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Monday, December 30, 2013

Our Father

Our Father
Who art in Heaven
Hallowed be thy name
        The God
        Of Heaven
        Is holy

Thy kingdom come
       God wants
       Something other than what is
       For this world

       If life on earth
       More closely matched
       What God intended
       The world would be
       Wonderfully different

Thy will be done
       Imagine if
       The love
       God desires to show the world
       Through people
       Covered the earth

On Earth as it is
In Heaven
       What goes on in Heaven
       Is not what goes on here
       I wish
       There was more Heaven
       On earth

Give us this day
Our daily bread
       Just enough
       Is enough
And forgive us our debts
       I could list
       A million ways
       I have not been
       Who I’m supposed to be
       Ways I’ve disappointed people
       Forgive me for that

As we forgive our debtors
       I have misunderstood how this world works
       I have been angry that life
       Is not
       What I wanted it to be
       And angry that people
       Are not
       Who I wanted them to be

       We are all broken products
       Of a broken earth
       Surprised at each other
       For being broken

 And lead us not 
 Into temptation
       Help me keep perspective
       And not mistake more or other
       For contentment

But deliver us from evil
       When evil comes
       And it will
       Help me


Fake Happy

The nicest gift
I can get
When I’m sad
Is for people
Not to make me
Fake happy

Even if
I’ve been sad too long
Need to move on
Should look on the bright side
Or see the gift in the pain
I can’t yet
Or won’t

So just let me
Come as I am
Be who I am
Answer honestly
When you ask
How things are

I will enter
Into your world
As best I can

Won’t drag you
Too far
Into my world

Won’t ask
For help
Solving problems
That are mine
To solve

Will do just about anything
You need me to do

Just please
Don’t make me
Fake happy

Monday, December 23, 2013

No Win

This is such
An impossible

A no win

If I keep us afloat
I look stingy
Lacking holiday spirit

If I spread us too thin
It’s that much harder next month
For me
And no one else
Because no one else
Really cares

This is not fun for me
Being so detailed
But not perfect
So still wondering
Where it all goes
And how
On earth
I could track things
Any better

Aware that
Plenty of others
Have it worse
But a fair amount
Have it better

And today
I would like
To have it better

Instead of being stuck
In the land of No

No “Good job getting us
       through this season”

No “Can’t believe we covered
       what was needed
       without using credit”

No “Those were tough choices
       but I get why they were made”

Just “We need to buy this
        and bring this
        and do this”

I actually do like fun
I actually do like things
I actually would like another life
That had more fun
And more things
But for now
It’s this life
And these choices

Now accepting
For anyone
Who wants to do this job
In my place

Starting immediately
No training provided
Best of luck
With it all



Three ways
That Christians
Say God
Answers prayer

When the answer is “Yes”
We say
God loves to shower
Good things
On his children

When the answer is “No”
We say 
God’s perfect plan
Requires our long-term suffering

When the answer is “Wait”
We say
God’s timing is perfect
And our pain
During the wait
Is necessary


Do our prayers influence
The yes, no, or wait

Can the right prayer
Change a no to a yes

Can the wrong prayer
Change a wait to a no
Is it possible
That sometimes
There is just
No answer

Did God truly
Design a plan
That requires
Our pain

How odd
That would be
Like an architect
Intentionally including
Design flaws
In a brand new building project 
Adding beams that don’t hold weight
Compromising the structure by choice

Odd thing
For an architect
Who loves his buildings
To do

Odd thing
For a God
Who loves his children
To do

Require disease
Require disaster
Requires broken lives
For his plan

Maybe our lives are broken
Our world is broken

Maybe buildings collapse
Because something other
Went wrong

And not because
The designer
Planned from the start
For them to fall


Has quiet
Always been
Such a battle
For me
This year
It is

What am
I even battling

Maybe it’s this season
Of excess
Shining a light on
My lack

Maybe I was content once
With simple things
But this season
Tempts me
To want more

Maybe I can’t
Fit my
Complicated life
Into the template of
This happy season

Maybe the unknown
Stares me down
Every day
And I don’t
Know how
To welcome that

Maybe I associate peace with  
A mostly good life
And life isn’t mostly good yet
So how can there be peace

Maybe it’s a battle
No matter what life is
To find quiet
To feel peace
To be still
And stay
And hear God

Maybe quiet
Is always a battle
But I just notice it more
This year

Monday, December 16, 2013

Church People

Church people
Are pretty good
At extending sympathy
At “sorry for your pain”
At feeding and caring
For the wounded
When the wound
Is fresh

Church people
Aren’t very good
At listening
While others question God
Or speak of how
The circumstance
Is changing everything
Once believed

Church people
Are good at
Early pain
When there is a lot to do
And little time to think 

But as time goes on
And pain collides
With old beliefs
In unsettling

Church people

Can’t bear to be present
For the tough questions
Out of fear
For where
It might lead

Can’t entertain questions
That linger unanswered
For too long

Can’t even admit
That the questions
Are good

Can’t accompany others
To the wide open
Place of pain
Beyond I’m sorry
Here’s a casserole

Can’t be present
With the part of pain
That is thoughtful
Quiet, honest

Can’t go anywhere near
Where the griever must stay
For quite a while
And this worsens the pain
Alienates the griever

Can’t go
Or won’t go
Where they have
Never been

This is where
We need
To do better

This is where
Church people
All people maybe

Offering scraps of comfort
Surface sunshine
And answers they
Have not
Thought through

Offering casseroles
To a world
In desperate need of

 (no offense to the casseroles…I love them just we
   have to do better)

Blame The Sufferer

I believe
That God is
Sometimes silent
During the times  
We need him most
During the times
We would much prefer
That he make himself

I really don’t know
Why God is silent

I don’t believe
That protection and healing
Come about
Because someone
Prays hard enough
With the right people
In the right way

I really don’t know
How prayer works

I don’t know a lot of things

But I try
Not to make up

Or blame the sufferer

Blame the sufferer
For God’s absence
Say it’s a lack of faith
An unwillingness to be refined

Blame the sufferer
For the circumstance
Say it’s the consequence of something
The life God planned for this person

Blame the sufferer
Demand peaceful acceptance
Of the pain
Because acceptance
Makes the suffering sacred
And the person holy
And everyone
More comfortable

Blame the sufferer
Distance ourselves
From the sufferer
Push the sufferer

While God
Does just
The opposite

Holds the sufferer

Weeps alongside
The sufferer

Shows love to
The sufferer

Possibly even suffers
With the sufferer

Does everything
Blame the sufferer
For the suffering

Sunday, December 8, 2013


I have felt lack
For so long
That I no longer

Or maybe
I recognize it
But I sure don’t
Trust it

The thought
Of abundance

Brings painful memories
Of what it was like
When things weren't
So difficult

Reminds me
Of my reality

How hard it is
To make things work

How hard it is
To live a life
Stuck together
With duck tape
And the hope
That things might hold

I’ve done
Without enough
For long enough
That when abundance
Comes my way
It doesn’t feel trustworthy

Feels more like a trick
Meant to distract me
Stop my momentum
Make me wish for more
Then leave me
In the dust

When did
I become
So distrustful
Of good things

That is not
A trait
I like
In me

That is something
I’ll try to fix
In me
Pain has stolen
That I will
Work on
Getting back

So if ever
Comes to stay
It will find itself