Rain Mates

Let’s just skip the stones

and get dirty.

Mud pies in the face.

Bear disgrace.

Fall into place.

Wallow and weep

into each other’s eyes.

The river’s a half-peck

away from your cheek.

We’re weak,

let’s cinder sneak.

We know who we are

from where we were,

and now is now.

The Oh, Honestly

parts of us wait

in the rain,

the ripples

kissing each other

with grace.

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Freedom from Information Act

Information age. We’re in it. There’s still writing on the wall, many walls to be exact. We have real news, fake news, and real fake news. 2016 was full of it, and many chimed in to spin it to be in it.

I want out. Where’s the sand in which I can stick my head? Where is the place I can be informed, but not over-informed, spun to death as it were. Even my thoughts here are on this little platform are waiting to be picked up by a passing tech-train to the cyber-out-there.

I recently read a blog about using social media in a positive encouraging way. I get it, and I want you to come away with lighter hearts and a more encouraged outlook. I have to face it though, Facebook gets the better of me sometimes. I made a not-so-smart move and picked up my smart phone in the middle of a conversation. I thought Facebook had more to say than the person sitting across from me. What a putz.

If information pulls us away from a “now” moment, a connection in real time, then let us lay down our arms, turn the volume off, flip our phones over, and see the other. Simple.

At times we need to initiate the Freedom from Information Act and form a more perfect union with those in front of our actual faces.

#preachingtomeself

Stop. Put your screens down, and back away slowly. Happy Newer Year!

Pop Quiz

Let’s flip our pencils

and pray for erasure

of our projections

and scribbled premonitions.

 

Let’s put our pencils down

and face to face each other.

Let our ears understand twice.

Let our mouths grace once over.

 

Let’s stop passing notes

folded like footballs.

Let’s hand in hand be

vulnerable respectfully.

 

Let’s close our test booklets

and study each other.

Let’s not worry about grades,

but graces to pass before passing.

Exchanging Letters 3

God,

I know the difference between talking about you and engaging with you. I also know which activity is easier. A similar concept is reading about writing and actually getting butt in chair and fingers dancing on the keys.

I’ve been thinking about third person. Do you observe the world from a third person angle? Sometimes I feel as though I’ve lived my life in third person. I live a shave away from wholeness, and see myself pouring the coffee, but hear no sound thereof. I report the life around me as a proof I might just exist. I joke with my family as I scan the obituaries for my picture, then shake my head…”I’m still here!”

So there’s the parallel on how I feel you operate and my own function under the sun.

Hmmm.

There are so many ways to try to reset the dislocation of my heart, spirit, soul, spirit, with the world spinning around me. But there is a simpler way. There has to be. I hear Jesus’ words “come unto me and I will give you rest.” Peter stepped out of the boat, and Thomas was encouraged to poke around the resurrected body of the Lord. I wonder which of the disciples I take after. I lean toward doubting Thomas with a dash of the denying Peter, but long to be like the disciple Jesus loved. John.

Love, Jerry

Jerry,

I see you. There is a simpler way. I am the way. Your dislocated feeling is understood. I too want engagement, not a third person detached rhetoric. I want your heart. Remember that dreary rainy day way back when? The day you walked up a driveway with a package and engaged me with a question? You asked me if I loved you. I sent a breeze through a row of pine trees and whispered “yes.” I knew you and one of your favorite things…the sound of wind through thousands of needles.

I see your fear. I feel your resistance to releasing control. I know you struggle with being labeled as one of ‘those’ kind of Christians. I got you. I get you. Bring those thoughts to me like you are doing right now. I can handle them. I Am, you know. Take a deep breath.

By the way, living in third person isn’t always a bad thing. That’s how creatives are wired. They help those whose don’t know their need to stop and smell the roses to consider doing so. I sent someone Saturday night to tell you those very words to encourage you.

Love, I Am

Exchanging Letters 2

Dear God,

As I sit here in this moment listening through the cracked window, how I wish to sing every morning like the sparrows, and fly like the barn swallows. How I hope to enter into exactly what you created me to be. Not to draw attention, but to give attention to the space within my proximity. I want to thank you for the senses you have given me to receive the wonder of nature, and the nurture of human connection. Although there are seasons where solitude sits on a bench, and invites me to feed the birds, the thick threaded reality of relationships gives voice to this life. I don’t understand why I can be so aloof, self-absorbed, and judgmental toward others, especially when You said it is not good for us humans to be alone. I want to leave this solitary place and enter the world, pay attention, and be a giver.

Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me, sinner.

Jerry

 

Dear Jerry,

I will have mercy. And love. And justice. And prudence. And, and, and. Thanks for noticing my creative acts around you. You keep using the word ‘mystery’ when you share your thoughts lately. I like that. You keep growing low among the grasses like my servant Wendell Berry. Humility will better connect you with humanity. You were made for connection, but solitude has its seasons too. How about I sit on the bench and wait for you to come and tell me about your connections with this world. I’d like that.

God

Etch-A-Sketch: Lifeline. A Poem of connection.

My six-year-old held the whole world in her hands.

It was flat, and grey dust magnetically clouded the possibilities.

Then the etch. An itch scratched by turn, turn, turn.

Two knobs drew an electrocardiogram.

Up, down, back, and forth revealed a heartbeat,

perhaps her own, perhaps Gods.

Maybe it was a blend of a dual rhythm.

Ka thump ka thump with each twist of finger and thumb.

 

Jesus sat with her and their laps shared the red framed square.

She turned the left circle and he the right.

The back and forth she twisted.

The up and down he turned.

They scraped off the grey in life lines.

They tilted their heads and touched temples.

Tongue tips hung on the side of their mouths.

 

They crossed paths again and again.

The sign of the cross, the line of the cross,

a paradox of the God-man with the child of God.

The vertical with the horizontal

became a peculiar perpendicular intersect.

Crossover continuum.

 

Jesus took his hand off for a moment

and she flat-lined.

She took her hand off for a moment

and a heartbeat ascended straight up to Love.

They held hands and knobs

and were careful not to shake anything.

Thumbs Up. Fists aren’t always for fighting.

 

This fist isn’t for fighting;

it is for holding onto hope.

Hope tucked in here tight

like a salty Kleenex.

Out of these clenched fingers

rises an opposable.

I give you a thumbs up

not because I need a ride

but to give our spirits a ride.

You are not alone.

I’m for you.

I believe in you.

 

“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen.

When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.

Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.”   God

Jeremiah 29:11-13 The Message Bible

Neo Narcissist

I bowed down to my reflection.

It was fractured

in the disturbed waters.

I had lost sight of the One

who said “Peace, be still.”

There were ripples

in my consciousness.

Then his hands

spread out the waters

like clear linen.

“You are beautiful,” He said, “see?”

I saw myself more clearly

next to him.

 

We sat beside the still waters.

 

The fear of allowing others in

or coming out of myself

smoothed into a lapping of our souls.

Soul waters on the shore.

 

 

“He leads me beside the still waters, He restores my soul.”  Psalm 23