Respecting the awesome power of words!

Posts tagged “grace

Dry Sockets

IMG_7537Photo by Dan Tice

 

When the tears don’t fall,
yet you feel their weight inside,
pressing like the weight
of additional atmospheres,
yearning to find
the equilibrium of release,
I wonder if they’ll create
an alternate route of escape.

Might they rise
through the vocal chords,
their savory blend
evoking tender words
of compassion for others
who are hurting?

Could they escape
through fingertips,
forming stories of hope
and courage for those
on and beyond the margins?

What if they caused muscles
and ingredients to merge,
so that comfort food
was prepared and shared
with people neck-deep
in their own grief?

Where else have you
felt them leaking grace
into the world?

© 2018 Todd Jenkins
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Lamb

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Grace can be
as gentle as a lamb,
especially when
it is holding
the fragments
of human brokenness;

but it is not always
a Kumbaya-fest,
especially for those of us
who imagine ourselves
on the upper end
of our social, cultural,
economic, and theological
systems and institutions.

Within its gentleness
lies an equally-present
tenacious insistence
on justice — especially
on behalf of those
on and beyond the margins — 
without concern
for the maintenance
or preservation
of privilege, power,
or possessions.

The gentle giant
will not be denied.

© 2018 Todd Jenkins

Held

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Part of the mystery
of faith is that
it refuses to be squeezed
into the box
of our or anyone else’s
comfort, desires,
or understanding.

It contains the paradox
of simplicity and infinity.

It is both easier
and healthier
to be held by it
than to attempt
to hold it;

open hands,
open hearts,
open eyes,
open minds,
open ears,
open dreams.

Open.

© 2018 Todd Jenkins

Blue

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  “Blue” she says,
cracking that wry smile
  of duplicity, knowing
that it’s my favorite color,
  yet the color of depression,
yet the hue
  of the firmament’s glory.

Through yonder hole
  in clouded angst,
an azure sky peeks,
  unlocking its promise
of hope tinged with despair;

  reminding us
that the cosmos will not —
  cannot — be impeded
by confusion or anesthesia
  or anxiety or fear
or any other collusion
  of diminishment;

revealing the truth
  of life’s trough
and peak continuum
  along which we all ride,
sometimes roller coaster-like,
  and sometimes as gingerly
as a Sunday saunter
  across familiar,
gently rolling hills.

  Riding the wind,
be it gale-force
  or a gentle flutter,
I try to remember
  to tilt my gaze upward,
especially when the shadows
  hang long and dark,
and the road tilts steep.

  “Blue”, indeed.

© 2018 Todd Jenkins

“Produce to Share”

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   This was the sign 
in a church’s fellowship hall. 

   It was summer, 
AKA gardening season, 
   so I knew, 
from my experience, 
   that the first word 
was accented 
   on the first syllable. 

   Zucchini, tomatoes, okra,
and all sorts of vegetable delectables
   would come and go from this spot,
offered from abundance,
   received with gratitude.

   But then my inner wordsmith 
asked its 
   “What if?” question. 

   What if this was a verb, 
not a noun? 

   What if it 
was divine instruction 
   on life’s deepest meaning? 

   What if it was 
a holy critique 
   of cultures and economies, 
pulling us together, 
   rather than apart, 

   reminding us 
that we are, 
   first, last, and foremost, 
created for community? 

   What if our whole lives –
not just our gardens –
   are designed for us
to pro-DUCE to share?

   But wanting to justify himself,
he asked Jesus,
   “And who is my neighbor?”
(Luke 10:29)

© 2018 Todd Jenkins


Acts of the Apostles

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When all the xenophobic ooze
has been pressure washed
from beneath the rocks
where it hid for generations
and swept off the streets
where it has surfaced,
there will come a reckoning.

We can’t just stand by,
silent, while all this hate
and fear foments.

We must act
with integrity and courage.

 Here are some
of the questions
that are being asked:

What happened
to our elected officials?
What happened
to our families of faith?

Unless we act decisively
and immediately, our faces,
our names, our reputations
will go down as ones
who sold out our country
and its people.

Is this the way
we want history
to remember us?

Is this the seed
God planted
in our hearts?

© 2018 Todd Jenkins

Presence/Protection

fullsizeoutput_212dPhoto by Jennie Roberts Jenkins

 

“Ah, yes,” I realized,
“the wounded healer
offers presence
over protection.”

What our finite little minds
fail to realize —
our sad little sacks
of imago sui —

is that all protection comes
at a cost to someone.

Build a wall,
and you create
insiders and outsiders.

Forcefully and single-mindedly
deflect pain, disease,
injury, and illness
exclusively for one group,
and you’ll likely magnify/multiply
it in another.

Just ask those
whose healthcare
is far inferior
to the healthcare of others. 

Presence, on the other hand,
is a promise not to abandon,
no matter what.

In the end,
as well as in the middle,
and the beginning,
and everywhere in between,
having someone
BE WITH us
through the pain
and suffering of life
is the real game-changer.

Presence is
our raison d'être;
our koinonia.

© 2018 Todd Jenkins

Sunrise

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     Drama fades because
     its artificial anxiety
     is unsustainable.

    Fear fizzles
    as its combustibles
    are identified
    as priceless gifts
    of creation.

   Hatred, however,
   will need
   to be dismantled
   piece by piece,

  as, first,
  Listening stands in,
  then Love sits patiently
  but yet insistently,

 refusing to budge
 until the shadow
 in the distance
 is recognized
 as a neighbor
 in need
 of the same things
 for which we all
 hunger and thirst:

respect and dignity
with a side
of understanding
and appreciation.

© 2018 Todd Jenkins

euCHARISto

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(Sine Nomine 10.10.10 with alleluias)

 

For all the saints
who by their labors strive,
we give you thanks, O Lord;
they’re keeping us alive.
With bread and wine
they break and pour out love.
Alleluia!
Alleluia!

May we, O God,
follow their sacred lead,
becoming loaf and cup
in thought and speech and deed.
They nourish us with Christ,
the heav’n descended dove.
Alleluia!
Alleluia!

Bless and then break,
pour out to go and share;
may we Christ’s body be
to people everywhere.
Let us go out
into the whole wide world.
Alleluia!
Alleluia!

© 2018 Todd Jenkins

Write the Present

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Only those who can
both see the past
and taste the future,

  are fully equipped
  to write the present
  that God is unfolding.

    I know you wanted
    it to be present-tasting
    and future writing.
    So did I.

      But I’ve had a bate
      of folks trying
      to convince me
      of their flawless
      clairvoyant skills,

    only to be confused
    and disappointed
    by the disconnect
    and ambiguity.

  What I’m hungry
  for now is to feel
  the heartbeat
  of our current story;

to have its rhythm recorded
in rich, lyrical EKG,
so I can trace the peaks
and troughs with my finger,
as my soul relishes
the gift of this day’s life.

© 2018 Todd Jenkins