Prayer for the wondering

Before me is a hundred options to be and to try–at lease it feels like that was true a decade ago;

now the options trickle in two by two if any by any at all.

Do I find myself in the wilderness of my own wonderings?

Have I avoided entering a land that I already hold residency?

Should I unpack the dishes or sell all my possessions?

Should I lay foundations or stay the stranger–the stranded–the out-of-placer?

I know you have called me beloved, but what does a beloved do?

beloved-sit-still-er or beloved-never-settled?

shhhhh…….quiet now. When you step to right or the left there will be a voice behind you saying,

“this is the way to go.

Little lamps

The circle grew as I drew the lamp high but it also grew dim.
The closer I brought it to my hand the circle constricted and brightened;
first, details became sharper until the intensity of the light drowned all the lines in my palm.
All around in the dark I played this game–
hold the light high–casting long shadows and hiding parts of faces, but seeing outlines of things to come;
pull the light close–losing even the whispered outline of trees, but see the details of my own skin –or more importantly see the rocks that would pay hazard to my next footfall.
In the dark give me illumination, hold it high to show me topography of faith–a general shape of the journey to come.
In the dark give me illumination, hold it close to give me the clarity for today’s step.
In the dark give me peace, let me hold tight knowing that you hold…still.

My Lazarus

I am finding that I am dead in places,



a little light breaks around the seal

the stone that was put over those memories budges

 the inky black is disrupted

Fix yourself, find yourself, mend yourself

but I can’t raise this dead…

if you would have been here sooner…

My grace is sufficient.

I am the First Born of the dead.

Through me all things were given life.

I am not afraid to go into your tomb-mind.

I am finding that I am being resurrected in places.

I am learning to sing with new lungs;

learning to smile across new teeth–

to dance on remade legs.

Another Challenge

Another pile of dirt has formed on my bathroom floor–it seems as though the bristles of my broom have been whittled down rapidly,

loosing their power to push,

or to bring together.

All around the walls are a tumbling down

waiting to be rebuilt stronger and with more skill

waiting to be useful and beautiful


Another pan full of plaster and ancient dust gets scooped up even with frayed bristles.

A new beautiful thing is being made there under the demolition–under the dirt and sawdust,

behind unleveled walls and mishung doors

A new thing is being made.

I see the sun on your back

I am no linguist, but I read that there is this little phrase in Kazakh—“I see the sun on your back.”

Idioms bind us together–like an inside joke for particular speakers.

by a chicken scratch,

I am hitting the road,

Can’t swing a cat,

Wild and woolly…

I see the sun on your back—“Thank you for being you. I am alive because of your help.”

I need to look for the sun more,

to acknowledge it presence,

to tell the ones that I am alive–

I am living because of their being.

The sun is there, even when the grey covers my eyes.

Even when gratitude seems impossible–there they are shining brightness and life,

calling me out, sharing breath and bone.

I see–a little more clear today–the sun…


The hypothesis is that I am leaveable.
my presence is convient
for a moment,
burdensome given longer durations.
The evidence appears to support the present outcome.
I have heard a disproportionate number of “good-byes,”
the numbers track in a steady line across my history.
But I won’t stop collecting data,
cataloging experiences,
and judging the evidence.
Because the study is not over,
I am not looking for the trends or proofs,
or the centered cluster
I am looking for the outlier…

Grief’s timing

I have lost, I am losing…

Desire is a funny thing,
feelings acute, but for things in abstraction

Longing drives…
But doesn’t have to deliver…

                     Dream BIG and BOLD!
                     Chase it, Take hold of those soul wishes!

I reach out…
practically tearing apart my limbs with extension.

my fingers never touch,
my palms are hollow

I lose the strength to keep reaching,
                          I could “just stop trying”
     I could grieve the loss of Desire’s wish,

But if I give grief the day,
If I mourn the loss of could have been,
Do I also bury tomorrow’s would have been?

Longing drives…

Dreams Defered

In the liminal moments,

half sleeping, nearly awake

sweet thoughts–a dream that made wishes come true,

“I love you–I always have.”

but its not true, no one whispered those words.

My day starts like a thousand others–

but this day feels emptier

because for a moment…

I was sharing my breath

my life


All I want is a room somewhere

So we have come to the end of Lent.  I managed to write a number of prayers and poems working through the book of Mark.  I asked my friends on facebook what they thought I should write on next, these are the responses that I got:fb capture of suggestions

I had been kicking around the idea of place, partly because it is highly likely that I will be moving into a new (to me) home by the end of this summer.  Addresses are spiritually significant to me–and I think they are to some extent to everyone.  Our location in the world, or the location that we choose or is chosen for us can say a lot about our identities.  As I have worked in the salon over the last decade and a half, the question I get more than any by far is, “where are you from?” and coming in a close second is small talk about the weather.  I have my suspicions that they may be related, if you can claim the birthright of a small town on the prairie it is likely that you can brave the extreme conditions of this fine place.  The funny thing is this city and this state–which I know better than any other spot on the globe–I have struggled and fought to make my own.  See by Dakota definition I am not a local.   I was treated well enough by the populations of the places where I held addresses, so please do not hear this as criticism, but I simply did not have the credentials to be local. I was born outside this state–as were my parents.  It wasn’t until the end of my time in seminary that I finally understood something–I was always looking for the other’s investment before I matched my own, but that sometimes you have to go all in long before others reciprocate. Investing in a place (more specifically the people of that place) often does not mean instantly finding welcome, but the more authentically I have given myself to a place the more I have found the welcome that I was searching for.

So in the following undetermined weeks, I would like to look deeper into place, identity, and to what I have named “making place”–a drive to make the physical location that I live beautiful and inviting.  My best guess is that the posts maybe anything from home improvement projects to meeting the neighbors.  I am going to read Exodus, Joshua and the Prophets while exploring what is making my neighbors and I in this place.


A woman comes in…

–she sits at his feet and bathes him in perfume—pouring it all out to anoint him

–When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial…

–Wait, Master we are not ready for that…we are not ready to see your life drain out

–we are still riding high on halleluiahs, we are not ready to sing laments.

Someone picks up the pitcher, and begins to pour, filling glasses with wine.

–I will not drink again of this until I drink of it with you in my kingdom

— This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

— a life poured out: because he came to give that life abundantly

–abundant life through a compassionate life—abundant life through sacrifice

Jesus picks up the pitcher, and begins to pour, washing the feet of all that have called him teacher, called him friend—called him brother.

–“Do you understand what I have done for you?”

–I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

–an example of a life given in service

–an example of a life loving God and loving neighbor.

–an example of how to let the living water within you pour out to give others life

Jesus begins to pray, his anguish pours out like blood drops.

–This is a bitter cup that has been poured for me, but not my will Father.

–Death is around the corner, but this is not a reality we want to dally on.

–Certainly not when it is the death of our friend, our mentor—our king.

–Because him dying means our dreams will be cut short…

–dreams of being free from oppression;

–dreams of finally putting our captors in their place;

–dreams of sitting alongside a throne;

–all of those dreams are betrayed…

…and sent away to die.

We sitting here today that know that this life was not lost—not a single drop

–but before we fast forward to Sunday;

–but before we judge the disciples abandonment;

–before we check another Good Friday off our list– remember;

–REMEMBER the command to LOVE one another;

–REMEMBER that you once walked in darkness;

–REMEMBER the baptismal waters—that poured over you

covering you, burying you with Christ.


REMEMBER the Life that was POURED out for the forgiveness of sins, and that we as little imperfect vessels are called to anoint, to wash and to pour out.