Thursday, February 27, 2014


The words on your screen
(or page) are not really written
about you as much as they're about
what I've seen and felt
along the journey of life.

If they comfort or cut you or both,
it may be because you have
felt, heard, and seen things that,
though they're quite dissimilar,
have burned and illumined
you with the same fire and light.

Many years ago,
a regular at my doorstep
was a man who'd seen
more of his share of bad luck
and run-ins with the law.

One day, as he explained to me
why his most recent stint in jail
was quite longer than expected,
he described an altercation
with another prisoner
by the malapropism: coincidence.

Maybe co-incident, instead,
is an appropriate construct
to describe the way our lives intersect
along their spiritual journey;

an apt description of light and fire
from one’s path illuminating and warming others’;
how and why we're never quite
as alone or in the dark
as we might imagine.

Photo by Todd Jenkins

© 2014 Todd Jenkins

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Hurry Up and Wait

“Time is of the essence.”
Schedule and plan for treatment carefully
balanced between speed, accuracy;
agreed upon by consulting professionals,
plotted for patient, family, friends to follow. 

Operational risk deemed necessary,
surgical trauma’s recovery time measured,
monitored; maximum strength, recuperation
desired before next step can follow
and then insurance inserts its monkey wrench.

Hands of the clock, O Lord,
have been spinning out of control since
the first visit’s diagnosis erupted
into our lives, shattering all
previous measuring devices.

Time as chronology has become the new enemy,
upping the ante from wrinkles, creaking joints
to an all-in that is beyond our ability to cover;
minutes, hours, days, weeks, months threaten
to become obsessive-compulsive vortex.

Torturously second guessing ourselves,
squeezing all talismans in hopes of going
back in time to replay the scene;
frantically seeking a holy do-over,
begging the clock to cease its unpredictable palpitations.

Give ear, O God, to swirling chaos;
bring us a new understanding of time–
a measure of holy kairos:
clock of your love, grace, plan;
birthing in us the gift of your “right time.”

We don’t just need pie-in-the-sky
assurance of unimaginable glory beyond
our breathing; give us measuring gifts
for these days, scales by which
to compare our fear and pain
in the balance of your
mercy, forgiveness, wholeness.

Bring us to the place where we can touch
the in-the-flesh promise of Messiah:
one who pitched a tent in our yard,
not as temporary tuxedoed visitor,
but daily companion in the struggle.

Let us synchronize our watches
with the balm of Gilead’s tears;
give us a sense of the palpable presence
of the one whose healing flow washes

over all who cry out for help.
Photo by Katie Jenkins

© 2014 Todd Jenkins

Monday, February 24, 2014


I'm coming, more and more,
to the realization that the critical question
of faith is not, "What do I believe?"
but "Why do I believe it?"

Until we examine the "Why?"
we will never be able to see
all of the ways we are protecting
our own interests at the expense of others.

Truth is, most often,
found in the desert, because that's where
we either abandon one another in fear,
or cling to one another in hope.

Most of what passes for international relations
and interfaith dialog is fearful abandonment
with an illusion of extended hand.

Photo by Anna Kallschmidt

© 2014 Todd Jenkins

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Lexus may be the pursuit of perfection,
but Love is more about the acceptance
and valuing of imperfection.

First, in yourself: the core of grace,
overflowing as God's gift
that’s self-applied; finally,
forwarded to all within your reach.

Comparison and score-keeping are
the path to total destruction;
imperfectly perfect, the way
of creation's grand design;
interaction and appreciation
the universe's modus operandi.

Live into the wonderment
that both your artwork and
your picture are on eternity's fridge,
not because of who you are,
or what you can do/have done
but because of who God is.

Artwork by Max Kallschmidt

© 2014 Todd Jenkins

Monday, February 17, 2014

Free at Last

When it's a reward withheld
from all who either refuse to
or cannot protect us
from our fears,

sacrificing themselves as pawns,
by taking blame for the littered trail
of our relational carnage,

life becomes an angry progression
of bridge-burnings in which
we one day find ourselves
on the wrong side of the river
with no way to reach
those we need.

Love only blossoms when
it is unconditional gift,
shared not to turn a profit,
but to set others free
to reach their created purpose;

when ownership and responsibility
replace all excuses
for failure and estrangement,
offering paths to transformation.

Photo by Todd Jenkins

© 2014 Todd Jenkins

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


More of who I am is what I’d like to give you,
not as if the me-ness of it makes it grand,
but because love– desire is its face–
drives me to know as I want to be known;

to risk the whole of who I am
in the comfort of your presence,
trusting you to hold my self-ness
dear and safe with tender care;

to hear, feel, taste ourselves let go
of all that frightens us about
who we are from skin to deepest deep,
reflecting God’s gift of unconditionality.

Photo by Jennie Jenkins

That’s my Valentine dream for us,
this day and this remaining lifetime.
Join me if you dare, and make appointment
to live and love and share forevermore.

© 2014 Todd Jenkins

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Love always has 
home field advantage,
no matter where 
the game is played.

When it all seems long-over
and even the most loyal fans
have left the parking lot
and headed for what
they believe to be home,

Love comes up
 in the bottom of the ninth.
For some, it is the bottom
of the 18th or 23rd or even 50th+.

No matter if the stands are empty
and even the announcers
have called it quits,

Love has a way of walking,
singling, and sacrificing
the game back to a tie,

until all opponents run out
of relievers and the winning run
crosses the plate.
Yeah, Love wins. Always.
Photo by Todd Jenkins
© 2014 Todd Jenkins

Sunday, February 9, 2014


We're given life to be set free.
You be you and I'll be me.

If, in your you-ness, you find in me
a heart with which you want to be,

and in my me-ness I do declare
you're one for which I deeply care,

then may we bring our us-ness together,
being two-plus-one in love forever.

Photo by Holly Jenkins

© 2014 Todd Jenkins

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Love is a power for others.
If what you have makes you want
a special someone to live and act
in ways that please you,
it is not love.

If what you have makes you feel
warm and tingly, but does not
change the life of someone else
for the better, it is not love.

Love can't be kept to yourself;
it can't exist without making
other people's lives more hopeful,

more meaningful, more joyful.
It overflows to fill

empty places in the universe.

Photo by Cyndi Bagley

© 2014 Todd Jenkins

Monday, February 3, 2014

Prayer Poet

The psalmists knew very well
how carefully loaded phrases
strung together in surprising ways
can be explosive in both
hopeful and dangerous ways;

how hurling guttural truth
toward the heavens changes
the world in ways we can
neither explain nor predict;

how leaving wide margins
of blank silence leaves room
for the other voice to speak.

The pieces that both come from
and travel to the deepest places
often begin with empty lines,

which represent the ways
we duct-tape the voices in our head
long enough to hear the one in our heart.

Those are the ones asking us
questions which most need answering;
questions that all creation asks daily;
questions that weave us into
the tapestry of history and hope.

Photo by Todd Jenkins

© 2014 Todd Jenkins