My Lenten devotion this year is to dwell with the parables … Lent with the parables … really not so much fractured like fairy tales, but pushed and pinched and pursued and prayed down that long path where they elude my simple meanings.
Blessing with the parables, March 17, 2014 St. Patrick’s Day
Luke 5:36-39 … of wineskins
May you always have enough
soft old denim
to patch your soft old life,
and a naughty trim of lace
for a new adventure.
And when it’s wineskins and friendship …
may there always be Earl Grey
in your grandma’s teapot
and something like a salted-caramel latte
when you look up from your tablet
to see who might be lonely
in the coffee shop.
And just for today may new and old
stretch each other’s skins –
perhaps a hashtag for Bridget’s beer,
to find God in the grass.
Pushing the parables, March 18, 2014
Luke 12:16-21 … the bigger barn builder
God, forgive the way my barnvision
notices how others hoard –
one more yoga, zumba, run,
one more Facebook post, pin, tweet,
one more hour at work
before he goes home to be with family,
or year of work before she retires,
one more committee he can serve on
(can’t say “no”),
one more justice issue she can raise –
immigration, care for creation,
one more trip, book, conference, church,
… one more meditation class,
I go not live much among the lovers
of money and prestige,
but I hear the echoes of friends
wistful for parties —
“Soul, you have ample
laid up for many years …”
I see them and they see me
with my barn blueprints in my hands.
Forgive us how we do not speak. Amen
Pushing the parables March 19, 2014
Matthew 13:44 … treasure in a field
God, I just bought the farm –
I mean the church,
the whole ridiculous … church of it.
looks like a vacant lot
full of dirt, busted up hub caps,
and people’s dreams,
somewhere a treasure. Amen.
Pushing the parables March 20, 2014
(Luke 16:1-8) … the dishonest manager
God, bless Grandpa Charlie —
gave away the General Store
back in the Depression
down in Prairie Hill, Missouri.
Need potatoes? Sure.
Calico for a new dress?
Must be your little girl’s birthday.
Lumber for your shed?
Copper coil for … well, out back?
Owners were mad as hell.
Come to think of it, God,
you are blessing Grandpa Charlie.
Maybe don’t let him sub for St. Peter –
he’ll let everybody in.
Pushing the parables March 21, 2014
Luke 16:19-21 … the rich man and Lazarus
I give thanks, God, for the compassion
of dogs –
the way they lick wounds
on the outside and the inside,
and do not distinguish
between wealth and poverty.
Teach me, God the compassion
of dogs –
for I have too many words of advice
or suggestions for action
for those who lie at the gate
hungry and hurting,
when they need the beagle, terrier
labradoodle in me,
warm fur, lack of judgment,
a head on the knee and patience.
Pushing the parables, March 22, 2014
(Luke 16: 19-31) … the rich man and Lazarus … again
O sweet Jesus, what a fool
the rich man was
to ask Abraham for mercy.
Now — Hagar,
she might put a cool finger
to his tongue,
for she was used to letting
He should have asked Hagar …
The gospel writer is right —
four of that rich man’s rich sibs,
would probably just throw
a party to die for,
but I am surely here
still rise from the dead
to save even one someone
not worth spit.