from the book embracing now: pain, joy, healing, living 

saturday now.
morning moments of
reading, writing,
praying, processing.
today can i spell the word
“therapy” this way:
as time travels,
words join in,
moving, advancing,
then stopping,
to dare us to stare
at now.
and be still.

sunday now.
a morning of memories
rush through a mind,
causing thoughts and
feelings to shift, to turn,
as mental poetry
continues riding
through the air,
uncontrolled and unsure.
images of yesterday’s
joy and tension:
historical alerts
of a palm sunday,
of a crowd,
of ourselves and myself,
wondering where
this we and this me
fit in the narrative.
applauding then rejecting?
rejoicing then denying?
like poetry’s cadence,
life can provide a mixture
of takes.
but i choose, thinking,
to learn again
from them and me
and then and now,
while words pummel
as a diagnosis
of this sunday,
of our trees,
of our crowds,
of our responses
to today’s ride.

monday now.
a day for work,
a day for words.
holy, the day is called.
great, the day is titled.
monday, the day is one
more step in a journey
making this week distinct,
a slow shift from
shambles to peace.
listening, trying to hear.
glancing, hoping to notice.
reaching, desiring to touch.
today, i seek to listen again,
remembering, realizing,
daring myself to visit
ancient stories today
and hear the Teacher
amid the noise of
now, monday.

tuesday now.
this week, a melody merging
unexpected segments
into one story.
temple, you’ll be torn down.
religious marketing schemes,
you’ll be revealed as
missing the points
you promote.
people, all people,
you’ll be loved.
that story of Jesus,
so ancient, so relevant,
so needed today
in my heart and mind,
to redirect my own tendencies
and destroy the making
of my own temples.
oh, may i have ears to hear.
oh, may i have a heart to care.
and, may i enter
the story, hearing walls fall,
seeing the rejected loved, and
noticing the facial expressions
of One walking one day
closer to the cross.

wednesday now.
a week’s middle.
a story’s center.
holy wednesday, spy wednesday,
a day of waiting, of listening,
of hearing the story ourselves,
of entering the story ourselves,
asking, each of us asking,
“where am i in the narrative?”
the deceitful, the oblivious,
the hidden, the obvious,
the negotiations, the control,
the traditions, the transitions:
all is about to change.
today, conversations and calculations
all while Jesus continued,
and continues
His time among them,
His time among us,
together, with sacrificial care,
telling stories, asking questions,
challenging our misunderstandings
of love and truth.
center, middle, wednesday.
then, there, them.
now, here, us.
where am i?
in the narrative of today, of time,
of change.

thursday now.
the week continues its
route toward redemption.
but these roads aren’t smooth,
nothing is simple
during the complexity of
maundy thursday. a covenant
great and holy on
a thursday of mysteries:
moving closer toward a cross,
meals and conversations,
foot washing,
the last supper.
valiant stages,
gentle strength,
pure compassion.
the Leader serves and sacrifices,
setting the plot for tomorrow
on today
as i imagine Him glancing
my way.
He doesn’t say anything,
but His eyes do,
and His silence leaves me
asking myself again:
where am i,
where are we,
in the story?
He hands the bread
and the drink.
to me. to us.
to remind me
and us
of Himself and His story
of that thursday
on this thursday
now, closer.

friday now.
good friday is the
name given
about a life given
on this day
so many fridays before
this one.
but how am i changed today
because of this day’s history?
how can i be changed
through the truth crafted
in Christ’s crucifixion?
i know i don’t
fully understand everything,
but i do know
what i can do today,
what i should do today.
i can, and i should, remember.
His pain.
His blood.
His death.
the reason.
the others in the story.
my role in the story.
imagining myself there,
considering all the components
of denial and betrayal,
of sacrifice and death,
of a cross,
of a prayer,
of Jesus there for me.
remembering. a realization.
contemplating. a story
redirecting my story
on today’s friday.
now, good.

saturday now.
i continue contemplating
yesterday, the friday
we call good.
angry rain fell here,
sounding and feeling
like a waterfall
without the beauty.
thunder played percussion,
her music’s mood
displaying power, force.
while i reflected, working
on writing assignments,
seeking to finish tasks,
i heard the regular rhythm
refusing to allow me to forget.
now today, there’s some
silence. less noise.
like that long-ago-saturday:
the story of Jesus
incorrectly assumed
completed, while an
impossible chapter emerged.
noise below the surface.
a miracle venturing near.
promises slowly showing up.
a saturday between,
a story twisting,
a storm calming,
a promise climbing up
from a tomb,
for many lives
of people like us,
as His story there is
storming this way
again and again
on the saturday
between days,
between worlds,
between stories,
between us.
the silence, and noise,
of love.
the force, and calming,
of love.
the death, and life,
of love.

sunday now.
sunrise celebrations.
gatherings to rejoice.
musicals, sermons, prayers.
pictures, smiles, meals.
a reason beyond reasoning:
He is risen!
He is risen indeed!
but now what?
today, how are our
lives resurrected?
today, what does the
ancient story mean?
today, are we included
in the narrative?
i’ll rejoice. i’ll be glad.
and today i’ll ask again
what i’ve asked often,
for the Alive One to live
in me.
that should influence
everything. not a few things,
but everything.
let our resurrection celebrations
include prayers requesting
He live and love
everyone everywhere
through us.
celebrate, and serve.
rejoice, and care.
eat well, and share.
remember, and forgive.
may His life be displayed
through weak and wounded
servants like us.
Christ is risen, now proven
by our deeds.

monday again,
though a new monday.
returning to routine
but renewed.
walking normal paths
but with a better view.
remembering the death
and resurrection,
the stories before
and after,
the names in the narrative
and our names
in the story.
efforts offered for an
awareness of shambles
amid a distinct backdrop
attempting to validate or mislead,
laboring to prove points or guide astray
in the array of surges
toward better sight.
resting can help.
praying can help.
reading can help.
writing can help.
when invested
in memories ancient and near,
in events obvious and inconceivable:
potential steps to take
like the disciples
fishing again,
eating together again,
seeing even when doubting,
enduring the path
toward death.
and that is life.
real, raw, eternal.
peace, waiting,
for all who choose,
however they feel on a monday,
to believe.