Sunday, December 31, 2017

day 365

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen. Revelation 22:21

you begin by   
   crafting grace 
   out of chaos;
grace is
the best friend
who never abandons   
      us;
grace will walk
us home to
you.

 (c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, December 30, 2017

day 364

Its gates will never be shut by day -- Revelation 21:25

leaving the door
   wide open, you
sit at the table, our
   pictures bathed
   in the warmth
   of the Spirit
            lamp,
      waiting
for us to come
      home.
(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, December 29, 2017

day 363

Also another book was opened, the book of life. Revelation 20:12b

by your grace,
   every name (
   including mine)
is written in
      your book
of life in
permanent ink.

(c) Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Day 362

Praise the Lord from  the
         earth,
   you sea monsters and all
         deeps, Psalm 148:7

sea horses
   and humpbacks;
crawling toddlers
   and yawning teens;
knee-creaking
   seniors, and
   snap-fingered singers;
squirrels running
   faster than
   barking dogs -
all praise you!

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

day361

And the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb."  Revelation 19:9a

no matter who
      we are,
   how many times
   we dine at
         temptation's table,
there is a setting
and a card with our
      name
  at the wedding
            party
at the end of
   time.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

day 360

She opens her hand to the
         poor,
   and reaches out her hands
         to the needy.  Proverbs 31:20

when the most
         vulnerable
   reach out with
   their emptiness, may
we not recoil
      in disgust,
but
   open our hands
                  hearts
                  blessings
to fill them.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, December 25, 2017

day 359

He sends out his command
         to the earth;
   his word runs swiftly.  Psalm 147:15

early in the morning,
   your word
   tiptoed into
          our lives,
swaddled in our
      hopes and
mangered in your
   love. 

(c) 2017  Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Day

In this is love,  1 John 4:10a

in
the server who
   sits down and
   listens to the
         tear-filled widower;
the non-believer
   who takes the
   shift at hospital;
the teenagers
   who hand out
             gifts and food
   to the folk
   living out of
         shopping carts,
this is love.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Christmas Eve

And being found in human form, Philippians 2:7b

in
the addict
   shivering on
   a shelter cot,
the family
   by the side
   of the road with
      their broken car,
the rough sleepers
   in the park
   sharing what food
      they have,
we find
living nativities
   all around us.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Fourth Sunday of Advent

To that end keep alert . . .  Ephesians 6:18b

let us not be
         deafened
   by great cantatas
      and jingling bells,
or blinded by
   the wattage on
   a neighbor's house,
             but
see you in the
      child
   staring sadly through
   the frosted window
            and
hear you in
the silence of
      broken hearts.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 358

The seventh angel poured his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, "It is done!"  Revelation 16:17

in the silence
in the night
in the whispers
   of the angels
in the questions
   of the shepherds
the very air grows
still
      as a baby
takes its first
breath, sighing,
'it is done!'

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Third Saturday of Advent

On that day . . . Isaiah 10:20

on this day,
may we care
as much about
      the server as
   what is on the plate;
as much about
      the carriers as
   the packages they bring;
as much about
      the stranger as
   our most treasured
friends.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 357

The LORD watches over the
         strangers;
   he upholds the orphan and
         the widow,  Psalm 146:9ab

may we not only
         notice
   the stranger
   the bullied child
   the trembling grandparent
   the lone-weary worker
but
      see them as
   your beloved
children.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, December 22, 2017

day 356

Speak out for those who
         cannot speak,
for the rights of all the
         destitute.  Proverbs 31:8

may we be
   the voice for
      those ignored;
   the love for
      everyone rejected;
   the healing for
      the world's broken;
   the heart for
      all who are
      orphaned by hate.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Third Friday of Advent

For they speak bombastic nonsense, 2 Peter 2:18a

we seem to
have no trouble
      giving undivided
      attention
   to the LOUDmouths
         among us, but
barely listen
to the whispers
      of the
   lonely.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Third Thursday of Advent

He grants peace within
         your borders;
   he fills you with the finest
         of wheat.  Psalm 147:14

we are so
busy giving tax
      breaks to arms
            makers;
   selling fear
   on every corner, and
chipping away at
   healthcare for
         kids, we
have no time
to taste your
      goodness.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 355

You open your hand,
   satisfying the desire of
         every living thing.  Psalm 145:16

everything we
   need is found
   in the palm
         of
      your hands,
   where you have
   engraved our
   hearts, to always
hold us in every
      moment.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Third Wednesday of Advent

He proclaimed, "The one who is coming is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals."  Mark 1:7

in your lowness,
   you bend down
to pry loose
      sin's grip
   on our souls,
tripping death so
      it falls flat
on its
   foolishness.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 354

The LORD is faithful in all
         his words,
   and gracious in all his
         deeds.  Psalm 145:13b

compassion,
   not confrontation;
grace,
   not grudges;
wide-open arms,
   not exclusion,
all
   for us.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Third Tuesday of Advent

The people who walked in
         darkness
   have seen a great light;  Isaiah 9:2a

engrave these words
      on our hearts,
   O God, so
we have more
than just a
   once-a-year
reminder of
      what you have
   done, and
still do in the
Child.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 353

and I will declare your
         greatness.  Psalm 145:6b

replacing
   the politicos'
   empty words with
      cries for justice;
building bridges to
   others, not walls
      between us;
seeing the poor
      as holy families
   to serve, we
declare your
greatness.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, December 18, 2017

Third Monday of Advent

I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him.  Isaiah 8:17

in the waiting,
      may i see
   your hope;
in the hoping,
      may i touch
   your love;
in the loving,
   may i learn
      your patience.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 352

so that the people could not distinguish between the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people's weeping . . . Ezra 3:13

whether
      shouts of joy
   echoing down
   hospital hallways, or
overwhelming grief
flowing down the
streets of injustice,
   may we listen . . .

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Third Sunday of Advent

Let everything that breathes
         praise the LORD!
Praise the LORDPsalm 150:6

a toddler
   pulling pans
   and lids from
      the kitchen cabinet;
a steel drum
      group at
   morning worship;
seniors still
   tap dancing
   after 70 years -

God-praisers
every one!

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 351

When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.  Revelation 8:1

perhaps, in
   the silence
   of Advent, we
can hear the
      heartbeats of
   children, and the
      hopebeats
of their
parents.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Second Saturday of Advent

Lord, you have been our
         dwelling place
   in all generations.  Psalm 90:1

in the
      hollow
   of your heart,
we
   find the
oasis we need
in the bleak
mid-winter.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 350

"and God will wipe away
         every tear from their
         eyes."  Revelation 7:17c

by your grace,
      our tears
      are transformed
   into cups of
         grace, offered
to all parched
by loneliness,
     loss,
     despair.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, December 15, 2017

Second Friday of Advent

Ask a sign of the LORD your God: let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.  Isaiah 7:11

may we see
         you
   in the depths
   of the grief
      of one
   on the untimely
         death
   of their love,
as well as
in the hand
of a toddler
      reaching up
for her father
in a crowded
   store.

(c) 2017  Thom M. Shuman

day 349

An oracle.  The word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.  Malachi 1:1

sometimes,
   your words are
   boulders that stoop
         my heart to
      the ground, but
   then, they are
feathers that
tickle my
      soul
in delight.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Second Thursday of Advent

So he consented and began to look for an opportunity to betray him to them when no crowd was present.  Luke 22:6

at choir practice,
      the board meeting,
   worship, faithfulness
         is all so easy,
but
     on the drive home,
opportunity
     is always
standing by the
side of the road,
      thumb out, hoping
we will stop
and give it
   a lift.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 348

Then I saw between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders a Lamb standing as if it had been slaughtered, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. Revelation 5:6

not a warrior,
   but a peacemaker;
not a grudge-holder,
   but a grace-sharer;
not a bully,
   but a baby;
not a lion,
   but the Lamb.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Second Wednesday of Advent

Jesus straightened up and said to her, "Woman, where are they?  Has no one condemned you?"  She said, "No one, sir."  And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you.  Go your way, and from now on do not sin again."  John 8:10-11

when others notch
      their arrows
   to judge us, you
cut the strings on
            their bows,
   so their barbs
     fall useless in
the dust where
you have written
   sola gratia

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 347

I pour out my complaints
         before him;
   I tell my troubles before
         him.  Psalm 142:2

your desk is
piled high with file
         after file
   of grumbles, as you
try to clear them, yet
   when we knock
   on the door asking
   if you have a
            minute,
you push them aside,
"of course; I
have all the time
you need."

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Second Tuesday of Advent

Be alert at all times,  Luke 21:36a

if we blink,
we might miss
         joy
   racing around like
   a dog in the snow;
         peace
   kneading us like
   a contented kitten;
         grace
   teaching little kids
   carols from other lands;
         hope
   shoveling fears off
our souls' sidewalks.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 346

I call upon you O LORD;
         come quickly to me;
   give ear to my voice when
         I call to you.  Psalm 141:1

when i drag
      my feet, each
      step more reluctant
   than the one before, you
run to pick me up,
twirling me around
             and around,
whispering sweet everythings
   to ears stopped
                      up
with the cotton candy
of platitudes.

(c) 2017  Thom M. Shuman

Monday, December 11, 2017

Second Monday of Advent

   and on your wondrous
         works, I will meditate.  Psalm 145:5b

i could wonder
   what elements make
   up the stars, how
      many light years away
      they are, or if
   they are now dead
   and gone, or
      just rest in
   the grass, whispering
   a stunned
'wow!'

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 345

I know that the LORD
         maintains the cause of
         the needy,
   and executes justice for the
         poor.  Psalm 140:12

when it comes
to caring for
      the most vulnerable,
our minds are
with you, but
   our hearts,
         mouths,
         hands?

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Second Sunday of Advent

The LORD has sworn and
         will not change his
         mind,  Psalm 110:4a

no matter how
      feckless and
      faithless
   we are; no
matter how
many times
   we fall in love
   with others, you
keep those promises
you made so long
         ago.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 344

And I will pour out a spirit of compassion and supplication . . .  Zechariah 12:10a

we could continue
to dunk people
      in deep pools
   of bitterness, or
bathe them in
compassion,
      drying them
      off with our
prayers of hope.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, December 09, 2017

First Saturday of Advent

And he said, "Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, 'I am he!' and 'The time is near!'  Do not go after them."  Luke 21:8

we could chase
         after the latest
      hucksters, or
   hold on to
   that dusty hope
      heirloom;
we could believe
         every lie
      tweeted and
      pitched to us, or
simply rely
on your
   word.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 343

The arrogant have hidden a
         trap for me,
   and with cords they have

         spread a net,
   along the road they have

         set snares for me.  Psalm 140:5

but you
   clothe me in
         bands of compassion;
lower a ladder
   to the bottom
   of the pit;
clear my way
      of stumbles,
all out of
   love.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman 

Friday, December 08, 2017

First Friday of Advent

Wild animals and all cattle,
   creeping things and flying
         birds!
Praise the LORD! Psalm 148:10, 14c

the deer standing
motionless at
      the edge of
      the creek;
the little birds
swirling around
   the feeder;
the kitten stalking
them behind the
   safety of the window,
all
teach us
      your songs
of joy.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 342

For there shall be a sowing of peace;  Zechariah 8:12a

you give each
one of us
a small packet
of seeds so, if
      we plant them,
   a field of peace
   will spring up
from one edge
to the other of
creation.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
     

Thursday, December 07, 2017

First Thursday of Advent

For God alone my soul waits
         in silence,
   for my hope is from him.  Psalm 62:5

when the emptiness
      of my soul
      echoes with the
   footsteps of my
         fears,
you reach into
your illimitable
   trove of
            hope,
to replenish my
      grace.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 341

Then the LORD replied with gracious and comforting words . . . Zechariah 1:13

we hurl insults,
   you offer praise;
we fling profanities,
      you whisper grace;
our words pull
the rug out from
      others, you
envelop folks with
hope and
   love.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

First Wednesday of Advent

Our God comes and does not
         keep silence, Psalm 50:3a

there are moments
when sugary lullabies
          are not needed, but
   heavy metal crescendos
   ripping apart injustice;
sometimes,
whispers of kindness
      will not grab
      the attention of bullies, only
   shouts of outrage;
tip-toeing down the hall
will not wake the kids
                      (that's right),
   but perhaps stomping
   down the corridors
   with compassion will
shake the powers that be.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 340

And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments;  2 John 6a

. . . and

dragging a tree
through the snow
   toward a waiting
   knot of kids;
singing
in the rain
   with our furry
   friends;
massaging the
weary feet
   of our beloved
   at the end of a long day,

this is love.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
  

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

First Tuesday of Advent

they shall beat their swords
         into plowshares,
   and their spears into
         pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword
         against nation,
   neither shall they learn
         war any more.  Isaiah 2:4b

no more homework
      for the war colleges,
   no more doomsday clocks
      ticking down to death;
when tanks are turned
   into snowplows for
   needy neighborhoods,
when missile silos
   are filled with grain
   for the hungry,
we will know that
God's time is here,
      and we can throw
      away our watches.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 339

You hem me in, behind and
         before,
   and lay your hand upon
         me.  Psalm 139:5

just
as i am about
         to shatter
   into a million
             pieces, you
cradle me in
your hands, filling
   all the cracks
   with the glue
of grace.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, December 04, 2017

First Monday of Advent

cease to do evil,
   learn to do good;
seek justice,
   rescue the oppressed,
defend the orphan,
   plead for the widow.  Isaiah 1:17

we cannot pray,
   if we do not speak out
   for the oppressed;
our songs are hollow,
   if we will not listen
   to the lonely;
our words crumple
to the floor,
   if we do not
   cradle the broken;
we should not rejoice,
   if little children
   cry themselves to sleep;
our worship is selfish,
   if we do not welcome
   the stranger.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 338

On the day I called, you
         answered me, 
Psalm 138:3a

an involuntary gasp
      at a supermoon;
a choke of rage
   at injustice;
a muffled laugh
      at my own foolishness;
a peal of joy
   while dancing in the snow,

you hear
  and store it all
in your heart.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, December 03, 2017

First Sunday of Advent

Make me to know your
         ways, O LORD;
   teach me your paths.  Psalm 25:4

like that
      frosty fork
   on our journey,
      Advent
is the road
      less travelled,
with markers left
along the way
   by God.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 337

By the rivers of Babylon
   there we sat down and
         there we wept
   when we remembered
         Zion.  Psalm 137:1

we could sit by
and simply add
         our tears
   to the rivers
   of injustice, or
remember God's
         hope
and use it
to build bridges
leading too new life.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, December 02, 2017

day 336

What we do know is that when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.  1 John 3:2b

in the kids
singing carols
in the tub;
   in the teens
   shoveling sidewalks
   for neighbors;
in the folks
collecting toys
for kids not theirs,
      we hear you
           see you
           find you.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, December 01, 2017

day 335

It is he who remembered us
         in our low estate,
   for his steadfast love
         endures forever;  Psalm 136:23

when we
   stumble and
   fall into misery, you
jump in
         to show us
   the way out.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, November 30, 2017

day 334

And now, little children, abide in him,  1 John 2:28a

scanning the
      columns for places
   in the low-rent
   areas of life, we
never notice
your full-page ad
   about your heart
   which has more
   than enough room for
everyone.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

day 333

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, 2 Peter 3:10a

while we sleep,
      you tiptoe in,
   gathering up
   all our foolish
      frailties, taking
them back to
your workshop, where
   you transform them
   gifts of grace,
returning them
before we even
awake.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
  

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

day 332

The righteous know the
         rights of the poor,
   the wicked have no such
         understanding.  Proverbs 29:7

now,
let us close
the books and turn
      our knowledge into
jobs
   hope
      homes
   grace
life
      for the most
vulnerable
around us.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman


Monday, November 27, 2017

day 331

For anyone who lacks these things is nearsighted and blind, 2 Peter 1:9a

when we look at
         others
through the thick and
fear-spotted lenses
   of judgment, polish
our souls with
grace and compassion
so we can see them
with our
      hearts.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, November 26, 2017

day 330

Praise the LORD! . . .
you that stand in the house
         of the LORD, Psalm 135: 1a, 2a

on the court,
   with the little
   gym rats;
in the shelter,
   making up
   the beds;
in the hospice,
   holding a hand;
in the silence,
   bathed in your
         grace,
we are at home,
and sing.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, November 25, 2017

day 329

Be hospitable to one another without complaining.  1 Peter 4:9

may we
feed the hungry
   without worrying if
   we will get dessert;
offer the homeless
our guest room
   without hiding
   the valuables;
listen to the
            heartbroken
   without mentioning
   our creaky knees.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, November 24, 2017

day 328

Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you;   1 Peter 3:15b

may we not
      dam
   up that hope,
      but let it
   overflow our
souls, so
   others might
   swim in its
delight.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, November 23, 2017

day 327

Honor everyone.   1 Peter 2:17a

the rough sleeper
you would step over,
      lift up;
the worker
you would bully,
      befriend;
the vulnerable
you would mock,
      laud;     
the hungry
you drive past,
      welcome to your table;
the door of your heart
you would slam shut to everyone,
      take off its hinges.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

day 326

But I have calmed and
         and quieted my soul, Psalm 131:2a

help me
to give my
         soul
   a time out
      whenever
it throws a
tantrum,
   wanting it's
   own way,
not yours.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

day 325

If you, O LORD, should mark
         iniquities,
   Lord, who could stand?  Psalm 130:3

that ruler
      you could
   use to smack
   our hands, you
take to measure
our growth in
      grace.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, November 20, 2017

day 324

Do not speak evil against one another, brothers and sisters.  James 4:11a

too often,
our dictionaries
   seem to have
      words
relating to
   compassion
   hope
   grace
   acceptance
removed by
our carping
         hearts.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, November 19, 2017

day 323

And the tongue is a fire.  James 3:6a

sometimes
      those remarks
   we think are so
   scintillating, reduce
the souls
of others
   to cinders.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, November 18, 2017

day 322

But you have dishonored the poor.  James 2:6a

sadly, we
treat those who
   struggle to put
      food on the table,
   cannot seem to
      hold a job,
   stand on street corners
      holding hand-made signs
as if
      they were
dishonorably discharged
from life.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, November 17, 2017

day 321

But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.  James 1:22

strangely,
   peace
      hope
         grace
      mercy
never seem
to end up
on our
   to-do lists.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, November 16, 2017

day 320

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.  Hebrews 13:8

yesterday
   you were cradling
   children in a school
         lockdown;
this morning,
   you are standing
   with the workers
   on the corner hoping
         for a day job;
tomorrowandtomorrowandtomorrow
   you will be
   wherever we are,
         even when we
      don't notice.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

day 319

See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God;  Hebrews 12:15a

we are not
to parcel out
         grace
   as if it
   were an endangered
      species, but
pour it into
   others' lives
as if it were
a bottomless
      cup of
coffee.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

day 318

so the LORD surrounds his
         people,  Psalm 125:2

as our nightmares
      tiptoe down
      the hallway, creaking
   every fearboard
   with each step,
you swaddle us
in grace,
      drawing us up
      into your lap,
whispering hope
in our hearts.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, November 13, 2017

day 317

We have escaped like a bird
   from the snare of the
         fowlers;  Psalm 124:7a

while the Fouler
      was busy partying,
   you
crept in
      and, opening
death's cage,
   set us
free.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, November 12, 2017

day 316

Sheol and Abaddon are
         never satisfied,  Proverbs 27:20a

no matter
how often we feed
   the Destroyer of
   our hopes and dreams,
there
is always
         a hunger
   in the pit
   of its
stomach.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, November 11, 2017

day 315

As the eyes of servants
   look to the hand of their
         master;  Psalm 123:2a

in the finger
   tracing words
   on a page;
in the tiny hand
   reaching up
   to take ours;
in the arm
   of support for
   a teetering partner;
in the open palm
   of welcome
   to a stranger, we
recognize you.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, November 10, 2017

day 314

Our feet are standing
   within your gates,
         O Jerusalem.  Psalm 122:2

on the playground
      with little kids,
by the bed
   in a hospice,
working in a
      shelter,
packing boxes
   at a food pantry,
      we
are on
holy ground.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, November 09, 2017

day 313

He who keeps Israel
   will neither slumber nor
         sleep.  Psalm 121:4

no matter
how many times
   we awake
   in the night
hours of life, we
      find you
      sitting by the
            bed,
ready to
   hand us a
         glass of water,
   wipe our
      runny souls,
   read us a
   story until we
drift back to sleep.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

day 312

the sweetness of a friend is better      than one's own counsel.  Proverbs 27:9b (alt.)

the gentle grace
      of those
      who love us
   despite our
   worst selves
brings
   healing to
   our souls.

(c) 2017  Thom M. Shuman



Tuesday, November 07, 2017

day 311

Mortal, these men have taken their idols into their hearts, Ezekiel 14:3a

we take in
      idols
   like they are
stray cats, so
is it any surprise
we have no
room for
   God
in our hearts?

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, November 06, 2017

day 310

I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek out your servant, Psalm 119:176a

no matter
how much
         the world's
   GPS tries
to recalculate
       our lives, you
show us the
way.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
    

Sunday, November 05, 2017

day 309

we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged to seize the hope set before us.  Hebrews 6:18

when you
hand hope
      off to us,
   let us wrap
   our souls and
         hearts
around it
so we do not
fumble.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, November 04, 2017

day 308

About this we have much to say that is hard to explain, Hebrews 5:11a

while
we think it's
   quantum physics, faith
is simply a
         be,
   where
every word
is spelled
g
r
a
c
e

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, November 03, 2017

day 307

Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, Hebrews 4:16a

we'd be quicker
      to approach
   the throne of
         grace, if
it were a
rocking chair
   where we
could climb up
into your lap.

(c) 2017  Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, November 02, 2017

day 306

a fountain shall come forth
         from the house of the
         LORD  Joel 3:18b

let us join
      all souls
in drifting down
your stream
      of grace
to the picnic
which awaits.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

day 305

Why should it be said among
         the peoples,
   "Where is their God?"  Joel 2:17c

where?
   sheltering kids
      on a crumpled
      school bus;
   responding to
      the injured
      and dying;
   parading with
   neighbors
         into fear's
      shadows . . .
there
God.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

day 304

But do not gloat
         over your
         brother
   on the day of his
         misfortune;  Obadiah 12a

rather than
turning out
      the porch light, may
   we pour grace
   into the basket
held out by
   the one whose
         scream
is not a mask.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, October 30, 2017

day 303

You came near when I called
         on you;
   you said, "Do not fear!"  Lamentations 3:57

when fear
         comes
   trick-or-treating
   in our lives, you
hand us a piece of
         hope
   to drop in
   their pillowcase,
and we go back
to making hot cocoa.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, October 29, 2017

day 302

But this I call to mind,
   and therefore I have hope.  Lamentations 3:21

your hope
      is that
   earworm
i cannot
get out of
   my soul,
thankfully!

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, October 28, 2017

day 301

They heard how I was
         groaning,
   with no one to comfort me.  Lamentations 1:21a

we could
      cradle others,
   drying their tears
   with our hope,
but

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, October 27, 2017

day 300

Do not answer fools
         according to their folly,  Proverbs 26:4a

in a flood
      of tweets,
   build an
         ark
   out of
compassion and
truth.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
  

Thursday, October 26, 2017

day 299

I hold my life in my hand
         continually,  Psalm 119:109a

when my
      life slips
   through my
      fingers, you
pick it up
and hand it
      back to me
before the
5 second rule
   expires.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

day 298

be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable;  2 Timothy 4:2b

there is never a
right day
        week
        month
        year
to confront
      injustice, just
every moment.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

day 297

I am yours, save me, Psalm 119:94a

every time
      i end up
   where i shouldn't
   be, you
find me, and
lead me back
home.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, October 23, 2017

day 296

But the word of God is not chained.  2 Timothy 2:9c

every time we
try to crate train
      grace, you
   sneak in and
   set it free
to run wild
in the world.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman




Sunday, October 22, 2017

day 295

I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you.  2 Timothy 1:5

Bampi's wisdom,
      Mom's patience,
   my aunt's humor,
      Sis's love,
   little brother's hope
are all spliced
into my faith
       DNA.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, October 21, 2017

day 294

But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these.  1 Timothy 6:8

give me
   silence
   a cuppa
   a warm scone
   a good book
   a well-worn shirt, and
ah . . .

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, October 20, 2017

day 293

I persistently sent to you all my servants the prophets,  Jeremiah 44:4a

in the young boy
offering half his sandwich
      to the rough sleeper;
in the adolescent
standing between the bully
      and the socially awkward;
in the parent
who helps kids with homework
      before heading to job #2;
in the grandparent
who builds little free libraries
      in the neighborhoods,
we find your
persistent
prophets
among us.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, October 19, 2017

day 292

Like a moth in clothing or a
         worm in wood,
   sorrow gnaws at the
         human heart.  Proverbs 25:20

you offer
      your own heart
   for our grief
   to nibble on, so
ours
      can be balmed
   by your
grace.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
        

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

day 291

I hurry and do not delay
   to keep your
         commandments.  Psalm 119:60

may i leave
      my tortoise
      shell behind
   as i seek
to love you
and those around me.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

day 290

Remember your word to
         your servant,
   in which you have made
         me hope.  Psalm 119:49

however
      often
   i forget, you
   evoke grace
for me
in every moment.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, October 16, 2017

day 289

A voice is heard in Ra'mah,  Jeremiah 31:15a

in
#metoo,
   memories sifted
   from ashes,
communities
recovering from
too many storms
      to name,
we find our
   way to
Ramah.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 288

Then I shall have an answer
         for those who taunt
         me,
   for I trust in your word.  Psalm 119:42

when the bullies
      corner us,
   demanding
'cough it up!' may
we whisper
      gently,
   'hesed'

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, October 14, 2017

day 287

But as for you, have no fear; Jeremiah 30:10a

there is
         nothing
under the
      bed,
hiding in the
      corner,
tapping on the
      window,
tiptoeing behind
      us, that
you
   can't handle.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, October 13, 2017

day 286

I will let you find me, says the LORD, Jeremiah 29:14a

every time we say,
'let's play hide-and-seek'
and start to
count to 100
with our souls closed,

you stand
      in the middle
      of life (holding
   a big arrow
   pointing down
            at you)

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, October 12, 2017

day 285

Do not quench the Spirit.  1 Thessalonians 5:19

we stop, drop, and
               roll
      the Spirit
      every chance
            we get, but
you
      keep igniting
her wildfire of
   grace.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

day 284

Therefore encourage one another with these words.  1 Thessalonians 4:18

when
   peace prods
      the indifferent;     
   hope stirs
      the oppressed;
   laughter enlivens
      hospital rooms;
   wonder brightens
      a bored kid;
words
are no longer
just
alphabet soup.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
  

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

day 283

The days are surely coming, says the LORD, Jeremiah 23:5a

mornings
      as grace
   rises over the horizon;
mid-day
      lunches for
   hungry seniors;
peace-filled
      afternoons in
   war zones;
evenings
      where hope cradles
   the oppressed;

come,
   days of the Lord,
come!

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, October 09, 2017

day 282

. . . and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to him.  Jeremiah 18:4b

reshape me
      from that
   dusty piece on
   my ego's mantle
into
   that wide-mouthed
            jar
   where others
   can pour their
brokenness.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 281

Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.  Colossians 4:2

may prayer
open
      our eyes
   to the unnoticed,
      our ears
   to the ignored,
      our hearts
   to the disfavored,
      our souls
   to you.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, October 07, 2017

day 280

Your words were found, and
         I ate them, Jeremiah 15:16a

when I had
lost everything
      but your
              words,
i had
         all
i needed.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, October 06, 2017

day 279

He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them.  Colossians 2:15

you
downsized death,
assigning it to
resurrection's mailroom.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, October 05, 2017

day 278

For your gods have become as many as your towns, O Judah; Jeremiah 11:13a

like a hundred
      paper cuts
   my gods
      bleed out
            my
soul.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

day 277

What shall I return to the
         LORD
   for all his bounty to me?  Psalm116:12


i will
dig wells
   for thirsty villages,
plant gardens
   for food pantries,
break bread
   with those i
   can't abide.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

day 276

Thus says the LORD:
Stand at the crossroads, and
         look,
   and ask for the ancient
         paths,
where the good way lies;
         and walk in it,
   and find rest for your
         souls.
But they said, "We will not
         walk in it."   Jeremiah 6:16

when we stand
      at the intersection
  of peace and
      hope,
why
   do we rush
   to get tangled
in the

brambles?

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, October 02, 2017

day 275

Search its squares and see
   if you can find one person
who acts justly
   and seeks truth --  Jeremiah 5:1b

even if
it is only
      two folks
   linking arms,
injustice knows
that it has
   met its match.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, October 01, 2017

day 274

Have you not just now called
         to me,
   "My Father, you are the
         friend of my youth --"  Jeremiah 3:4

you
sit at the
corner table, ready
   to catch up
   with us over
coffee, whenever
         we are ready.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, September 30, 2017

day 273

Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ,  Philippians 1:27a

peace, not petulance
hope, not hoops
joy, not jousting
grace, not grumpiness
love, not loneliness
         only

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, September 29, 2017

day 272

seek righteousness, seek
         humility;  Zephaniah 2:3b

let us
   persist in
   finding justice;
let us
   become as
   simple as kids
          who bear
      no grudges.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, September 28, 2017

day 271

Look! On the mountains the
         feet of one
   who brings good tidings,
   who proclaims peace!  Nahum 1:15a

the boots of
      anger
   are so comfy, yet
we find
the soft, bunny
slippers of peace
too tight a fit.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

day 270

Before they call I will
         answer,
   while they are yet
         speaking I will hear.  Isaiah 65:24

may
we be the
      hopehandhelp
   others are seeking;
may
we be the
      earheartlove
   for the forgotten.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

day 269

They have distributed freely,
         they have given to the
         poor;  Psalm 112:9a

not hoarders,
      but helpers;
not hoops to jump
            through,
   but hope;
not reluctantly,
     but joyfully;

this is our calling.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, September 25, 2017

day 268

The spirit of the Lord
         GOD is upon me,
   because the LORD has
         anointed me;  Isaiah 61:1a

to
plant hope in
      despair's field;
offer grace to
   fear's hungry hordes;
swaddle the
   broken with tenderness.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, September 24, 2017

day 267

If you remove the yoke from
         among you,
   the pointing of the finger,
         the speaking of evil,
if you offer your food to the

         hungry
   and satisfy the needs of the
         afflicted,
then your light shall rise in
         the darkness
   and your gloom be like the
         noonday.  Isaiah 58:9b-10

in your community
   of neighbors, no one
hungers,
      huddles in loneliness,
   holds grudges
   against others,
hates,
fears,
hurts another.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman


  

Saturday, September 23, 2017

day 266

Seek the LORD while he may
         be found,
   call upon him while he is
         near;  Isaiah 55:6

no need to
      shout --
   God is as
   close
         as our
next breath.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, September 22, 2017

day 265

for in plain sight they see
   the return of the LORD to
         Zion.  Isaiah 52:8b

in
the touch of a nurse,
the kindness of a teacher,
the grace of kids,
the wisdom of teenagers,
the hopes of the outcast,
the forgiveness of the hurt,
we find you
hiding in plain sight.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, September 21, 2017

day 264

So let us not grow weary in doing what is right,  Galatians 6:9a

just when
      we cannot
   lift another
      finger, you
   pour us
   a cuppa
         grace,
so we can . . .

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

day 263

Do not be silent, O God of
         my praise.  Psalm 109:1

whisper your
         love and
         grace
   until their echoes
drown out
the silence of
      my fears.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

day 262

I did not speak in secret,
   in a land of darkness;
I did not say to the offspring
         of Jacob,
   "Seek me in chaos."
I the LORD speak the truth,
   I declare what is right.  Isaiah 45:19

not in the
whispered seductions
      of fear;
not in the early morning  
   tweetstorms;
not in the category 5
      chaos of hate;

we will find
you
   in the silent
   watching of a
         parent over
         a child;
   in the justice
   which sweeps out
         oppression;
   in the words
   of welcome
         offered to
      outsiders.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
     

Monday, September 18, 2017

day 261

I am about to do a new
         thing;
   now it springs forth, do
         you not perceive it?  Isaiah 43:19a

so fixed
   on rebuilding
   yesterday, we
cannot see
   the tomorrow
   you are
imagining
      (for us)

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, September 17, 2017

day 260

Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith.  Galatians 3:24

while
the babysitter
      is recording
   all our errors,
you sneak us
into the backyard
      to play in
   grace's sprinkler.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, September 16, 2017

day 259

that she has received from
         the LORD's hand
   double for all her sins.  Isaiah 40:2c

we expect
a right hook
   followed by
   a mean uppercut,
but you hand
us a plate of
   warm grace-chip
   cookies, and
a cold glass of hope.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, September 15, 2017

day 258

They asked only one thing, that we remember the poor, which was actually what I was eager to do. Galatians 2:10

if only
      we
   thought of
   those who
   have nothing,
as often as
we long for
         everything.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, September 14, 2017

day 257

A highway shall be there,
   and it shall be called the
         Holy Way;  Isaiah 35:8a

the folks
      in waders
   and boats;
the line crews
      on 16-hour
   shifts;
the nun
      chain sawing
   trees, all
know the
Holy Way.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

day 256

Make no friends with those
         given to anger,
   and do not associate with
         hotheads.  Proverbs 22:24

outrage
      is more
      contagious
   than any flu;
bitter words
flung at others
   do more damage
   than a weapon.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

day 255

For he satisfies the thirsty,
   and the hungry he fills
         with good things.  Psalm 107:9

with grace,
      you quench
      those parched
   by fear;
with justice,
      you feed all
      weakened by
      oppression's
   starvation rations.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, September 11, 2017

day 254

Or else let it cling to me for
         protection,
   let it make peace with me,
   let it make peace with me.  Isaiah 27:5

when we would play
          on the floor, using
   our grudges
   as jacks, may
we climb up
in your lap, letting
      your heartbeat
   cradle us in
peace.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, September 10, 2017

day 253

For you have been a refuge
         for the poor,
   a refuge to the needy in
      their distress,
   a shelter from the
         rainstorm and a shade
         from the heat.  Isaiah 25:4

in the family
          (and pets)
   hunkered in classrooms;
in meals
      handed out to
      rough sleepers;
in neighbors
   keeping an eye
   on the newcomers,

you are,
as you always
have been.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, September 09, 2017

day 252

I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness.  Do bear with me!  2 Corinthians 11:1

sometimes
a pie in the
         face
   is worth
   more than all
   those pious faces
we think we
must wear.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, September 08, 2017

day 251

Look at what is before your eyes. 2 Corinthians 10:7a

patience
   in the dog
   waiting for the
   kids to come home;
love
   in the hands
   held in hospice;
hope
   in the child
   searching for a
      friend;

do you notice?

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, September 07, 2017

day 250

The firstborn of the poor will
         graze,
   and the needy lie down in
         safety;  Isaiah 14:30a

let us welcome
   dreamers to
   our feast, and
tuck the
   worn-out into
            bed,
while others
twitter their
      thumbs.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

day 249

On that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that is left of his people,  Isaiah 11:11a

left-overs of love
   will feed
   multitudes;
odds and ends
      of hope
   will weave justice;
a ribbon
      of grace
   will bind
   us into one.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

day 248

I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him.  Isaiah 8:17

though
i cannot see you
   through the fog
   of my foolishness,
i will wait, hoping
you know the
   way to me.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, September 04, 2017

day 247

Make room in your hearts for us; 2 Corinthians 7:2a

let us take
down the
   'no vacancy'
sign in our hearts,
so we may welcome
your terrifying
compassion.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, September 03, 2017

day 246

There is no restriction in our affections, but only in yours.  2 Corinthians 6:12

let love
   not be a
   grudge lodged
deep in our souls,
      but joy offered
without question
to others.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, September 02, 2017

day 245

We entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.  2 Corinthians 5:20b

when God
      moved
   toward us
   in Christ, it
was not to checkmate
         us, but
   to swaddle us
   in grace.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, September 01, 2017

day 244

"O my people, what have I
         done to you?
   In what have I wearied
         you? Answer me!"  Micah 6:3

let us not
      weary you
      with our
   whining, but
      energize you
      with our
   empathy.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, August 31, 2017

day 243

they shall beat their swords
         into plowshares,
   and their spears into
         pruning hooks.  Micah 4:4

in your mercy,
guns into guitars,
missiles into food silos,
violence into vineyards,
anger into acceptance;

please

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

day 242

Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness, 2 Corinthians 3:12

may our
      hope
be bolder
than our
   flagrant
fears.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, August 28, 2017

day 241

For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;  2 Corinthians 2:15

like warm
      bread just
   out of the oven,
may we be the
      bouquet
of grace
   for those
   hungering for
hope.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 240

But if anyone has caused pain . . . So I urge you to reaffirm your love for him.  2 Corinthians 2:5a, 8

forgiveness
is not a quick
            fix
but the long,
      slow
restoration of
(two) hearts.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, August 27, 2017

day 239

For he knows how we were
         made;
   he remembers that we are
         dust.  Psalm 103:14

dusting off your
      hands, you
   breathe a sigh
   of grace,
sending
      us to be
   your hope,
   your joy,
   your welcome.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, August 26, 2017

day 238

who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God.  2 Corinthians 1:4

because
we have been
   rescued
   cradled
   restored,
we must . . .

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, August 25, 2017

day 237

and perhaps I will stay with you or even spend the winter, so that you may send me on my way, wherever I go.  1 Corinthians 16:6

we can find
a resort that
      provides every amenity
      we long for, at
   a 'special' price, or
we can rest
in your heart
      on our pilgrimage
to grace,

perhaps.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, August 24, 2017

day 236

The human spirit is the lamp
         of the LORD,
   searching every innermost
         part.  Proverbs 20:27

though we try
   to burn the
   bulb out, you
continue to
shine in  our
souls so we
   can find the way
to you.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

day 235

Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand,  1 Corinthians 15:1

sucking on bitterness,
  it is hard to preach
  good news;
hands full of anger,
   it is hard to share
   the gospel.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

day 234

Hear my prayer, O LORD;
   let my cry come to you.  Psalm 102:1

whether hurled
   like thunderbolts
or whispered in
         hope, you
gather our prayers
to your heart, where
   they are melted
   into healing balm
for our lives.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, August 21, 2017

day 233

Brothers and sisters, do not be children in your thinking; rather, be infants in evil, but in thinking be adults.  1 Corinthians 14:20

rather than
   giving hate and
              evil
         to others as
   hand-me-downs, let
us put them out
by the curb,
to be recycled into
      hope and
      grace.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, August 20, 2017

day 232

So with yourselves; if in a tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is being said?  For you will be speaking into the air.  1 Corinthians 14:9

may our words
of hope
    grace
    justice
be clear and concise,
lest
they blow away
like dandelion puffs.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, August 19, 2017

day 231

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.  It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

love
listens to grandpa's story
      for the umpteenth time
   (without rolling its eyes);
kisses every
      dirty boo-boo;
celebrates those
      who beat us in
   the spelling bee;
goes to the museum,
      leaving the tickets
   to the ball game behind;
does not keep
      a running score in the
   back of its mind;
does not laugh
   behind another's back;
stands between
      the vulnerable
   and the bullies.
love
carries the broken hearts of others,
sees good in each person,
cares when everyone else doesn't,
knows evil eclipses good but for a moment.

love always is
      love.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, August 18, 2017

day 230

The voice of my beloved!
   Look, he comes,
leaping upon the mountains,
   bounding over the hills.  Song of Songs 2:8

in the laughter
      of children playing
   leapfrog;
in the mother
      patiently teaching
   her son how
   to change a flat tire;
in the octogenarian
      softly whispering
      love songs to
   the partner whose
   hearing aids are on
   the bedside table,

we hear your voice,
Beloved.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
     

Thursday, August 17, 2017

day 229

But if we judged ourselves, we would not be judged.  1 Corinthians 11:31

in my courtroom,
   i am always
   acquitted, but
others should bring
a good defense
attorney!

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

day 228

Do not seek your own advantage, but that of the other.  1 Corinthians 10:24

when i
long to be
         top dog,
   hand me a
   shovel to help
you
   clean the shelter's
kennels.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Day 227

The heavens proclaim his
          righteousness;
   and all the peoples behold
         his glory.  Psalm 97:6

if we took
out the ear buds,
      we might hear
      the frogs' chorus;
if we looked
up from our devices,
      we might see
      justice offering hope;
if we stopped
worrying about how
many folks are clinging
to every social media
post we make,
      we might just
      find you with those
   we have failed to notice;

if

(c) 2017 Thom  M. Shuman

Monday, August 14, 2017

day 226

Say among the nations, "The
         LORD is king!
   The world is firmly
         established; it shall
         never be moved.
   He will judge the peoples
         with equity."  Psalm 96:10

you slowly,
         patiently,
   craft your hopes
one heart,
one person,
one community
         at a time,
the measuring tape
   of fairness
always in your hand.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, August 13, 2017

day 225

O that today you would
         listen to his voice!  Psalm 95:7b

over the bile
of the radio bullies,
      may we hear hope;
turning down the rhetoric
of bellicose politicians,
      may we hear peace;
refusing to listen
to anger's enticing ads,
      may we hear love,
and then speak
with our lives.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, August 12, 2017

day 224

Cease straying, my child,
         from the words of
         knowledge,
   in order that you may hear
         instruction.  Proverbs 19:27

you stand at
the board, showing
   how grace
           hope
           justice
      might work
      in our lives, as
we slip out
the door, following
the pied piper of
foolishness.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, August 11, 2017

day 223

When I thought, "My foot is
         slipping,"
   your steadfast love,
         O LORD, held me up.  Psalm 94:18

(while the world
      waits around the
      corner, ready to
   laugh its head off at me),
you rush up
and catch me, as
      i step on
      the peel tossed
   on the sidewalk
   by foolishness, and
begin to topple
d
o
w
n.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, August 10, 2017

day 222

He who planted the ear, does
         he not hear?
   He who formed the eye, does
         he not see?  Psalm 94:9

we sit on the park bench,
holding hands with
       loneliness, as the world
   rushes by oblivious, until
you come by
on your tandem bike, asking,
   'want to go on an
   adventure?'

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

day 221

More majestic than the
         thunders of mighty
         waters,
   more majestic than the
         waves of the sea,
   majestic on high is the
         LORD!  Psalm 93:4

rather than
to continue to
drive our lives
   into the flash floods
   of fear and fury,
let us float
on that still pool
of your heart.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

day 220

Think of us in this way, as servants of Christ and stewards of God's mysteries.  1 Corinthians 4:1

we could take
the gospel and
   by giving it
   so many plot twists,
         characters who
         appear only once,
      clues that disappear
      down rabbit holes
      never to be seen again,
manage to
confuse everyone;

or
we could just
reveal from the
start that it was
you
in our hearts
with grace
who did it

(the butler)

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, August 07, 2017

day 219

It is good to give thanks to
         the LORD,
   to sing praises to your
         name, O Most High;
to declare your steadfast

         love in the morning,
   and your faithfulness by
         night,
to the music of the lute and
         the harp,
   to the melody of the lyre.  Psalm 92:1-3

from that
   snap, crackle, and
   pop of wonder at
         breakfast;
to the mid-morning
   cuppa break and
   scone slathered with
         grace;
to the late night
   warm glass of peace
   before we drift off to
         sleep,
sing us your
songs of hope and love
in every moment.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
  

Sunday, August 06, 2017

day 218

these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.  1 Corinthians 2:10

putting on her
      work boots, and
strapping on the
      headlamp, Spirit
continues to mine
your heart each day
for
   the grace,
      hope,
         peace,
      wonder, and
other resources
which fuel our faith.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, August 05, 2017

day 217

For God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God's weakness is stronger than human strength.  1 Corinthians 1:25

when we would
put on fancy robes with
   doctoral bars,
   preaching tabs, and
      beautiful stoles, you
would dress us
in the rainbow wig,
   red nose,
   floppy shoes, and
      polka-dot pants
      and starry-spangled shirt,
saying,
   'now, go be
   the good news.'

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, August 04, 2017

day 216

I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind--  1 Corinthians 1:4-5

by your
      grace, i
can see the
broken hearts others
   hide behind a
   wall bricked with
   bravado, and
so whisper the
      hope (not
         the hurt),
   the forgiveness (not
      the foolishness)
   the love (not
      the loathing)
they need.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, August 03, 2017

day 215

Satisfy us in the morning
         with your steadfast
         love,
   so we may rejoice and
         be glad all our days.  Psalm 90:14

in a knot,
we tumble down
the stairs, rubbing
      sleep from our
      eyes, finding
you
at the table, where
we are served bowls
   of grace crispies
   sprinkled with hesed,
swimming in milk and honey,
and
after wiping our mouths
and giving you a kiss,
   we rush out
   to play in your
wonder.

(c) 2017  Thom M. Shuman