This Morning Before Light

Down in the pit I was

this morning before



I was thinking about

how little I have accomplished

all the mistakes I’ve made

why wasn’t I more?

shouldn’t I be better?

what should I do now that I’m old?

why am I feeling so low?

You know the drill


As the gray light filtered

through the shade in my room

I read

I prayed

and I felt

the Fathers love in Christ

and heard this like a heart

beating in my soul


Respond to the great love now

No conditions

No need for proofs of worthiness

for all the things you’ve done

All those things

no matter how you spin

and shine and place them

in that special spot on the mantle

of your mind

will never provide

that sufficiency

you crave

Even your children

and your wife

who love you good

and smooth

and sweet

even that

will not provide it full


Just respond

Accept the great love

Give me yourself

All your will and your life

Feel the peace it brings

Trust me

this is enough

to do

for now


Stay with this, I thought

Stay with this

Even though the world is pounding


Stay with this

in innocence


I got up from bed like a man on a mission

I walked toward the phone and

in that very instant my wife called

from Portland in the hotel lobby

ready to go to a legal deposition

for her job

And just like that I was

asked to remember the great love

and to give love from the great love

that I was given

to my sweet wife

over the phone


And I heard the whisper

that whispers its thoughts when I am quiet


There is no fixing the world

The world is constantly disappointing

And so will you be

If you measure yourself only

according to its scale

You are never enough

compared to who

There’s always somebody better

Never good enough

Always somebody

you will disappoint

Never right enough

because to most people

you are simply invisible

You just don’t matter

to most people

Nothing personal

But not a wit

So how long must you wait?

How much must you do?

How many days

till you can be assured

that your life is right?


So I stood naked in the kitchen

I talked to my wife naked

I made my oats and prunes


and while it cooked

I went out into the crisp

cool damp morning naked

and slipped into to the silky heat

of the spa

Feeling my naked muscles release

I prayed especially

to forgive my father

and my brother

and my friend

with Christ’s help

and in thanksgiving

for the great love

that I have been given


In the cold Oregon mist

I looked up at the trees

I had pruned and could see

the limbs thick with buds

and I thought

I am waiting for spring

For the time of blossoms

and warm days

the green garden days with birds in the morning

singing their freedom


And just as I was thinking that

I knew what I would say

if someone asked

Even as I looked out

over the mountains capped with fresh snow

even as I heard the geese above me

calling down the spirit

even as I smelled the cool mint spice

of the evergreens all around

like a holy church

Even in the midst

of this difficult life in my body

and the constant proximity of darkness

and ignorance and irrational anger

and the heavy demands

to prove my worth

even after

all this making

over all these years…

I knew that if someone asked

I would say…

Spring is here

rising in my heart!

There is a light and a warmth

and a tenderness

that brings me out

of the madness of the scolding mind

out of the terrible dark

sense of insufficiency in someone else’s eyes

that seeks to smother my joy

My spring is here

inside my open heart

blossoming in Christ’s

penetrating love for me

I am insufficient

without Him

I am dying yes

but not dying dead

but dying alive

to the driver

the conniver

the forcer

the faker

the shaker

the expecter

the maker

the taker…

and rising like

the coming forth of the new

leaves reaching

and finally touching air

after winters hold

unfolding a life

rooted and watered in Gods unending love

that fills the verdant canopy of my hair

and my limbs raising up

with abundant joy


In Christ

I am loved

in my incompleteness

In the Great Love

who is moving my spirit

I am unfolding

a life


Let me stand on the watchtower

Let me be nearby calling out

with an echo from all of my days

It is Springtime in my heart!

Let me do this

not just for the joy of Your love

not just for myself

but for you and you also

lest we all be lost in the pounding

down of the dark dying unto death

without hope

in the thick desperate days

of the demanding world

Lest we be lost always waiting


waiting in winter

for a spring

that never comes