Thursday, October 23, 2014

Questions

As our bodies, minds, and spirits
settle for worship, may we breathe
deeply of your promises,
purposefully discarding the hurried,
shallow pace of the culture and economy
with which we are surrounded.

May we find ways, through worship
and beyond, to be fed more
than empty-caloried fast food.

May we refuse to simply sit around
and wait for white bread answers,
and be challenged, instead,
to earnestly search for whole wheat questions;
through Jesus Christ, our guide. Amen.
 
Photo by Lee Lindsey McKinney

© 2014 Todd Jenkins

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Leap of Faith

“Leap” is often a stretch, not in
a lunging toward the sky kind of way,
but more like hyperbole.

It’s not usually about peeling rubber
into the darkness like a drag racer,
but more about taking one step
at a time beyond visibility;

looking back to see
if God’s presence can be discerned;
and listening forward
toward the darkness, seeking
to discern God’s whisper.
Photo of Dark Island by Lee Lindsey McKinney

© 2014 Todd Jenkins

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Blessing of the Backpacks


[L] We are a people of full pantries, O God; most often lamenting the absence of our favorite foods, rather than the absence of nourishment altogether.

[P] We have extremely secure food pantries!

[L] But when we look around our own town, we see pockets of food insecurity.

[P] We see children who come to school with empty stomachs.

[L] You, O God, have put it in our hearts to respond to this hunger in tangible ways.

[P] Bless this food from our Backpack program that has been piled upon the Communion table.

[L] May it nourish not only the stomachs of those it reaches, but also their hearts and minds.

[P] May it represent the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation to everyone who eats and drinks.


[All] So let it be spoken. So let it be delivered. So let it be done.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Breaking

Photo by Jennie R. Jenkins

When the hermetic seal gives way,
when the paint begins to wear,
when the corners chip away,

when the fissure runs all the way
through and straight down the middle,
and even when the pieces crumble
so small that a team of forensic scientists
couldn't possibly reassemble your life,

I want you to know that God is with you –
has been with you all along –
and not the angry, "Tsk, tsk, tsk!"
God of your fearful imaginings,

but the Holding, Weeping, Tender
God of Grace whose grip is both
so gentle and expansive that
all of your fragments are held under
the delicate flow of Love's fountain,

so that you can be watered and nourished
into a resilient flower of Hope,
reflecting divine Mercy for all the rest
of us cracked souls to see.


© 2014 Todd Jenkins

Monday, October 13, 2014

No Stone

Sabbath is, first and foremost,
the creation of time, space,
and reflection for the purpose
of removing ourselves from

and repenting of all the thoughts,
words, actions, and systems
that have supplanted
our awestruck posture in the presence
of the great mystery of God.

Wilderness is the ideal setting
for such practices, with its
utter absence of comforts and controls.
Sanctuary will suffice,
if the desert is unreachable.

No stone is exempt
from examination and turning.
No institution gets a bye.

Political, social, cultural,
economic, familial, and even
religious systems must be
held up to the candle of Love
to see if their thread is both
sufficiently strong and flexible.

Systems that make it back
from this weekly sojourn,
tempered and reshaped
by faith’s heat and hammer,
are allowed to direct us
for another week.
 
Photo by Lee Lindsey McKinney

© 2014 Todd Jenkins

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Spilled

Just exactly how, when,
and how much we allow
the fire burning inside us
to be revealed to the world
is different for everyone.

We can launch it with rage,
and hurl shallow expletives
like live hand grenades,
seeking to escape its flame
by finding someone else to blame.

Or we can bury it deep within,
covering it with masks or chemicals,
ashamed to lay our claim.

Or we can find an appropriate outlet,
channeling our passion
into something therapeutic,
if not cathartic.

And then there are those of us
whose prescription seems to be
the dangerous work of shaping
thought, emotion, and meaning
with the elemental blocks of words.

When your blood is the color
of ink, who's to say exactly
which you're spilling,
and how much is too much
or how little is not enough?


© 2014 Todd Jenkins


Monday, October 6, 2014

Bridge


She's headed to Rainbow Bridge.
I remember the day she arrived,
a rescue from the shelter,
sure she was here to deliver us,
and she was absolutely right.


It was the holiday season,
and she couldn't stop singing;
crooning her malamute-mix soprano
to us as if she were the heavenly host,
welcoming messiah with her "in excelsis deo"
and so "Gloria" she became.



She also peed on the floor
each time she broke into song,
reminding us of all our own
perfect imperfections;
reflecting grace at every turn.


We’ll savor the memories:
canine alarm clock bounding into Holly’s bed;
chasing Gracie through the house;
a stranger never crossed her path,
everyone serenaded with gusto,
celebrating our incarnation,
reminding all of our core Godness.


Thanks, G! May we always remember
the way you looked into every soul
to both see and call forth
our divine spark, no matter how hidden.



© 2014 Todd Jenkins