Paintings, photographs, sketches,

drawings shake your soul with their

colors, shapes, images, imaginings.

They take you to an unworldly place,

disrupting your everydayness.

Feelings erupt – joy, mournfulness,

rage, quiet peace, love – leaving you

stripped of apathy, quivering, off center.

Music ignites passion and memories,

tears and rapture, playfulness and

terror.  It can take you from the highest

heights to the lowest depths.  Music

grabs you with its power and sucks your

essence into its rhythms. Your body 

cannot help but tap, sway, clap, dance.

Books, stories, poetry, sonnets, treatises, 

speeches, eulogies, sermons inspire, excite,

motivate, transport.  Characters become

your friends as you weep and laugh

with them.  Passages and lines are etched

into your psyche to be repeated over

a lifetime.  Words shape you, carving out

the useless, molding what is left, leaving

you different, changed.

Dance is the Divine telling a story through

movement.  A powerful force overtakes

the body, mind, heart, and soul and the 

dancer becomes an instrument of grace. 

Ecstasy radiates from the performer 

lighting the observer from within.  All

are left limp from the expenditure of energy.

Knitting, sewing, quilting, weaving stitch 

together cloth and yarn as needles click,

looms thud, and machines whir.

Simple and complex patterns produce 

breath-taking beauty reflective of

nature itself.  Colors leap and twirl 

causing the eye to not know where to

look first.  Time is needed to take it all in.

Something profound, larger than life,

surges through the artist.  This unseen

gift cannot be hid.  It must be thrown on

a canvas, inked on a page, leapt across

a stage, stitched into cloth, seeking a

life of its own apart from its owner.  Its

existence does not depend on an 

audience.  It emerges into time and space

to stand on its own and to shine 

within the universe.

Prayer for Anxious Times

Dear God who understands all of my feelings,
you know my fears – loss of health, loss of
loved ones, loss of shelter, food – Lord, so
many fears!
You know what makes me sad and lonely:
my feeling isolated and alone, like I am in
a prison that I cannot get out of, unable to
see family and friends.
You know my anger and frustration at the
endlessness of each day, the boredom of
my life right now.
You know and accept me – all of me.
You love me as I am.
I am your beloved child.
Hold me when I am anxious,
comfort me when I am sad,
listen to my complaints,
and help me find joy in my ordinary days.
I ask these things in the name of my
Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

What Is to Become of Me?

Parents kissing and fighting
loving imperfectly
children waiting at the door
unasked question on their lips
what is to become of me

War, killing, neighbor against neighbor
the long journey towards safety
mothers and babies crying
fathers grim with worry
unknown language and unfriendly strangers
separation from family
terrifying aloneness
what is to become of me

Tummy hungry, hair uncombed
dirty hands and face
mama working three jobs
children caring for children
no end in sight
what is to become of me

Who will comfort these lost children
who will answer their prayers
who will help them find their way
back to peace
and a joyful childhood

Parents, caregivers, teachers, pastors
grandparents, counselors, coaches
good samaritans
you and me

Together we will extend
our hands and hearts
offering hope
food for body and soul
safety, home, a place to belong
time to play

We will watch all our children grow
healthy and strong
loving and kind
with needs met
and the question answered
what will become of me


Caught between two worlds
childhood and maturity
striving to be independent
needing to be nurtured
confused and belligerent
a cocktail of emotions

Feeling small and insignificant
sometimes too big for one’s britches
knowing everything
understanding little

Peers become the lifeline
belonging the driving force
behind decisions
wrong turns have consequences
life becomes real

Terrified but eager
Driven by the instinctual need
to leave the nest
teens fling themselves out
into the universe
parents pray they have wings

Some soar
Some tumble
Some teeter on the edge
Some come home again
Some find themselves
Some are lost souls

Forces too strong to comprehend
Winds that scoop up
and thrust down
Impatient to be an adult
Fledgelings in need of guidance
Too proud to ask

A listening ear
affirmation and encouragement
reminders of strengths
cheerleaders not critics
go a long way
to support
these fragile new beginnings


A newborn
conceived and brought into this world
the result of a myriad of circumstances
utterly dependent and exposed

a half blank slate
written on by genetics
born out of God’s own heart
slipped into a world
that will write this child’s history

eyes that will see
ears that will hear
skin that will be touched
a mind to be filled
a heart ready
a soul to be fed

a newborn
placed in our care
sacred responsibility
worthy of our best
open to our worst


Wake up!
Wake up!
Open your eyes!
Do you see?
Do you see?

There is beauty
in the ordinary;
the plain gives birth
to the magnificent.
Inside everything
is a diamond,
a pearl
ready to burst forth.

Not readily seen,
you must wait.
Patient as the sunrise,
wait for the beauty,
trusting it will emerge.

Your reward
will be gladness
that you were there
to see the splendor,
the presence of God.


Anger, hurt, fear
burns like a red hot coal
or smoldering ember
in the belly.
Unease pervades the
peace within;
restlessness ruins
No longer living
in the moment,
thoughts turn
over and over
to the wrong done.
Like a slow leak,
energy for living
is drained.

The grace of
is the healing path,
a return to wholeness,
given to us by God.
Found deep in our souls,
birthed by prayer,
held like an infant
in distress,
forgiveness is often
a struggle, a
When embraced
and celebrated,
peace is restored.


Something cracks open in me
when I give to you.
My heart feels larger,
my hands gentler,
my eyes softer.
I no longer think of my own pain;
my attention is riveted on you:
your needs,
your feelings,
your world.

I am transformed by this giving.
I am Christ’s hands ministering to His children.
I am Christ’s feet moving among His people.
I am Christ’s heart loving His beloved.
I am who God meant me to be.

The door flings open
between God and me.
No barriers, no walls, no excuses.
Only the desire to serve –
to give what I have,
to give who I am
to you.


Demands an open heart
Suspension of fear
Striping away of the protective barrier
Commitment to vulnerability

Encourages kindness
Unencumbered motivation
Visions of potential

Embraces all that I am
All that you are
All that we can be


Life is a path,
not right or wrong,
just a path
given to each of us.

We are born to a
mother and father,
neither of them chosen.
Raised in an imperfect family,
we carry the burdens and
blessings of the past
that shape the present
and the future.

Decisions and events
created by us and thrust upon us
make the journey beautifully wild…
and scary.

Our path zigs and zags, weaving through
mountains of wondrous joy
and deserts of bleakness and pain,
gardens of bright colors and
forests of confusion and fear.

Loneliness envelopes us
broken only by moments of realization
that God walks with us
and our hearts sing.

We are indeed a lump of clay
fashioned into a life.