Photo by Gay Jenkins Howell
The truth of Adam and Eve, a friend told me, is "A fig leaf is no substitute for a therapist." So much here to feast on; so much here to run from; so much here too real to face, yet too close to reject. Let us dare to live and breathe in a naked now, O holy one, not as tawdry exploitation of bodies as objects, but as death-defying risk of abandonment to no less and no more than our light-reflecting and shadow-casting selves; for the truth of creation's story cannot be told without such revealing. Let both our poetry and our prose stand and fall as blood-pumping gamble of allowing the narrative of who we are to pulse out of our own woundedness, for it is in and from our stories that we'll live and die and be resurrected, not just in the end, but also in the breath of their telling. © 2017 Todd Jenkins
As finite beings immersed in a three-dimensional chronology, we know stories of the time before we existed, we catch glimpses of moments we're in, and we are sometimes haunted by the time when we will no longer be. Mortality's question knocks regularly, "When and how will I die?" Instead of ruminating on circumstances of our death, what if we poured ourselves into the questions of life? *For whom will I have a chance to breathe and speak love today? *Where and when can I reflect grace today? *How can my modeling of forgiveness tilt the world toward hope today? Answering these, and questions like them, will bring us to life in the moment. This is the promise of resurrection for and in the present. © 2017 Todd Jenkins
To the person for whom there's never enough, there's always suspicion others want your stuff. The one who is consumed with greed, will never be touched by hunger and need. If comparison's the game by which you thrive, the train of joy will never arrive. Look at what you have, instead of what's lacking; it’s an important step to send discontent packing. Seeing the big picture is a form of art that fashions a glad and generous heart. © 2017 Todd Jenkins
Photo by Lee Lindsey McKinney
Fear divides, intent on conquering with its, “Vive la différence!” Love unites, earnestly calling us together, “Vive la similarité!” What matters is not the color of our skin, the roots of our faith, or the nation of our origin, but whether privilege can truly be acknowledged, voluntarily relinquished, and power bestowed with grace, so long-held shackles can be hammered into step-ladders of hope. It is past time for us to work better, together, nourishing and quenching a world hungry for dignity and thirsty for respect. © 2017 Todd Jenkins
Sometimes, the rhythm of Clement Moore’s 1822 classic drops by for an afternoon, asking for some new verses; and sometimes, I can oblige.
Time seems to fly; it's the middle of December, and it's all we can do to try and remember the reason we're here in this time and place; the reason we're breathing and taking up space. The world has its answers; they sound so attractive. It says to grab stuff and always be active. In spite of commercials and mass advertising, that dog won't hunt, and it's not surprising that trying to follow this wearying path just doesn't add up, no matter how good your math. Somewhere deep inside from the day of our birth we know whose we are and what gives us worth. It won't come from power or things piled up high, but grace overflowing and hope in the eye. We're here on the planet to care for each other, to offer ourselves for a sister or brother. This thing we call love that fills every heart ❤ is what drives us all, and the place where we start. It's not what we have, where we work, who we know; it's respect that we give and love that we show. This holiday season and all our lives long, let's listen and share, it's what makes us strong. Stronger as friends, stronger as neighbors, strong as we share the fruit of our labors. Let hope be unwrapped in your breathing and living; let love overflow in receiving and giving. No matter how crazy, no matter how wild, never ever forget that you're God's precious child. © 2016 Todd Jenkins