Tuesday, January 31, 2017

day 31

When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, "Who is this?"  Matthew 21:10

this is the interpreter
      who supported your
      children in war zones;
this is the doctor
      who could bring
      healing to many;
this is the child
      longing to run
      into her mother's arms;
this is the refugee
      who brings nothing
      but hope in his heart;

help us to lay down
our turmoiling fears
   and welcome them.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, January 30, 2017

day 30

Let them not trust in
         emptiness, deceiving
         themselves;
   for emptiness will be their
         recompense.  Job 15:31

when we
   gorge ourselves
         on pleasant
         platitudes;
   stuff politician's
         hollow words
         down our throats;
   imbibe bottle after
         bottle of
         fragrant whines,
is it any wonder
we feel so
      empty
all the time?

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, January 29, 2017

day 29

I call upon you, for you will
         answer me, O God;
   incline your ear to me,
         hear my words.  Psalm 17:6

when others act
      as if they cannot
   understand my shouts,
         you hear my
         sore-throated whispers;
when my friends(!)
      turn their hearts
      away from me, you
   put your ear
   right next
         to my lips
      to cradle every
ache.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, January 28, 2017

day 28

Jesus said to him, If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me."  Matthew 19:21

i hold tight
to all my resources, just
   waiting for the right moment,
                                    person,
                                    effort
      to share, and
so remain a
saint of indecision,
   shuffling my feet
   away from
you.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, January 27, 2017

day 27

So the poor have hope,
   and injustice shuts its
         mouth.  Job 5:16

may hope be
      not a long stare
      through the poor,
   but a welcome
   to our tables;
      nor a rueful grin
      as we mime
      empty pockets,
   but a bear hug
   of joy.

may injustice's tantalizing
seductive whispers of
      'they must wait their turn'
   be silenced by
   the singing of 'we
          shall overcome.'

(c) 2017  Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, January 26, 2017

day 26

Protect me, O God, for in
         you I take refuge.  Psalm 16:1

may we be
   the umbrella
      for those
      showered by hate;
   the cradling lap
      for children who
      tremble in the night;
   the heart hollowed by grief
      so we can embrace
      all who have lost everything;
even
as you are all
         this (and more)
   for us.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

day 25

O LORD, who may abide in
         your tent?
   Who may dwell on your
         holy hill?
 Those who walk blamelessly,

         and do what is right,
   and speak the truth from
         their heart;  Psalm 15:1-2

except for those
detours down
      apathy's alley,
   surely our footsteps
   are firm;
apart from wanting
things done our way
(only on the rarest
      of occasions!)
   surely we are
   on the side of righteousness;
other than those
daggers we hurl
from our hearts
      at others,
   surely we are
   people of veracity.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

day 24

Do not let loyalty and
         faithfulness forsake
         you;
   bind them around your
         neck,
   write them on the tablet of
         your heart.  Proverbs 3:3

from the jewelry box
on top of the bureau,
      you take the necklace
      crafted long ago by Spirit
      when she was young,
   with beads of hope strung
   on the strands of kinship,
and placing it
around our necks, you
   whisper, 'you'll
   always have my heart.'

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, January 23, 2017

day 23

You would confound the
         plans of the poor,
   but the LORD is their
         refuge.  Psalm 14:6

we hold hoops
      for the poor
      to jump through,
   while you make
   snow angels with them;
we write regulations
      enabling the hungry
      to receive our leftovers,
   while you take them
   out for dinner;
we look down our noses
      at those standing on corners
      with hand-scrawled appeals,
   and you offer them
   a lift to your heart.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, January 22, 2017

day 22

With that, Joseph hurried out, because he was overcome with affection for his brother, and he was about to weep.  So he went into a private room and wept there.  Genesis 43:30

noticing the scarfed
   teenager sitting alone
   on the bus;
listening to the
   immigrant child
   translating for his
           parents;
comforting those
   who find themselves
   outsiders looking in,
we meet our family,
      and weep
for our loss in
not knowing them
all our lives.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, January 21, 2017

day 21

Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?"  Matthew 14:31

when we wonder
if the new captain even
   knows the bow
   from the stern;
when we worry
that justice
   will be jettisoned
   over the side;
when we fear
that the vulnerable
   will be left behind,
may the winds of faith
continue to refresh us,
   so we may journey
   with you until we reach
the shores of compassion,
      inclusion,
      peace, and
      hope.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
  

Friday, January 20, 2017

day 20

When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. Matthew 14:14

when
we step over
the homeless on our way
      to buy another
      $5 coffee;
we give our
cast-offs to the
      shivering kids instead
      of a new coat;
we throw out
enough food to
      feed another
   family,
we have left our
compassion
back in the boat
once again.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, January 19, 2017

day 19

"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field."  Matthew 13:44

we could mend
      crumbling and
      hungering-for-hope
                   neighborhoods,
   but since we think
   no one of value resides
         in such places, we
spend the money
on ourselves
                    (again)

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

day 18

They said to one another, "Here comes this dreamer."  Genesis 37:14

they come with
dreams cradled in their
                   hopes:
   that children can be lifted
         out of poverty;
   that peace could emerge
         from the ashes of war;
   that people just might
         learn how to love each other,
and
we toss them and their dreams
in the empty bin, as
      we watch reality shows
      hosted by con artists
   eager to fill our hollow souls
   with even more emptiness.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

day 17

Why, O LORD, do you stand
         far off?
   Why do you hide yourself
         in times of trouble?
In arrogance the wicked
         persecute the poor --
   let them be caught in the
         schemes they have
         devised.  Psalm 10:1-2

when we could stand
next to others,
         holding their hearts,
   why do we edge
   away from the bullied?
when we could confront
those who would take away
      services to the poor,
   why do we hide behind
   our walls of
         good intentions?

kyrie elieson

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, January 16, 2017

day 16

Then you will understand
         righteousness and
         and justice
   and equity, every good
         path;  Proverbs 2:9

when we hunger
   to do the harder right
      than the easier
                    expediency;
when our thirst
   for justice will
   not be quenched by
         sugary platitudes;
when fairness breaks out
   in the corridors of
                   power and
          not just on
          playgrounds,
we will have found your way.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, January 15, 2017

day 15

Be gracious to me, O LORD.
   See what I suffer from
         those who hate me;  Psalm 9:13a

Lord, be gracious
to those who have suffered
from my hurtful words,
        my cavalier arrogance,
        my thoughtless disdain,
        my (dare I admit) hate;
especially when i could have
   lifted them up with
      grace
            comfort
         hope
      love
instead.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, January 14, 2017

day 14

"But to what will I compare this generation?  It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another,"  Matthew 11:16

the generation which
      balkanizes the playground
      so everyone knows
      their place and
   never crosses the line,
or the one which
      welcomes and teaches
      games to outsiders
   and learns new ones
   from them . . .

which shall we be?

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, January 13, 2017

day 13

Jesus answered them: "Go and tell John what you hear and see:"  Matthew 11:4

when we see immigrants
      welcomed with joy
   or
injustice brought
      to its knees;
when we listen to
      children speak out
      against bullies,
   or
the rough sleeper invite
      others to share a meal,
how
can we not run
to share this good news?

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, January 12, 2017

day 12

"So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrow."  Matthew 10:31

perhaps
the most vulnerable
in our midst
would be less fearful
                       of us, if
we offered them
the same love,
         compassion,
               care
we shower on our
dogs, cats, pet birds.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

day 11

for she said to herself, "If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well."  Matthew 9:21

with a hat and gloves,
   we can warm
   the rough sleeper;
with a smile,
   we can ease
   the child's fears;
with a word,
   we can cradle
   the senior's loneliness;
and bring healing
to our selfish
      apathy.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

day 10

But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac.  So she said to Abraham, "Cast out this slave woman with her son; for the son of this slave woman shall not inherit along with my son Isaac."  Genesis 21:9-10

forgive us when
we, who are so
      graced by you,
   show such bad
   manners towards
those around us
who are struggling,
      different,
   a seeming threat.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, January 09, 2017

day 9

When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him; and there was a leper who came to him and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean."  Matthew 8:1-2

instead of turning
our backs,
we could be the
   hope,
   healing,
   forgiveness,
   grace
others need in their lives,

if we choose.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, January 08, 2017

day 8

The LORD appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day.  He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground.  Genesis 18:1-2

may we be
      as eager to
   embrace the strangers
   you send to us, as
we are in welcoming
our best friends
      into our hearts.

(c) 2016 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, January 07, 2017

day 7

"And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward."  Matthew 6:16

but
   if no one
   sees how miserable
         i am while
      following you, how
will they know
   how much you
   mean to
me?

(c) 2016 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, January 06, 2017

day 6

"Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you."  Matthew 5:42

we have heard
                 you
say we are to
help others (but
          only
   if they can jump
   through certain
         hoops
                   devised
      by those who
      have no need
         for anything
   because we have
   so much of everything
                 , correct?)

(c) 2016 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, January 05, 2017

day 5

"In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven."  Matthew 5:16

sadly,
     we have become
     nightlights of
   comfort so the
   quo can sleep
         through the night,
rather
   than beacons of hope
      for those suffering
      from injustice,
         hatred, and
      no status.

(c) 2016 Thom M. Shuman  

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

day 4

"When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth."  Genesis 9:16

at the end
         of the curved colors,
      we hope to
      find a wee man with
         a pot of gold
         just for us, and
   so miss the
   heart overflowing
      with grace, hope, and
               love,
just for us.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

day 3

"I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."  Matthew 3:11

you come,
   kneeling down to
         untie our foolishness
         from around our souls so,
      barefoot,
   we may run through
   the sprinklers with you,
until we are swept
                  up
   in Spirit's arms.

(c) 2016 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, January 02, 2017

day 2

The LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen?  If you do well, will you not be accepted?  And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it."  Genesis 4:6-7

stuffing our arms
      into anger's sleeves,
   and yanking up bitterness's
         zipper, we
stomp out of the
      house,
   slamming the door
   behind us, never noticing
Short Coming nipping
            at our heels, until
   we trip and fall
               flat
on our souls.

(c) 2016 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, January 01, 2017

day 1

And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done.  Genesis 2:2

and on the eighth day,
you said:
   share the light;
   give everyone a cool drink;
   feed those around you;
   dance under the stars;
   explore the skies and waters;
   be gentle with every creature;
   you are not alone . . .
. . . and relax (it's not all about you).

(c) 2016 Thom M. Shuman