Tuesday, February 26, 2013


It begins when we listen for God
at work in places completely foreign to us.

These locations might be
right outside our door,
at a time of day different from
the ones we normally venture out.

They may be across town,
in places we wouldn't travel on purpose,
 or across the globe,
in places that, by our own ignorance,
strike fear into our hearts.

God will not fit in a pocket
or a suitcase; needs neither
to be delivered to nor
rescued from any place.

God simply needs to be found.
When we arrive at any place
that is not home -
and perhaps often at home, too -
our initial task should be
to discern all of the ways and
places in which God is already laboring.

Until we do that, and find
the humility to offer the fullness
of ourselves to that which God
is already doing and desires,
mission will completely elude us.

© 2013 Todd Jenkins

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Lenten Call to Worship

One: The memory of penitential ashes
has already faded and we are still
journeying toward Jerusalem.

Many: At many stops along the way,
we have been tempted to tarry,
being nearly overcome
by the seduction of comfort.

One: But Jesus pushes on,
his pace quickening,
encouraging us to endure.

Many: There is even a promise
of gift-beyond-imagination
 that waits at journey’s end.

All: Let us stay the course for a little longer,
holding on, come cross or high water.

© 2013 Todd Jenkins

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Forgiveness is a story –
a whole story,
but not a finished story –
not just a collection
of isolated events,
sound-bytes, or bullet points.

It is a living novel whose author
must rely on and trust both
omniscience and mercy beyond self.
If you aren’t discovering,
helping write, and learning how
to tell and live the saga
of your own deliverance,
you will not be capable
of stepping back and removing
yourself from the helm
of someone else’s narrative;
grace’s character cannot find
her way to page and lives.

© 2013 Todd Jenkins

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


We talk about it in church
as if we have somehow mastered it;
as if we have ridden and explored
the perimeters of its pastures,
clearly marking its limits
with our fence posts and barbed wire,
or at least with our signposts.

The truth, however, is that we couldn't
envelope it in a lifetime,
even if we rode hard every day.
We'd have better success 
defining all the hues in nature,
than wrapping our heads and words
around prayer's vast expanse.

Let us take a different tack
this season of Lenten reflection.
Instead of seeking to define prayer
or attempting to add another
practice of it to our lives,
 let us set our hearts and minds,
instead, on recognizing all of the ways
our daily lives ARE prayer.

Notice the many ways
that conversation and interaction,
observation and even distraction
are actually among the many faces
of prayer reflected in daily life.

Let us resolve, not to practice
a new form or style,
but instead to identify prayer's
multifaceted presence already
woven into our ordinary extraordinariness.

There's no need to plant, cultivate,
and water exotic varieties
if we haven't even lived and tasted
the volunteers all around us.

© 2013 Todd Jenkins

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lenten Confession

We confess, O God, that we don’t wait very well. When good news is promised at the end of a long hard road, we’d prefer to take a pill or go under the knife, instead of slogging it out on an arduous journey; but you took Peter, James, and John to the mountaintop for a reason – not just to reveal your glory one more spectacular time – but also to give them a glimpse of resurrection, so that they might have the strength and courage to go down to Jerusalem, out to the place of the skull, and through the grave’s three day silence.
Give us that same fortitude, O Lord, so that we might make the journey through the pit of our own suffering once more, and find ourselves, come Easter morning, running back from the empty tomb to spread the crazy news of resurrection all over town; through Jesus Christ, our Passion-Guide. Amen. 

© 2013 Todd Jenkins

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Holy Does as Holy Is

See and share the truth
that the dandelion
is as holy as - sometimes

 even holier than - the daffodil,
precisely because it clings
tenaciously to its own

extraordinary life in the midst of
our daily mundaneness;
prepared to be present

and reflect divine love
in sacred simpleness;
inviting us to do likewise.

© 2013 Todd Jenkins

Friday, February 1, 2013

¿Y tú?

A gleaming seven year-old
squeals with delight
as she rushes to a table
where her parents and
three other children (siblings?)
have been sitting in a fast food restaurant.

Her father shushes her
with a stern look,
but it quickly fades.

They have shared a delicious looking
ice cream cake and animated conversation.
When her cake plate has been picked clean,
she reaches under the table
and picks up a small pink hula hoop.
Joy erupts from her eyes
like sparklers on a black summer night.

I want to step over to her
and say, "Hold tightly to the reality
of this dream, little angel.
It contains the significance
of the whole universe."

But we do not even
speak the same language
in more ways than one.
She knows Spanish;
I, only English.

She still speaks Innocence,
even if it has been tainted
by whatever has already
happened to her in these brief years.

Of course, I can remember
some of that dialect,
but not nearly enough.

¿Y ?

© 2013 Todd Jenkins