the clouds
drift by, over my head;

but your invitation
to skinny dip in your
drudgery filled pool,
dodging death's icebergs
as they drift by?
you'll understand (i hope)
if i let someone else
go in ahead of me.

disabled by my penchant
for power and privilege,
how can i ever
do whatever
ask of me?

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, October 08, 2009

kneeling, i ask (Mark 10:17-31)

what can i do
to get that Christmas present:
- play nice with my kid sister;
- put away my toys at night;
- eat (all!?!) my vegetables?

what should i do
to deserve a brighter day:
- whistle rather than whine;
- smile at that person i'd like to smack;
- put a dollar (nothing smaller in my pocket,
darn it!) in the handler of the pan?

what must i do
to earn eternal life:
- not let my eyes wander over another;
- cough that gossip germ into my elbow;
- drop enough sins so i can squeeze through the gate?

at the fragile edges
of life,
where you lived and spoke
with the poor,
the possessed,
the children,
the outcasts:
was that where you discovered
even you could not save

let go of all that you were,
so that with God
every thing became
for us?

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman