Lord, you are kindness in every color and flavor!
It should all of it fit.
Even all the worst
you’d never have do with it.
“As soon as I lie down, I fall peacefully asleep, for you alone, O Lord, bring security to my dwelling” – Psalm 4:9
When I think of you,
I think of your troubled sleep
and many hard choices.
I see you at night
in the desert,
getting Mary to safety.
And later, again, the three of you in flight,
pyramids looming in the distance.
In all the Gospels you never once opened your mouth.
You didn’t have to. Your actions said it all.
For you were, as all could see,
faithful in all things.
You know I’m not, but would like to be,
so I ask, meekly, that you pray for me
that I might be
in more than just my mind.
They say we’re evolving into robots,
six-million-dollar men, adjusted for inflation,
or actually deflation,
since we’ll become cheaper to make,
and we’ll be everywhere, like plastic stuff
no one wants (not now, though later they will).
“People 2.0” we’ll be, they say,
though no self-respecting robot
would use that term. We don’t
go around calling ourselves
“the chimps” now, now do we?
So yes, we’ll be off flying ourselves
through space in ships oiled to light
beams, just ahead, I suppose,
of the bombs we’ve built
and the rising sea with all the
dead fish in it (it’s a vision
of hope, as I understand it, a new
chance to get it right).
Meanwhile, though, I’m stuck on this
future trash pile on Good Friday
2017, clinging to my cross,
a chimp and chump weak in the wind
of God 2.0
Is there an icon of eyes
of the dove
just above the shoulder –
and of in the eyes
buried in the heart of Jesus?
How could I not live in this world
where I speak to the dead and
they speak to me, and intercede –
if I would, if I pray –
even if I never knew them?
How could I not sign on for angels
and parted seas and tents in the desert,
and the last prophet who was the greatest,
but less than every child still to come?
How could I not want every chance repeatedly
to see and forgive – to tap out deeds of love
and be propped up – to pick up my mat and
soar, dammit, in a sky of mercy?!
I could not not turn to you
or live in any other world.
This is the world,
and I claim it.
I thought I was supposed to
do something big,
but it kept never happening
and I felt really small.
My heart became a sad, little
shrinking thing, and if you took me
whole and entire, I’d have fit through
the hole of a salt shaker.
The crystals were like boulders to me.
The worst of it was
I knew it was good to be little
and so I felt I
had no right to be sad.
I was selling the message of
poor in the Spirit, and believed it too,
so why was I sad? I knew big
would do nothing for me.
Thank God I wasn’t always sad.
Joy stole up like a teasing child.
Play a game. Look at my kaleidoscope.
I didn’t have the heart to shoo her away.
All she had to do was move a single cloud
and the whole world looked different.
When she left, though, to play with her ocean,
I’d put all the clouds back in place.
And it stayed that way, my face
fixed in a wrinkle, and it
stayed that way
until one day I saw
what the problem was.
I was trying to be big by being
a prophet of the little,
but forgot to be, really be, little,
a man at home in his own wooly heart,
working in sleet and sun and stain,
ready to live life alive again.
A man in a hat. A man with a rake.
A man whom happiness would not forsake
at the drop of a hat.
So now I’m off to do that job –
to work for free in God’s own yard.
God will rain and God will blow,
and I’ll rake His leaves and shovel His snow.
And smile as I do, for the little I know.