Wednesday, December 29, 2010

remnant (Jeremiah 31:7-14

those who cannot
see past the end
of broken promises
will find themselves bumping
into your

those who stumble along,
twisting their ankles in
despair's potholes,
will discover you
on your knees,
a trowel in your hand
smoothing out the cement
into the cracks in their

those who carry one
kid on their
hip, with another
about to burst out,
will be invited
to your play

those who populate
the walls
at proms, and the
young men with two
left feet
will win the ballroom

those who can't carry
a tune
(and haven't for the last
60 years or so)
will record a CD
with Susan Boyle;

those who always
see their glass half
and about to be
knocked over,
will do a cannonball
into your pools of
pure grace.

(c) 2010 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, December 23, 2010

we're innocent! (Matthew 2:13-23

we stroll down the
   shoulder to shoulder
   with the other carolers,
            never noticing the teenagers
            huddling in the shadowed
                        doorways, trying to
                        assemble their broken
               into that puzzle called

we rush to the
polling places,
     eager to vote down levies for
                      disability services,
and 'tsk, tsk' at the stories
      of cutbacks on art/music/drama,
            of scenes of mothers
            waiting hours in emergency
            to get medicine for
                          their babies,
      of veterans living on the streets
               and sleeping under bridges;

we reach for the remote
when the news from the wars
comes on,
      missing the scenes of bomb craters
      that are now playgrounds for
           of families who search
           through the rubble, only
                to find their worst fears,
       of houses of worship
                     which are now

we've lost our innocents
and don't know where to
                find them . . .

do you?

(c) 2010 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, December 16, 2010

mr. sandman (Matthew 1:18-25)

in those soft, hushed
  hours of the night,
     you dream

of no one noticing
as you slip in
  to be one of us,
      and a baby cries;

of all the outsiders
being welcomed
           as if they
     knew the secret
  and a woman
        at a well
     feels a shiver
     run down her soul;

of pantries in soup kitchens
        never being empty,
     of shelters being open
  and a little boy
        hands you his lunchbox
        packed with
              a fish sandwich;

of death
  kneeling in worship,
            offering all that it owns
        back to you,
  and Beloved folds up
  his bedclothes, and walks
      into the morning.

in those soft, hushed
  hours of the night,

you . . .

(c) 2010  Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, December 09, 2010

being (Isaiah 35:1-10)

to those
   whose hair has
      on the back of their
   we are to broadcast
      (gracefully modified)
            seeds of hope.

to everyone
         whose knees
   are swollen and
      from standing at
         two jobs,
   we are to be

to all
      whose hands
   are palsied by
      we are to be
   woven from skeins
      of food,

to anyone
      whose feet are
     from walking the burning
        bricks of foolishness,
   we are to be
      which will easily
           slip on
   for the Way.

(c) 2010  Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

frazzled (Matthew 3:1-12)

so frayed, so frazzled,
so harried, so hassled . . .

it's so hard to get prepared:
just when we think every present is bought,
and unexpected one arrives and,
of course, we have to go out
to buy one for that person;
as we gaze at the outside lights
that have been hung and arranged
(so lovingly, so carefully),
a strand goes out,
and so another trip to the store;

we know the way to the malls so well
we could drive there with our eyes closed
(and probably do sometimes!);
the path to the post office is well worn
from all the trips to mail parcels,
to get more stamps.

Christmas Day draws nearer and nearer
and the activity level increases
(as does our stress);
the days grow shorter and shorter
(since we obviously don't have
enough hours in each one
to get everything done!).

so frayed, so frazzled,
so harried, so hassled,
we might not hear the voice
calling to us:
'prepare the way, the Lord is coming!
his path will lead you
to the kingdom.'

open our ears, Lord, open our ears.

(c) Thom M. Shuman