Tuesday, June 21, 2011

who forgives God? (Genesis 22:1-14)

  in that hedgerow
  woven tight with the
        vines of despair,
           the thorns of loss
           pricking at us,
     we find no ram
     caught by its horns;
  we cling desperately to
         each other as our
            child is wheeled
            towards the surgery,
     where her life is placed
        in the hands of strangers,
  and no angel comes
  running down the hall, yelling

        we have mailed the letter
    to that old friend whose
            heart our anger broke
               all those years ago,
       but no word of pardon comes;
  the doctor comes into
            our room, but the words
       uttered are not
    "it's benign";
  there is no last minute
       in the sentence of
    which has been pronounced
                upon us;

  do we forgive


(c) 2011  Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


you're not fuzzy math
that just doesn't add up,
   you're the dad
            who nags us
      to go mow the lawn
      for the laid-up neighbor;
   you're the mom
          who announces 'we're
              having left-overs tonight;
      that immigrant family
      whose care broke down
          is enjoying the pot roast.'

you're no theological
   you're our BFF,
   totally (and always)
            for us, even
      when we have trouble
         taking your side;
   you're our mate
      who knows us inside out,
         accepting us just as we are,
         pushing us to become more
             than we expect.

you're not a mystery
wrapped in an enigma,
   you're the thunderstorm
            that rattles our conscience
         the gentle breeze
   that cools our fevered

you're not a doctrine,

   you're a

(c) 2011  Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

dare we? (acts 2:1-21)

hesitant enough
to whisper your name,
  much less tell others
  of your presence in our lives:
        dare we ask for
        tongues of boldness?

our hearts
fatigued by
  the malignancy of poverty,
  the terror of our times,
  the children wounded in our streets:
        dare we ask
        for a transplant
        of compassion?

souls numbed
  by broken lives
  and shattered dreams,
grace iceberged
  by the chill of our culture:
        dare we ask
        for just the smallest spark
        to engulf us?

dare we hope?

              come, Holy Spirit, come!

(c) Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

time (Acts 1:6-14)

we're ready;

you know
we are ready for the power
  (we've prepared ourselves
              for oh so long)
        certain we won't abuse it
     like so many before us;
but the humility,
   the weakness,
        the foolishness
 you left lying on the ground
     as if we should pick them up . . .

we would go anywhere
         for you - hop on a
   bus, grab the next plane,
      spend years out on the
             field of dreams, harvesting
        a bumper crop of 'them,'
but that 1000 yards down
  to the neighbor who has
       getting up on his ladder
  to clean his gutters -
     that's can't be all there is
           to the journey . . .

we have the structure
               all in place,
     everyone voted to approve
  the committees, the task forces,
       the bureaucrats, the gofers
    (it was unanimous, for pete's sake!);
but committing more than 2 minutes to prayer,
        facebooking the folks at the nursing,
  blistering our feet in the race for the shelter . . .

we're getting antsy waiting, you know;

does your watch need a new

(c) 2011 Thom M. Shuman