Friday, May 31, 2019


“In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the exiles by the river Chebar, the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.”  Ezekiel 1:1

through those years
of loneliness,
those months of
utter fear,
those days of despair
which never seem to end,
help us to see
your joy in the little
child jumping in puddles,
your wonder in stars
shimmering in night skies,
your arms in the hope
which cradles us
for as long as we need

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, May 30, 2019


Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.  Matthew 28:16

we hesitate at
the hospital room door;
we stumble following
the casket to the grave;
we convince ourselves
we cannot challenge injustice,
never realizing that
your are already there,
waiting for us, at all these
Galilees . . .

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

eve of Ascension

“Then Elijah said to him, ‘Stay here; for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.’ But he said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’”  2 Kings 2:6

may they find you at their sides,
as they clean up
the debris from tornadoes,
as they pray the levees
will not crumble,
as they seek to welcome
those who have lost
everything except hope

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman


“He said to his disciples, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear.’”  Luke 12:22

we will spend
more time worrying
about lunch and dinner,
than feeding the hungry;
more time at the fitness center,
than jumping rope with kids;
more time deciding
what to wear
than clearing the closet
of stuff that has hung
unused for years

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

forgot password?

“Take care that you do not forget the Lord your God,” Deuteronomy 8:11a

when we can’t recall
all of our passwords,
pins, logins, and codes,
without some sort of
cheat sheet, how
in the world will
we remember you,
Loving God, much less
your grace, love,
hope, and peace

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman 

Monday, May 27, 2019

question answered

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Luke 9:20a

you are
the brokenness
that makes us whole;
the weakness
that gives us strength;
the foolishness
that makes us aware;
the emptiness
that fills our hollow souls;
the one
who makes us family

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, May 26, 2019


”Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, ‘Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land.’”  Deuteronomy 15:11

remind us, O God,
that it is not
the poor who
need our generosity
in order for their
lives to be transformed,
it is us

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, May 25, 2019


“He makes me lie down in green pastures;
     he leads me beside still waters;
     he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
    for his name’s sake.”  Psalm 23:2-3

grant me the
to take breaks
from the internet; the
to ignore the trolls
on social media;
and the
to come in
from the

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, May 24, 2019


“Instead of these things you gave your people food of angels” Wisdom of Solomon 16:20a

you could have offered
days old loaves, but
give us the bread of life;
you could give us
sour vinegar to drink, but
pour the cup of grace
and hand it to us in love

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, May 23, 2019


 “Jesus then asked him, ‘What is your name?’ He said, ‘Legion’; for many demons had entered him.” Luke 8:30

if we turn
all our fiends
into friends, and
see imps as but
playground pals,
we might end up
on the landfills of life
wishing someone could
recycle us

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, May 22, 2019


“ I will rejoice in doing good to them, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.  Jeremiah 32:41

while we hope (no,
ache) for your judgment
to rain down upon others,
you are sending rescuers
to flood victims, bringing
healing to the broken,
gathering the lonely into
communities of hope, all
those things you promise
to do, despite our getting
in the way

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, May 21, 2019


“Ah Lord God! It is you who made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.”  Jeremiah 32:17

convinced you cannot
win at knucklebones, we
dump all our silliness,
our hurtful words and deeds,
our spite and malice
on the floor, but you simply
sit cross legged and while
tossing grace into the air,
gather up everything
with a single sweep of your hand,
grinning at us knuckleheads.

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, May 20, 2019


“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:6

without the fresh
herbs of your grace,
peace, and hope, our
words become bland
and unappetizing fare
for everyone to whom
we offer them.

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, May 19, 2019


“for wisdom, the fashioner of all things, taught me.” Wisdom of Solomon 7:22a

you put down the hammer and saw,
you step away from the loom,
you lay aside the quilting squares
to gather us on
your lap, to trace the words
with your fingers
we begin to learn how to
read the faces of others,
listen to the whispers of their souls,
hold their wounded hearts in ours,
freely give away all the
grace, hope, peace, and joy
you share with us every moment.

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, May 18, 2019

dress code

“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.  Colossians 3:12

no scritto shoes,
   but scuffed work boots;
no armani suits or yves dresses,
   but faded denims covered
   with sawdust;
no gucci caps,
   but a straw hat
   stained with sweat,
these are the garments
you lay out for us
each and every day

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, May 17, 2019


“there is hope for your future,
                     says the LORD:” Jeremiah 31:17a

while we are preparing
for our retirement
with all sorts of funds,
stock options, second homes,
and travel agents on speed dial,
God is putting all our eggs in
hope’s basket

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, May 16, 2019

float like a butterfly

“or as, when a bird flies through the air,
no evidence of its passage is found;”  Wisdom of Solomon 5:11

we cannot see grace
coming toward us, until
it lights gently upon our souls
like a butterfly carried
on the gentle breezes
of the Spirit all around us.

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

word crumbs

“But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return . . . Be merciful . . .”  Luke 6: 35a, 36a

we spend so much time
talking the walk, yet
keep our wallets hidden away,
offering a rigid back to others,
hurling invective at those we can’t stand,
choosing to do wrong every chance we get,
and so miss the word crumbs
you have left on the path
which would lead us to grace

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, May 14, 2019


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

we could sing
of your love which
sustains us, tell
how your grace
is like a shawl
when we shiver in grief,
and whisper of your
wonders dancing across
our lawns, but
words just don’t seem
to spring forth from us

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, May 13, 2019


“May you be blessed by the
   who made heaven and
         earth.”  Psalm 115:15

that blessings come
all new, shiny, and
ginormous, we miss
the dog chasing the stick,
the little girl blowing bubbles,
the leaves rustling in the breeze,
the snail creeping along,
the stars keeping watch
in the night

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, May 12, 2019


“For wisdom is a kindly spirit,” Wisdom of Solomon 1:6a

when we scrape our
lives running down
the sidewalks of foolishness,
or stub our hearts
as we try to find
our way back to you
through the shadows
of our fears, Spirit
kneels down and daubs
our wounds with grace,
and whispers hope into
our tear-stained souls

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, May 10, 2019


“When he saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.”  Luke 5:12b

we could
eradicate injustice,
lift up those tossed aside,
comfort the broken-hearted,
and so much more, but
we are consumed
with silly choices.

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, May 09, 2019


“Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” 1 John 5:21

glowing devices and
plastic cards
   fit so easily
   in our hands;
envy, prejudice,
fear, greed
   rest so comfortably
   in our souls;
anger, bitterness,
judgment, hurt
   leap so quickly
   to our lips;
how can we not
these so close to us?

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, May 08, 2019


“Immediately the fingers of a human hand appeared and began writing on the plaster of the wall of the royal palace, next to the lampstand.  The king was watching the hand as it wrote.” Daniel 5:5

no matter how hard
we try, we cannot
redact grace from
wipe the hard drive
   of our souls of hope,
change the password
   which allows access
   to your love,
re-code your mercy
   into judgment

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

breaking news

“And a report about him began to reach every place in the region.” Luke 4:37

when we hear reports
about hope bursting
the levees of injustice
and flooding oppression’s
streets, or
grace being born
to families across town,
we simply tweet
“Fake news!

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, May 06, 2019


“The Spirit of the Lord is upon
    because he has anointed me” Luke 4:18a

anoint us, Holy Spirit,
with the balm of compassion
   for bullied kids;
with the oil of hope
   for the broken-hearted;
with the salve of peace
   for the victims of violence;
the embrocation of justice
   for the oppressed;
the lotion of freedom
   for the imprisoned

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman 

Sunday, May 05, 2019


“Above all, maintain constant love for one another,” 1 Peter 4:8a

not just at weddings,
or saying goodnight
   before turning out the lights;
not just a hurried kiss
before rushing off
to school, work, a run;
not just a word,
a card, a gift,
   or emoji, but
always faithful though fallible,
wrapping another like a quilt
but giving them space to breathe

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, May 04, 2019


“who turns the rock into a pool of
   the flint into a spring of water.” Psalm 114:8

may the warmth
of your grace melt
our frozen hearts
   into fountains of compassion,
our hard-as-nails
stubbornness into
acts of unparalleled

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, May 03, 2019


“Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed.  What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2

it is in the
vulnerable, not
the victorious;
in the struggling,
not the successful;
in the overworked, not
the one-percenters,
that we will find
you revealed most

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, May 02, 2019


“Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you.” 1 John 2:24a

when we think
we can live in
your heart’s basement
playing video games
all day long, you hand
us a list of chores:
offer hope to the broken,
stick pain in the bin by the curb,
pour grace for the lonely,
run toward hate when
it rears its ugly head

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

not always

“For the needy shall not always
         be forgotten,
   nor the hope of the poor
         perish forever.” Psalm 9:18

while we zip by
the family on the side
of the road, you pull over
   to see how you can help;
while we toss hope
into the compost bin, so
it can fertilize our fears,
   you resurrect it
   to new life and
   spread it over the poor.

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman