Not Quite Home

I bent over and tied the strings of the shoes and took my first couple of tentative steps in these new dress shoes. Well, new is not right. They are used but they are new to me. A color that is somewhere between Oxford and brown. Soles that are made to last or shoesat the very least be replaced when they wear out.

The first step was a bit odd. There was some tightness on the top of my right foot and I wondered if this was going to be a permanent rubbing spot of if the shoes would mold their way over from their old owner to me. I knew before the day was done, the shoes were still pliable.

What I really wondered about was whether the new owner was pliable as well.

These original owner of these shoes was not a pastor, but I have to say…

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The Madness of Building on Sand (Another Word on Wesleyan Orthodoxy)

I have to say…this is a wonderful piece of work with quite a bit for me (and possibly you) to consider!

Connected In Christ

It is madness, says Wesley, to hold to a set of “notions” and suppose that they are “more rational or scriptural than others,” as if we can be “right” or “orthodox” in this way, and as if this were at the heart of our witness. Wesley compared this zeal for orthodoxy to building our spiritual home on sand. In fact, Wesley says it is worse than that; it is more like building on the “froth of the sea.” (See “Upon our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount, Discourse 13).

Wesley rarely (I believe I could say never) used the term orthodoxy in a positive way. At the same time, it is clear that he promoted key doctrines and core beliefs. Doctrines of the trinity and the incarnation, for example, expand our understanding of God and keep us from getting locked into narrow agendas.  They enhance faith…BUT only when in service to…

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A Great Cloud of Witnesses

That cloud…
That cloud great with witnesses.
Weeps at times.
Leaks at times.
When fear or grief
or pangs of birth
Strike at those under its gaze.

Those afraid, hurt or in labor
Feel the rain from heaven –
It’s source, unknowable.
Yet, the drops are fresh relief
From heat of battle with one another
From pain residing deep within
From the strain of flesh giving way to new life – even unknown new life.
And the drops, they form a stigmergy
a way to a stream which can be followed.
Followed at last to a place
A place of peace and rest.

Once, when one called out, “I thirst”
The cloud heavy with witnesses
burst forth with rain from saints.
And energy enough…just enough…
was found
to say
“It is finished.”

Finished? The cloud keeps watch. The drops still fall.
The cloud awaits for us to hear.


The surgeon wielded a chainsaw
Strapped to his hip
a low hanging gun.
Vines of artificial hemp lifted and held fast to the surgeon
as spiked heels dug into the patient’s flesh.

The mechanical, maniacal roar of the scalpel
would cut and prune
in a effort to bring the patient
to a place of acceptance.
Acceptance by those who occupied the structures
made of relatives long ago murdered.
Correction brought with
sharpened teeth,
anointed bar,
and a single finger that gripped and pointed,
pointed and gripped.

From time to time a telling thump
could be heard as branch or limb
fell to sun hardened earth.

Could anyone hear the cries of the patient?
“You cut too deep!”
“You pruned too much!”

Sap spilled over the skin from open wounds
tears not unlike those shed
by a jilted lover
a shamed child.
Silent, yet filled with experiences unshared,
unknown by any other.

Over time the20160617_151424 patient slept
and attempted to recover from correction
as sunshine teased wounded limbs
to bring forth life again.
Water sprinkled wound and ground –
for life?
for death?
or just to say the healing ritual had be done?

Yet, the surgeon cut too deep.
The patient, now a victim,
rots within.



Indeed this piece is about the loss of a tree in my  front yard. At the same time, this tree and its loss has become something of a metaphor to me of battles I am seeing fought all to often.