Barefoot in the dirt outside our tent
in the dark, I bend back my head
and open my heart to the night.

I hope to see heaven unravel
as galaxies take up the thread
then spin, then stretch, as 
vast, practiced hands
join woof with warp 
until smooth folds of time become
measureless yards of
absence and substance—
endless bolts of evidence
unrolling across the sky.

Meanwhile, one by one,
after billion-year trips,
photons land without fanfare 
in my eyes, in my hair,
each quantum a jewel that
graces the dirt where I stand.

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Go in Peace – the song

Go in peace, you are loved, you are lovedGo in peace, you are lovedGo with God, you are loved, you are lovedGo with God, you are loved The God who wove you in the darkthe one whose rough hands made your hearthad you in mind before the dawn of timeThe one who gazed with gentle eyesat all the colors of your life–Before the threads were dyed,the artist saw your life Go in peace, you are loved, you are lovedGo in peace, you are lovedGo with God, you are loved, you are lovedGo with God, you are loved Back at the house you started fromyour God has left the porch light onhowever late the hour, you’ll find the wayOh, welcome, then! back to the lightin from the dark of mortal strifeinto the house of gracewhere love lives, take your place Go in peace, you are loved, you are lovedGo in peace, […]

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A non-anxious presence

I was recently in western Michigan at a retreat, and I spent time with Lake Michigan—a living being, a new and subtle friend. The sun on the water, the rocks, the rain, the waves that were loud one day and quiet the next. A lake that curls like the ocean, yet smells like plain water. During the break one afternoon I swam, and it was a highlight of my trip. Even far from shore, the water was shallow enough that I could stand, waist deep, on ripples of soft sand. I had fun striding around out there, watching the clouds pass across the sun, watching the moods swing across the water’s surface as the bright light came and went. And then I noticed that we were alone, the lake and I. It was a private meeting, and so I started to sing. I sang Bruce Cockburn’s All the Diamonds, in its […]

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What’s revealed (Easter 7)

John 17:3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God…. Eternal life starts before we die, and eternal life is to know something, something that changes the way we live. We had a series of powerful storms here in the Bay Area this winter. The rain felt endless, but during a break in it I went for a hike and saw this tree. It had fallen, and a ranger had cut it with a chainsaw and moved the pieces out of the way, off the path. I was struck by the beauty of what was revealed. Like each of us, this Eucalyptus was dying even before the storm brought it down. The storm hit, the tree fell, and the tree was broken open, showing its truth—a sight we wouldn’t have seen if the tree had stayed upright, looking fine. Back before Easter, a prayer for […]

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The painful bright

Romans 13:11 The hour has come for you to wake up. It is the first Sunday of Advent. We begin our vigil, waiting for the light. Sometimes I feel ambivalent about the coming of the light. When the light comes, justice will come; when justice comes, I might be found on the wrong side of the equation. In what ways do I oppress others with hardly a conscious thought? In what ways do I need to wake up to my own subtle ways of using and injuring others? Today I have a new thought about the coming of the light and another reason to feel ambivalent: Not all of us want to be in the light at all, and it’s not because we purchase clothes made in sweat shops, or whatever else I was alluding to in the paragraph above. Much closer to home, in our emotional lives and our […]

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