Respecting the awesome power of words!

Posts tagged “hope

Neighborhood

fullsizeoutput_258dPhoto by Jennie R. Jenkins

 

The universe is a neighborhood
into which we've been poured.

Fear convinces us to shrink,
control, protect, and gate our lives.

Grace welcomes us to expand,
release, free, and open ourselves to love.

The former choice leads
to the creation of enemies and despair;
the latter, to the creation
of neighbors and hope.

To whose invitation
are you responding today?
How's that working out for you?

When people are used
and things are loved,
we become tight-fisted
possessives of our possessions,
and our fearful exclamation is,
"There goes the neighborhood!"

When people are loved
and things are used,
we are able to become gently-holding
stewards of possessions,
and our joyful exclamation is,
"Here comes our neighbor!"

© 2018 Todd Jenkins
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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

Bite by Bite

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The way I hear it,
  the elephant’s great desire
    is to be consumed,
    bite by bite,
  gray, wrinkled skin chewed,
one mouthful at a time.

Here’s a fire,
  offered from a distance,
    merely hoping
    to keep darkness
  at bay
until the sun rises again:

O flinger of both
  nighttime’s stars
    and daytime’s ball of fire,
  show us the love
of divine presence;

both in the light of day,
  as well as
    midnight’s deepest shadows,
    that we may find
  steadfast and stalwart comfort
in your tenacious presence.

Give medical professionals
  the capacity to strike a match
    into our shadowed existence,
  through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

© 2018 Todd Jenkins

Prophetic Courage

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Without separation
  and distance,
  truth will not
be spoken to power.

When the church’s bread
  is buttered by empire,
  the gospel’s call
    to interconnection
    with those at and
  beyond the margins
  is lost,
as are the church
and its members:

🎼I once was found
  but now I’m lost;
  could see, but now
    I’m blind.
    Dear Lord, help me
  to count the cost;
  prophetic
courage find!🎼

© 2018 Todd Jenkins

 


Unfolding

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Photo by Gay Jenkins Howell

 

    We cast our prayers,
    O God, toward
    the bank of the river
    that seems most solid,
    most under control;

   and then earth shakes,
   and water surges,
   swirling us toward
   unstable stacks
   of unknowns
   and uncontrollables.

  Give us courage
  to float toward
  whatever happens,
  confident in your
  in-the-flesh promise
  to be present
  to and with us
  no matter what unfolds.

 These, and all prayers,
 we offer in the name
 of God-with-skin-on,
 Jesus, the Christ. Amen.

© 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

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

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

Ramblin’ Soul

fullsizeoutput_214ePhoto by Jennie Roberts Jenkins

 

Twenty-eight years I've been a-preachin'.
It's still a practice not quite right. 
Nightmares are way too commonplace; 
so little sleep on Saturday night. 

   Lord, I was born a ramblin' man; 
   tryin' to make a living
   and doin' the best I can. 
   So when it's time for leavin'
   I hope you'll understand
   I was born a ramblin' man. 

You folks are looking for a pastor; 
someone to guide you on the way. 
And I've felt called to show you how
to let faith live through you each day. 

   Lord, I was born a ramblin' man; 
   tryin' to make a living
   and doin' the best I can. 
   So when it's time for leavin'
   I hope you'll understand
   I was born a ramblin' man. 

When all your hard work is completed,
and you've succeeded in your search, 
always remember this one simple truth: 
Folks in the mirror are the church! 

   Lord, I was born a ramblin' man; 
   tryin' to make a living
   and doin' the best I can. 
   So when it's time for leavin'
   I hope you'll understand
   I was born a ramblin' man. 

Lord I was born a rambling soul,
tryin' to make a living 
while working to keep us whole. 
So 'til it's time for leaving 
I hope you'll understand my role. 
I was born a rambling soul. 

© 2018 Todd Jenkins

 


Beclowned

IMG_3731Photo by Owen Todd Jenkins

 

When the circus
  comes to town,
    reality takes a holiday
      and many fantasize,
    even in the midst
  of their own despair,
about a perfect world.

The next day,
  we all wake up
  and face the gallows
of authenticity,

challenged by a world
  immersed in
    and fueled by
      the flesh and blood
        of those whose labor
          has been consumed
        with limited
      or no remuneration,
    solely to generate profit
  for those roosted
in the highest branches.

The noose swings
  menacingly from the tree,
    marking the metronome
      of privilege, oblivious
      to the flesh and blood
    of all who will suffer most
  from the invisibility
of this lynching.

© 2018 Todd Jenkins