On Silent Retreat

medieval residential buildings in scenic highlands

With its air of confidence,

simplicity confounds untrained senses,

a body numb with over-stimulus—

unused to being

until

a good night’s sleep and an early walk

through treed grounds marked

with stations of the cross—places

to kneel—remedy what is

weary

and a ransacked heart comes to release burdens

it didn’t know it carried—but that silence

threw into relief, prompting prayer

to him who is holy, boldly

grants peace

at the point in the journey, the story,

where it is needed.

there are places we can go, locally, designed to foster prayer, times of reflection and even set the stage for personal repentance, all things that serve to re-set, re-new, re-store what has been lost, or neglected for too long; these places start by extending, morphing the nature of time; they help release the pressure we’re under to perform within a certain time; and so they invite us to connect (or re-connect) with what is eternal and pure within and without; in other words, they put us in closer touch with God

FOR MORE ON THE SPIRITUAL LIFE AND THE DEEP NEEDS OF THE SOUL, VISIT MY BOOKSTALL

The Day’s Task

photo of river surrounded by trees

In the quiet stream that is early morning

steaming mist off a bank of spruce and pine

is a gift of light—a sign

of the passing beauty not only of nature,

but of time, as I contemplate

the hours of hope now

opening.

there is a window in time when the Spirit of God who is able to meet us where we live and take us to places we need to go and long to visit, if not make our sole abode, meets us; I find this window most open in the early morning and know this is a devotional practice of many people through the ages, who have made it a priority to set aside the first part of the day to seek the God of Truth, the Author and Finisher of our lives of faith, and who have been rewarded for their discipline; the streams we find in nature speak of this type of simple connection that leads to somewhere greater

FOR MORE POETRY THAT IS AN INVITATION TO GO DEEPER, VISIT MY BOOKSTALL OR AUTHOR PAGE ON AMAZON

Hard to explain, but

empty forest

I need to live in the woods

with creatures immersed

in a habitat full of texture

and complexity, to be understood,

individually.

there’s something soulful and compelling about finding a quiet place in nature; something here that cannot be found in any other way or place; something that speaks of things that are eternal, even as we surround ourselves with what will be gone tomorrow or the next day; perhaps it is the quiet calm reassurance that we are not alone, even when we seek and find and dive into solitude that is the everlasting aspect of this once-common experience of getting lost in the woods to find ourselves; to know what it is we’re made of

FOR MORE POETRY TO BLESS YOUR SOUL’S JOURNEY, VISIT MY BOOKSTALL

Approaching Harvest

shallow focus photography of two ripe apples on basket

Despite failure, disappointment; despite age,

my field of living hope grows green

where faith gains—

there is work in common with people

I connect to, care about, and long to expand

the fields with despite

political divides, economic barriers

or other proprietary lines—

as I see there is something here

for everyone with a heart

for the unlimited.

when we connect to simple ways to connect to the rhythms of the earth, what people are saying and feeling and needing to be heard, as much as to the season of our own life, then we grow; it is here we sense the joy, the bounty, the goodness of the harvest; it is here we are reminded of all those seeds we sowed; that nothing that is done in the name of love can be for naught; that somehow it’s all caught up in the plans and unfailing hopes of God

FOR MORE POETRY TO BLESS AND STRENGTHEN THE SOUL, VISIT MY BOOKSTALL

Kneeling

brown wooden cross pendant on closeup photography

In the shadow of your cross,

hung, suspended by a lone, strong line

over the altar

I kneel in the quiet

of sanctuary, bending to receive

the grace that binds me

to you, that tells me the heart’s home

remains your own

domain

and I am safe to cry out for strength

to rise.

know that He hears you when you pray, wherever you are, but probably the most clearly when you have a chance to quiet your heart and allow the demands of the world around you to grow still, fade to black; it is here and in this way that the full light of all that Christ has done for us takes hold of our heart and is able to make the difference that we seek

FOR MORE ON THE INNER LIFE, POETRY AND ITS ROLE IN SPIRITUAL FORMATION, VISIT MY BOOKSTALL