Respecting the awesome power of words!

Posts tagged “relationship

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
Advertisements

“Produce to Share”

81irQofRR1aDOmwTVXlfmg

 

   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

fullsizeoutput_225f

 

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

Plowed Deep

inArVgpeRIe%uTPl1VT4yA

 

Education is a long-haul plow
  set deep and pulled meticulously
    through many fields,

some scattered thick with rocks,
  some rich with earthy humus,

some as thin and stripped
  as shed snake skin,

all tended equally
  with the care of one
    who dreams
      of bumper crops
        in every silo.

Despite what modernity proclaims,
  the shallow seeds it plants
  in multiple-choice gardens —

like quickly sprouting grass
  in measured rows
    of paper cups
      lining the window sill —

            are insignificant when held
            against the space it creates
         for other roots to one day plunge
            toward the aquifer of love
             in search of nourishment
                  for the flower
             of peaceful coexistence,
                  and the fruit
          of shared respect and dignity.

© 2018 Todd Jenkins

Moon River Psalm

fullsizeoutput_21f4Photo by Jennie Roberts Jenkins

 

                 Deep into the feels
                 of my life, stung
                 by the hypocrisy
                 of my youth,
                 I’ve reeled and rocked
                 back and forth,
                 forth and back,
                 pretending to know
                 where I am going;

but in my marrow
I know that I don’t.

        There, in my midnights,
        even though
        there are stars in the sky,
        my eyes seldom tilt heavenward.

     Then comes the day
     when I wake up
     and realize how far
     along the river
     I’ve been carried,

   floating past
   so many dangers,
   shielded on every side.

      You, O God,
have been there all along,
      buoying me
through thin and thick,
directing me throughout
   my own oblivion.

© 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

fullsizeoutput_20f3

 

     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

 


euCHARISto

fullsizeoutput_1f86

(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

Which One?

fullsizeoutput_2004Photo by Jennie Roberts Jenkins

     Hate thumps matches
     across the strike-plate,
     flinging infernos
     into a tinderbox
     of anxiety and self-loathing.

    Hope plants seeds
    across the charred landscape,
    sure that love will triumph,
    and grace will resurrect.

   Which one will you follow?
   Which one will be
   your modus operandi?

  #lifeisachoice

 Make it daily, even
 moment by moment.

© 2018 Todd Jenkins