24 October 2012


There once was a Sheltie named Aidan—
to photograph—he said, “Forbaden!”

So on his first birthday,
his wish was to hide away.

His dear hope now:  being blanket laden.

(I apologize for the meter and rhyme scheme.  I found it hard to work with “Aidan.”)

20 October 2012

a job (Job) of questioning

In the book bearing his name, Job asks some angry, demanding questions of God.  And his friends are horrified.  After all, as they let him know, everyone knows that the righteous are rewarded and the wicked are punished.  They see themselves as the defenders of orthodoxy.  “So Job,” they say, “you must have done something wrong.  Why don’t you just repent?  All of this terrible stuff will go away!”

Job’s friends have to say that, because the way they look at God, and at life itself, is being challenged.  And they aren’t able, or willing, to question themselves.  If Job is the good, honest, even holy man they’ve known him to be, then something doesn’t compute.  Their worldview begins to collapse; it’s in a state of free fall. 

What about us?  What about our questions?  Have we been trained to not ask the anguished, soul-searching questions?  Have we been told to not admit it, when honestly, we doubt some stuff?  Has that defender of orthodoxy told us that to do so is wrong?

(The image is Job in Despair by Marc Chagall.)

03 October 2012

taming the wolf

Tomorrow is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi.  Now considered to be the patron saint of animals and the environment, many stories arose about him.  One is how he tamed the wolf that was terrorizing the residents of Gubbio.  He negotiated a peace between human and beast.

As I’m listening to my dog, a cousin of the wolf, barking at the world outside the window, I wonder what wolves in our lives (and in our world) need to be tamed.  But I also wonder if “tame” is the right word.  Can we make peace with that wolf without trying to domesticate it? 

(The image is the mural on the wall outside the St. Francis Inn Ministries in Philadelphia.)