Friday, June 23, 2017

day 174

And I say, "It is my grief
   that the right hand of the
         Most High has
         changed."  Psalm 79:10

when we expect
         a whip, but
   you hold a whiffle ball;
when we long
      for a sword, only
   to see you offering
   a sandwich;
when we think
         you should wield
         an iron fist, but
   are caressed by
   a hand callused
      from building shelters,
may we laugh
with joy, not
         shed tears
         of regret.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, June 22, 2017

day 173

"Has God forgotten to be
         gracious?
   Has he in anger shut up
         his compassion?"  Psalm 77:9

in our anger
      towards others, we
   forget about
            grace,
   trying to lock
   its compassion,
      hope,
             joy
   deep in the
   recesses of our
         hearts,
where
we have closeted
              God.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

day 172

Sheol and Abaddon lie
         open before the LORD,
   how much more human
         hearts!  Proverbs 15:11

we pile
all the brush, branches,
         and leaves we can
         to cover over
   the emptiness in
   our hearts, but you
still jump
in feet first
      to fill us with
   you.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

day 171

From the heavens you
         uttered judgment;  Psalm 76:8a

you enunciated
         judgment, but
   it arrived in
   the cry of a
      baby born
      into poverty, so
we might be
set free from
   sin's injustice
   and death's
         onerous
         stillness.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, June 19, 2017

day 170

'Look, you scoffers!
   Be amazed and perish,
for in your days I am doing a
         work,
   a work that you will never
         believe, even if
         someone tells you.' "  Acts 13:41

we mock those
who
      deliver meals
      to the home bound;
   tutor homeless
   children;
      advocate for
      health care for
      the most vulnerable;
   defend the rights
   of all people, never
noticing it is
you

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, June 18, 2017

day 169

But the woman whose son was alive said to the king - because compassion for her son burned within her - "Please, my lord, give her the living boy; certainly do not kill him!"  The other said, "It shall be neither mine nor yours; divide it."  1 Kings 3:26

when leaders
[in their wisdom]
         push to take
         away all that
   might give children
   in poverty,
       on the streets,
          living in war zones,
   a chance at life, will we
cry out
      'have mercy'
   or
'cut away'?

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
      

Saturday, June 17, 2017

day 168

A gentle tongue is a tree of
         life,
   but perverseness in it
         breaks the spirit.  Proverbs 15:4

when i
open my mouth
          today, may
i plant seeds
            of
   hope,
      wonder,
welcome,
      grace.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, June 16, 2017

day 167

And he said to them, "You yourselves know that it is unlawful for a Jew to associate with or to visit a Gentile; but God has shown me that I should not call anyone profane or unclean."  Acts 10:28

may those sticks
we could use to
      smack opponents
   be used to build
   shelter for the homeless;
may those stones
we could use to
      wall off outsiders
   be used for a
   bridge across anger's abyss;
may those words
of condemnation and ridicule
we could hurl
      at all who offend us
   be turned into
   love songs.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, June 15, 2017

day 166

But the king said to Araunah, "No, but I will by them from you for a price; I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing."  2 Samuel 24:24

may
   our compassion
   cost us our
         apathy;
   our love
   cost us our
         hate;
   our hope
   cost us our
         bitterness . . .
may every gift
we can offer
   cost us our
         desire to hoard.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

day 165

Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.  Acts 9:3

personally,
      we hope our
            conversion
   is more
   like a night light
      keeping us from
      stubbing our toes
      in the shadows, not
a bright light
knocking us off
   our ass(umptions)

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

day 164

Those who oppress the poor
         insult their maker;
   but those who are kind to
         the needy honor him.  Proverbs 14:31

so, it is actually
         you
we think should
pull yourself up
   by your bootstraps,
we mock for using
   food stamps,
we call a
   welfare cheat?
!!!

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, June 12, 2017

day 163

For I was envious of the
         arrogant;
   I saw the prosperity of the
         wicked.  Psalm 73:3

may our mentors be
   the kids who
   spend their lunch
   money on fixings
         for meals for
         rough sleepers;
   teenagers who
   mow lawns and
   babysit to
      help pay for
      a mate's chemo;
   those whose humility
   is simply who
            they are, not
      a political expediency.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, June 11, 2017

day 162

May he judge your people
         with righteousness,
   and your poor with justice.  Psalm 72:2

in our marathon
to judge others
      based on our
      worries,
         doubts, and
         misconceptions,
may we be
refreshed with
the water of grace
   you offer to us
   as we race by, so
we can cross
the finish line
         hand in hand
   with those we
   discover are
our sisters and brothers
in hope.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, June 10, 2017

day 161

The poor are disliked even
         by their neighbors,
   but the rich have many
         friends.
Those who despise their
         neighbors are sinners,
   but happy are those who
         are kind to the poor.  Proverbs 14:20-21

as we deepen
         in kindness
   may we discover
   the deep and
         abiding
friendship
   of those folks
             others believe
are of no value
   to themselves
   or
   anyone else.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, June 09, 2017

day 160

So even to old age and gray
         hairs,
   O God, do not forsake me,  Psalm 71:18

despite the
stress highlights
      dancing across
      my head,
   the canyons worry
   has carved in
      my visage,
   the creaking
   of my joints
      with every move,
you cradle me
in your arms, whispering,
   'my sweet baboo,
   my beloved,
   my joy.'

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, June 08, 2017

day 159

But I will hope continually,
   and will praise you yet
         more and more.  Psalm 71:14

when i am
rocking furiously
      on the porch,
   in a grumble
   over all that
      has come my way,
take me by
hand and sit me
      beside you at
      the scarred piano
   teaching me hope's
   chopsticks, so
we can play
as one.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

day 158

In you, O LORD, I take
         refuge;  Psalm 71:1a

may we become
      a shelter
         for those whose
         grief keeps them awake, 
      a kitchen
         for those who
         hunger for hope,
      a hospice
         for those dying
         of loneliness,
      a panic room
         for those bullied
         by platitudes.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

day 157

But I am poor and needy;
   hasten to me, O God!  Psalm 70:5a

when we would
hemandhaw
      with our reasons,
   using our busyness,
             our bum knees,
             our bare cupboards
   to put off caring,
double dare us
      to beat you
   in a sprint
to help the
            vulnerable.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, June 05, 2017

day 156

All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need.    Acts 2:44-45

it is as simple
as bringing all
      our accumulated
      stuff for a yard
   sale (letting folks
      take all they can
      put in a bag for $1
      the last hour), and
using the funds
to feed the hungry,
   offer shelter to the homeless,
and a community to the
            lonely . . .

yet
it seems so
uncommon.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, June 04, 2017

day 155

And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.  Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.  Acts 2:2-4

if we are not
willing to let
      you take our breath
   away, Spirit, and fill
      us with your passion
   for the broken,
         the ignored,
         the unloved,
         the other, perhaps
we should just
replace the windows
of our hearts,
   install a new sprinkler
   system in our souls,
and keep mumbling
the same old, same old
we have done for
            centuries.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, June 03, 2017

day 154

With your faithful help
         rescue me
   from sinking in the mire;  Psalm 69:13c-14a

when the world
dares me
      to jump feet
      first into fear's
   quicksand, send
Spirit with the
blueprints for
      building a
      bridge to your
hope.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, June 02, 2017

day 153

He said to him the third time, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" And he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep."  John 21:17

when we think
the sheep
      never stop
      showing up,
   always forget to
   say 'thank you,'
      and that we
      don't have enough
      to share, remind us
that before you
ever challenged us
      with this simple
                     task, you
fed us with
all we need
to do the same.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, June 01, 2017

day 152

Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"; and she told them that he had said these things to her.  John 20:18

in the middle
of the muddle
      of our messes,
   may we see you
   coming behind,
         broom and pan
         in hand, cleaning
up
   after us, until
we start helping
others whose lives
      are littered
      behind them,
letting them in
on the secret of
   faithfulness.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

day 151

He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in.  John 20:5

we stare at
      the empty
      tomb afraid,
   if we go in,
death
   will leave us
   lying there like
             a pile of
         empty clothes,
rather than believing
resurrection
   will clothe us in
garments of grace.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

day 150

So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe.  Pilate said to them, "Here is the man!"  John 19:5

ecce homo
   who would
   be broken
         to heal the world;
   who would
   walk into death's
         cold embrace,
      so our frozen hearts
      might be thawed
      in resurrection's love;
   who would
   give his life
         so we might
      find ours!

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, May 29, 2017

day 149

"Blessed be your good sense, and blessed be you . . . "    1 Samuel 25:33

bless us
with common sense,
that we might
      see others
      through your eyes,
   not our fears;
that we might
      understand the loneliness
      of those around us,
   and not remain detached
   from them;
that we might
      judge, not with
      bitterness and anger,
   but with compassion
   tipping the scales
towards grace.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, May 28, 2017

day 148

Jesus answered, "I told you that I am."  John 18:8

facing evil
   with love,
staring down injustice
   with grace,
striding into death
   for our sakes,
being at our side
   through grace,
you are
so
we can be.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, May 27, 2017

day 147

"As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world."  John 17:18

send us
not as experts
      but as learners;
not as heroes
      but as helpers;
not as professionals
      but migrant workers;
not as saviors,
      but as servants;
not as ours,
      but as theirs.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, May 26, 2017

day 146

God gives the desolate a
         home to live in;
   he leads out the prisoners
         to prosperity,
   but the rebellious live in a
         parched land.  Psalm 68:6

you transform
your heart into
      a boarding house
      for the lonely;
you create
start-ups for
      those just released
      from jail;
you turn our
arid lives
      into fountains
      of hope.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, May 25, 2017

day 145

"Abide in me as I abide in you."  John 15:4a

because we are
                 sure
you won't let us
   put our feet up
      on the coffee table,
   stand at the fridge
      and drink milk right
      from the container,
   leave our dirty socks
      scattered on the floor,
                 we
just aren't ready
to move into your heart,
                 or
have you move
into ours, if you
   are going to spend
   all your time
straightening up
   everything.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

day 144

In the path of righteousness
         there is life,
   in walking its path there is
         no death.  Proverbs 12:28

may we sweep
      aside the pebbles
      of fear;
   pull the weeds
   oppression planted;
      fill in the potholes
      caused by the
      steady drip of despair,
so
all may walk
the way to
justice and hope.

(c) 2017  Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

manchester

some will  
         build
   a wall
out of flowers and candles,
cards and tweets,
photographs and memories,
fears and tears, a place
where we can come
and let our tears drop
into that river
which longs to cleanse
the streets of grief;

some would
         build
   a wall  
out of rhetoric and
   platitudes, the
old accusations placed
word by word to reinforce
suspicions based on ignorance,
arrogance grounded in privilege,
beliefs founded on untruths;

some long to
         build
   a wall
around speech
with which they disagree,
enclosing faiths
they are taught are unbelievers,
between people who
are not enough like them;

a bridge could be
         built
between shattered hearts
and dreams turned to ashes,
between those who are misunderstood
and those who are misinformed,
between neighbors who have lived there forever
and immigrants longing for a community,
between people of all faiths and none
who share the common commitment
to peace, justice, love, and hope

but sometimes
it is just easier
to be wall builders.


© 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 143

Come and hear, all you who
         fear God,
   and I will tell what he has
         done for me.  Psalm 66:16

have you heard
         about
   those who ran
      toward carnage;
   those who
      carried their friends
      to safety;
   those who refuse
      to let fear control
      their lives?

come, and listen . . .

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, May 22, 2017

day 142

Although he had performed so many signs in their presence, they did not believe in him.  John 12:37

though
little children
     welcome strangers
     to their inner circles,
teenagers treat
      the homeless
      to meals,
parents work two
jobs to give
      medicine to
      loved ones,
seniors spend
'golden years' in
      disaster relieve,
still
we ask, 'where
can we see
   hope
      grace
   joy
      kindness?'

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, May 21, 2017

day 141

"Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor."  John 12:26

'sure hope
         someone
   goes and helps
   those poor folks
hit by the
   flood/fire/storms/whatever,'
we tut before
turning to find
the funnies, while
      you are already there
waiting
   for your fellow
helpers
          to get off
          our comfy cliches
and join you.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, May 20, 2017

day 140

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jeshanah, and named it Ebenezer; for he said, "Thus far the LORD has helped us."  1 Samuel 7:12

the faded picture
      of the mentor
   who helped us find
   the path through
            life's brambles;
the marker in the garden
      for the ashes
      of the dog
   who never left our side
   during her best friend's
            cancer;
the wearing down
      of wedding rings
   while the love
   grows ever stronger,

ebenezers
are all around us.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, May 19, 2017

day 139

Hear my voice, O God, in my
         complaint;
   preserve my life from the
         dread enemy.  Psalm 64:1

as you listen,
hear my
      hopes,
   not just my hurts;
         my
      laughter,
   not just my loneliness;
         my
      gratitude,
   not just my grumbling;
         my
      faith,
   not just my fears, and
save me
from the wearying
parts of
     me!

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
  

Thursday, May 18, 2017

day 138

He raises up the poor from
         the dust;
   he lifts the needy from the
         ash heap,
to make them sit with
         princes
   and inherit a seat of
         honor.  1 Samuel 2:8

in our rush
for more, we
         shove others out
         of the way, but
   you pick them up
   and dust them off;
we toss
         the broken hopes
         of friends in
         the bin, but
   you turn them
   into treasures for your
               heart;
we tell the servers
to stay in the kitchen
until the feast is over, but
   you bring them out
   and seat them at your
         right hand.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman





Wednesday, May 17, 2017

day 137

Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, "My daughter, I need to seek some security for you, so that it may go well with you."  Ruth 3:1

may we be
      the sanctuary
   for all who
   are chased
   by their fears;
      the home
   for all who
   have lost
   everything;
      the surety
   for those
   the world
   distrusts.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
     

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

day 136

At mealtime Boaz said to her, "Come here, and eat some of this bread, and dip your morsel in the sour wine."  So she sat beside the reapers, and he heaped up for her some parched grain.  She ate until she was satisfied, and she had some left over.  Ruth 2:14

put out extra
      chairs at
   the table;
cut the bread
      into thinner
   slices so all
   may eat;
pour less wine
      in the glasses,
   so all will have
   their thirst quenched;
hold hands
      to grace the
   food and fellowship;
welcome the
      other into
your community.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, May 15, 2017

day 135

Let me abide in your tent
         forever,
   find refuge under the
         shelter of your wings.  Psalm 61:4

when the world
      packs up
      my life, setting
   the suitcase out
   on the porch (after
            changing all
   the locks
   in the house), you
come along,
pick it up and,
      taking me by
      the hand,
   lead me into
   your heart.     

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, May 14, 2017

day 134

"And the one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him."  John 8:29

when we
      throw open
   the door for
      outsiders;
   stand between
      the kids
   and their tormentors;
      spend more
   on the poor, than
      on ourselves,
we fill
         you
with delight.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, May 13, 2017

day 133

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said tot hem, "Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her."  And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground.  John 8:7-8

those petulant
      pebbles we
   lodge in others' souls;
those rocks we
would place so
      those we detest
   would trip over
   their narcissism;
those stones we
      would hurl
   to crush the
                 hopes
         of outsiders?

crumble them
into the canvas
      on which you
   finger paint
         grace

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, May 12, 2017

day 132

The Jews were astonished at it, saying, "How does this man know his letters, when he has never been taught?"  John 7:15

you draw us
         up
   on your lap,
pulling out the
tattered set of
         flash cards
you have carried
for years,
   reminding us
   once again that
G is for grace
I is for inclusion
J is for justice
          and on through
the alphabet of
      life.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, May 11, 2017

day 131

But I will sing of your might;
   I will sing aloud of your
         steadfast love in the
         morning.  Psalm 59:16

from songs composed
      at sunrise,
   to toe-tappers
      in the gym;
from ditties
      about your delight
   to lullabies of love,
i will sing
of your grace
         until
      it becomes an
   earworm
in the world.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

day 130

When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, "Rabbi, when did you come here?"  John 6:25

when
we are wheeled
      into surgery,
find a quiet corner
   away from the bullies,
walk tearfully
      to the graveside,
hesitantly enter
   the interview room,
we find
            you
already waiting
      for us.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

day 129

A large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick.  John 6:2

a casserole
      placed in the
   hands of a neighbor;
a call
      to a legislator
   advocating for
   health care for all;
a drive
   to the pharmacy
   to pay for the prescription
      of the homeless
      fellow;
a journey
   to accompany
   our doctor
      on a mission
      to care for others,
may these
and so many more
   be the signs
   of what we
are doing for
the sick.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, May 08, 2017

day 128

"You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf."  John 5:39

it is not in
the angry voices
      that reach out
   for our emptiness,
the social media
      which promises
   to be our family,
that life
      which seems
   to be just one purchase
            away;
but it is
         in
your heart
where we find
   our deepest
         longings.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, May 07, 2017

day 127

When the Israelites cried to the LORD . . . the Lord sent a prophet to the Israelites;  Judges 6:7-8

the teacher
      comforting
   the bullied teenager;
the retiree
      spending
   a month at a time
   with disaster relief
           groups;
the child
      delivering food
   parcels to rough sleepers,

your unnamed
      prophets
are all around us

if we would only
listen.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, May 06, 2017

day 126

Then he came again to Cana in Galilee where he had changed the water into wine.  John 4:46a

come again and
         again, to
change despair
   into hope;
amend our legalism
   into love;
transform fear
   into trust;
alter our apathy
   into action;
revamp our
      condemnation
         into
   compassion.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, May 05, 2017

day 125

Be gracious to me, O God,   Psalm 56:1a

in the silly songs
      of preschoolers at
   the story time;
in the memories
      of octogenarians
   at a wedding;
in the dog
      sticking its head
   out the car window
            and smiling;
in the moonbeam
      teasing a kitten
   at 3 in the morning,
your graciousness
pours out
            upon us.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, May 04, 2017

day 124

But he had to go through Samaria.  John 4:4

when we
go through
      shadows of grief,
   may we reach hope;
as we travel
through rejection's pain,
   may we see the
   hearts waiting to welcome
            us;
while we journey
through fear's famine,
   may we smell
   the aroma of
         trust's feast;
may we tiptoe
through our parched
                    hearts,
   to drink deeply
from love's well.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
  

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

day 123

"Be careful, therefore, to love the LORD your God."  Joshua 23:11

we carelessly
         toss aside
   those who
   are in our way;
indifferent,
      we do not
      notice those
   longing for hope;
too rushed,
      we don't slow
   down
      to listen to
      the songs of
      children,
and then wonder
why you think
         we don't love
you.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

day 122

Attend to me, and answer
         me;
   I am troubled in my

         complaint.
I am distraught by the noise

         of the enemy,
   because of the clamor of

         the wicked.
For they bring trouble upon

         me,
   and in anger they cherish

         enmity against me. Psalm 55:2-3

the trolls just waiting
      to bully;
the new post pings
      interrupting my sleep;
the octothorpes
      consuming my soul;
and Larry not
      always bringing
   happiness, so

why don't i
            turn them off,
   and rest
in you?

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, May 01, 2017

day 121

His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."  John 2:5

uh,
the part about
         blessing kids,
   and listening
         to outsiders;
the reminders of
         loving your enemies,
   and doing good
   every chance you have;
the hopes we would
         throw parties
         for the wasteful,
   and give away
   all that we have -

were we not listening?

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
  

Sunday, April 30, 2017

day 120

When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, "What are you looking for?" They said to him, "Rabbi" (which translated means Teacher), "where are you staying?"  He said to them, "Come and see." They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o'clock in the afternoon.  John 1:38-39

in the morning,
we will find
             you
   standing by the
   bed of the child
         in the cancer unit;
in the afternoon,
we will find
             you
   rescuing immigrants
   adrift on the sea
         of indifference;
in the evening,
we will find
             you
   sleeping with the
   homeless on the
         streets,
if we only
         go
and see.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, April 29, 2017

day 119

Have they no knowledge,
         those evildoers,
   who eat up my people as
         they eat bread,
   and do not call upon God?  Psalm 53:4

using bread with grains
harvested by farmers
      struggling to stretch
      their budgets;
   piling on veggies
      picked by
      weary-backed
            migrants;
   adding a few meat
   slices produced
      by low-paid
      meat-processors
      and truck drivers, we
offer a quick
               grace
as we bite
into the lives
   of those we
   rarely notice.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, April 28, 2017

day 118

Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight.  Luke 24:31

when i can
      Hubbly see
      the far shores
      of the universe, but
         not the jagged
   edges of injustice;
when i can watch
      a microbe swim
      in the sea, but
         not the tear
   on a child's cheek;
when i can
      gaze at another
      with lust, never
   noticing their soul,

         open my eyes
that i may recognize
            you
   in every one
       every where
       every moment.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, April 27, 2017

day 117

They found the stone rolled away from the tomb . . . but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here, but has risen."  Luke 24:2, 5b

Hope strode out
   of the grave, arms
               wide open;
Joy turned cartwheels
   as it sprang out of
               the gloom;
Grace danced
   out of the hollow, eager
   to take us by the hand;
Life folded up
   the grave clothes, longing
   to wrap us in
               laughter,
                             and
we keep trying to
stuff them back in
      and roll the stone
   shut.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

day 116

Doing wrong is like sport to
         a fool,   Proverbs 10:23a

in the evening,
we play
      kick-the-con,
      hide-and-seek
   with the vulnerable,
      freeze tag
   with refugees,
never noticing
         how
   we might offer
      a hope,
      an ear,
      a job
instead.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

day 115

They kept heaping many other insults on him.  Luke 22:68

when we snigger
      at those standing
      on the corner
   with hand-made signs;
when we toss
      neighbors into
      a basket with
   a toss-off remark;
when we whisper
      about our friends
      behind our hands,
   while smiling at them,
we pile more
insults
         on you.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, April 24, 2017

day 114

but he said to him, "Judas, is it with a kiss that you are betraying the Son of Man?"  Luke 22:48

we betray you
      not with a kiss,
   but in the people
   we kick to the side
            of life;
      not with a sword,
   but with the sneer
   we offer to
            the hopeful;
      not with a word
   but in the silence
   uttered to
            injustice.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, April 23, 2017

day 113

"Call on me in the day of
         trouble;
   I will deliver you, and you
         shall glorify me."  Psalm 50:15

may we be
      the family
   for the lonely
   who call on you;
      the peace
   in the war-torn
   who cry out to you;
      the grace
   for all who
   whisper their pain
               to you.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, April 22, 2017

day 112

"Give me a sign of good faith."  Joshua 2:12c

may opening our
      treasure be a
   sign of generosity;
may our kind words
      be a sign of
   gentle grace;
may our embrace
      be a sign
   of genuine love;
may our lives
      offered to others
   by signs of
      goodness where
   so much is needed.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, April 21, 2017

day 111

He said, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; for all of them contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on."  Luke 21:4

we give you
      the change
   left from our
   frothy latte, and
think how much
we have sacrificed,
            while
   the barista
   offers you her
         heart,
and overflows
with
            joy.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, April 20, 2017

day 110

We ponder your steadfast
         love, O God,  Psalm 48:9a

we study your
      steadfast love, and
   fail the test
   when we mistreat others;
we dissect your
      hope, leaving it
   pinned to the tray,
            while we turn out
            the lights and leave;
we speed-read through
      your grace, and
   put it back
   on the shelf to
         gather dust.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

day 109

Surely, this commandment I am commanding you today is not too hard for you, nor is it too far away.  Deuteronomy 30:11

hope is as near
   as a child
   reaching for a
            hand;
justice is as easy
   as caring for
   the most
         vulnerable;
love is as nigh
   as the butterfly
            kiss
   of a grandma;
grace is as simple
   as a kind
             word;
joy is as close
   as splashing
   in a
         puddle.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

day 108

But they understood nothing about all these things; in fact, what he said was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.  Luke 18:34

because
we let
   resurrection joy
   slip through our
            hearts like
            sand, even
after all this
      time we
   seem to understand
         nothing
   of what happened
   on that morning, and
            so
      keep hope hidden
            from
others.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, April 17, 2017

day 107

"I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them.  And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"  Luke 18:8

in the gardens,
      where community
      is planted alongside
   vegetables;
in the playground
            games,
      where bullies
      are transformed into
   teammates;
in the businesses,
      where compassion
      takes priority over
   profits,
may you find

faith.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, April 16, 2017

day 106

Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, "The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed;"  Luke 17:20

the kingdom comes
   not with power
         but with those
         who listen to 
      the meek;
   not with loud shouts,
         but with children
         whispering hope in
      each others' ears;
   not with the cold
   reality of death,
         but with the
         unexpected joy
      of an empty grave.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, April 15, 2017

day 105

The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!"  Luke 17:5

we keep waiting
         for
   the lottery numbers
      to hit;
   the winning raffle
      ticket have our name;
   the big package
      to arrive, while
that little seed
   we keep trying
   to get unstuck
from our hearts
is all we
         need.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, April 14, 2017

day 104

So he said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of others; but God knows your hearts;"  Luke 16:15

when we drop
off groceries at
the pantry, but don't
   speak to those waiting
   at the door;
when we serve
at the shelter, but
   know none of
   the guests by name;
when we sing songs
for the residents
at the retirees' home,
   but don't bother
   to listen to their
                 lives, we
have simply stuck
   in our thumb
and pulled out
   aplomb,
saying, 'what good
people we are!'

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman  

Thursday, April 13, 2017

day 103

A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living.  Luke 15:13

   we've gone to
   that far country
         called foolishness:
spending grace
      on greedy goods;
confusing lust
   for love;
mortgaging our hopes
      for a place
      where every hunger
   is filled, wondering
all the while
if you have even
         noticed
we are gone.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
  

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

day 102

"Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot me my disciple."  Luke 14:27

perhaps
that cross
            is simply
   the secrets
   another confides
         in us;
   the little child
   hoping for someone
         to help with
      the hard words;
   the loneliness
   of a neighbor
      wandering the
      wilderness of
            adolescence;
   the memories of
   a senior citizen
         who lives them
      over and over
      again.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

        

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

day 101

Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, so that you may live and occupy the land that they LORD your God is giving you.  Deuteronomy 16:20

i can spend months
   training, increasing
      my miles, focusing
      on the upcoming marathon;
i go twice a week
   to the boot camp
   to get back to
         my college weight
         and energy for
      the reunion;
i continue to play
   sports my doctor
   reminds me only
      damage my body
              more . . .

but chasing
      justice?

i barely break
a
sweat.

(c)  2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, April 10, 2017

day 100

He said therefore, "What is the kingdom of God like?  And to what should I compare it?"  Luke 13:18

the kingdom is like
   a kitten stalking
   a sunbeam until
      it captures it
      to share a nap;
   a class of kids
   donating their favorite
               books
      to a homeless shelter;
   a woman passing on
   her nana's handwritten
         cookie recipes
      to her
   grandson.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, April 09, 2017

day 99

Remember today that it was not your children (who have not known or seen the discipline of the LORD your God), but it is you who must acknowledge his greatness, his mighty hand and his outstretched arm,  Deuteronomy 11:2

we could hope
      our kids
   will figure everything
   out, or we
can see your strength
      in the little ones
      standing up to bullies,
feel your power
      in the mothers
      protesting injustice,
know your hope
      in the arms
      that cradle the
   patients receiving chemo.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
  

Saturday, April 08, 2017

day 98

You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.  Deuteronomy 10:19

we could
   change the code
      on the security system
      every 12 hours;
   install steel-plated
      doors front and back;
   put out guard dogs
      in the yard
      when dusk falls;
               or
welcome you
in the immigrants
   longing to share
   your hope
with us.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, April 07, 2017

day 97

"No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar, but on the lampstand so that those who enter may see the light;"  Luke 11:33

when we would
box you up
      and store you
      in the basement
   with the tree, lights,
   and ornaments, may
we learn to sit
with you at the window
      in the living room,
   your soul glowing as
you wait for
the prodigals to
      come home.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, April 06, 2017

day 96

Happy is the one who listens
         to me,
   watching daily at my
         gates,
   waiting beside my doors.  Proverbs 8:34

i could sit
      on the porch
                 steps,
   eager for foolishness
   to finish breakfast and
         come out to
               play tag, or
i could curl
      up in your lap,
   as you read
   me stories of
         hope
         and
         grace.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

day 95

But take care and watch yourselves closely, so as neither to forget the things that your eyes have seen not to let them slip from your mind all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children's children -- Deuteronomy 4:9

we can show
our kids and
         grandkids
   pictures of all
   the wrong others
            do, or
   let them watch
   the videos of
      the helpers and
      repairers;
we can let goodness
   slip through the
   crevices of our
      brains into
      nothingness, or
hand it on
to those walking
   after us.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
  

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

day 94

"and in the wilderness, where you saw how the LORD your God carried you, just as one carries a child, all the way that you traveled until you reached this place.  But in spite of this, you have no trust in the LORD your God,"  Deuteronomy 1:31-32

      because
the photos are
   faded and curled,
the stories are
   dismissed as fanciful,
            and
the tellers are
   seen as ancient, we
remain unconvinced
about cradling the
      cares of others,
and leave them
behind in their
 
desolations.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, April 03, 2017

day 93

Be pleased, O LORD, to
         deliver me;
   O LORD, make haste to
         help me.  Psalm 40:13

not an obligation
      nor something
      to cross off your
      to-do list, but
   you reclaim us
               because
      it completes your heart;
not shutting the
            window
      so you won't hear,
   nor reluctant to
   get out of your
            chair,
you rush out
the door to assist
      us whenever
we call.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, April 02, 2017

day 92

   then I was beside him, like
         a little child;
and I was daily his delight,
   rejoicing before him
         always,  Proverbs 8:30 (alt. reading)

if we would
      only stop
      trying to be
   so adult in
      order to get
      you to approve
               of us,
we might discover
you love us
            simply
   because we are
your
children.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, April 01, 2017

day 91

Happy are those who make
   the LORD their trust,
who do not turn to the
         proud,
   to those who go astray
         after false gods.  Psalm 40:4

the arrogant bait
   their hooks with
   enticing morsels
         of power, hoping
   to hook us and
      carry us home
      to mount on their
               walls, so
help us drift
   along on the
   living waters, content
to be lazy with
         you.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, March 31, 2017

day 90

"Hear my prayer, O LORD,
   and give ear to my cry;
   do not hold your peace at
         my tears.
For I am your passing guest,
   an alien, like all my
         forebear."  Psalm 39:12

whether our hearts
      can only whisper
                  or
   we are swearing
   at the top of our
               lungs,
         you listen;
whether we are
dressed for the prom
                  or
   wearing our
   faded hand-me-downs,
         you welcome us;
whether we can
      pull out a
      multipage genealogy
                  report, or
   just arrived,

we are your
      children.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, March 30, 2017

day 89

But it is for you, O LORD,
         that I wait;
   it is you, O LORD my God,
         who will answer.  Psalm 38:15

when i rush
      about, be
         my yield
         sign;
when i spin
      in giddy
      circles, be
         my caim;
when i tap my
      feet impatiently, be
         a waltz;
when i babble
      a hundred words
      a second, be
         silence's
         soft whisper, so
i may discover
you in the
   patience.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman


        

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

day 88

I have good advice and
         sound wisdom;
   I have insight, I have
         strength.  Proverbs 8:14

i could sign-up
for another seminar, or
      learn football from
      the kids in the street;
i could put up
more shelves for
more books, or
      listen to the stories of
      my neighbors;
i could earn
another degree, or
      learn a new language
      from a co-worker;
i could remain
a know-it-all,
      or start from scratch
      with you.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

     

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

day 87

When the men had come to him, they said, "John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, 'Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?'"  Luke 7:20

while we drum
      our fingers on
      our faded dreams
waiting for the
one who will restore
   our might
   our greatness
   our wealth
   our membership
            you
are rescuing the
       immigrants,
   giving medicine
       to the sick,
   picking up those
      who have stumbled,
   opening the eyes
      of the unwilling,

and waiting

for us to stop asking
and start doing.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, March 27, 2017

day 86

"But the one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation."  Luke 6:49a

if i don't translate
your words into
   a home for
         refugees,
   a meal for
         the hungry,
   a book for
         a child,
   a vial of medicine for
         the sick,
have i truly
been
      listening?

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, March 26, 2017

day 85

though we stumble, we
         shall not fall headlong,
   for the LORD holds us by
         the hand.  Psalm 37:24

when we tumble off
      faith's seat,
   you bandage
   our skinned knees,
         tighten the
         training wheels, and
   adjust the pedals
so our legs can
reach hope and
      grace, as
we learn to ride
the sidewalks
   of your kingdom.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, March 25, 2017

day 84

These are the waters of Mer'i-bah, where the people of Israel quarreled with the LORD, and by which he showed his holiness.  Numbers 20:13

we would rather
      jump feet first
   into quibble's
   deep waters, sinking
                        down
      to grab
      contention's bones
      lying on the
            bottom,
than take the
         glass
   of peace
you hold out to
                     us.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, March 24, 2017

day 83

Better is a little that the
         righteous person has
   than the abundance of
         many wicked.  Psalm 37:16

instead of
   waiting for
the lottery winnings
   (or pot of gold)
to magically
         appear,
remind us that
      whatever
   we might have is
      enough
to help those
who have been
   waiting for
hope.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman











Thursday, March 23, 2017

day 82

Do not fret because of the
         wicked;
   do not be envious of
         wrongdoers, Psalm 37:1

may the image
that remains not
      be the wrecked car
      or knives on the ground,
but
the strangers
   kneeling to comfort
         an unknown sister,
the responders
   leaving their fear
   behind as they run
      to help,
a people
   refusing the easy
   choice to
                  hate.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
  

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

day 81

And a report about him began to reach every place in the region.  Luke 4:37

too often, the
   report about you
                    reaches
         every region of
         our soul
and
   lays there
         gathering dust
while we
      twitter on
about
            inanities.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

day 80

The LORD said to Moses, "Is the LORD's power limited?   Now you shall see whether my word will come true for you or not."  Numbers 11:23

we continue to believe
   evil is
      inexhaustible,
   fear knows
      no boundaries,
   anger never
      runs out of excuses,
   hate is
      infinite, but
are convinced
         you
have cut back
your hours to
   part-time.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, March 20, 2017

day 79

And the crowds asked him, "What then should we do?" In reply he said to them, "Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise."  Luke 3:10-11

as we give
the coats
      that have waited
      for months in our
   closets to be used
      and put them around
      the weather-worn;
as we take
the food from
      our shelves that
      we bought for
   that recipe we
   lost so long ago,
      and take it
      to the food bank,
may we open
our hearts to
the hope
               you
never hesitate to
   share.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
     

Sunday, March 19, 2017

day 78

But as for me, when they
         were sick,
   I wore sackcloth;
   I afflicted myself with
         fasting.
I prayed with head bowed
         on my bosom,
    as though I grieved for a
         friend or a brother;
I went about as one who
         laments for a mother,
   bowed down and in
         mourning.   Psalm 35:13-14

we could
         actually
   care for the
      grieving,
         the sick,
      the broken, by
staying by their sides,
      cradling their tears,
   mending their hearts,
but it is usually
            easier
to shed crocodile
      tears and
offer pious platitudes.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman


Saturday, March 18, 2017

day 77

All my bones shall say,
   "O LORD, who is like you?
"You deliver the weak
   from those too strong for
         them,
   the weak and needy from
         those who despoil
         them."  Psalm 35:10

when the rich
      assume the poor
      have everything
            they could ever
         need,
you clean out
all your theology books
from the cluttered den
   to turn it into
   a guest room;
when the politicians
      cut funding for
      meals to those
            who truly
         hunger, as
   they head off
   to their reserved
      tables at
      Chez Arrogance,
you head to
the kitchen, cooking
   and preparing meals
   to serve to your
neighbors.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, March 17, 2017

day 76

The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.  Luke 2:20

we could
      be listening
      to the good news
   sung
         by the most
ignored
      among us, but
we drown out their
   joy,
         grumbling,
'why aren't they
back on the hillside
where they
      belong?'

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, March 16, 2017

day 75

Depart from evil, and do
         good;
   seek peace, and pursue
         it.  Psalm 34:14

we train for
         months
   for malice's
      marathon, but
can never seem
to find the
         stamina
   to cross the
   street to offer
      peace
to the
         exhausted.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

day 74

O taste and see that the
         LORD is good;  Psalm 34:8a

in the kneading
   of the cat
   alarm each morning;
in the sticky-fingered
   grip of the
   preschoolers;
in the sloppy
   kiss of the
   neighbor's dog;
in the glass of
   cold milk chasing
   down the warm pie;
in the gentle breath
   of love on
   the pillow next to
         me.
i discover your
sweet goodness
      and am
filled.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

day 73

Happy is the nation whose
         God is the LORD,
   the people whom he has
         chosen as his heritage.  Psalm 33:12

happy is God, when
      we do not make
      the LORD a
            a political idol, but
   offer mercy
      to all in
               need
        (without requiring
         multiple IDs and
         proof of misery);
   establish justice
      wherever oppression
      would build
                 barriers;
   welcome the gifts
      offered to us by
         the very ones
         we are taught
              are not
family.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, March 13, 2017

day 72

Say to wisdom, "You are my
         sister,"
   and call insight your
         intimate friend.  Proverbs 7:4

like the sister
   who always listens
   to the deep echoes
         of our hearts;
like the anam cara
   who hears the
   whispers of our
         soul even
      before we do,
                Spirit
shadows our every
   step
      moment
         breath.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman