Sunday, July 27, 2014

Unbelonging

We must not allow our own
fearful attempts at unbelonging
to create a culture of separation.

We must not accept
others' anxiety as normative.

We must not become less
than all the glorious connectedness
by and for which we were created.

The stretch toward holiness
will not be denied,
even if we sacrifice
our own lives to prevent it.

That's why we are breakable,
because God knows all the ways
the universe can be constructed for love;

God waits with eager longing,
picking up every fragmented piece
and carefully reconstructing grace.
 
Amelia Island by Lee Lindsey McKinney

© 2014 Todd Jenkins

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Teaing

Without denigrating or elevating
two of my favorite beverages,
examine with me, if you will,
what our society does
with them and us.

We are espressoed at every turn,
pitched the idea that speed
is the key to happiness,
and incited to gulp giant java
all day long as productivity's enhancement.

What of life's Oolonging?
Ceremoniously or not,
there is deliberateness and attentiveness
in tea's steeping that awakens us
to life's calming cardiac rhythm.

Shutter speed, it turns out,
is not all it's cracked up to be.
Without attention to focal point,
life is a race to a picture of nowhere.
 
Front porch of May Apple Retreat

© 2014 Todd Jenkins

Monday, July 21, 2014

Waiting for Morning

Sunrise over Sodus Point, NY

So many frightening things happen
under the cover of darkness.

Deprivation of visual stimuli
has a way of disorienting
not only our other four senses,
but also our hearts.

Without clear optic input,
dread invades other forms of transmission.

I wait for the Lord more than
watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
(Psalm 130:6)
 
You will know that dawn has arrived
when you are able to recognize

that scary figure lurking
in the darkness as your neighbor;
when the golden light of the sun
rules your heart, your mind, your real estate.


© 2014 Todd Jenkins

Friday, July 18, 2014

Breaker-Weaver

Grace is the gift that, paradoxically,
breaks all false sense
of connection (Good has happened
to me because I did/thought/believed
the right thing.)

and weaves connections
that are too good to be true,
yet true anyway (I'm loved,
not because of who/what
I am/have done,
but because of who God is.)

It lets us open our lives
as a department store,
instead of as a dry goods store.

When we recognize that,
on our own, we'll never be
best or perfect, we don't
have to keep others at arm's length,
only revealing what we perceive
to be our "acceptable" side.

It becomes safe to let others
wander through all our departments,
even those that are still
in a shambles.

© 2014 Todd Jenkins

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Telling




We are shaped by our stories, 
more than we imagine. 
In the revealing of them, 
we not only anchor our past, 
but also form our future.

When was the last time 
you volunteered a saga 
of good news, joy, met expectation, 

without concluding chapters 
of disappointment, regret, 
or wishing for the perfection
of what might have been? 

In the telling of today, 
we highlight the patterns 
that will define our tomorrows, 

so choose your stories well, 
or your hell will slowly go by. 
Nourish your sacred dreams,
'cause the ones you pick, 
you will be known by.

© 2014 Todd Jenkins 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

History

We often fail to see
that History is alive
and not a point in time.

Cultures, societies, and churches
too often forget that she is
much less impressed with our preservation
of a single point in her life,

and much more interested
in us moving forward toward
a more hopeful chapter in her story.

Original photo by Todd Jenkins


© 2014 Todd Jenkins

Saturday, July 5, 2014

2 More

Invocation
God of open invitation beyond our ability to comprehend, we do not mean to come to worship with so many expectations of control and so little anticipation of surprise; but it is sometimes hard for us to trust that you have a plan for us. When we feel helpless, remind us that we never really were in control. When we feel lost, insignificant, and hopeless, remind us that you have found us, you have declared us to be of great value, and you love us. If we are capable of invoking anything this morning, O Lord, let it be our willingness to accept your gracious invitation to let your will unfold its hope and promise into all of the places where we are broken open; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.


Illumination
When we close our eyes, O God, the light, no matter its source, becomes nearly invisible to us. We might as well be in a deep cave whose twisting tunnels have blocked every lumen. Is that why this is such a good posture for prayer? Do we close our eyes so that all of the glorious visual stimuli of creation won’t distract us from the light that you’ve put in our hearts?


Give us courage, this day and every day, to step toward the shadows of life, to struggle with the stories that connect us to you and one another, and to do so as those whose faith mortars the vast expanse between our tiny bricks of understanding; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.