Dear World, forgive me.
In my desire to share what is so important to me, so necessary, so powerful, so helpful, so true, I have neglected to notice this about you: your cup is not empty.*
Willing students, perhaps, come with polished, expectant cups. Some with them behind their backs, waiting to see if the offering is worth the sloshing that would come with the filling.
But all others who come, even the parched and those drunk on new wine, come with cups that are not empty. They are filled with what the world has already had to offer. People and places, ideas and conversations, mothers and fathers, families, traditions and cultures. So much.
If I want to pour my ideas into your cup, I need to understand what’s already there. Perhaps sit and sip a while. Have some tea and a teacake. Listen and look. Waft and taste. Touch and let myself be touched.
Only newborn children come with empty cups.
We fill them. The world fills them. With good things and love. With encouragement and praise. Or not. Oh holy Lord, sometimes … With abuse and neglect. With harsh words or impossible expectations. With hunger, loneliness, violence, despair. Lord, let us be bearers of hope for these.
Friend, your cup is not empty and neither is mine.
World, forgive me. Lord, forgive us. For our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. May we taste and see, seeking first to understand.
*Melinda Gates in her book, The Moment of Lift.
literally, thrown to the ground
by the hand grenades being heaved in my land.
There’s been a bombing,
but there’s no shrapnel,
no visible debris,
just many, many injuries.
Bodies strewn everywhere,
writhing in pain.
Bandaging their wounds,
wrapping their torn limbs.
Some, sitting motionless on the cement,
with hands pressed to their ears,
cry, “Make it stop”
“Make it stop”
Can anyone see them?
I stumble and fall,
gashing my leg on the rocks,
fording the rubble,
trying to reach them.
Does anyone hear them?
Yelling! Screaming! Crying!
It doesn’t stop.
Oh, blessed silence,
where are you?
I would listen if you came.
I would read and listen,
for information, not ammunition.
I would ask and listen,
be inquisitive, not an inquisition.
I would speak and listen,
to those with whom I agree,
and to those with whom I differ.
I would seek out and listen,
for those with little life experience,
and those with much.
I would meet and listen,
face to face and full of attention,
delving for meaning, certain of purpose.
What is the world making of us?
that we have forgotten
how to listen to each other and
become numb to ourselves?
We are meant to make of this world!
to be creative forces
using our hands to hold and our hearts to unfold,
applying ourselves to build,
something of each other.
There’s been a bombing but no explosion.
The ringing in my ears
is the sound of deafening,
the tearing limb from limb
of innocent souls.
Dare we feel it deeply?
Let it hurt us enough
to make it stop?
“There’s probably no God so stop worrying and enjoy life”
…read the back of the service van
weaving through the crowds gathered
to marvel at St. Stephen’s Cathedral,
where all are welcome to enter
free of charge.
When ‘probably not’
opens the door to ‘possibly is’
the great bolt of worry
slides aside to unlock a
Joy greater than
What if we entered in?