Friday, October 21, 2011

it's so easy, so easy, so easy (Matthew 22:34-46)

it seems easy to love our neighbor
when she is the grandmother
across the street
   who always seems to make
   'too many chocolate chip cookies'
      and brings a plate full over
     to our house;

it's never hard to love our neighbor
when he is the retired gent
right next door
   who is willing to share his tools,
   and when we don't have the know-how,
      patiently shows us one-more-time
      how to unstop a drain,
         change the oil in our car,
            get the mower started
            without pulling our arms out;

it is so simple to love our neighbor
when it is the kids who
come by each fall
   selling Christmas wreaths
   for their scout troops,
      and each spring
      offering popcorn and candy
          to support the drama club;

but what if
   Moammar Gahdafi had moved in
      down the street;
   if the single mom
   whom we admire so much
       turns out to be a parolee;
   if the local Muslim population
      petitions the school board
      to allow time for Dhuhr?

what then?

© 2011  Thom M. Shuman

how (Matthew 22:34-46)

how do
i love you
when my mind
is so easily distracted
   by the yelling on television,
   the anger on the roadways,
   the dullness of my life?

how can
i love you
when my heart
is so broken by
   the hatred among believers,
   the bitterness of friends,
   the forgiveness which eludes me?

how should
i love you
when my soul
   thirsts for a companion,
   hungers for empathy,
   longs for a respite from its weariness?

just maybe,
if i stop hanging on
to all my questions,
let go of all my answers,
and be caught by your grace,
i will be able to love
with all i am,
all i have,
all i hope to ever be.

- - -
(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

the reception (Matthew 22:1-14)

in his off-the-rack
      and too-tight shoes,
   Jesus fidgets at the
     glancing at his watch
           every few minutes
   (always surprised that an
    hour hasn't passed since
    the last time he looked),
       peering, once more,
            down the road
            for signs of the
         stretch limos;

back in the kitchen,
   steam roiling around
   like cumulus clouds,
      mutters to the sous-chef,
   her breath sending the
         chefs de partie
      fluttering around,
            checking sauces,
            keeping salads crisp,
            banging lids and
         turning down flames,
      doing their best to avoid
           her look;

having polished the flatware
           for the hundredth time,
   and centered the arrangements
      for the last time,
         sighs behind the bar,
   watching the fluted champagne
      flatten minute by minute;
throwing the bar towel down,
    the long-sufferer stomps
       to the back door and
       flings it open, hollering,
   'you cardboard box dwellers,
    you dumpster divers,
    you panhandling pariahs -
          come on in!
      there's plenty for all;
      bring your buddies!'

(c) 2011 Thom M. Shuman