Elegy for a Broken World


It is just an echo
of the Creator’s Masterpiece.
Her former glory now hints
of brilliance and beauty.

Impressions of the Divine’s handiwork
are there…
You must keep looking.
This world is still
in the hands of the Almighty.
The gun violence
the racism
the sexism
the self-interested corporations
are just a symptom
of this broken world.


Take the steps that are necessary
to send Light
streaming into minds and hearts,
to broadcast the wailing,
to comfort the mourning,
to offer hope to the forever-changed.

Be their voice.
Say their names.
Call out the questions
to the entitled and smug who champion
“the right to bear arms”
and who have more blood on their hands.

Be the David against Goliath.
Speak Truth.
Preach Justice.
Offer Mercy.
Be Christ’s hands and feet. 
But most of all…
Be Love.

Breathe Deeply

As the tide rolls in and out in the salt marsh
and the egrets dance in the waving grass
Breathe deeply
Know that God is near.

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When the seagulls gather to gossip and feed
and the waves push in, scattering with the foam
Breathe deeply
Rest in the beauty of the Creator.

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As the sea oats rattle in the evening breeze
And we hear the thunder’s rumble across the marsh
Breathe deeply
God holds you in the storm.

sea grass

When sundown comes and you stand with friends
And watch the colors fade into darkness
Breathe deeply
Remember how much you are loved.

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Fragile Beauty

Our world was iced over this morning. The patio and steps (made of slate) were slippery and very difficult to walk on safely. But as the temperature rose, the ice layers melted. I stepped out to take some pictures and reflect.

So much of what we think of as “beauty” is such a fleeting thing: the roses in my garden, the leaves in their brilliant glory in autumn, the fluffy, giant snowflakes of an East coast winter storm… they all quickly end.

So I celebrate the glories of even an ice storm, of rain transformed by air temperatures above and below, and the whims of weather.


Our patio this morning was glazed with ice!
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Branches on the maple tree
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Looking back towards the labyrinth.
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Just as it was starting to melt…
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Everything is coated with a frosting of ice.
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The holly tree
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Pieces of ice falling from the branches. It was like a hailstorm of ice tubes!
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The ground is covered with melting ice falling off the branches.
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The ground is littered with branches from the white pines, too. And more ice.

Awesome: Getting past hamburgers

I have been abusing a word. A word that deserves to be removed from the vocabulary of advertising media and casual speech. A word that best describes the transcendent Presence of The Holy. And yet I use it all the time to refer to things that are wonderful, or delicious, or surprising.


GOD is awesome. GOD.

Not pizza, bacon cheeseburgers, the Nats winning the pennant (hey! I can dream!) Not a bicycle ride, or a sexy new car, or a piece of clothing, or anything of a temporary nature. We delude ourselves and we downgrade the work of The Holy when we exchange the word “awesome” for anything but something that fills us with awe.

Hydrangeas :)

GOD’S CREATION is awesome. Creation reflects the power, the vastness, the limitless beauty of God’s work in the universe. The flutter of a hummingbird at the feeder. The pileated woodpecker and offspring on the oak tree. The young rabbits discovering clover blossoms in the yard. The wind ripping through tree branches during an afternoon storm. The latent power of rumbling thunder. Seeing the Milky Way or the Northern Lights. The kaleidoscope of blossoms in the yard.

The National Cathedral, Washington, DC
The National Cathedral, Washington, DC
Our creative acts (in the arts and sciences) only imitate what God, the Master Builder has already done. They can be awe-inspiring or beautiful or breath-taking. But I’m not sure they are on the same scale of “awesome” as God’s handiwork.

To inspire and move me towards seeing God as truly and only as “awesome” I enjoy watching these videos.  I think they help to more perfectly define the word “awesome” for me.

Thanks be to God.

First, Shawn Reeder’s time-lapse of Yosemite:

Brian Doerkson’s Creation Calls set to movie clips of nature:

And finally, because I love this piece, Haydn’s The Creation:

From The Blotter

I had to throw away a desk blotter – the kind that you can slide pictures or little quotes underneath.

(I know it doesn’t make much sense to have this kind of desk blotter, particularly since mine is always COVERED with papers. But I like them.)

Anyway, there were some quotes that I had carefully saved and I didn’t want to lose them. So there will be a series of posts “From The Blotter” so that I can put them on my virtual desk, together with some of my favorite photographs. Enjoy!

from New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton

Give me the strength
that waits upon You in silence and peace.
Give me humility
in which alone is rest,
and deliver me from pride
which is the heaviest of burdens.
And possess my whole heart and soul
with the simplicity of love.

Occupy my whole life
with the one thought
and the one desire of love, that I may love
not for the sake of merit,
not for the sake of perfection,
not for the sake of virtue,
not for the sake of sanctity,
but for You alone.

On the path towards Copeland Falls, Colorado