Wednesday, August 21, 2013


A hope misplaced is Hope dis-graced
And that when Grace was once her face
Now with faceless paths re-traced
Where once there shimmered dew like lace

Where Promise stood with hands outstretched
And laughed loud at horizon’s crest
Pronounced all earth and toil blessed
Now staring coldly at neglect

And stretchers passed the doomed upon
As grey pale faces stared along
And Lingered on and wandered long
And sang a pale and wounded song

Its lyrics bore on shoulders sore
Pale grey tunes those shadows wore
Which even mild tempest tore
against those shapeless forms contoured

And they waited for the final score
Hope now told a pale lit lore
The now dunced flame once split the shore
Now a low and dull contemptuous roar

That once white horse a speckled grey
Where age and dust and time decay
Where Hope and Grace once made their play
And heirs of joy now shroud in grey

The pilgrims came to final rest
After dull and grey monotonous test
And at dawn’s dusk their hopes arrest
Awaited they their travels best

Monday, May 21, 2012

4 in the fire

So I was praying. As I was praying I was basicaly giving God a list of my problems. I think it is good to bring our problems before God and, in a sense, give them to him. And by give them to him I mean to believe and confess to Him that we trust him to handle them. I wasn't doing that. I was doing the opposite. I was giving God my list of problems because I didn't trust him. I didn't trust that he was dealing with them, and I was following him around the kitchen reminding him of the broken light and that the garbage needed to be taken out and the shelves fixed and get the picture. I was being a Nag. That is embarrasing. I'm a man.....I don't nag. And his response reaffirmed that I was being a nag. In a way, my experiences kept reminding me that I was nagging, as if in interacting with the world around me I started noticing him looking sharply at me and saying: "you think I don't know this? Do you think I wasn't aware of all of this? And that I'm not working on it or don't have a solution? All I have to do is speak and it is fixed. I'm the guy who created everything. EVERYTHING. The world's smartest people have no idea how my creation works, thats how complicated it is, and you've been trying to figure it out for hundreds of years. And you are bothering me because you think I don't know how to fix a burned out lightbulb. Honestly? What's your damage dude?" And with that he was telling me that I have to trust that he is going to save me, as Psalm 91 tells us he will, from the proverbial "fowler's snare." I have to trust that he will save me from ruin. I have to trust that although the fire is certainly so hot that it has killed several of those tending to it, my God will deliver me from the flames. But even if he does not, I am still victorious. Man, this sounds familiar....Ooohoho..waaait. I know this story! The three guys with the funky names. Shadrak, Mishak and Abednego. They were going to get thrown into the fire, weren't they.

Man, I have to think that at least one of those guys, when they said that their God could and would deliver them, was probably thinking that he'd do it BEFORE they got thrown into the fire. And why wouldn't he, right? I mean, he was obviously right there. He had them in his hands the whole time. But that isn't what happened. Can you imagine being in a situation like that? That would completely stress me out. I'd think that I was on the brink of disaster and a painful, horrible death. I would think that I was in great, great danger. i'd start to say things like "My God", why have you forsaken me? They were actually never, not even once, in any danger. But of course you, I and they didn't know that when the story was progressing. We're shocked that there is a fourth person in the fire. haha....4 in the fire....

But God did know it. And here's the question, right? Why? To the outside observer at this point, it might even seems cruel, right? Why let your beloved suffer through such fear and anxiety, right? Well, no...not really. I mean, do these guys sound fearful or anxious to you? I don't think they were....I really think that they were counting on being saved, they had faith. Incredible faith. So much that they even had faith as they were falling down into this raging fire, faced with absolute certain death. I'd also imagine that they didn't all get tossed in at exactly the same time. I'm guessing somoene's feet left the plank/platform...or whatever they were thrown in from, before the other two. And even as the other two watch him get tossed in, they still had faith. Literaly to the very bitter, hopeless end. Because even as abednego watched Shadrak get tossed in.....and God not stop him from getting tossed in....he didn't bow down. He kept on believing. We know this because he was tossed in too. He wasn't excused and let go. Can you imagine that? Do you really think that any of these three guys thought that God would save them from the fire after they got tossed in? That certainly would not have been my expectation. I might have even lost faith and still not bowed down out of a stubborn insistence to do the right thing, or a blind faith that it was the right thing to do....but that's not the faith these guys had....they had real faith that they would be saved. I can't imagine it! Honestly. I close my eyes and I stand in Abednego's shoes, and I see shadrak get pushed in. I start to smile, and I expect to see a bright white guy with wings catch him and put him back as everyone is watching, humbling my enemies before me and giving me the right to say "I told you so!" Then he doesn't fly back up. I'm starting to sweat a little now. I get this monster knot in my stomach .... I'm shaking. Maybe, just maybe, that angel is waiting for mishak b/c he's got two hands and, well, why not. well, I get pushed up to the plate. I peer over the edge. Shadrak and Mishak are nowhere to be seen. There is no angel waiting to catch my cloak with his teeth as I fall b/c both his hands are holding shadrak and Mishak. Nope, just that horrid, roaring fire. Wow, I think. God didn't save them from the fire...

And, you know what? If I hadn't lost my faith that God would help me before that, I think that this is pretty much where it gets lost. But you know what? Abednego doesn't lose it. abednego is faced with the facts. The facts are that there is actually, in a wordly sense, no hope. I mean, this situation gives new meaning to the phrase "certainty of death." There was actually only one way that Abednego was possibly going to live. He had to bow down to the King and the idol. There was no longer any physical possibility of being saved apart from walking away from God. Don't you think that was a tough call? I think it is or was. Faith is rarely ever easy. I certainly gets easier the more we get to know God and trust him, but never really easy. And yet Abednego made his choice. He chose to trust in God in the face of physical impossibility. He was faced with the choice of believing the facts or believing God. Not in God, because you can definitely believe the facts and believe in God at the same time. But Abednego actually believed God instead of believing what was right before his eyes.

Even as he's pushed over the edge, hurtling toward the pit, he holds on to his faith. And he hits the ground. Somehow, he finds himself standing up and looking around. That, in itself, is defenitely strange, as there is a raging inferno all around him.....and he's somehow remaining conscious and not instantly dead. Groovy. Curious....he sees Shadrak and Mishak galavanting around in here like its some kind of holiday or party or bahrmitsva or something. And then there is this other stranger.

Ok, so I don't think that is what any of them had envisioned. Do you? I don't think Shadrak, Mishak or Abednego thought that God would let it get that far. But they trusted him anyway. They trusted that he was going to show up and deliver them. And even if he didn't...which in a sense he didn't....they were still victorious. God didn't deliver them from the terrible situation. He got them through it totally unscathed. They still got tossed into the fire. But because of their faith, the fire didn't touch them. I think that is an important point. Its different than getting delivered from even having to get tossed in. Its the difference between having to walk through something difficult with God protecting you the whole time and getting delivered from having to walk through something difficult. And I think having to walk through the difficult stuff has purpose.

It shows God that we love Him and trust Him, and put his will, his desire, and his plans before ours. There was probably a moment where shadrak, mishak and abednego thought that living was better than dying, even if dying was what God had in store for them. But they didnt' give in. They believed that God's plan was the right one, not thiers. It also shows God that we trust in him and not in ourselves. By not giving in, by waiting for God to deliver them, these guys made a statement. And that statement was that although we can trust our own power to save us here, it is futile. Either we save our skin by bowing and lose our souls, or we make a run for it and get killed. They chose to trust that God had something in store for them that was better than these two alternatives, even though they reallly could not see or conceive of what it was. And lastly, waiting for God's deliverance in that situation ultimately, I am absolutely certain, increased thier faith. For real, if you can walk through a blazing furnace meant to kill you, unscathed, with God visibly right next to you, and not have your faith increased, than I think you are going to heaven as a piniata. So that the rest of us can beat you with sticks.

And I think that our typical vision of the aftermath of all this is funny. And the text doesn't help. It has them saying all these funky stuff lik "oh King....blah blah blah." Just reading it makes me think of these solemn guys with hoods and robes and stern looks on their faces. Which I really don't think was the case. These guys were all freinds. They knew each other and were close. And, oh yeah, they just wlked through a huge bonfire and weren't hurt. I'm guessing they were still coming down off a huge adrenaline high, they were sweathy from all the excitement, had huge smiles on thier faces, and were giving each others high fives and shouting stuff like "that was freaking Nasty!" They probably felt a lot like people feel when they sky dive or bunjee jump or free-solo their first 5.12a. These guys were pumped. And they were probably laughing and saying, dude, I'm so glad we trusted God instead of giving in or trying to run for it.

So what would you or I have done? Would you have trusted God as much as they did? I think we have to, and we can now that we see examples of it. You know that he'll pull through, no matter what the situation, if you're seeking after him, focusing on him and on what his will is, instead of what our will is, instead of what we want.

Friday, January 29, 2010

my canyonland home

I could draw heaven with a glance and a prayer
its two gusts of a breeze with nothing to carry but air
a twisted lock, stiff and unplaced
speckled with clay, blown into lace
Under knuckle sized rocks that grind with each touch of my sole
Silt, like silk, a layer over each toe

With no message to give me but that which I carry
With nothing to ask, except that we marry
No roof to offer, but a sky full of tears
Nothing to ask, but for all of my fears
Nothing to teach but the depths of my soul
No walls to keep out my canyon-land home

With a sky that’s bright when the sky would be bright
And a blanket of nothing, for each chilled, breezy night
No shade but a thorn, from warmth that it offers
No warmth from the cool, as day’s memories grow softer

As the breathe of the world floats the sun over mountains
Blush from white, as the colors find their fountain
Till all again is a silhouetted dance
But not of gaudy or feigned elegance
with steps that have no overburdened taste
And motions which nature does not claim to be chaste
Not deliberately slow, nor with intentional haste
but as natural and pure, as her sunned, windblown face

Not a measured beat, not planned and not simple
But as free and wandering, as the lines of her temples
Not joyous, nor a smile from a friend
But emptied of sadness, with no need of mend
Piercing and honest, like her sun-freckled stare,
as the moon breathes deep, of her swept, straw-like hair

it’s a shiver, is all on our mind
as a hand reaches out, another to find.
The wind blows through our fingers and the grass as it rolls
Our eyes full of stars, the stars full of our souls

No light need be given for my Love to give light
No sight need be given, for my Love to give sight.
No need to find truth, for this to be right
No need but for self, in my canyon-land night

Monday, October 19, 2009

A hopeful vision

A hopeful Vision

Now is a time for this realization
That in order to leave this station….I have to leave this station

A harder task than indecision is a constant focus on this vision

But a soulful glance at the dance your dancing
Takes my breath a waaaays from steady
My hand drawn down your face, heavy
In A moment of quiet. a rush of something, so unready
A pause of warmth in a chanceful eddy

All this in a smile that needs no formed expression


And foresight with a gift. That stationed here your guard is swift.
A wall, atop they change their shift
You know a God, they know He’s not coming
He put you here and gave you cunning

Thursday, December 04, 2008


by Some Guy

I broke. And you were there to mend me
You spoke, a Word of Truth to send me
You gave, your own blood to defend me
But I looked and saw an empty branch

I broke. And my life poured out like wine from a glass
You spoke, like light from your earthly flask
You gave, but the healing would not end fast
My life was at an end.

I broke, and you opened the wound some more
You Spoke, and through me each word new tore
You gave, a glimpse of you strength before
I was crushed under your Spirit

I broke, and you tore away my idols
You spoke, “no turning away from trials”
You gave, a chance with each new vial
And defenseless I was ravaged

You healed, what you had let be broken
You built, upon your true work spoken
You gave, A new and terrible holding
A Love worth all foresaking

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Plans get made and Plans get stayed
Ten thousand times I prayed

But not enough.

Life is a thief.
We’re flipped from leaf to leaf there bound
By leather skin. Tough and sound
And they withstand the weather.

There was something better.

But skin too tough is skin too rough
And abrasive action is not Love
Each surface bound to have enough

More that it can stand.

To stand
After each and every plan
Was shredded on the alter
And on the way the carrier faltered
And lost his hidden treasure
Search for it forever
You’ll never get a glimpse

And that parts true

And what else say I to you
And what of you to me?
Nothing too outrageous
Just stand up straight
Be strong, courageous
Be there giants or just empty pages
You think I’d know which one was worse by now.

And how
Is it that even after
Starlit nights and moonlit pastures
Raging rivers and thunderous raptures, I did not know that way

Continue then to pray

And you awoke and trail retraced
And happened then upon my place
My back against the ground
You reached downstretched out a hand
And said ready now to stand.
Get up, lets straight away

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A sentimental feeling

I was just talking to a very close freind who I've known for longer than I have a memory of. We were reminescing about some of the crazy stories that we have and the ridiculous situations and places we've been in, including the current one that I find myself in. And he suggested I write them all down into a book. So, I started to. And then it hit me, kind of like a ton of bricks. I've been so many places with so many people, and I have such strong bonds so many of them. So many of my freinds call me for help when they most need it, or a confidant when they most need one, or a trusted ear when they most need that. I don't know why a lot of them call me first, and last, but I think its because they know I care. And I do. But it hit me today that, there are so many incredibly close freinds that I have, that I'm never going to be able to have the experiences that I want to with all of them. Some of them, I'm going to have to remain thousands of miles away from for long, long periods of time. And I miss them all and all of the incredible times we've had together. They've all pushed my limitations, and I'm so thankful. Whether we were hiking out of the oxbow after getting lost on a tubing trip, running away from Houghton security, sneaking into college buildings, climbing up angry waterfalls in ithica, or running away from various law enforcement officials in various parts of the country, I love you and miss you all, and often. they say home is where you hang your hat,and home is where your heart is. Well, those two places aren't necesarily always the same. I've never had a place to hang my hat, I've never really had a place to call home. But all of my freinds that I miss, you guys are my home. Bono said in "walk on" "Home, how do you know what it is when you've never had one." Well, I've always thought that too. But maybe there is a way to know what it is when we don't, because suddenly we realize that we miss it, or, all of of what comprises it.