All I Want for Christmas

Confessions of a grief-stricken grinch

It’s a season of joy
that my sorrow has found
as these silent nights trigger my grief.
A loved one has left us
since Christmas last year.
And my laughter is seldom and brief.

It’s the month of December
with carols and cards,
but my heart is too broken to care.
I’m lonely and anxious.
It feels like I’m lost.
A heaviness hangs in the air.

Traditions that moved me
for much of my life
(and music of Christmases past)
are trying my patience
and testing my faith.
How I wish that this month would go fast.

O God, all I want
for Christ’s birthday this year
is the gift of Your Presence and peace.
Please grant me the means
to embrace what I feel
’til the nightmares of sorrow will cease.

*This week’s poem is dedicated to my friends who have lost mates and parents this year and now face their first Christmas without them.

A Family Prayer for Thanksgiving

Contemplating our joys and sorrows as we gather

We gather as fam’ly
with gratitude, thankful
for freedoms our nation
has fought to preserve.
The freedom of worship,
of speech and to protest,
the freedom from fear
and from want so to serve.

We gather as fam’ly
united and trusting
a loving Creator
who cares for our needs.
We own our dependence
on One who shows mercy
to those undeserving
who long to succeed.

We gather as fam’ly
imperfect, forgiving
and loving each other
because we are one.
This day spent together
recalls many mem’ries
reminding us all
of the blessings we share.

Yes, Lord, we are grateful
in spite of the sorrow
that clouds this occasion
because of our grief.
In spite of a place
at the table that’s empty,
we feast knowing
our separation is brief.

A Borderline Disorder

A prayer for our gun-crazed culture

We’ve a Borderline disorder
and it’s killing those we love.
And our gun-crazed culture is the most to blame.
Lord, please help us curb the madness.
This insanity must stop.
Our sorrow’s great, but greater still our shame.

Gun violence is rampant.
Seems mass shootings are the norm.
Somehow, someway reform must be pursued.
Buying weapons should be harder
than the ease with which it is.
Those with mental issues have to be refused.

Oh, dear God, be near the grieving
who cry out to You in pain.
Hold the hurting who, (with breaking hearts) despair.
Comfort moms and dads and siblings
who were robbed of final words.
Through Your Church’s acts of kindness prove You care.

Divided Loyalties

Our right to votes unites us as Americans

The United States
are divided states
on each Election Day
as we together choose
who and what
will win and lose.

It’s a day we take sides
agreeing to disagree.
But in the taking of sides,
we stand on the side of Liberty.

Curiously, what divides us
is what unites us.
We may cancel out each other’s vote,
but in so doing we validate a dedicated value
that defines us as Americans.

We are free to vote our conscience and convictions.
With the silent stroke of a pen
of the pull of a lever,
we are free to vocalize our priorities.

Yes, divided loyalties are the privilege of a democracy.
May we never take for granted
the birthright granted us by our forefathers.

The right to vote
and the right to protest
are two rights that make
a wrong future less likely.

Violence in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

Protesting the synagogue shootings in Pittsburgh

In Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood
there is no room for hate
when Christians, Jews and Muslims live in peace.
What happened at that synagogue
derails what we stand for.
Somehow, some way this violence must cease.

In Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,
we honor all as friends.
We do not judge another by their race.
We see their faith as deeply held
though we may disagree.
We look for common values to embrace.

In Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood
we grieve with those who grieve.
We hold each other’s children in our heart.
We know that dreams for unity
aren’t simply make believe.
They’re realized when we each do our part.