Thursday, January 28, 2016


What if the door I believed
   I was escorted through
      with engraved priority invitation

turns out to actually be the same
   jagged-glass-rimmed basement window
      that I've been zealously guarding
   all this time, as if my job
was to keep out the unchosen?

What if I found out
   the mansion was larger
   than I could even imagine,
and the party has already started?

What if grace really is Grace?

© 2016 Todd Jenkins

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


I don’t mean to exclude any of you who faith from a different place. I just couldn’t resist the word-play. My phone’s autocorrect changed the title to "depress uterine." I don't even know how to respond to that, except to laugh, which is seldom a bad thing, when it’s genuine and about yourself.

The other day, a friend reminded me
that creativity – in writing or otherwise –
doesn’t come from the darkness itself,

but from the power to struggle
against the clouds,
whether that power comes
from within or without.

   That resonates with me,
   like the lowest note
   from an organ pipe,
   vibrating floor, wall, furniture,
   and everyone in the room.

      I suspect we’re all a little more
      acquainted with depression
      than we'd like to be.

         I know that my writing is therapy
         for just such deeps.
         Some of what I write will probably
         never be seen by others.

      Those would be
      the darker pieces that seem
      to blow out life’s brief candle.

But even some of those go out
to you on occasion,
as echoes in the dark;
tappings on the cell wall,

just to let you know that,
even though I've yet
to find a candle to light,
at least we're not alone.

   We have each other and,
   I am certain at the deepest level –
   even if not always on the surface –
   the sacred is also always here,
   even when all tapping fades,
   and all we sense is the beating
   of our own hearts.

      You are here. I am here.
      The holy one is here.
      Gathered or not,
      the three of us form

         our own trinity,
         our own incarnation,
         out of which life, light, and
         grace will surely take root.

“And now faith, hope, 
and love abide, these three; 
and the greatest of these is love.” 
(1 Corinthians 13:13)

© 2016 Todd Jenkins

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Love's Path

Did he wait for you 
as a long-lost friend 
with his tail a-wag
and his eyes aglow? 
Did he bear your pain 
time and time again? 
Your hands in his fur, 
that was grace, you know? 

Canine scent will linger, 
not just in your house, 
but will fill your heart also. 

You'll hear sounds 
that remind you of him; 
see bits and pieces 
still hanging around. 

My prayer is that the tears 
these memories evoke 
are made of both 
the water of sorrow 
and the salt of joy, 
that you may be buoyed 
across the ocean of love. 

Grass gave way on the path he trod, 
faithfully marking a trail, 
of the unconditional love of God 
that cannot and will not fail. 

© 2016 Todd Jenkins

Monday, January 18, 2016


Photo by Lee Lindsey McKinney

"Where is the church?"
I asked, not to a particular person,
but to my heart.

   After listening for
   what seemed like forever,
   I started feeling answers in my marrow.

      "You can find it anywhere;
      sometimes hidden under layers
      of institutional ought, or
      floating free and simple
      in any group that knows
      it's on the way."

      "Wait," I interrupt
      the orthopedic oracle,
      "what do you mean by
      'on the way'?"

   "When people get tired
   of living empty lives –
   tired of filling their existential ache
   with things and rules –  
   they often feel a narrative
   deep in their bones;

a story inviting them not
to moral or conclusion,
but to journey;
not so much to convert the world
as to practice surfing
grace’s tide upon its beaches. 

© 2016 Todd Jenkins

Thursday, January 14, 2016


Photo by Jennie Roberts Jenkins

Grace is a compassionate combustion 
of love and hope, 
providing a constant warmth, 
evaporating the fear,
anxiety, and condemnation—

both of self and other – 
by which our individual selves, 
our interpersonal relationships, 
and our whole world  
have been diluted and polluted. 

Its gentle flame awakens spices
and scents interwoven
throughout our spiritual DNA,
freeing us to a life of rich reduction,
infusing the world around us
with essence of the divine. 

© 2016 Todd Jenkins

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


Hate is a loaded dye-bomb
in the satchel of all we treasure.

         Each time we carry it,
         we stain ourselves and our stuff
         with its destructive vitriol. 

      Our only hope of survival,
      personally and collectively,

   is in offloading it to the One
   whose heart can safely hold all pain,
   and in taking on palettes of grace.

© 2016 Todd Jenkins

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Dove-Speak Love-Speak

Photo by Ben Padgett

In baptism's cleansing water, 
and voice of the dove, 
God declares emphatically 
unconditional love.

Hear the words drifting down,
heed the gospel's true call;
this gift and this promise
made through one, for all.

"...You are my beloved child; 
with you I am well pleased.

© 2016 Todd Jenkins

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


The older I get,
the more I realize
how important words are

   for re-connecting us
   to who we were
   before we were born,

      who we're meant
      to be in this life,
      who we're meant
      to be to one another,

   and who we'll be
   in the end,
   all of whom
   are the same.

© 2016 Todd Jenkins

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year?

Somewhere, way back when,
somebodies decided
this day in the circuit
of mother earth's cyclical journey
'round the big warm ball of fire
would be the beginning.

   It doesn't really matter
   which day it is,
   but it's helpful
   to have such a day;

      one to pause at a self-imposed
      chronological threshold
      glancing into the revolution ahead
      as well as over our shoulder
      at another concluding orbit.

      It's a temporal junction
      of sorts, reminding us
      that we, like time,
      have past, future, and now.

   Here's my intersecting
   hope for us all:
   that yesterday's lessons learned
   don't become tomorrow's
   fear or anger burned;

that the days and years ahead 
don't succumb 
to anxiety and dread;

that today's light is savored
for its sheer joy and beauty,
breath by breath,
word by word,
smile by smile,
selfless act of love
by selfless act of love,
hope by hope.

© 2016 Todd Jenkins