Thursday, February 28, 2019


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

we will not fall silent,
but be more vocal
about welcoming every one;
we will not let the cherry pickers
toss aside God’s words
of grace, hope, affirmation;
we will not let  the arm of judgment
become more important
than the arc of justice;
since we have such

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, February 27, 2019


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

too often
we offer the stench of
to those who long for
the fragrance of grace
to touch them

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, February 26, 2019


“To you, O LORD, I call;
   my rock, do not refuse to hear
         me,”  Psalm 28:1a

when i find offering
my soul to others
is like talking to a
      brick wall,
you are sandstone,
holding our tears and fears,
our hopes and hurts
      like a sponge,
filtering them into
gentle drops of grace.

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, February 25, 2019


“Our hope for you is unshaken;” 2 Corinthians 1:7a

that we will build bridges,
   and not walls;
that we will see each person
as God’s beloved,
   and not an enemy;
that we will treasure each child
for who they are,
   and not what a piece of paper says;
that we will create open communities,
   and not live behind gates;
that we will love more deeply
   and give more generously,
our hope is unshaken, even
as we seek to stir others
(and ourselves)
to more hopeful lives.

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman  

Sunday, February 24, 2019

comfort, my people

“As a mother comforts her
   so I will comfort you;
   you shall be comforted in
         Jerusalem.”  Isaiah 66:13

on playgrounds
where skinned knees
and hurtful words abound;
at borders where
families at torn apart;
in hospice rooms,
where loved ones
take that final breath
to leap into your love:

comfort us,
tender God,
comfort us.

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, February 23, 2019


“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.” 1 Timothy 6:10

tempted to plant myself
in the rich soil of greed,
may i
care more for the poor
than my portfolio;
find shelter for the wanderers
before buying a second home;
buy as many groceries
for the food bank
as i do for my own needs;
bandage the skinned souls
of those tripped by
the indifference of the world

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, February 22, 2019


“But be glad and rejoice
   in what I am creating;” Isaiah 65:18a

it is only a whisper
   in the trees,
or the silly song
   of a six-year-old;
it is the papery-skinned
   touch of a gran,
or the warm hug
   of a friend not seen in years;
it is soft rain
   washing our face,
or the drops shaken off
   a wet-headed cat,
but in every moment,
you are in our midst,
and we rejoice.

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, February 21, 2019


“I was ready to be sought
         out by those who did
         not ask,
   to be found by those who
         did not seek me.”  Isaiah 65:1a

are the answer
to the questions
which wake us up
in the middle of the night,
and follow us
like a stray kitten 
each day;
are the fork
in the road we
always choose
not to take;
are the home
we pass by
in our rush to
finish each to-day list,
until we pause and
notice the rocker on the porch
has our name on it.

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

coffeehouse theologians

“You meet those who gladly do right,
those who remember you in your ways.” Isaiah 64:5a

taking the cup from the barista
with a warm smile and warmer tip,
you come over to where
we are sitting, licking foam
from our fingers as we are
hypnotized by our devices,
and as we bemoan all the hurt
and vitriol around us, you invite
us to spend time with you
at the free health clinic with
folks who need attention more
than our social media does
and walk out the door
hoping we will follow you

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, February 19, 2019


“and he became their savior
   in all their distress.
It was no anguish* or angel
   but his presence that saved
         them;” Isaiah 63:9

no hand-wringing
in the solemn hours
of the night, nor
any paladin on
a white horse
riding to our rescue,
but your gentle spirit,
your whispered lullaby
your comfortable lap,
you simply being you
which brings us home

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

*- alternate word

Monday, February 18, 2019

no holiday

“They rise in the darkness as
         a light for the upright;
   they are gracious,
         merciful, and
         righteous.”  Psalm 112:4

in the morning gloom
you dress quietly,
putting on your work boots
in the kitchen so as
not to disturb us sleeping
under the warm covers, and
stepping outside, you greet
your neighbors Justice, Mercy,
and Grace, and together,
you walk down to the corners
where the vulnerable are huddled
wondering if anyone ever notices them.

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, February 17, 2019


a soft caress
on the cheek
to calm us;
a gust of wind
to knock us
off our pride;
a rain shower
to wash stained
words off our souls;
a dust pan and broom
to gather up
all our tears
and toss them away –
(your) silence
comes in many

(c) 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, February 16, 2019


“For the time is coming when people will not out up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4

knees scrunched tight
under the desks, we
lick the tip of our pencils
and begin to carefully
copy into our notebook
what the teacher is writing
on the chalkboard, making
sure every fabrication and
foolish statement is letter-perfect,
while you are outside,
turning cartwheels with
justice and grace, hoping
we will look up, notice,
and slip out the door to join you
before the final bell rings.

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, February 15, 2019


glutted on chocolate,
   may I remember those
   who are still hungry;
as the rose petals
begin to wilt,
   may I offer a bouquet
   of hope to those I meet;
as the cards and envelopes
are recycled or put in a drawer,
   may I drop a note
   to a lonely friend;
as the world turns its attention
to the next big holiday,
   may I never forget
   to keep loving.

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, February 14, 2019

distracted living

“Lift up your eyes and look around;
they gather altogether, they come to you;” Isaiah 60:4a

arms cramped with plastic
bags of food for her kids,
a young mother trudges
through a driving painstorm,
soaked to her soul;
as the winter storm
roars into town, a
PTSDed vet huddles
in a doorway just across
from the shelter
that has no more beds;
at the bus stop, a
child stands off from
his classmates, with a look
that says, ‘will give everything
for a friend,’ but
we are too busy
looking down at our
to notice

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, February 13, 2019


shouldn’t ensuring that
folks have access
to healthcare,
affordable housing,
safe neighborhoods,
and more-than-adequate food
be considered wellcare,
not welfare?

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

business card

focused on
doing everything
decently and in order with
spotless desks,
books in neat rows
(alphabetically or topically
   or both),
our to-do lists checked,
we never read
your business card
stuck in the drawer:
‘herder of miscues;
Brother to the messy’

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, February 11, 2019

no questions

“But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.”  Mark 9:32

pretty sure you implied that
   means holding a grudge,
   is wasted on the wrong folk,
   is only for a select few, and
   should be hoarded in our hearts,
we see no need
to ask for any clarifications.

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, February 10, 2019


help us
to be able to look
   our worries
   our questions
   our minds, and
see into the wonders
of blue skies
    lapping waves
    dancing snowflakes
    brittle stars

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, February 09, 2019


they creep in,
walking around my
putting pictures on
spackling holes i
make with my anger,
gathering up the
dust bunnies of worry
     and tossing them
     in the bin;
they creep in, these
   of yours.

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, February 08, 2019

turn, turn, turn

“In overflowing wrath for a
   I hid my face from you,
but with everlasting love I will
         have compassion on you,
   says the LORD, your Redeemer.”  Isaiah 54:8

while we spin away
shouting, ‘I never want
to see you again!’ at someone
and stick to that resolve, you
take a deep breath,
turning to face us,
breathing grace upon us
in that moment and all which follow,

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, February 07, 2019


somewhere today,
kindness will be knitting
a prayer shawl;
justice will be challenging
power to change its ways;
grace will be walking
with a lonely child to school;
hope will be pulling up
a chair by a hospital bed;
today, where will we be?

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, February 06, 2019


“And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation ask of a sign?  Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation.”  Mark 8:12

neck stained, eyes searching
through the rain streaked windows
for the street signs marking the intersection
of Privilege and Uncaring,
we miss the chance to
turn down the street of sighs
where we could find
strength in weakness,
healing in forgiveness,
life in serving,
grace in letting go of pride;
you, waiting by the side
of the road, hoping for a lift.

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

love singes

“Break forth together into singing,
   you ruins of Jerusalem;” Isaiah 52:9a

handed the sheet music
for love songs we
could sing to others,
we cut them up,
rearranging the words
into poison pen notes
we send to those around us,
ruining their hopes and hearts.

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, February 04, 2019


“You are observing special days, and months, and seasons, and years.”  Galatians 4:10

it is on those days
which are not super,
the months
which are shorter,
the seasons
which are bleaker,
the years
which seem emptier,
that allow others
to observe the grace,
the hope, the kindness
you have placed within us,
O God.

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, February 03, 2019


we give thanks, O God,
for love that is patient with our foolishness,
and impatient for justice;
for love that does not brag about itself,
but lifts up those whose lives are forgotten;
for love that is not a pebble in our shoe,
but a caress that wipes our tears;
for love that does not mock those who have messed up,
but speaks words of truth when truth is in short supply;
love carries the most vulnerable;
love trusts the littlest kid;
love refuses to hoard hope;
love meets disappointment face to face.
love persists in, and through, every moment,
especially when we can't.
(c) 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, February 02, 2019


“Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed.”  Galatians 3:23

taking those picks
marked grace and hope,
faith fiddles with the lock
until the pins set
into place, and as
the door swings open, we
clasp hands and skip into

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, February 01, 2019


“The Lord GOD has given me
   the tongue of a teacher,
that I may know how to sustain
   the weary with a word.”  Isaiah 50:4a

all it takes is
a ‘hello’
   to make an
   outsider welcome;
a ‘here, let me help’
   to lift a neighbor
   to their feet;
an ‘i like you’
   to affirm a
   lonely child;
a ‘why don’t you join us?’
   to feed the hungry
   with more than a meal.

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman