Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Born on Third

(Living the American Dream)

I must have hit a triple,
'cause here I am on third.
Of course I wasn't born here;
that whole idea's absurd!

Daddy is the umpire,
mama cooks the books;
but isn't that the way
everybody's life looks?

It's true what they say,
"It's lonely at the top."
When all your views are down,
it's really hard to stop.

I've got more stuff than friends;
that doesn't really matter.
It's hard to let your guard down
when your wallet's getting fatter.

One day I'm going to slow down
and be that kind of guy
people want to hang with;
for now I'm kind of shy.

I worry what they're thinking
about the things I say,
and whether they will judge me
or try to take my pay.

It's hard to feel normal
when you're such a special guy.
I do my best to fake it;
I'm usually pretty sly.

Tried ordinary once
but then I got burned.
No one would acknowledge
the luxuries I'd earned.

It's nice here on third;
I'm such a go-getter.
When I steal home,
it'll be even better!

© 2013 Todd Jenkins

Monday, June 24, 2013


Revelation 21:3 uses  σκηνή,
or "tabernacle" two times,
describing God's abode (noun) 
and abiding (verb) in our midst.

God is completely mobile and holy;
two essential characteristics
of  amazing grace and love.

Mobility transcends the single location
of our worship sanctuaries.
Holy is the divine spice that infuses
every element of the universe.

Together, these two inseparable qualities
assure God's abiding in every time,
place, and circumstance of human existence.

Profane, then, becomes nothing more
than our refusal to recognize
the presence of the holy tabernacler.

© 2013 Todd Jenkins

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Information is our culture's new drug of choice.
Convinced that more will get us higher
and overdosing is impossible,
we demand ever-larger syringes-full
and smoke it like it's going out of style.

Giddy with increasingly useless varieties,
we no longer care about quality or purpose.
Self-absorbed, we are sots filled only with
the numbing repetition of data
insulating us from reality. 

Our minds and spirits saturated with trash
equivalent to Sterno strained through a loaf of bread,
we're neither capable of connecting
with narratives nor people.

All we can do is spout irrelevance in random patterns,
the synapses of communion long-since atrophied.
So insidious is this hallucinogenic that we
completely fail to appreciate the logical disconnect
between our appetite for it and our paranoia
regarding broad distribution of our personal data.

Deliver us, O Lord, from this addiction
and its accompanying implosion.
Clear our caches that we might once again
store and retrieve sagas of community.
Gather our fragmented bytes that
they might be archived by love.

Show us again the miracle of stillness,
the healing of silence, the grace of space,
that we relearn the art of interfacing
our memoirs with yours and others',
through the unifying gift of our risen storyteller.

© 2013 Todd Jenkins

Sunday, June 16, 2013

We Called Him "Dad"

We called him “Dad” ‘cause he’s the one
who helped to teach us what
we needed to know for survival;

who stepped beyond the love
his own father knew how to express,
upping the ante for our children;

who believed in us when
we weren't sure anyone else did,
even if he struggled to express it;

who helped us learn to laugh at things
we couldn't change in self or others,
and struggle with all the rest;

who pushed us to move
out of our comfort zones and into
the places where we could see

the faint reflection of what
God has dreamed for us to become;
whose heart broke when ours did,

even if he didn't know how to let it show
through that sandpaper exterior.
We called him “Dad” ‘cause he’s the one.

© 2013 Todd Jenkins

Saturday, June 15, 2013


I find the Spanish translation
of "commitment" to be
quite revealing regarding 
western practice and understanding.

One way to translate it is
obligación; another is dedicación.
But when the word is used in a sentence
related to something political –
for instance, a billboard describing
a candidate's commitment to the electorate 
the word compromiso is used,
which is directly connected to
the English word "compromise".

Does this mean that the Spanish language
recognizes that being committed
to something requires the willingness
and ability to compromise?
If so, this understanding speaks volumes
to our current political situation.

When you are committed,
to a relationship, a job, a state, or nation,
there are certain ways that you
must be willing to compromise.
No compromise, no commitment.
That explains a lot.

© 2013 Todd Jenkins

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Living Faith

What would happen if we
figured out how to slow down
and pay attention to the details,
not just in scripture,
but in our own lives,
the lives of others, and
in the created world?

What would happen if we
figured out how to stand
in the valley of the shadow of death
with courage, not confident
in our own words or abilities,
but confident in the one who lived,
died, and was raised for us all?

What would happen if we
learned how to sit in silence
with the dead and dying,
without needing to say
the “right” thing or
somehow “fix” it?

What would happen if we
figured out how to simply
be present, far beyond the casseroles,
to those who are neck-deep,
or even over their heads,
in grief and sorrow?

What would happen if we
figured out how to both
let our faith live and live our faith?

I think the living could be
brought back from the dead.
I think that’s what we’re here for.

© 2013 Todd Jenkins

Thursday, June 6, 2013


We have had enough
of Super Heroes –
magnified personifications

of strength and power
who use glorified violence
to overwhelm evil.

It is past time to recognize
and celebrate the Supra Hero –
one who can rise above

humanity's banal obsession
with destruction by unleashing
God's ultimate power that conquers
by giving, and wins by letting go: Love. 

© 2013 Todd Jenkins

Monday, June 3, 2013


If your world is constructed
on lottery tickets, scoreboards,
rankings, and competition,
literal or figurative, press the button
for the next available floor
and exit this path immediately.

Life, real and as God intended,
is about living into and through
the already-delivered jackpot of grace.

There is no finish line
toward which we sprint,
no mountain up which we hurry
against time or others.

Arrival is a moment by moment event,
only achievable in the here-and-now
with everything and
everyone else around you.

Welcome to the game
that is no game,
the race already-won,
the gift that can only be unwrapped
and enjoyed, as it expands
exponentially, when shared collectively.

© 2013 Todd Jenkins