Tuesday, August 20, 2019


“Offer right sacrifices,
    and put your trust in the Lord.”  Psalm 4:5

may we share
from hope’s harvest;
may grace
be the first
as well as the
last fruits
we offer to those
around us

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

the wake

“You have turned my mourning into dancing;
    you have taken off my sackcloth
    and clothed me with joy,”  Psalm 30:11

at the wake,
you see me standing
against the wall, and
taking me by the hand,
lead me out on the floor,
to teach me joy’s jig,
draping your shawl of grace
over my weeping heart

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, August 19, 2019


“Then they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves;”  Mark 11:15

when we think
this story permits
us to hurl venom
at others (because
they make us madder
than a hornet),
remind us that you
were trying to overturn
a system of injustice,
not venting

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, August 18, 2019


“so, you see, those who believe are the descendants of Abraham.”  Galatians 3:7

believing the wild
stories of prevaricators;
buying up stock in
worthless fears;
putting our trust
in the hands of those who
would drop us like
a hot potato, we
sell our birthright
for a bowl of
twitter stew

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, August 17, 2019


If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.’”  Mark 11:3

we give away more
than seems prudent,
we welcome those
turned away by others,
we offer grace to all
who would give us anger;
and why?
it’s what Jesus needs,
and that is enough
for us

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, August 16, 2019

cry out!

“‘Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’”  Mark 10:48

while we keep telling
the vulnerable
the oppressed
the forgotten
to shush and deal
with their lot, you
are whispering to them,
‘keep ratcheting up the noise,
until they pay attention;
if they won’t listen to me,
hopefully they will to you.’

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, August 15, 2019

who, us?

“They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them; they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid.”  Mark 10:32a

like all the
‘followers of Jesus,’
are gobsmacked
by your willingness
to welcome everyone,
to listen to anyone,
to see the good in everyone,
to walk with anyone,
and terrified you will
ask us to become
like you

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

one thing

“Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, ‘You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’”  Mark 10:21 

(just perhaps)
the one thing
i lack has absolutely
nothing to do with
what’s in my pocket,
but what is not in my

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, August 13, 2019


“ ‘Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.’”  Mark 10:15

when we rediscover
the joys of making mudpies,
instead of grumbling
about pulling weeds;
the wonders of shooting
stars in the night sky,
instead of staring
at our devices;
the tenderness of
a lover’s hands
instead of clenching
our fists in fear,
we will once again
welcome your

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, August 12, 2019


“Give ear to my words, O Lord;
    give heed to my sighing.”  Psalm 5:1

you hear the sighs
no one else will listen to;
you put back together
the words of my shattered
you listen, simply
because you know
the language of

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, August 10, 2019


“Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’” Mark 9:36-37

remind us, Welcomer,
that little kids never
build walls on playgrounds,
but friendships;
never see strangers,
but playmates,
never hold grudges,
but offer a hand
to the kid who has
fallen, saying, ‘c’mon,
it won’t hurt for long.’

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, August 09, 2019

not just chopsticks

“Let them praise his name with dancing,
    making melody to him with tambourine and lyre.
Psalm 149:3

convinced you have been
playing chopsticks over and over
from the beginning of beginnings,
we do not notice you
sitting at the cigarette-scarred
piano sounding out the notes
in your heart, as you wait
for us to pick up the bass,
sit down at the drums,
loosen our vocal cords, to
join you in improvising
the creation you began
at the beginning of beginnings

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, August 08, 2019


“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
    and in his word I hope;” Psalm 130:5

with shattered souls
and hearts hollowed by hate,
with knees stained from kneeling
at makeshift memorials and
hands aching from holding tight
to others at candle-lighted vigils,
with lips longing to sing
and minds empty of the words,
we wait, we wait, we wait
for you and the hope
you shape from your own

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, August 07, 2019


“The king said, ‘Is there anyone remaining of the house of Saul to whom I may show the kindness of God?’”  2 Samuel 9:3a

we are so busy
stacking the kindling
of anger to light
against others,
we miss the chance
to simply transform
with God’s kindness

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman 

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

where have all the godly gone?

“Help, O Lord, for there is no longer anyone who is godly;
    the faithful have disappeared from humankind.”  Psalm 12:1

the godly?
can be found working
for justice and
standing up to bullies;
the faithful?
are lining up to donate blood,
listening to frightened children,
contacting their legislators,
refusing to let hate and fear
dominate the news cycles

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, August 05, 2019


“‘I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle.’”  2 Samuel 7:6

convinced we leave
you behind when the
church is closed up, we
never notice you sitting with
the bone-weary mom
on the playground bench,
the trans teenager
walking home alone from school,
the senior citizen sitting
on their front porch
staring into the distance
towards the graveyard

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, August 04, 2019

go and see

“Nathanael said to him, ’Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’” John 1:46

let us not listen
to the Nathanael-sayers
of our times with their
pointing fingers and disparaging words,
but go to see for ourselves
the treasures found in Baltimore
and other places where you

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, August 02, 2019


“He asked them, ‘How many loaves do you have?’ They said, ‘Seven.’” Mark 8:5

in our scarcity, we
think there is barely
enough to split among
the privileged, while
in your compassion,
you have more than
enough for the forgotten

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman


“Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, ‘Ephphatha,’ that is, ‘Be opened.’” Mark 7:34

once again,
you whisper to our
locked and shuttered
‘be opened’
as heaven looks
down and sighs,
‘may it be so’

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, August 01, 2019


“Raise a song, sound the tambourine,
    the sweet lyre with the harp.  Psalm 81:2

with a wooden spoon
and upside down pans,
with a guitar missing 3 strings,
with voices that crack and creak,
let us lift joyful songs
to the Composer of our lives

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman