The Widow’s dress

they stare strangely now at her

 Alone in the familiar pew

for now is one

when once was two.

She Pardons those who see her in black

And takes her seat with the sinners in the back.

“How do you do? ”

She replies “I do I do”

As She greets the saints from pew to pew.

“She’s not the same? ” “why she looks sorta lame ?”

Gossip echoes “It’s such a pitiful shame!”

To her they say “How do you do ?”

“I do . I do” She nods to folks two by two

While others say ” She’s growing old, a pitiful sight”

She whispers against their mask ” I’m beautiful in white ”

“And soon” she thinks ” I’ll dust the dust off my train”

“There must be a place where widows are not left in vain.”

She sits in the back rows with the hoboes and hoes

Where her twisted Kleenex soon makes garters for foes

Where the comfortable blink and wink at her plight.

“Poor one ” they think “can barely put a single doubt to flight”!

oh, pitiful bird with one wing,

broken bottle without oil

Cistern Of hope broken in toil

Oh better half now gone from the Whole

Oh better half “our intentions are for his soul.”

Soon a Bright Light pours upon them all

As The Divine illuminates the widows new call

Appearing Alone in this familiar back pew

They can only see one

when suddenly she sees two

Next to her is this one with a radiant ring

And a “I do I do ” is The only song she can sing

To Him whose eyes are as the jasper morning star

From His chrism anew , He fills oil in her jar.

Soon Turning every head and crushing all proud hearts

His Voice speaks “nothing ends where I start”

Tears drown the days of the demons final foil  

And joy now buries and rests all her terrors and toil

Finally she lifts her head up the years behind her veil

And announces with Him whom she loves “hell will not prevail.”

Then suddenly the Black dress becomes Radiant white

And every curse and judgement of others is put to flight.

“How do you do/”

“I do I do ” she tells them pew to pew.

NOTES:

“You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭62:4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

https://www.bible.com/59/isa.62.4.esv

There is one who marries the widow. He pursues her all the more fiercely when she entrusted to no other but Him. And so it is that the Lord tells the church to watch after the widows. Perhaps not so much for the sake of her, for she has the Perfect Husband. But for the sake of the church that they may see Jesus and His Bride the Church ever more clearly.

 

 

 

 

Dear Mr C (ode to COVID)

Dear dear Mr C ,you cannot sit in this pew.

You haven’t the mind of these remnant few .

And , I remember how the days used to be

Where you acted as a monster, mr C

as you pounced with Mr fear up the aisle,

And ,good church folks left in single file.

On the Ides of March, your name I heard .

Spoken to us who were gathered In the WORD

“We shall not meet”I heard priest did say .

So, we gathered our missiles and went away

Folks thought you might commune with us

to kiss our host or to drink from our cup.

They did not want you to sit in our pew

shaking our hands with our “peace to you “.

But I do not know why you were not welcomed here

for they often invite others to come with Mr fear .

They invite ones like you from office and home .

They invite ones like you from where germs roam.

Seems at church they let you scatter us most .

I think some forgot you die before the host.

And too , they forgot in the Sovereign’s making .

He makes you to live then to die in Jesus’s taking.

I never had seen the church crumble and sway.

Like a bride changing her mind on her wedding day.

The day you walked in the sanctuary, Mr C

And made the church cling to Mr. fear and flee.

But now see , The Bride spreads from town to town

She strengthens with beauty to wear Her Crown.

And now, she sits free from Fear , dressed in white

And you Mr C are no longer The Spouse of Fright.

Psalm 1 A tale of two men

A Lexio meditation on Psalm 1

Two men went out on a paved road one day .

On it , They sought To Find Truth, Life and Way .

So “ blessed “ and “ wicked “ became their name .

Named by the pursuit in which they sought fame.

One day , the two split at a cross walk in life.

They parted in peace, as pals, without strife.

See “Blessed “ had stopped at the tree in the road

While “ wicked “walked on to where wild oats are sowed.

“ Blessed “just could not move his body from the tree.

When Wicked called “come find a place to be me”

On the path ,Wicked marveled to look at self and men

Soon Being “ Friend” to all who scorn , scoff and sin

At dark Wicked would then sleep with silica and steel,

So by dawn , wasted Wicked could no longer think or feel

While Blessed only pressed his heart against the tree

And from dawn to dusk heard thump thump “ abide in me”

Through every season “Blessed “never would pull or part

He clung to tree though seeing “ Wicked “ did grieve his heart

He saw “Wicked” rolling down from dusk to morn

Down paths into dark pits of Satans scoff and scorn

Where Wicked burned in fire pits of doubt and sin

Scorched, Wicked then became chaff blown in the wind

But Still Blessed pressed against the mighty tree

Clinging to say “Lord Have Mercy on Wicked and Me”

“Blessed” never moved down a path or was swayed in the wind

He Steadfast leaned against the tree and he was grafted in

Even in 2021 Wicked or Blessed ,so are we

Either Wind blown by fame into the fire

or Grafted by the Spirit into Eternity’s Tree

 

 

 

Palms Sunday

We remember how you put palms in our hands,

palms in our open ,naked hands. Hands that once

tapped tapped keep tapping on wood and on flesh.

Before these ritual cleansings and gloves ond trash

Palms in our hands, hands that once lifted , opened drifted and dropped.

We consider all our sins like deadly viruses on these hands caught.

Palm of our hands are dirty cursed hands that infect

tap tap tapping on our keyboard and screen without effect

faking loving and contact with people alone and unseen

palms of our hands we proudly think of as clean

dropping and depressed alone weary and lean

We shake fist in judgement at the sight of your open hands

we cannot see palms of justice nor palms of mecy’s command

so tap tap tapping as we bang shout at door and demand

“What are you doing God? Why is death creeping  across the land?”

Palms of your hands , oh the palms of your hands too far away to see!!!

Cannot believe they are surrendered , bruised crushed , stretched , nailed to a tree!

yet , now and then , we heal without knowing or holding the palm of your hands

palms of love, palms of compassion that have roots from Eden to the plank

Burrowing driving digging demanding justice rank upon rank

Yet tap tapping bleeds love from the nails in the palm of your hand.

Where you reply to us by your justice these palms from Mercy’s command

Tap tapping at every soul bent across sick shore and sick land

“where were you child when I killed my son like a lamb?

see you were here  child , then  as now , in the palm of my hand”

________________________________________

“Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands,”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭26:67‬ ‭KJV‬‬

 “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭49:16‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“Indeed before the day was, I am He; And there is no one who can deliver out of the palm of My hand; I work, and who will reverse it?””

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭43:13‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

 

 

Live Stream

They said that I could not come and see you

They said I could imagine you were here with me

They said I should  dress as if you were coming to see me

They said  I should put chair and cross and water out for you

So I did , I dressed , I lit a candle , and in a bowl I poured water

And Suddenly, before  I could kneel, before I could think on you , before  I invited you to  come

you came. … as a voice of light on all that I thought about you

You came with a legion of light in places hiding from you

you said that you came to see me

you said that you are more than I can imagine

you said I can sit with you

You said to see your love on the cross

You said to drink of your water

you said “you are lovely”

you wrapped and warmed and wooed me in your arms of light.

4Th Sunday in Lent

“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.””

‭‭John‬ ‭8:12‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

 

Ashes , Ashes, we all fall down

“Blow the trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly;
Let the priests, who minister to the LORD, Weep between the porch and the altar; Let them say, “Spare Your people, O LORD, And do not give Your heritage to reproach, That the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’ ””
‭‭Joel‬ ‭2:15, 17‬ ‭
Dedicated to George Unglaub
Lent 2020

What shall we do in this vineyard of palms ?

where Prudentius’s vices are verdant fronds?

where we pretend to be “Blessed “trunks from the very first psalm

While our roots sit shallow in a climate so calm

What shall be our song ?

While vile villains and viruses threaten the crop ?

shall we sing “round the Rosie “before media’s shop ?

Till preachers hold out hands to command winds to stop.

Or politicians plead for another country’s crop.

Shall we hear from afar an ancient man’s song?

Telling a dirge for all we’ve done wrong?

He rebukes our tongues with Holy tong!

“young Fools who stand at palm tree with locked knee !

You Sloths at ease as you do as you please

Weaklings who can’t cut virtuous frond

you have no good thing for the King of the palm!

shame to you ,shame to you

There is no fruit to bear through you !

You fools ,Young fools !” the ancient man cries

“ you have no hallelujah !”

he Weeps and sighs

So what , Shall we say as we look at the field?

Can we bend our stiff knees where our heart’s once kneeled?

can Wednesday Ash intention bring better yield?

Can Repentance burning 40 make A sick land healed?

The child rises to Ask the ancient Man “can we believe ? “

The child takes his hands makes a ring for them to receive

Singing …

From ashes Upon ashes another Easter crop has a chance!

See old man a new palm tree made roots for our dance !

Oh sing with me old man To the king of the palm ..

and The king of the ground where we once belonged.

Oh sing ashes and hallelujah as we fall down. !

Sing once again old man and receive your crown.

 

Parched

His lips are like concrete cracked beneath a florescent sun

my hands are gloved blue to hold one more moistened sponge

not hyssop or wine, nor vinegar,whiskey or the enemy gall

just one drop of water, i say …” one drop , the physician says that all.”

his eyes draw open , a pool of blue thanks ,reflecting Our distant light

His eyes flicker as sparks of joy like darting fire flies in the  night

The sponge falls from my shaking fingers onto a blanket of white

” A drop is enough for now” he says”the physician may be right”

The sponge I toss with its debris to fellowship with waste

Ive so many more patients ,my care is killed by haste

The drawing of blood and plans,injections , bedpans and pills

Thinking “Is not this thirst of his the least of many ills ?”

But ….,

His “Thankyou, ” I hear follow me like a clinging child

“That will last me for today” the man said so softly and mild

I stop with pill and pan and blankets towels pillows and sheets

There comes this moment where pride drops all at Jesus’s lips and feet

“Oh have mercy my God our Father on these and mine parched soul

Oh have mercy God our Father on both us whom the “bell doth toll”

Oh have mercy God our Father, we feel one drop from  you as a stream

One drop from you is a river, breaking through heart’s concrete seams.”

For I know there’s a physician Lord over this parched nurses heart

Who gives manna and water for souls daily start

And on this very morn , I, ungrateful for a drop of blood

Still jesus quenched my lips and now to my soul ,His body , He floods

Notes:

When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the Lord will answer them; I the God of Israel will not forsake them.”Isaiah‬ ‭41:17‬ ‭

We all are the ” poor and needy” and God has “answered us ” by His Living water , His Son.

“I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.

that they may see and know, may consider and understand together, that the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:18, 20‬ ‭

“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'””

‭‭John‬ ‭7:38‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Petals For The King

There are rose petals on the sidewalk outside the Church today.

I nod to them as I walk to the chapel.

I see them lay prostrate.

Unattached alone.

Emojis of Advent.

anyone who passes can see them.

I cannot nod at those who walk beside me.

They have head down at feet

or phone.

We connect instead over petals.

Both” I “and “ they “see them

The red petals on white concrete.

It is Black Friday but the way is white.

White concrete with red rose petals.

“What is it ?“ they murmur

Our feet flatten petal then petal then petal

Some answer “ there must have been a wedding dear “

Others say“ maybe it was from a funeral in the church here “

“No no “the young lover says to his girl,

“ it’s a man tearing rose petals asking do you love me do you not ?“

“Silly brother” the little sister punches the young man

“the rose petals just fell off because they wanted to act just like the fall leaves”

Toddling beside them all ,the Youngest looks up and says

“oh no God ! You forgot to give us water ! you gave us your rose petal tears!”

Who knows why there are rose petals on the sidewalk

but the rose petals on the sidewalk they surely know.

about the day before and they were strewn From altar out the door

Strewn to open a season for the king. So we could see …

like a petal peeled from a beautiful rose

is the Eucharist from the host of heaven …

Just a little petal of his love.

Connecting us to the King .

The Arsononist

Dear Sirs ,

I write to say,

I no longer need your appraisal today.

See, There is an arsonist who inspects my house.

He gave an estimate of me since I first lost my spouse.

He looked at foundation and function ,shingles and shutters

He looked at  wood and brick , fireplace and gutters

many neighbors, like you ,came to see His face,

They saw His eyes were as fire and set like flint in place .

These too asked “should He be the one to appraise this dwelling?”

“I think I could be more trusted ” the church folks came telling

But I chose this arsonist appraiser  only because I liked His eyes

And when I let Him in my house  to my shame and surprise,

He found rot and mold , spoke” this is too condemned to be sold”

And said “now On all future occupancy  there is an eternal hold.”

Then, violently , from room to room he turned every chair and table.

With the glance of His eyes everything was destroyed and  disabled.

Sparks burned pages to ashes of  estimates and of debt

as Before His face every thing cracked even I , who wept

Finally smoke billowed from chimney as His eyes met debris

And now the house is empty and the single smoldering ember is me

Yet solid is a  large leather book  like a fire log beneath my feet

Written is an appraisal set in wood as payment for this suite.

So, sirs, I know you all mean well ,to offer insurance for my broken home

but I found His assurance is free without judgement or punitive loan

So do not worry  if  neighbors say smoke comes from where I dwell

It s just  the fire in His eyes that keeps houses like mine from a fiery Hell.

Sincerely,

a tenant

“Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.”

‭‭Song of Solomon‬ ‭8:6‬ ‭KJV‬‬

 “His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;”

‭‭Revelation‬ ‭1:14‬ ‭KJV‬‬

 

 

 

 

Acedia

UP from  THE COUCH, away from ACEADIA , I rise

“ACEDIA  ,excuse me, I sense I must exit  to leave.

Because , It is NOW too late for me to roll up a sleeve.

Somehow now I see  I  cannot wrestle you away from this place.

I see that You  have put a choke hold on all things of  God’s grace.

ACEDIA , there is something about your ways that  bore me to death!

So now mustering a  mere  ounce of umption  I will exit for breath.

Walking OUT THE DOOR,  away from the guest ACEADIA

“Oh come Oh Come Oh Breath of God, Breathe your Breath into my Yawns!

Blow the boredom that broods from dawn to dusk then dusk to damned dawn

Oh Breath, Sweet Breath of Jesus breathe your life Breath back into my yawn!!!

RETURN Slamming the door  to berate the guest ACEADIA

Now, hear me Acedia ,will you please leave now from my  couch?

UGH, sickly you bend and twist and then rest in a slothfilled slouch!

Your company makes thumbs stiffly fidget  on tablets and  phones

Stop euthanizing my  soul!  Our God gives Life of  His to His  own.!!!!

Looking OUT THE WINDOW at snow away from the guest ACEADIA

Oh Big Breath of God blow fragments of Life  from the sacred Sky!

Wave whirlwinds of manna from places where only angels fly!

Oh Big Breath of God bring Chinock winds to thaw what’s cold alive!

So I will trade  greetings   “just exist” for calls to  ” fully thrive”

Boldly Turning back to guest ACEADIA

Out of here you !And take your gadgets  and trinkets two by two!

I’ve  fields to harvest so white that they  glisten with gospel dew!

You must be gone now!  Gone , back to hell you tempter devil of Sloth!

Off my couch now !! Ive no room for both  you and  the one I betrothed!!

My Jesus, right here , will send you away after He crushes you on your lap!

And  His foot will curse and destroy  ALL the NOON DAY DEVILS TRAP!!!!

The Door blows open and The guest , Acedia , Flees with All his devices

1 . Acedia is a state of bored restlessness . Also, called the “noon day devil” It might be seen like a fidgeting laziness that comes after the freshness of morning. It is a definite creeping boredom with things of God. Though it was first defined 350 years after Christ as one of “eight evil thoughts”, later to become one of the “seven deadly sins” , it is a most modern sin. It is modern in the sense that it is most active today in anesthetizing the “Christian” by means of its numbing effect. The modern Christian is distracted to “present as a Christian person” but not inwardly “experience being an ALIVE and ACTIVE Christian”

2.  Acedia prevalent in these “last days” leads to what Paul describes as times “where men will be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful un holy. . . . lovers of pleasure more than lovers of good. “ 2 Timothy 3:1-5

3.  Acedia , also called “sloth” ,is what King Solomon warns us ” is suicidal “. “The fool sits back and takes it easy, His sloth is slow suicide” (Ecc 4:5 (message )) and “Sloth causeth deep sleep to fall and an indolent soul doth starve” (Proverbs 19:15 ) In contrast Solomon writs of  the godly woman  “She watches the ways of her household, and bread of sloth she eats not. ” Proverbs 31:27.

4. The only means to defeat Acedia is to invite LIFE and TRUTH in the room of our HEARTS . Killing the sin of Acedia, is to invite JESUS to THROW ALL DISTRACTIONS OUT OF THE ROOM OF OUR HEARTS and welcome only the SPIRIT OF JESUS. Jesus has conquered Acedia and given us a life free of it!!!