Thursday, August 28, 2014

Romans 12:9-21


purple pills
and online romance;
far-too-casual sex
and binge dating -
is there a more propitious period
to model genuine love?

angry gestures
echoed by hate-filled words;
violence flooding streets,
hate teaching our children -
is there a more apropos age
to feed our enemies with hope,
to offer a cool drink
to those burning with bitterness?

the lost sent around to
the kitchen's backdoor,
the least discounted
by hardened politicians;
the last shoved out of line
by shoppers armed with more credit,
the little squashed underfoot
in the rush to get more -
is there a more timely age
for blessing, not cursing;
for partnering with the oppressed
and not pretending they are not us?

in this stretch of selfishness
and narcissistic narrowness,
in this season of unbridled arrogance
and unchecked injustices -

is there a more opportune
time to simply

(c)  Thom M. Shuman
(* - according to the NRSV, some ancient authorities translate 'serve the Lord' in Romans 12:11 as 'serve the opportune time')

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

at the end of her rope (Matthew 15:21-28)

she forces open her
   shaking the cobwebs
   from her thoughts,
      wondering how
      does three hours
         pass so quickly,
      and give so little
             rest to a
             weary soul?

once again (almost as
         as the prayers
         which are never
   she cradles her daughter,
      pouring the waters
            over her from
            head to toe,
        hoping they might
        chill the fiendish
              fires deep
           inside her;
   she picks up the
      spoon smacked out
         of her hand,
      dipping it into the
         trying to bring
         a few drops of
             to the cracked
   she listens, as the
      curses spew out
         of that broken
        answering (as
            she always will),
   'i love you,
        you are my heart,
             you are my joy.'

laying the exhausted
      child in her bed,
   she steps outside
            for a quick
            breath of hope,
         and at the sight
               of the one
               the neighbors
               had been
         talking about, she
      dropped to her
   'help me . . .

(c) 2014  Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, August 07, 2014

boating on a summer day

here we are, Lord,
your people:

on a hazy summer morning,
lazily floating on life . . .
our little church calm and steady,
a cold beverage in our hands,
our fishing lines
drifting through
the lukewarm water.

and here you come,
strolling across the water,
shaking your head
at our comfort, our ease,
our complacency.

you crook your finger at us,
with an inviting dare:
'what are you doing
still in the boat?
come, join me,
the water's fine;
don't worry,
i won't let you sink.'

here we are, Lord,
your people,
on a lazy, hazy summer morning.

pull us out of the boat, Lord,
pull us out!

(c) 2014 Thom M. Shuman