Sunday, November 18, 2012

Until


Until

"How long, O Lord?"
cry time-garbed prophets
of dusty days
waiting waiting waiting -
for judgement of judges, 
for heart-graven laws -
waiting working waiting.

"How long, O Lord?"
weeping over Jerusalem.
For forty coins, O innocent Lamb
lifted up to be looked upon
by tearless blind and 
sorrow-blinded seeing.
Forgive us, Judge of all.

"How long, O Lord?"
cries the waiting church,
wallowing spotless bride 
hearing the mockers speak
their oft-merited scorn,
holding firstfruits of one Adam
still eating that fruit of another.

"How long, O Lord?"
as false expectations hang,
a fragile shining cloud
above us who feel not their weight
until shattered they descend
piercing trust and pride and most of all
the hearts of those who hope.

"How long, O Lord?"
will the gift of discernment,
of vision,
be not a thwarted burden
but a treasure of seeing
free from maligned motives,
truly serving.

"How long, O Lord?"
as we bow in thankfulness and awe 
to our rescuer and consuming fire.
We fear to ask for justice we 
fear not to
knowing that beauty will not save the world
but only You, Beautiful Christ.

"How long, O Lord?"
We've hung our harps
on poplar trees 
we groan in certain hope
of resurrection, restoration, re-creation.
waiting working waiting
O Lord, keep us in hope.



for reference: Heb12:28-29, 1 Cor 15, and Psalm 137

Monday, November 12, 2012

sunset shutters

This past week I was out on the pier enjoying the sunset, and experimented with different shutter speeds for capturing the water.  There is a serenity and smoothness to the long exposures that I like.

ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/50 s

ISO 200, f/18, 5.0 s

Thursday, November 1, 2012

the power of Sandy and the Wings of God

Save me, O God,
     for the waters have come up to my neck. [...]
Do not let the floodwaters engulf me
     or the depths swallow me up
 (Psalm 69:1,15 NIV)




Language like this is all over the psalms.  Much of it is metaphorical, and as such we can relate to it.  But I believe there is a level of dependance on God's active, physical, work for protection and salvation that we often miss.

This week as the hurricane raged around us, shaking the house, reading from the psalms and Genesis took on new significance (see this post).  The very physical, tangible and even dangerous presence of the storm around us gave us a new perspective on God's power and God's care.

Awe.  What does that word mean to you?  I would argue that very often the writers of scripture understood God's power in very literal ways.  Even thunderstorms are impressive and even frightening when you live in a tent.  Perhaps their fear and awe of nature gave them a richer understanding of the fear and worship of God.

Helplessness.  For those of you on the East coast this past week, did you feel helpless to do anything about the storm's possible destruction?  I can only imagine the feelings of those in the Caribbean who face larger storms from within much weaker structures.

Because you are my help,
     I sing in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
     your right hand upholds me.
 (Psalm 63:7)
Yesterday in the relative calm after the storm, I pondered this verse.  What is "the shadow of your wings"?  It is place of protection, of warmth and freedom from terror.  It is only as much a cause for rejoicing as the dangers outside are cause for fear.  Only in understanding the danger do we see how remarkable it is that he can sing in the strength of that shelter.

shelter from the storm
How do you pray these verses?  Do experiences of the might of nature or of other physical peril color your prayers?  What do you believe God has the power to save you from?
The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” (Matt 8:27)