Water still drips from rock
in the middle of the wilderness.
The illusion of dryness will dry up
once you learn to see Moses
still leading people
to the Promised Land.
Even you can walk for a long time
and keep up with all who seek
to reconcile themselves
with deliverance from bondage
and the way water parts
for those who dare to be delivered.
God of Now and
God of Then and
God of Will Be,
who endlessly appears in the corners of our eyes,
in a bush, in a smile, in a picture and
in the alighting of a falcon in a tree;
we imagine your name in our imaginings
and find our thoughts far too narrow and small
for pure being to settle into us in these dizzy days;
send us into the realm of corners where we dare
to believe nothing is true and sacred and,
we may be seen rising in our finest moment of freedom.
God who draws us out of the waters
and leads us across the land,
the shape of our lives blurs
as meanings grow dim
and the birds no longer sing
in the light of the mornings.
We cry, This is not of our own doing,
and we pray, Lead us not into temptation,
but we hold out our hands anyway
to be bound by that which is greater
than us...but not you.
Free us once again.
God of Chance and Possibility,
of Likelihood and Probability,
of Come-What-May and Fate,
who provides the ground
for our very being and the place
upon which we stand and choose;
may we live into the choices
we intend for our very lives
as many perish along that way.
Sensing the poignancy of the moment
I speak into it, "There is a tension
between exerting control and letting go."
She looks up from the book she always
reads and says, "Perhaps it is time to tend
to the craft of making faithfulness."
Not wanting to be undone, I say,
"The challenge is to see the text for now,
avoid cliché, and live in the moment."
"Nice," she laughs. "Heaven
can be on earth if we dare
to make new connections."
I pause. Intrigued. Thinking aloud,
"Radical intricacies come and unfold
in this time and in this space."
She turns back to the book she always
reads, "Your choice: performance
"And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years." Luke 13:11
We are over
We are over with...
Seeing the woman bent over.
Knowing her being bent over impacts every part of her life.
Wondering if the woman in the story is done being bent over.
Knowing the woman in the story is done.
And...the woman shows up.
She is not sick.
She is burdened.
Bent over from burdens.
Eighteen years burdened.
Just as we are burdened
(How many dead as of today? 360k? And counting...)
Eighteen years crippled.
Eighteen years bowed down.
(Burdens are heavy.)
(We don't know how old she is.)
Eighteen years of her best years?
Eighteen years from birth?
Eighteen years after all her children are gone?
Eighteen years of hoping to return to normal.
Eighteen years the woman is coming.
Eighteen years to move from the margins to the center.
Eighteen years of bearing the crippling spirit.
Eighteen years of days wondering, Is this my done day.
No, but still eighteen years looking for what will make it right.
Eighteen years of leaders getting the rules right.
Eighteen years of every people getting the rules right.
Eighteen years of her closest relations getting the rules right.
Eighteen years of God making the rules right.
Eighteen years of everyone getting the relationship wrong.
Eighteen years of suffering through her freedom.
Eighteen years of suffering from our thraldom.
Center this woman.
Center this spirit-crippled woman.
Center this burdened woman.
Unburden your self.