It Was John’s Time

Celebrating the legacy of Congressman John Lewis

John Lewis was a boxing great.
That no one can dispute.
But he is not the one I’m thinking of.
The one I mean (who’s in the news)
knew how to fight as well.
He fought for justice, equal rights and love.

The “boy from Troy” put up his dukes
and danced around the ring.
He looked for opportunities to punch.
Through peaceful protests, freedom rides
and trouble he called good,
he fought to have a Woolworth counter lunch.

The “conscious of our Congress” was
quite short, but stood quite tall.
He kept alive the dream of MLK.
John Lewis was a testament
to what his mentor taught
and called his colleagues to a better way.

And then last week it was John’s time
to cross that famous bridge.
A bridge that spans the gap of life and death.
And as he crossed, we recognized
the legacy he leaves
that’s punctuated by one final breath.

Peace to his memory!

Here is the Church

A new look at a childhood finger play

Here is the church.
And here is the steeple.
Open the door
and where are the people?

They’re watching on desktops,
on laptops and phones.
They’re socially distanced.
But they’re not alone!

They’re part of a Body
that FaceTimes and Zooms.
They’re one in the Spirit
in various rooms.

The church ain’t a building.
It can’t be shut down.
It’s where you and I go
both home or downtown.

No! COVID can’t kill us.
When push comes to shove,
we thrive in the hard times
connected by love!

The Guardians of Right

Who ultimately should decide what is left?

Seems the Redskins are no longer.
Are Atlanta and KC
both prepared to follow suit and change their names?
And will Cleveland be contented
with the new logo they chose?
Or will they cave to growing corporate shame?

In our ever-changing culture
there’s a movement to remove
what’s offensive to the “guardians of right.”
Our monuments and mascots
are at risk of being dumped
in a move that’s far from simply black and white.

“The guardians” are surfing
what appears a PC wave.
They determine what is right and what is left.
But this cancel culture cleansing
should allow for some debate
lest the cornerstone of freedom starts to shift.

Wear a Mask!

A pandemic plea for courtesy

Wear a mask
to hide your face.
In addition, give me space.
When you’re out in public,
keep your distance.
Cover up.

Yes, I know
you don’t like rules.
You’re thinking rules
are made for fools.
But your defiance is a clue
that is what you are.

Doggone it!
Hide your mouth and nose.
Make some friends
instead of foes.
Mask and stand
six feet away
for my health
and yours.

A Prayer for the Divided States of America

Interceding for our Uncle Sam

God, bless America.
Not because we deserve it.
Lord knows, we don’t.

We have failed to live up to our potential.
We have denied equal rights
to those too-often wronged.
We have sacrificed godly principals
on the altar of personal privilege.
We have aborted life, liberty
and the pursuit of happiness
in exchange for power.
We have pledged allegiance to a flag
we too often have used to envelop our faith.

Amid “Black Lives Matter” signs
and “Make America Great Again” ballcaps,
we have lost sight of that
on which our founders initially focused…
A land of the free
and a home of the brave.
Out of many, one.
One nation under God,
with liberty and justice for all.

God, as dehumanizing relics of our past
are removed from courthouse circles and city squares,
would You tear down the walls of hate
that continue to separate all those created in Your image.

But, lest we be short-sighted and impulsive prone,
give us courage to preserve those monuments
that call us to be the best version of ourselves.
A goal for which we truly long.

Revive us as we attempt to repair
the foundations of freedom’s ramparts
that have cracked and begun to crumble
through disregard of another’s rights
and the disobedience of Your demands.

Lord, restore our vision for unity.
Rekindle our compassion for humanity.
Redeem decades of partisan divisions
that have bankrupted our trust in one another.

Renew our bruised and broken spirits
that we might dare to dream again.
Remind us of the words
etched on the base of Lady Liberty.
That we exist to welcome those
for whom the flame of freedom has been extinguished…
The tired, the poor,
the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

Gracious God,
on this 244th anniversary of our nation’s birth,
as death has visited
more than 130,000 victims of COVID-19,
we humbly acknowledge our need of You.
Comfort the grieving as only You can.
Contain the contagion.
Heal the suffering.
Enable those who are feverishly seeking a vaccine.
Guide those who are charged with leading us.
May those who live in the White House
(as well as those who live in the houses where we reside)
be aware of Your presence,
Your purpose and our accountability to You
for goodness sake. Amen.