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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God breathing

Psalm 33:6, ICEL God speaks: the heavens are made; God breathes: the stars shine. About 10,000 galaxies appear in the Hubble ultra-deep-field image. A detail is shown to the left, and the full image is at the bottom of this post. It’s a real picture, not an artist’s rendition, and some of the galaxies in it are more than 13 billion years old. Last week I had a dream in which I’m walking steadily up a hill, and I’m about five paces from the top. But no matter how many steps I take, I can’t crest the hill. The view stays the same: under my feet it’s an empty, dry-grass hillside. Everywhere else, space. Galaxies, stars, and nebulae are laid out before me, with inky blackness between them. No trees, houses, telephone poles, or mountains are on the horizon, and no clouds, moon, haze, or planets are in the sky. […]

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Romans 13:11 But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! (The Message) This year, the four-week season of Advent begins on November 28th. It’s two lines crossing, one line heading up, the other down. Our cultural religion is turning the lights up, up, up to full brightness. We’re encouraged to be busy, surface-level Christmas consumers. In the bright light, but sleeping. Meanwhile, the trajectory of our inner life during Advent is meant to be downwards. Deepwards. Our tradition invites us into darkness, reflection, mystery, and even fasting as we go deeper in hopes of seeing the faint light grow ever so slightly brighter.

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