Thursday, April 27, 2017

day 117

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

day 116

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

day 115

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, April 24, 2017

day 114

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, April 23, 2017

day 113

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, April 22, 2017

day 112

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, April 21, 2017

day 111

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, April 20, 2017

day 110

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

day 109

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

day 108

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, April 17, 2017

day 107

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

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

faith.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, April 16, 2017

day 106

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, April 15, 2017

day 105

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, April 14, 2017

day 104

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman  

Thursday, April 13, 2017

day 103

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
  

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

day 102

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

        

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

day 101

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

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

but chasing
      justice?

i barely break
a
sweat.

(c)  2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, April 10, 2017

day 100

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, April 09, 2017

day 99

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
  

Saturday, April 08, 2017

day 98

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, April 07, 2017

day 97

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, April 06, 2017

day 96

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

day 95

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
  

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

day 94

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, April 03, 2017

day 93

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, April 02, 2017

day 92

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, April 01, 2017

day 91

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman