you are my life in soft light,

love delivered seamlessly, ebullient

gratitude used correctly in the same life

sentence, righteousness arranged just right.

Grace, I hold to you. I look for you

in the winds. I claim you as color changes

in clear water that shimmers through my desperate

hands. I drink you in.

Please, Grace, work your magic and spin me

better than I actually ever am–first filter

like blue eyes that can only envision blue-white snow.

Turn what I despise into what I most love

so that I can understand the Great Father’s love

for me, a love that makes it easy to expose

the innermost wretches of my heart.

I line up my failures and the dew of the sea

rushes over them, shines them into

something else–a birthright of purity,

celestially new.


Christmas Life

My Christmas is so much like my life–contemplative

and a bit messy around the edges. I read about adventures

and new recipes, then I pull out my 40-year-old sauce pan

and make the same fudge from memory. Ancient on repeat

seems to be the default bell, jingling from the wings of an old

angel atop the tree. My favorite aunt mailed me fudge once

and I was so touched and homesick and filled with good. She knew

she was dying, and although she had not spoken the word to me, I knew it, too. I can’t really recreate the beauty that has passed before me

but I can remember and I can go through the motions, stirring and stirring until something in my heart begins to taste. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about–the feeble attempt to share the unbeknownst? Bonhoeffer tells me faith requires a first step of obedience and in the same breath obedience requires faith. There is no first ingredient to the formula. Salvation is like a train that a man running hard away from himself can jump on at any time and at any place, and the miracle is, he will squarely find himself again. He might run or he might stay. He might place his head down on the tracks, then pull away at the last possible moment. He might stand in a long, civilized line and purchase a roundtrip ticket in first class with a sleeping car and chicken with wine. What is faith, really, but the idea of no idea?

A baby? A manger? An unusual star? Do I dare believe this? Open the box. Taste. See.