Sunday, May 10, 2009

Stepping Stones

without Your story, it's just a silent stone in a pocket
clandestine power veiled and caressed by their fingertips
like poetry cradling hidden meanings
nestled in a knitted hammock sling like a Fathers arms
giving secret life like the sun on a greenhouse roof
a pocket size reminder of your colossal love
something to hold in the palms of their hands
reminding their minds and hearts to cling to You
again or for the very first time
and I pray they hold on tight
not to a quick fix
a temporary high
some euphoric picture
of harps and cherubs
not to some pasted happy face smile
some whitewash cover that will fade
but to the new stepping stone reality of You
right there next to them in the thick of it
because even though they're different on Sunday
Monday is coming like a whining, rumbling train
that churning locomotive "all aboard!" inevitability
back to the same cluttered, argumentative homes
the same itchy, irritable workplaces and sticky red tape
the same four walled cells on the calendar routine
the same catch in their lower backs or aching knees
And I pray they can feel You with them
carrying them along like a stone in Your pocket
remembering little David looking up at a giant
a new sense of purpose
a new way to love their families
a new way to see their coworkers
there's work to be done
and the body of Christ just got a little stronger
bearing all those burdens and
weight-lifting all those stones
leading us on the same path as Stephen and Paul
who felt the impact of the stones of opposition
and following the stone the builders rejected
that became the cornerstone
who stood between all of us and a bucket of stones
a line in the sand, daring the blameless to cast the first one
and especially celebrating that third day
when the stone was rolled away
And that is just the smooth surface
of the hidden pocketed power
of those little stepping stones.

"As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone. " 1 Peter 2: 4-7

"Every addition to that body enables Him to do more. If you want to help those outside you must add your own little cell to the body of Christ who alone can help them. Cutting off a man's fingers would be an odd way of getting him to do more work." C.S. Lewis , Mere Christianity

"Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good... I'm absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us." Romans 8: 26-28, 38-39 (Msg)

"... the Christian is in a different position from other people who are trying to be good. They hope, by being good, to please God...the Christian thinks any good he does comes from the Christ-life inside him. He does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because he loves us; just as the roof of a green house does not attract the sun because it is bright, but becomes bright because the sun shines on it..." C.S. Lewis , Mere Christianity

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Chutes and Ladders

Sometimes I'm bruised in the smooth, slick setbacks

dragging me down to fatigue at the bottom of the board

never really enjoying the ladders for fear of the next slide

but maybe I should just play like Lauren

knowing I'm meant to reach the top eventually

high-fiving all my fellow cardboard standup friends

and sailing down with my hands raised to You


“The truth that many people never understand, until it is too late, is that the more you try to avoid suffering the more you suffer because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you in proportion to your fear of being hurt.” Thomas Merton

"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10