Friday, March 29, 2013

Despised and Rejected

And He began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
Mark 8:31

The two of us sat in the elementary school principal’s office awaiting our doom. Convicted of fighting on the playground, all that remained was our sentencing. It hadn’t been much of a fight. Chris had charged at me, and we wrestled around a bit before our fifth-grade teacher broke us up and led us away like prisoners of war. Silent and motionless, I sat down beside Chris, now wrestling with my guilt. The whole thing was my fault.

Chris was an outsider, a strange and lanky kid who kept a safe distance from grade-school society. He mistrusted us, and for good reason. He spoke in a screechy voice, and whenever he answered a question in class, we erupted in laughter. I think even the teacher had to work at keeping a straight face. Chris was the sad clown of our class. His reality was our greatest fear: being rejected. Chris was alone. 

That day on the playground, I had teased Chris. I wasn’t looking for a fight - I was only fighting to fit in. Though I sat with the cool kids at lunch, I suspected that I wasn’t truly one of them. But I knew I had it better than Chris, and I wanted things to stay that way. So like the others, I teased him. Chris, on the other hand, couldn’t have cared less about knocking me off the social ladder. At that moment, all he cared about was knocking me off my feet.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I see me, my future self,
Years ahead, looking back
To my present self throwing
A baseball to my son, and
He catches. My eye
Full of his youth
And craving. My attention
Is elsewhere, probably
Given to some future
Moment, not imagining
That in that future
I will only wish
I am throwing a baseball
With my son right now.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Act of God

Ambushed by the sudden storm, we stop.
We gasp and gaze through our invisible shield,
The car windows nearly busted by
Blow by blow of the battering hail
Stones cast from the darkened heavens
Upon unsuspecting travelers.

"A storm is not like the power of God,"
I recall, "It is the power of God."

Drivers huddled beneath the protective wings of
Gas station canopies find
No more shelter from the side-striking fury
Than those who flash distress signals find
Comfort on the highway's shoulder.

Inside the stranded jalopies and luxuries,
The frightened and the fearless,
The newborn and the weather worn,
The faithful and the faithless,
All helpless in God's storm,
All bend their necks to search the sky for mercy.

God can make snowflakes
As easily as ice rocks.

A reprieve of rain.
The final stone, serendipitous as the first,
Splotches the ice-paved streets.
With new awe and long-held exhales,
We carefully return to the road, now bent,
Dented, and surrounded by
A frightened world of white.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

There Is No Tomorrow

There is no tomorrow
There is no next year
There is no some day
There is no "when"
There is certainly no happiness there
And no sadness, for that matter,
There is no moment
Save this one

Friday, March 1, 2013


Slowly, breathe in,
fill your lungs,
feed your hungry heart,
with air and aches unseen as
God alone.

(Hold it, hidden,
still for a second.
Feel the tension
between the already and
the not-yet.)

Suddenly release
the silent stirring
prayer to God
who hears and sees and knows and is
your life in your breath.