let the people go.

this little light of mine

barely lends a flicker to the dark

chaos surrounding us

but still

when statues fall and high places are flattened

i am reminded of

Leviticus 26:30

Numbers 33:52

Deuteronomy 12:2.

the fall of the work of man cannot erase

history,

but it can erase blind

affection for subconscious altars. violent

coups never win.

BUT

i once saw lenin, bronze and huge and tall, as recent as 2013 in the middle of a communist-dilapidated ukraine village

 

and so

i know

the chill a statue can send through the heart.

and I recall

the ancient golden calf

and i wonder

how little progress we have made since Moses.

let

the people

go.

this little light doesn’t know much but

for the fact that light is the only thing

that breaks through

darkness.

light

and

LOVE.

writing. these days.

“I know you love words,” my co-worker said the other day as I struggled to properly pronounce a particularly long and awkward medical term.

I do love words.

My earliest memories of words are of pouring over storybooks and McGuffy Readers and learning to pronounce words all on my own.

Learning to write words was even more fun, balancing pencil lead between headlines and baselines, forming circles and script, dotting “i’s” and stringing them all into sentences and paragraphs and poems and papers.

Now words feel scary to pen.

Words have become weapons.

Words are cancel culture and damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t, and what once was a means to painting the world with a pen has become a tightrope of should I or shouldn’t I and if I do I’ll get it all wrong.

Even a poem about the ethereal green of my backyard seems precarious, these hard and awful days.

Virus of hate

Virus of color

Virus of the lungs and the world and

the heart

make everything a risk.

These days.

Storytellers and poets, painters and dreamers, those of us who tread between the real and imaginary, the ideological and the broken, we are the hearts that long to battle and bridge the warring world,

and now

words are hemmed in

by the righteous and self-righteous, and the freedom

to explore

feels like a trap no matter

the heart-

intentions.

And so I am left spent to say,

Lord

Jesus

come

into this mess

like You do best.

Create

in us a clean heart.

search us and know us when we don’t

know ourselves or which way to go.

Show us

the blackest smudges that need erasing in our souls

and wash them clean as new ruled paper,

plain and empty and ready

to write

what the world needs to heal.


“Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.”
‭‭James‬ ‭1:19-21‬ ‭MSG‬‬

i stepped away.

i stepped away

today

not to be contrary to the coal black pain, but rather

just for a moment not to be at all.

to feel

the rush of a stream over my toes, and

to hear

the call of cardinals, searing red.

i stepped away

to regain

my footing, shaky and weary to the bone.

what good are we

if we forget what it is

to breathe

broken but alive

under the summer sun.

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.

The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time.

On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops.

Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.”

Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It