Wednesday, May 31, 2017

day 151

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

day 150

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, May 29, 2017

day 149

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, May 28, 2017

day 148

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, May 27, 2017

day 147

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, May 26, 2017

day 146

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, May 25, 2017

day 145

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

day 144

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

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

(c) 2017  Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

manchester

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

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

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

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

but sometimes
it is just easier
to be wall builders.


© 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 143

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

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

come, and listen . . .

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, May 22, 2017

day 142

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, May 21, 2017

day 141

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, May 20, 2017

day 140

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

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

ebenezers
are all around us.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, May 19, 2017

day 139

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
  

Thursday, May 18, 2017

day 138

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman





Wednesday, May 17, 2017

day 137

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
     

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

day 136

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, May 15, 2017

day 135

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, May 14, 2017

day 134

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, May 13, 2017

day 133

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

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

crumble them
into the canvas
      on which you
   finger paint
         grace

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, May 12, 2017

day 132

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, May 11, 2017

day 131

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

day 130

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

day 129

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, May 08, 2017

day 128

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, May 07, 2017

day 127

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

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

your unnamed
      prophets
are all around us

if we would only
listen.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, May 06, 2017

day 126

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, May 05, 2017

day 125

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, May 04, 2017

day 124

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
  

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

day 123

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

day 122

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

         complaint.
I am distraught by the noise

         of the enemy,
   because of the clamor of

         the wicked.
For they bring trouble upon

         me,
   and in anger they cherish

         enmity against me. Psalm 55:2-3

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

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

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, May 01, 2017

day 121

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

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

were we not listening?

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman