Bereft

God has His favorites:
we now who mourn,
the orphan and widow,
those lost in the storm,

unloved, unadored 
by kindness withheld. 
All promptings ignored,
the moments repelled.

“Lord, when did we see you,”
abandoned, unstrung?
We straddle two worlds.
Where do we belong?

Kingdom without us.
Kingdom within.
Kingdom of Jesus.
Kingdom, begin…

Photo is in the public domain.

Not What

Who spoke into being
lily, sparrow,
redwood tree
and galaxies?

Who lavishes light
upon our eyes
and deepens shadow
for rest at night?

Who cries out wisdom,
the way of love?
Who liberates 
the heart with law?

Who calls each one
by our secret name
that none but Him
has ever heard?

Who is and has
the first and last? 
Not what, but who.
Undying Word

Photo of Triangulum Galaxy (M33) by NASA/Hubble

Fathers-to-Be

“And now you will be silent and unable to speak until the day this comes to pass, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time.” (Luke 1:20) The incredulous reaction of Zechariah to Gabriel’s words concerning John the Baptist is in sharp contrast with that of Mary, and somewhat with Joseph.

“Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and was unwilling to disgrace her publicly, he resolved to divorce her quietly…But after he had pondered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream…When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him…” (Matthew 1:19-24) 

Here are two extremely blessed men with varying degrees of skepticism which turns into belief at a different pace. Also, Joseph trusted a dream, whereas Zechariah was awake! It’s interesting to contrast their immediate reactions with those of Mary and Elizabeth, whose humbler station in life possibly accounts for their grasp of redemption more quickly. Honestly? I identify with Zechariah…skeptical, hesitant, slower to realization. Terrified actually.

Mary was truly more like Abraham!

Art by Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov (c. 1840)

Two Handmaids – The Magnificat

Mary’s cousin Elizabeth asks, “And why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” Mary replies, “… For He has looked with favor on the humble state of His servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed. For the Mighty One has done great things for me. Holy is His name … Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.” (Gospel of Luke, Chapter 1:39-56)

The joy of these two women! Also the joy of an unborn, leaping John the Baptist in his first official act of heralding! Love, courage, mercy and justice meet here. The story of Mary’s song and their visit is found uniquely in the Gospel of Luke. Did you know Søren Kierkegaard regarded Mary as a “Knight of Faith,” just like Abraham? (See Fear and Trembling, written under Kierkegaard’s pseudonym, Johannes de Silentio)

Scene from the film, The Nativity Story (2006)

Father

Fathers in nature

Fathers who sing

Fathers by nature

Fathers unsung

Unknown fathers

Absent fathers

Abusive fathers

Patient fathers

Founding fathers

Church fathers

Fathers of faith

Foundling fathers

Father of Light

Father of the Son

Father always with me

Our Father, the One