Thursday, October 31, 2013


A menudo se distribuye desde la pluma al papel      
con poca consideración por las consecuencias
de las palabras, frases y significados que se forma.

It is often dispensed from pen to paper
with little regard for the implications
of the words, phrases and meanings it forms.

Sin embargo, cuando se escribe con el corazón,
es la sangre que fluye de la vena a la página,
y nos abre a los planes y propósitos
trascendiendo nuestro limitado entendimiento.

But when we write with our hearts,
it is blood that flows from vein to page,
and opens us to plans and purposes
transcending our limited understanding.

Que la tinta de las venas mientras forma
nuestras firmas en esta alianza,
enlace nuestros corazones en uno
a través de tu gracia
y para tu gloria, Señor;
que nuestros sueños se inspiren en el tuyo;
que nuestra misión refleje tu esperanza.

May the ink of our veins, as it forms
our signatures on this covenant,
bind our hearts to one another,
through your grace
and to your glory, O Lord;
may our dreams be inspired by yours;
may our mission reflect your hope.

© 2013 Todd Jenkins

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


(For my new friend Ancy)

It comes in surprising forms.
The powerful, agile fútbol player
is easily recognized for the way
his graceful body and anticipating mind
can bring the crowd to its feet.

Not so easily identified
is the quiet strength that comes
when the pitch’s glory has faded
and the body is a betrayer.

These less-visible powers
hold families together
in ways we’d never dream,
planting seeds of hope that will
sprout for years to come.

Give us sight, O God,
to see with our hearts,
when our other senses falter,
the many ways your strength
is manifest, especially when
it blossoms from our weakness.

© 2013 Todd Jenkins

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Deliver us: from straining
at the gnats of our
fears, ignorance, and phobias,

while swallowing the camel
of our comfort and contentment;
from a religion that echoes sentiment
but doesn't leave a footprint;

from teary-eyed waving
like fronds of a palm,
caring not if all are fed 
with living water, wine, and bread.

Photo by Farris Ralston

© 2013 Todd Jenkins

Monday, October 21, 2013

Play Ball!

Being mainline is strike one;
small church is strike two;
now we’re just protecting the plate.

Are we attempting to foul-off
anything close, hoping to gain 
a free pass; or actually trying
to connect with anything(one?)
in the neighborhood?

Maybe it’s an altogether
different plate we’re guarding;
one filled more with coins
and George Washingtons
than a representation of
the gifts of God’s generosity.

How do we stay in the game,
when faster-paced events, and activities
with measurable payback get more attention;
where shot and play clock prevail,
and return on investment rules?

How does the timelessness of faith
play in today’s tightly scheduled arena,
where pleasure is the measure,
and every window’s a mirror?

When the upward journey
reveals its cracks, and the good life
turns out to be a hollow shell
with little more inside than unfulfilled hunger,

we’ll recognize the plate we have
isn’t for protecting, but holds
the bread of life; our cup, not for guarding,
but offering living wine and water,
filling the world’s deepest longing:

to share all of our broken self
at the deepest, with neither
fear of rejection nor anxiety
over whether there’ll be
enough for tomorrow.

Photo by Maggie Beamguard

© 2013 Todd Jenkins

Friday, October 18, 2013

With My Hands

Lord, I want to feed your children
in my heart, in my heart.
Lord, I want to feed your children
in my heart. In my heart, in my heart.
Lord, I want to feed your children in my heart.

Will you show me how to feed them
with my hands, with my hands?
Will you show me how to feed them
with my hands? With my hands, with my hands.
Will you show me how to feed them with my hands?

Lord, I want to share clean water
in my heart, in my heart.
Lord, I want to share clean water
in my heart. In my heart, in my heart.
Lord, I want to share clean water in my heart.

Will you show me how to share it
with my hands, with my hands?
Will you show me how to share it
with my hands? With my hands, with my hands.
Will you show me how to share it with my hands?

© 2013 Todd Jenkins

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Do not mistake the certitude and
bravado of fools for leadership.
Neither contains value;

both are like speeding up
when lost, which succeeds
in driving us farther
into the weeds.

Caution, jump-started
by curiosity and imagination,
with deep reflection and

serious questions at every turn,
kicks up dust on a road that
might not be easy, but
will be worth the journey.

© 2013 Todd Jenkins

Monday, October 14, 2013


From all of the things we believe
will protect us from all of the things
we believe we need protecting from;

from words fired as missiles
in retaliation against an imagined army
with real soldiers aiming
betrayals, shame, and guilt our way;

from walls, fences, locked doors,
and alarm systems we believe
will protect us from the inhumanity
of creatures whose hope has been
so torched by the steeply stacked deck
of status quo that our possessions
are valued above our connection;

from unspeakable and escalating violence
that pocks the earth with its meteoric craters
in our attempt to force peace
upon a sea tossed by the roar
of words aimed past each other;

from a constant segmenting and scheduling
of time and busyness that stealthily disappear
like water past a leaky toilet valve;

from worrying so much about
what might happen tomorrow
that  joy cannot be released
from the prison cell 
of today's safety deposit box;

from ego that pairs selective amnesia
and imagined omniscience to propel
self to a number-one draft pick
in a game whose championship
is actually an infinite grace-fest;

protect us, O Lord!

© 2013 Todd Jenkins

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Compassion is not fine china
you pull out on those rare occasions
when the moon of your generosity
and the stars of deserving people
align for an elegant dining experience.

Neither is it a hand extended downward
in pity, quickly withdrawn to security
when its precious cargo has been delivered.

It is, instead an everyday,
moment-by-moment, person-to-person
way of thinking, speaking, acting, living.
It is love, not just in action, but also interaction. 

© 2013 Todd Jenkins

Monday, October 7, 2013


Prayers for the morning,
prayers for the night,
prayers for your loved one
who’s now taken flight.

Prayers for today,
prayers for tomorrow,
prayers for the grieving,
prayers for the sorrow.

May you always find ways to share
and give your own lives more fully,
knowing that the love you had
is not just waiting for you

at the edge of earth and sky,
but also wraps and comforts you
in every moment here and now.

© 2013 Todd Jenkins

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Hope's Seed

When all that we hope for has been
snatched from underneath us,
we come face to face with
the seed and root of hope itself:

the eternal presence and promise
of grace. Our deepest gratitude
for this gift is expressed in the courage
and compassion to risk uncensored presence
in the midst of another's attempt at dying well;

or even to endure the pain
of  helplessly watching someone’s
unnecessarily horrible death because
their image of self could not be rescued
from the prison of its own Hell.

Prayers for all of us whose living
will enter the grave with the dead.
May their love greet us on the far side
of this deep and shadowed valley,
pulling us, by faith, deeper
into life’s joy and meaning.

© 2013 Todd Jenkins

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Dinner Bell

When eye cannot see beyond I,
self loses sight of the other;
the world is a dark, cold place;
we're orphaned from sister and brother.

Consumption becomes the main function,
surrounded by layers of our stuff;
life's an ultimate competition;
everything is never enough.

Construction begins our destruction:
wall, door, lock, fence, gate;
neighbor becomes adversary,
survival is fueled by hate.

As if Exodus had nothing to do with us,
we cling to our titles and deeds,
claiming earth as our own creation.
I'm the flower; you are the weeds.

Freedom to travel begins to unravel
as home becomes the place
where liberty's armed to the teeth
and all have forgotten grace.

Are we unable to come to the table,
where wine is poured and bread broken,
where prodigal and steadfast alike,
find love both lived and spoken?

© 2013 Todd Jenkins