Monday, September 22, 2014

Dare

Never lose perspective
on your ignorance.
Never settle for what
you think you understand.

Never confine yourself
to those whose thoughts
mirror yours, or even to those
who've travelled deeper
into the jungle of your choosing.

Never accept comfort
exclusively over affliction.
Dare to be challenged
by experiences from afar.
Photo by Lee Lindsey McKinney

Dare to examine the framework
of the house you were born in.
Dare to change.
Dare to grow.

Dare to sit in silence before the wind.
Dare to be held by the darkness
long after the sun has set.
Dare to wait for a new dawn.

© 2014 Todd Jenkins


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Intersection


The intersection of Interstate Need
and Interstate Lead is the place
where the roots of relationship
sink deeply into creation's fertile soil,

nurturing the soul of humanity.
This is the garden from which
the universe's fruit feeds us all;

a table where all are welcome;
where grace is key ingredient;

where hunger and thirst are unacceptable.


© 2014 Todd Jenkins

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Spiritual Formation

Detroit River

It's not reserved for a special few –
those who've mastered the matrix.
It doesn't wait for us to reach
a certain age or intellect or maturity level.

It's what starts happening
the moment we take our first breath,
maybe even sooner (Psalm 139:18).

The universe's purposes and
our raison d'ĂȘtre both begin
to seep their simple truths
into our minds and hearts.

First, it may be nothing more
than a wistful longing,
but then it builds in intensity
and sharpens in focus

until all the lesser realities
upon which we've fabricated life
begin to crumble and fade away
like sepia photos of generations long-past.

It's up to each of us to decide
how we'll respond to this longing.
We can bristle against the mystery
and dig our heels into control's mud;

or we can let paradox move us
toward the "I am" of "both and".
Or is it the "both and" of "I am"?
Regardless of our response,
as time marches on,
we’re being formed.

The only question is,
“Into what?”


© 2014 Todd Jenkins

Monday, September 15, 2014

Vacuum

Hope's demise,
in all its forms,
sucks the imagination
out of the universe.

Into this vacuous chasm,
Fear boldly rushes in –
or at least that's what he
wants you to believe –

declaring that all will be well
as long as we toe the line
and quiver behind locked doors,
longing for certitude's control.

But night must eventually fall
as earth spins away from the sun,
and into the blessed rest of sleep
the dreamer's story will not be denied.
 
"Fremont Troll" Seattle, WA

© 2014 Todd Jenkins

Friday, September 12, 2014

Tomorrow

The gifts of therapy and faith,
among a host of other
invitations to hope,
 are not to bolt yourself
to a clearly-defined understanding
of who you are at this moment.

They are to equip you to know
where you are, how you got there;
to show you some of the bread crumbs
along the path toward the whole person
you were created to become.


Grace, in all its many disguises, is,
at one and the same time,
an hourly rerouting,
an end-of-day permission
to accept today's journey
as enough for today,

and courage to wake
tomorrow with loins girded,
not because you know
where you’re going,
but because you understand
that journey is life itself.


© 2014 Todd Jenkins

Monday, September 8, 2014

Church & Hate

"Border Fence" via Ellin Jimmerson

Since Constantine wed religion and state,
Love has taken second chair.
Violence is always there,
at the corner of Church and Hate.

Empire's questions will always trump
Grace's gentle call to care;
threats pop up everywhere,
leaving compassion at the dump.

When children hail from different places
we erase their gift of humanity,
and take away their dignity,
while seeing no Christ in their faces.

"Send them back!" we angrily scream.
Protect our sacred real estate
by any means, including hate;
give them a nightmare for their dream.

How dare their parents let them go!
Unable to fathom, we feign confusion
and pogo-stick to our conclusion
as if we somehow really know.

If our world hasn't faced circumstances
of utterly hopeless brutality,
with no real hope or hospitality,
we can't imagine taking those chances.

The shoes that others are wearing
can only help our hearts transform
if we sit with tea from hot to warm
listening to the stories they're sharing.


© 2014 Todd Jenkins

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Undone

It is not how much
you are able to get done
that determines whether
you are able to observe Sabbath,

but how much you are willing
to leave undone;
because you realize the futility
of dying every day by the mantra,
"The hurrier I go, the behinder I get."

Let the moon cast her spell
on the curse of your busyness.
Only then will you be able
to let Grace wrap and rock you
in the hammock of Unconditional Love.
 
May Apple Retreat
© 2014 Todd Jenkins