Love Poem, the night before our 20th Anniversary

I never knew

(how could I?)

About the giving and the taking.

Those rings and vows, all those years ago.

They were the easy part.


And if I am

any sort of man

It’s only, ever been

loving you

that made me so.


And if I gave you the springtime of my life

I took yours in its place…

And if the truth were to be told here,

our summer days are shrinking as we enter this fall.

and I never thought it would be a fall, this glorious fall.


I spent all that time

trying not to fall.

I wish I had thrown my arms up and my head back

And embraced this glorious fall.






God the Mother

God reached into the dirt, and kissed it.  And suddenly, it was alive!

That first human was made in the image of God.  It seems that it came with the breath itself.

I have been thinking about how Eve was made from Adam’s rib.  And wondering how God’s image works through all of this.

It could be that God’s image was just copied into both of them.

But given all the stuff that is said about sex and marriage, and it seems like maybe a separate part of his image ends up in both of them.  God’s image isn’t copied, it is broken in two, and Adam and Eve each get a part.

(This seems to connect with the second creation account, that occurs later in Genesis.)

Here’s the pretty amazing thing about this possibility:

It puts to bed all the talk about God as a ‘he.’  It locates the divine in the feminine and the masculine.

God the father and mother!  So much more robust and liberating then just choosing one or the other.  A pretty cool thing.


Waiting for God to Speak

My friend Hafiz

spoke to me

across these thousands of miles,

these hundreds of years.


He told me how they all waited for God to speak.

And they cried when he did not.

I have been there.

Crying those tears with them.


Tonight was different though.

The wind let go of the dirt it had been carrying.

It stopped pushing those branches gently aside.


The birds stopped their bickering.

The clouds stood still in the sky.


Tonight, all the lights turned green as we waited for God to speak.

This eager hush fell over the crowds.

Those lucky enough to be scratching the gray coating off their lottery tickets…

All came up winners.


Tonight, we all waited for God to speak.

Just as they had waited, hundreds of years ago.

But tonight?

That waiting?

That waiting itself.


was all

that we needed.


Finding God In the Waves

There are these people who give me little snap shots of who they are, and I think, “Wow.  I want to know more.”

That is how I have always felt about “Science Mike” McHargue.  He is a thinker, writer, and blogger.  He is also  one of the two Mike’s behind the liturgist podcast, and does some solo work, here which is more focused on science.

I got what I had been wishing for.  I just finished his book, “Finding God in the Waves.

If you could spin the book really fast to force all the things that went into it to separate, or maybe boil the book, and reach the melting point of some of the constituents in order to isolate the things that make it up, I think you would come up with 3 different ingredients.

First, the book is a spiritual autobiography.  Science Mike spent the first half of his life in a fairly conservative/evangelical Christian Church.  When life circumstances lead him to question his faith, he began a transition to closeted atheist.  He eventual left the closet, and began a journey back to a reconstructed faith.

Secondly, the book is an attempt to balance the newest findings of science with the ongoing wisdom of following Christ.  Astronomy and brain chemistry get the most attention, but there’s lots of compelling psychology and sociology, too.  I can be a bit of a snob about these sort-of attempts.  In my experience, authors who try to bring together faith and science usually end up doing a mediocre job on one of these.  Or both.  McHargue is kind of intimidating, because he is way smarter than me in both these areas.  So near as my little brain can figure, he gets them both right.

Thirdly, “Finding God in the Waves” is a blue print of what a reconstructed, science-informed faith might look like.  There are times that this book reminded me of Descrarte’s Meditations.  The French Philosopher began with the question, “What if everything my senses bring me is wrong?”  The American thinker begins with the question “What if everything I used to believe is wrong?”  Both authors respond to this by creating a series of axioms that will prove to be the building blocks of a new set of beliefs, which hopefully end up being more defensible than the previously unquestioned assumptions.

My favorite thing about the writing here is how frequently it flips the script.  I will be cruising along, reading almost on autopilot.  A few key sentences will start me heading in a certain direction, and then, from nowhere: Blam!  Suddenly, things do exactly the opposite of where I expected to.  The effect is sometimes funny, or touching, or both.

My favorite thing about the author is that he is so courageously even-handed.  That’s a thing about hanging out in the middle: Sometimes it feels like you are pissing off everybody.  I wonder if the author sometimes feels tempted to play to one side, or the other, just to get somebody to sign-on, whole-heartedly with his ideas.

This even-handedness plays out in a couple ways.  Sometimes, it is around intellectual debates.  He takes an amazingly consistent approach with calling out the good and the bad in targets as diverse as New Atheism and Old-School Baptist Churches.

But this even-handedness plays out in another way that is a little more difficult to articulate.  One way to say it is to say that he has all these different intelligences.  He is compellingly analytical when the situation calls for it.  And then, a page later, he will say something that demonstrates an emotional intelligence, that isn’t about chopping things up so much as looking at the big picture.  His proficiency with using the right mental tool for the right mental job lead me to be so fascinated that I  read this book in like 3 days.

You should go buy it and read it.  It was really good.  It will be released on September 13



All that is

And all that ever was

And all

That would ever



Not even emptiness

No time to stretch out into



Oh you trinity

Of primal forces

Conjoined meeting of matter and




You gave up your body for



When you burst forth and made space-



There was a serpent

And also



This torrent comes crashing down,

A wild thing from up so high.

Niagra would look with awe at this fall.


Here, below.

Mostly we gather on the shore.

And the holy men in their hip waders bring the little cups.

They grimace as they fill them and bring them back to us.

The spray and the run off have soaked them.

They walk slowly.  Slowly to us.  

Apostles and apprentices towel them off solemnly.

There are so many of us here now.

We wait.  And the water is so much of everything.

But the cup is emptied so soon.


I do not listen to them as I step into the water.

I discard my clothes and I do not care that they are watching.
I stand beneath the waterfall with my arms stretched out wide.

They make a wide space for me,

As they continue their conveyance to their followers,

Back and forth, back and forth.

New Cool Stuff

This little blog is home to whatever random things wander into my head: poetry, theology, politics, cultural criticism…  It’s been pretty awesome to throw my thoughts out into the world and have a sense that somebody is listening.  I think probably I will continue to post here.

But my journey has been leading me to feel like I have some relevant things to say in one pretty specific area.  Contemplation, meditation, and silence are becoming increasingly important to me.

I have put together a site focused on these things.  I think it’s some of the best work I have ever done.  It certainly has lots more useability and looks prettier than jeffsdeepthoughts.

Why don’t you click the link below and give it a look?

The Contemplace