The Kingdom of Heaven

The church’s Sequoia 
I cannot climb

Its towering branches
Block the sun

Its massive trunk
I cannot hug

On the dry ground beneath it
Nothing grows


The Christ’s mustard seed
I cup in my palm

Careful not to blow it away
I cradle it

Trusting not to lose it
I bury it in my soul’s rich soil

Soon, by the grace of God
I nest in its low branches

The Tree Swing

Above the ground
Not very far
The swing reaches
Two long arms
High above
To the first strong branch
But can climb no higher

Until the child comes
In the twilight
As the sun hangs
To leave entirely
Painting the clouds
Rose and gold

The child sits
But not to stay
Quietly in one place
Hands grasp, holding
The swing’s long arms
Feet stir, scraping
Earth as
The child swings

Up to the rose and gold west
Back through the brown earth
Feet kiss the ground in passing
Back up to the ever darkening east
The child swings

Back and forth

And the swing shouts
For the joy
Of its long arms
Swinging, singing

Shower Thoughts

I remember
Letting my toddlers choose their own clothes
Even when the choices were absurd
Because their growth
Was more important
Then their looks
Or even their comfort

So sometimes
They wore rain boots
On sunny days
Shorts on snowy days
And always
Were colorfully mismatched

I think of my grown children
One has not spoken to me in years
I have a granddaughter I have never seen
One is more comfortable texting than talking
One I see regularly but not often

I think of the years I spent
Becoming comfortable with that
Not the fairytale of through the woods
Over the hills
To grandma’s house
Smelling of camphor
(what the hell is camphor anyway?)
And homemade cookies

I think of my pleasure
That each of my children
Enjoy their lives
Never trouble free
But less troubled, perhaps,
Than their own childhoods
Now with their own
Their own

I think of my prayers
Every time I am tempted
To be envious
Of the Facebook stories
Of other grandparents

I think of my prayers
Affirming my love
For my own children
Praying my gratitude
For their happiness
Enjoying my accomplishment
In three wonderful adults

Then I half remember
Jesus’s parable or story or something
Ending in a question
Something like
If an earthly parent would do so for their child
How much more will your heavenly parent do for you?

And I wonder
Is God perhaps less interested in world peace
Than in my own peace?

What God Wants

I spend my life
To figure out
What God wants

What does God want me to be
…to think
…to feel
…to do?

How does God want me to worship
…to live
…to love
…to die?

What does God want me to believe
…to know
…to let go
…to learn?

I keep asking myself
What does God want?

Because I keep doubting
I keep forgetting


All God wants is me
Just me
However I am
However I am not

She just wants me.

My Favorite Prayers

Are You kidding me?
I don’t even believe in You.
Go away!
Leave me alone!
How could You?
I don’t understand.
Religion is bullshit.
Faith haunts me.

Thank you
For remembering me
That I am made but of dust
And you can’t expect much
Of dust
Except maybe
The occasional sparkle
In Love’s sunshine

Thank you
For loving me
Even when I hate You
Even when I don’t believe
You exist.



My heart sings
With the ordinary

I hold his hand
As I wait for Word to load

He watches an old western
Texas Rangers
With the sound turned off
And closed captions on
Because he is deaf

My eyes fill with tears
Because they are tears of joy

No need to water my cheeks
Just fill my eyes
As my heart fills with his love

Nothing extraordinary about tonight
Except everything

As always.

Christmas Eve

Dark-skinned baby Jesus
Lay quietly in the manager
Atop the three year old’s
Mondrian lego dump truck

Wise men watch
Too wise to intervene
In a child’s over-excited

Macaroni and cheese
And sweet potatoes
Insistently eaten after
Boston cream pie
But before the
Made by himself
Cookie dough cake

Crumbled wrapping paper
Carpeting the floor

Neighbors bring
Christmas greetings
And – oh blessed gift –
Their three children

Five adults talk
For over an hour
As four children
Inside and outside

A Christmas miracle
Worth celebrating

Thanksgiving Challenges

To be thankful for:

ToDo lists that never get done
a God I’m not sure is there
the sun shining on dusty furniture
young dreams that never became
wet clothes I forgot to dry
life lived, sometimes well, sometimes not

a marriage betrayed
one time too many

a family broken
in ways that can’t be fixed

friends left behind
when I let life move me on

the winter of life
when the bright leaves have fallen

These are the challenges.
All the rest is easy.

Comfort My Age, O God

Inspired by Isaiah 40: 1-8

Comfort, O comfort my age, I cry to my God.
Speak tenderly to my years,
for I have served my term, my penalty is paid,
I have received from life double for all my sins.

My voice cries out:
“In the wilderness of age prepare the way of hope,
make straight in the desert time of life a highway for grace.
Every valley of despair shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill of discouragement be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of living long shall be revealed,
And we shall see it together,
for joy speaks still to us.”

God’s voice says, “Cry out!”
And I answer, “Do you want to hear my cry?”
All people are grass,
our lives are like the flowers of the field.
We wither, the flower of our youth fades,
when the breath of life blows upon it;
surely we are grass.
Yes, we wither, the flower of our youth fades;
but the joy of our faith can stand forever.