Friday, September 07, 2018

crumbs (Mark 7:24-37)

with great umbrage
(and righteous words),
we call you out,
   Jesus-in-our-box,
for turning your back
on a crying mother's
hopes for help,
         but

when we put pocket change
in the plate, saving
our folding money
for the buffet down the street;

toss our (slightly) stained
and (only a small one) torn
winter jacket in the collection
for the homeless folks
instead of that brand new one
we just got for ourselves
(two winters ago);

empty our pantries
of the about-to-expire
canned goods for the
food pantry, so we can
go and get newer ones for us,

we continue to believe
our crumbs are a feast
for those we wouldn't welcome
to our tables.

(c) 2018 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

at the borders (Mark 4:35-41)

at the Tombs Apartments 
where Brother Legion lives; 
at the doorway 
leading to where 
a little girl sleeps; 
at the top 
of a garbage dump 
outside Jerusalem; 
at the crossings 
where we would separate families, 
devalue sisters and brothers, 
and terrify innocent children; 
at all the borders 
which threaten to separate us 
from God (and 
from each other), 
Jesus cries out, 
'why are you afraid?' 
 
for 
at all the edges of our fears, 
Jesus comes 
to tear them down 
and build God's community 
of grace, hope, and welcome 
 
(c) 2018 Thom M. Shuman 
 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

seeds (Mark 4:26-34)

we imagine the kingdom
as a bonsai plant,
that neatly trimmed art form
just the right size
for us and a select few;
      or
a redwood forest
where we can wander,
gazing up at the towering
giants of faith, before
getting into our cars
to do more sightseeing;
      or
those gentle pines who
whisper in the breezes
and whose needles provide
a soft bed where we
can curl up with apathy;
      and
so it will be as long
as we leave your
seeds
of hope, grace, life,
peace, joy, wonder
deep within the ground,
dormant.

(c) 2018 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, May 31, 2018

called (1 Samuel 3)

in the store, parking lot, 
or the walks in the neighborhood, 
i heard you calling clear as a bell, but 
when i turned around, you 
were nowhere to be seen; 
 
i remember the embarrassment 
(too many times) 
of being so busy, that 
it took a stranger tapping me 
on the shoulder and saying, 
'i think you're being paged,' 
to realize that you have been trying 
(doggedly) 
to get me to notice; 
 
in the tears of a child 
over her sick pet, 
you call; 
in the memories 
of a hospice patient, 
you call; 
in the whisper 
of hope into loneliness' 
empty nights, 
you call; 
in the sudden 
burst of forgiveness 
from the depths of hurt, 
you call. 
 
help me 
to pay attention. 
 
(c) 2018 Thom M. Shuman