Sunday, May 31, 2020


“you make the winds your
   fire and flame your
         ministers.” Psalm 104:4

with a lullaby
      of comforting hope,
   a nudge from
      a gust of outrage,
   a gale knocking
      injustice off
      its feet,
you speak;

singeing isolation’s
   stubble from our lives,
cauterizing our souls
   from the wounds of hate,
fulgarating our
   fear-lesioned hearts,
you transform


© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

eve of pentecost

eve of Pentecost

“The LORD is my shepherd, I
         shall not want,” Psalm 23:1

right now,
in these lonely,
sheltered moments,
all we need
all we want to feel
is just a hint
of a breath of air
on this night
stilled by fear’s

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

seventh saturday of eastertide

“A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26

mend our hearts with
stained glass windows
of grace.
fill our hearts with
the energy of your
fill our lungs
with justice for
all not heard.
breathe new life
into us so we
can become your people
once more

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

seventh friday of eastertide

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children,” Ephesians 5:1

when we were little
we loved standing in front
of the mirror, our tiny feet
in Dad’s big wingtips, or
Mom’s lipstick smeared
from ear to ear, a pearl
necklace dragging on the
ground (even though we
wrapped in twice around us,
why do we resist when
you hope we will put
on those big, floppy shoes,
the rainbow hair, the
polka dot pants, with
the seltzer bottle in our hands,
to be as big of fools
as you, O God?

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, May 28, 2020

seventh thursday of eastertide

“The angel who talked with me came again, and wakened me, as one is wakened from sleep.” Zechariah 4:1

you hand us
the bottle of drops,
so we can use
your grace
to clear the grit
of our fears from
our eyes, to see
the hope all around us

come, Spirit,

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

seventh wednesday of eastertide

“On that day the branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and glory of the survivors of Israel.” Isaiah 4:2

when that day comes
(and it surely will), may
our fragile faith,
our shattered hearts,
our fearful souls
be grafted onto
the rootstock of your heart,
so we may once again
bear the rich fruit
of grace and hope

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

seventh tuesday of eastertide

“And he said to them, ‘Why are you afraid, you of little faith?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm.” Matthew 8:26

sailing on unfamiliar
waters in boats whose
holes are multiplying
and getting bigger by the day,
how can we not abandon
faith (much less the ship),
so, rebuke the fears we
are using to try to bail out
our lives, and calm
our hearts and souls.

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, May 25, 2020

seventh monday of eastertide

“so that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 3:10

convinced everyone
has to be on the same page,
using the same words
for the same thoughts,
we miss
learning from
the smorgasbord of imagination
you offer to us

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, May 24, 2020

seventh sunday of eastertide

“The seventy returned with joy, saying,” Luke 10:17a

not today, and
maybe (though not likely)
next week, or
perhaps for even longer
than we care to imagine,
but one day, we will
be together again, in
that kitchen where
you feed us, and
in the living room
where you tell us stories,
and in that yard
where we can play
silly games over and over,
and there in your house
it will be
all rolled into one marvelous
and even if we dare not sing,
we will raise glad praises
to you in our hearts, in our souls,
in the warm embrace of your love

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, May 23, 2020

sixth saturday of eastertide

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
    to sing praises to your name, O Most High;” Psalm 92:1

when it becomes
all too easy to hum dirges,
write laments, or
compose great cantatas
of contrariness, open
our eyes to those whose
simple gifts of caring
reduce our stress,
our ears to those
who whisper about how
valued we are,
our hearts to the love
that is given spontaneously
with no expectation of return,
our souls to the wonders
of creation all around us
then help us to remember
those glad songs of praise
buried deep within us

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, May 22, 2020

sixth friday of eastertide

“But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us . . .” Ephesians 2:4

you could keep
it all in a vault, going
in every day to count
and exult in all you have,
but you gather
your grace up
in wheelbarrows, coming
to each of us and
sharing as much as
we need,
and then some

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, May 21, 2020

ascension day

“Sing to God, sing praises to his name;
    lift up a song to him who rides upon the clouds—
his name is the Lord
    be exultant before him.”  Psalm 68:4

Cloud Rider,
you watch us
to see if we will
ever stop staring up
waiting, watching, willing
you to come back,
but turn our gaze
upon the vulnerable for
whom we can care,
the oppressed we
can set free with justice,
the orphans we can bring
into our family,
the broken we can heal
with the balm of grace

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

sixth wednesday of eastertide

“He heals the brokenhearted,
    and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

in the moments
when we have no words,
in the places
where we can no longer be,
in the people
no longer held,
in the moments
we can no longer control,
you simply whisper,
‘i am here,
i am there,
i am everywhere,
as always’

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

sixth tuesday of eastertide

“I kept my faith, even when I
   ‘I am greatly afflicted’;” Psalm 116:10

every time i
thought the cupboard
of my heart was bare,
there was always
some way back in
the corner,
every time i
felt like i was completely
left on my own,
i found it at my side,
even when i
had to pawn everything
of value i had,
it stayed in my pocket:


© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, May 18, 2020

sixth monday of eastertide

“And he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘Listen! A sower went out to sow.’” Matthew 13:3

if we removed the concrete
off the hardened paths
leading to our hearts,
your love might grow.
if we took the boulders
out of the eyes
of the hate-filled,
your grace might grow.
if we filed down
the thorns sticking
out of all the cruel,
your compassion might grow.
if we were better
preparers of lives,
we wouldn’t expect you
to do all the work

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, May 17, 2020

sixth sunday of eastertide

“It is he who remembered us in our low estate,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;” Psalm 136:23

no matter how deep
we keep digging
a hole for ourselves,
we find you at
the bottom, steadfastly
piling up love higher and
higher, so
we have a way
to climb out when
we are done with
our DIY project

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, May 16, 2020

fifth saturday of eastertide

“For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”  Matthew 7:14

while we keep
telling others to run
every disciples’ marathon,
spend more time
with you as their personal
push away from the
table more than they do,
we are sure you will
undertake a DIY project
to widen the gate
when we waddle up to it
after a lifetime of

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

fifth friday of eastertide

“So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter.”  2 Thessalonians 2:15

compassion for the vulnerable,
justice for the forgotten,
peace over power and anger,
hope offered to the despairing,
grace shared without any expectation,
love to heal the broken
be the traditions
we spell with a capital

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, May 14, 2020

fifth thursday of eastertide

“And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?” Matthew 6:27

we will lie awake
tossing and turning
over tomorrow’s zoom meeting,
what the market will do,
will we be running a fever, but
when we start to think about
injustice, the hungry,
the most vulnerable around
us, we fall asleep
faster than counting sheep

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

fifth wednesday of eastertide

“You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19:18

wanting to make sure
we are on the same page,
we ask, ‘but who is our neighbor?’
to which you simply respond,
‘the grandmother you won’t visit
a restaurant for, so you don’t risk
bringing home more than a doggy bag,
the stranger in the store
you wear a mask for, while working,
so they will feel protected,
the person you have sat beside
for years in church, for whom
you tell the leaders not to reopen
until they know everyone can be safe.’

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

fifth tuesday of eastertide

“Blessed be God,
    because he has not rejected my prayer
    or removed his steadfast love from me.”  Psalm 66:20

your love is so much
focused on us, you turn
off your phone, to listen
to us, even when we repeat
the same story over and over.
your love is so strong,
that even when we break
your heart, over and over,
you do not rush down
to the pawnshop
to sell your wedding ring
and buy a ticket out of town

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman