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
         to others as
   hand-me-downs, let
us put them out
by the curb,
to be recycled into
      hope and

(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
be clear and concise,
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

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.
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

(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
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,

(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

(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
   clean the shelter's

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Day 227

The heavens proclaim his
   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;


(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,
   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
   in order that you may hear
         instruction.  Proverbs 19:27

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, August 11, 2017

day 223

When I thought, "My foot is
   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

(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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

day 221

More majestic than the
         thunders of mighty
   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;

we could just
reveal from the
start that it was
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
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
to the mid-morning
   cuppa break and
   scone slathered with
to the late night
   warm glass of peace
   before we drift off to
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
   the grace,
      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,
   '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
   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
at the table, where
we are served bowls
   of grace crispies
   sprinkled with hesed,
swimming in milk and honey,
after wiping our mouths
and giving you a kiss,
   we rush out
   to play in your

(c) 2017  Thom M. Shuman


Wednesday, August 02, 2017

day 214

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

you were
the yard where
      we could lie
      on our backs
   and see animals
   in clouds;
you are
the shelter
      we return to
      at the end
      of weary days
   to rest safe
   in your peace;
you will be
the retirement home
      where we can
      spend the rest
   of our days in
   hope and grace.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

day 213

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

may we go
tubing with
      Laughter and Grace
   down the rippling
   waters of hope,
climbing out on
the banks at the
end of the day, to
   share the feast
   grilled out by
all day long.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, July 31, 2017

day 212

For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  Romans 14:17

the kingdom
is not
   most-visited websites,
   multi-campus churches,
   higher television ratings,
   justice for the most vulnerable,
   reconciled communities,
   learning new dance steps from the Spirit,
   not just talking.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, July 30, 2017

day 211

Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.  Romans 13:10

help us
to have the
         good sense
   to come in
   out of the
and feed the hungry,
   read to little kids,
   listen to the stories
         of grandparents,
   build hope out of fears.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, July 29, 2017

day 210

If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.  Romans 12:18

if we listened to
more than
twittering politicians,
foul-mouthed communicators,
even grudging inner voices, we
might discover how
to live with others
in love, hope, grace


(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, July 28, 2017

day 209

Forever I will keep my
         steadfast love for him,
   and my covenant with him
         will stand firm.  Psalm 89:28

here's the deal:

not just
when we are
   or in church,
or praying,
      or caring, but
forever . . .

unrelenting . . .


(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, July 27, 2017

day 208

But what does it say?
      "The word is near you,
      on your lips and in your
(that is, the word of faith that we proclaim);  Romans 10:8

each year, we
get the booster
   immunizing us
   against your word, because
if we catch it,
we might become
and infect others

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

day 207

Righteousness and justice
         are the foundation of
         your throne;
   steadfast love and
         faithfulness go before
         you.  Psalm 89:14

on the front porch,
you sit in the
rocker carved from
      the tree of justice, ready
to dry us off
and pull us up
on your lap when
   we are done playing
   with Hesed and
   Joy in the sprinklers.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

day 206

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38-39

not yesterday,
which molds under
   the sink in the garbage,
or tomorrow,
which hangs in
   the closet waiting
   to be put on;
not politicians
who could care less
   about anyone but themselves,
or celebrities
who will be who
   others want them to be
   for a price;
not weary, aging bodies,
not foolishness who
   sticks out a foot to trip us,
not our pride which
grows larger with
every lie we tell ourselves;

can keep us apart
from God
because of
everything Jesus
did for us.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, July 24, 2017

day 205

How can I give you up,
   How can I hand you over,
         O Israel?
How can I make you like
How can I treat you like
My heart recoils within me;
   my compassion grows
         warm and tender.  Hosea 11:8

you could have
left your heart
      in the back
   of regret's freezer,
   you slipped it
   into the pan of
            grace warming
on the stove, then
it into a glass
and giving it to us
we could sleep
until morning without

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, July 23, 2017

day 204

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  Romans 8:1

not yesterday,
      where we spend
      so much time
   kicking our mistakes
   around and around;
not tomorrow,
      which we hope
      doesn't come, with
   its chances to
   screw up again, but
         this day
         this moment
         this breath
there is hope


(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, July 22, 2017

day 203

I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.  Romans 7:15

i know i
should be
      accepting, but
as a lifelong
of the Saved
Beyond a Doubt
   (reformed) Church,
i am guided
by that strong
            streak of
to control those
around me.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, July 21, 2017

day 202

For my soul is full of
   and my life draws near to
         Sheol.  Psalm 88:3

Fret, Sweat, and
      their brother, Bother,
   keep nudging me
   closer to the edge, whispering,
'it's just a short
             step down,'
you are there
building a bridge
   so we can
   cross the Pit
hand in hand.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, July 20, 2017

day 201

From there I will give her
         her vineyards,
   and make the Valley of
         Achor a door of hope.  Hosea 2:15a

we stand,
staring despondently
      the links in
      the fence, then
you come along,
   picking the lock,
   patching the pitfalls
   opening the concession stand,
      letting us in
  to play on the fields
of wonder.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

day 200

Hear this, you that trample
         on the needy,
   and bring to ruin the poor
         of the land,  Amos 8:4

in our rush
to get the newest
   of the inest
      of the faddest,
we knock over
those who
can't even afford
   the left-overs
   we so casually toss

in our rush . . .

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

day 199

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God.  Romans 5:1-2

we've triple firewalled
and 64-bit-encrypted our
         hearts, but
you simply type
   in as the password
and hack us, so
we can be infected
with the grace virus.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, July 17, 2017

day 198

But let justice roll down like
   and righteousness like an
         everflowing stream.  Amos 5:24

forgive us
         when we
   think justice is
      best served a
   drop at a time, and
we dam up hope's
river with our
   forms and regulations.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, July 16, 2017

day 197

Righteousness will go before
   and will make a path for
         his steps.  Psalm 85:13

Justice & Daughters Restoration, LLC
leads the way, filling
      in oppression's potholes
      with grace and hope, as
      takes the vulnerable
      by the hands
to lead them

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, July 15, 2017

day 196

One who forgives an affront
         fosters friendship,
   but one who dwells on
         disputes will alienate a
         friend.  Proverbs 17:9

like that pebble
in a shoe, a
      grudge rubs a
      blister on our
   soul, but
your grace removes
                  it, so
   we can walk
   in hope with
the one who hurt us.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, July 14, 2017

day 195

Or do you despise the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience?  Do you not realize that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?  Romans 2:4

    forever abandonment, but
      are the treasures
has in store for us.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, July 13, 2017

day 194

For a day in your courts is
   than a thousand
I would rather be a
         doorkeeper in the
         house of my God
   than live in the tents of
         wickedness.  Psalm 84:10

this day,
may I
      serve meals
   to the hungry,
      run through
   sprinklers with kids,
      stand in the rain
   with all who
   have had the doors
   of hope slammed
in their faces.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

day 193

My soul longs, indeed it
   for the courts of the LORDPsalm 84:2a

i yearn for
      your justice
   where the oppressed
   are set free;
      your house, where
   you make popcorn balls
   for snacks;
      your yard, where
   we can chase fireflies
   until the stars
         come out
      to watch over us
   as we snuggle in
   our sleeping bags.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

day 192

A perverse person spreads
   and a whisperer separates
         close friends.  Proverbs 16:28

slipping into
the booth while
         our best friend
         is on a call outside,
   Tattle begins
   to bandy on about
what they are (really!)
about us, hoping
   to split the desert
   with us when we
get into a huff.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, July 10, 2017

day 191

O God, do not keep silence;
   do not hold your peace of
         be still, O God!  Psalm 83:1

at the corner
      of Discord
      and Distrust, where
   we rant and rail,
trying to kick the
soapboxes out
      from under those
      we don't want to speak,
   you pull up
   in your food truck,
setting up tables
and offering tea
      and scones, encouraging
us to close our mouths
and open our hearts.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, July 09, 2017

day 190

"Give justice to the weak and
         the orphan;
   maintain the right of the
         lowly and destitute.
Rescue the weak and the
   deliver them from the hand
         of the wicked."  Psalm 82:3-4

shelter for those
      caught in life's storms,
food for children
      hungering for hope, as well;
a welcome to all
      pushed aside by the world;
standing nose-to-nose
      with oppression's supporters;
calling the vulnerable
      our sisters and brothers . . .
. . .
   these are some of the ways
   we can pull God's beloved
out of those fists tight with


(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, July 08, 2017

day 189

"I would feed you with the
         finest of the wheat,
   and with honey from the
         rock I would satisfy
         you."  Psalm 81:16

you lay out
a picnic
      of Grace's sandwiches,
   Hope's strawberry/rhubarb pies,
      Wonder's potato salad, and
   the finest vintage Peace makes,
would rather gnaw
         on our bitter
         hearts, and
   anger's acid.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, July 07, 2017

day 188

Wisdom is a fountain of life
         to one who has it,  Proverbs 16:22a

i drink deeply
of your Spirit
      before i
speak to
   (or about)

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, July 06, 2017

day 187

I hear a voice I had not
 "I relieved your shoulder of

         the burden;
   your hands were freed
         from the basket."  Psalm 81:5b-6

in the soft breath
   of a baby
        against our cheek;
in the silly jokes
   of 9-year-olds;
in the infuriating
         questions of
our fears
our worries
our doubts
   are taken away.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

day 186

"I have a hope in God--" Acts 24:15a

i cling tight
to the hope
   the most vulnerable
      will be valued more,
   the hungry will
      be offered banquets,
   foreclosed properties will
      be shared with the homeless,
   the lonely will
      be welcomed like family, and
in God,
   i open
   my hands to

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

day 185

You have fed them with the
         bread of tears,
   and given them tears to
         drink in full measure.  Psalm 80:5

you flavor
the bread of
      life with
   the tang
   of your tears,
and transformed
your bitter
grace's cup.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, July 03, 2017

day 184

The human mind plans the
   but the LORD directs the
         steps.  Proverbs 16:9

we reprogram our
      soul's GPS so
   we can do what we want
   go where we will
      be who we idolize, then
         take us by the
         to lead us
to baptism's beach
   where we will
   surf on grace's waves
until falling asleep

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, July 02, 2017

day 183

But his servants approached and said to him, "Father, if the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more, when all he said to you was, 'Wash, and be clean'?"   2 Kings 5:13

we find rocket science
      higher math
   textual criticism
a piece of cake
         compared to the
feeding of the hungry
welcoming the stranger
adopting the forgotten
living in peace
      we are asked
      to do.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, July 01, 2017

day 182

With upright heart he tended
   and guided them with
         skillful hand.  Psalm 78:72

when they show
up at our doors,
      in duffle coat,
   old hat, and
      battered suitcase
      in hand, may
we not overlook
the tag reading,
'please take care
of this child of mine,
         thank you' as
we welcome them
into our hearts
as you did us.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, June 30, 2017

day 181

And now I commend you to God and to the message of his grace,  Acts 20:32a

when the twitter
      bombs continue
      to fall,
when anger's waves
      crash on our
      souls' shores,
when bitterness
      is offered as
      a balm to our hearts,
cradle us with
and draw us closer
to you.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, June 29, 2017

day 180

But Micaiah said, "As the LORD lives, whatever the LORD says to me, that I will speak."  1 Kings 22:14

we not turn
      your passion
      for peace into
      your compassion
      for the vulnerable into
      your grace into
      your justice into

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

day 179

One night the Lord said to Paul in a vision, "Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent;"  Acts 18:9

we have all sorts
      of opinions
   we proclaim loudly
      about the weather,
            politics, sports,
         and religion, but
when it comes to
we suddenly develop

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

day 178

He said, "Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by." Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.  1 Kings 19:11-12

in the utter quiet
of a candle flickering
      on a winter's night;
in the gentle rocking
   of a cradle
   in a nursery;
in the winds
of justice breaking
      into dust, you
pass by
   so we can
   notice and

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, June 26, 2017

day 177

He made streams come out
         of the rock,
   and cause waters to flow
         down like rivers.  Psalm 78:16

strike our
         hearts, so
   grace may flow
   into the deserts
      burnished by cynicism;
transform the
bitterness pooling
      in our souls
   into streams
   of hope flowing
to the sea.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, June 25, 2017

day 176

The LORD tears down the
         house of the proud,
   but maintains the widow's
         boundaries.  Proverbs 15:25

early each morning,
      you drive down
      the street, stopping
   and tossing the scraps
   from our over-built lives
      in the back of
      your rusty pickup,
taking them with you
as you join the Carpenter
   in rebuilding the hope
   of the forgotten.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, June 24, 2017

day 175

During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us."  Acts 16:9

the family members
      we haven't spoken
      to in years;
the residents of
      the group home
      down the street;
the transgender kids
      in the schools
      around us;
the opposition party
      folks living
      next door;
the immigrants
      in line with us
      at the stores;
so many
so little time,
so much resistance
      to crossing

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

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
   Has he in anger shut up
         his compassion?"  Psalm 77:9

in our anger
      towards others, we
   forget about
   trying to lock
   its compassion,
   deep in the
   recesses of our
we have closeted

(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

(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

(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
   a work that you will never
         believe, even if
         someone tells you.' "  Acts 13:41

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

(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'
'cut away'?

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, June 17, 2017

day 168

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

when i
open my mouth
          today, may
i plant seeds

(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

   our compassion
   cost us our
   our love
   cost us our
   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

      we hope our
   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
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
   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
         doubts, and
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
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
   of those folks
             others believe
are of no value
   to themselves
   anyone else.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, June 09, 2017

day 160

So even to old age and gray
   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
      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

(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 . . .

it seems so

(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

(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

(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
   after us, until
we start helping
others whose lives
      are littered
      behind them,
letting them in
on the secret of

(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,
   will leave us
   lying there like
             a pile of
         empty clothes,
rather than believing
   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
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
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,
just aren't ready
to move into your heart,
have you move
into ours, if you
   are going to spend
   all your time
straightening up

(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,
all may walk
the way to
justice and hope.

(c) 2017  Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


some will  
   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
   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
   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
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
   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

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,
we ask, 'where
can we see

(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
   goes and helps
   those poor folks
hit by the
we tut before
turning to find
the funnies, while
      you are already there
   for your fellow
          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
the wearing down
      of wedding rings
   while the love
   grows ever stronger,

are all around us.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, May 19, 2017

day 139

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

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

(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
   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
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
      the surety
   for those
   the world

(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
   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
   stand between
      the kids
   and their tormentors;
      spend more
   on the poor, than
      on ourselves,
we fill
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
         of outsiders?

crumble them
into the canvas
      on which you
   finger paint

(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
   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

(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
      it becomes an
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

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
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
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
but it is
your heart
where we find
   our deepest

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

your unnamed
are all around us

if we would only

(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

(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
while we journey
through fear's famine,
   may we smell
   the aroma of
         trust's feast;
may we tiptoe
through our parched
   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;
      we do not
      notice those
   longing for hope;
too rushed,
      we don't slow
      to listen to
      the songs of
and then wonder
why you think
         we don't love

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

day 122

Attend to me, and answer
   I am troubled in my

I am distraught by the noise

         of the enemy,
   because of the clamor of

         the wicked.
For they bring trouble upon

   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

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
   standing by the
   bed of the child
         in the cancer unit;
in the afternoon,
we will find
   rescuing immigrants
   adrift on the sea
         of indifference;
in the evening,
we will find
   sleeping with the
   homeless on the
if we only
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
   adding a few meat
   slices produced
      by low-paid
      and truck drivers, we
offer a quick
as we bite
into the lives
   of those we
   rarely notice.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman