Thursday, September 19, 2019


“When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:” Matthew 5:1-2

you could have handed out
volumes of complicated theology,
but you call us

to find community in those we overlook
to welcome hope offered by the broken
to be rich soil for the seeds of the humble
to see justice as the feast of heaven
to make compassion our language of love
to see God in the faces of the most vulnerable
to play games that welcome everyone, and hurt no one
to learn reconciliation from those we have tossed aside

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, September 18, 2019


 “My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power,”  1 Corinthians 2:4

so busy building castles
in the air with our words, we
never notice those
hungry for a morsel of grace,
thirsty for a sip of hope,
holding open their hands
to cradle reconciliation

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, September 17, 2019


For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.” 1 Corinthians 1:25

willing to slip on
a banana peel and
fall on your keister if it
might bring us back to you,
you foolishly left your glory
on the hook in your closet,
letting power think it had
body-slammed you into oblivion,
until your shattered Spirit
sucked the strength out of

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, September 16, 2019


 “And Ahab said to Naboth, ‘Give me your vineyard, so that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near my house;’” 1 Kings 21:2

before i pat myself on the back
for not stealing anyone’s vineyard;
remind me of the recognition
i yanked from a colleague;
the hope i picked out of
the pocket of a friend;
the trust i ripped out of another’s
heart when i broke a promise

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, September 15, 2019


“O that my people would listen to me,
    that Israel would walk in my ways!” Psalm 81:13

in the memories of grandparents,
we learn of your faithfulness;
in the made-up songs
of kids in the bathtub, we
discover your dreams;
in the questions of teenagers,
we are sung your hopes, if

we but pay attention

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, September 14, 2019

wind rider

“you make the clouds your chariot,
    you ride on the wings of the wind,” Psalm 104:3b

cool our anger
with soft breezes of grace;
blow the cobwebs of apathy
from the corners of our souls;
knock us off our assumptions
with a mighty gust of wonder

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, September 13, 2019


“Finally, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord.” Philippians 3:1

when grace becomes
the global language,
when peace becomes
the only choice,
when love and hope
settle in every broken heart,
we will join hands with you,
singing and dancing in joy,


© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, September 12, 2019


“When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, ‘Is it you, you troubler of Israel?’”  1 Kings 18:17

in these days,
we need folks
who would overturn
the tables of fear,
who would let the air
out of pompous politicos,
who would pack injustice’s bags,
and put it on the next train
out of town . . .

could you spare us
just a few troublers, God,

 © 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, September 11, 2019


Sing to him a new song;
    play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.” Psalm 33:3

when we continue
to hum the golden oldies of
fear, worry,
anger, ostracism, rather
than taking the time
to learn the lyrics
of your heart . . .

Lord, have mercy

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, September 10, 2019


“Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ,” Philippians 1:27a

though not listed
on any stock exchange,
may be the most valuable
things we have
(to share)

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, September 09, 2019


I thank my God every time I remember you,” Philippians 1:3

the stranger who waved me
ahead of them at the store;
the little child who gave me
their shy-dimpled smile;
the therapist who challenged me
to take another hesitant step;
may my memories of them
at the end of the day
be my prayer of thanksgiving
to you for these unexpected

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, September 08, 2019

apple carts

 ”Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.”  John 10:39

every time
we think we have you
under control
so you can’t keep upsetting
our apple carts full of doctrines,
you slip through our fingers,
your grace too slippery
for our clenched faith

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman