GarThoma

The contemplative artist

Accomplishment: A Blessing

It is heavier than the sun
And brighter too.
It only takes you as far

As you are willing to travel.
There is a vast distance between

You and the Garden.
The harvested fruit lasts until Kingdom Come

And feeds the masses sustenance they need

But don’t really want.
Investigation enables you to peer

Into mysteries of ages past
Which were seemingly perfect

But the water would not hold their feet.
Take the yoke upon yourself.

Is it one you would choose?
It is chosen.
May it be shared with Christ

Until all is accomplished.

Powerless

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matt. 5:3

The journey is long;

The road narrow

You take nothing with you, 
Only emptiness 
Only brokenness 
Open the hands that grasp wind

Lift up the eyes that behold darkness.
Get in the boat

Embrace passage across 

This vast sea.
Everything fails

Everything comes up empty 

Until space is made for Christ to abide; 
He is your destination.

It won’t be long now

The Kingdom doors open 

You are blessed when you arrive.  

What If

What if the river was afraid

Of the sea?

What if clouds were too lazy

To move across the sky?

What if the dirt became

Angry with the ground?

What if trees refused to bend

To the will of the wind?

What if stars got trapped behind

The night and couldn’t find their

Way in the dark?

What if the end was discouraged by

The beginning

And lost its way in the dark?

Resurrection 

Friday the birds 

      stopped singing. 

The universe inhaled all sound

     And held her breath through Saturday. 

Sunday she exhaled.

     Stars were sent reeling 

     Across the morning sky. 

Once again the birds sang “Hallelujah”

Speak From Your Art

Listen deeply to the stirrings of your art

What is it saying to you? 

How would you like it to present itself to the world?

Will it shout when it opens its mouth-

Or whisper? 

Perhaps it will give a long winded speech 

To a bored audience. 

Maybe it will keep it short and sweet

And to the point. 

It could be that your art will reveal itself 

As a silent presence. 

Does it speak clearly

Or make mysterious allusions 

To things not understood. 

How will you respond? 

Will you tell it what to say 

Or allow it to speak for itself? 

Perhaps you will take it on a journey

So it can learn to be a little more mature. 

Or will it be baptized-

Fully immersed in the purifying waters of death

And raised to newness of life?

Then it can speak healing to a diseased world. 

Prayer Brings Life

Accepting things as they are. Isn’t this the antithesis of prayer? 

Prayer is about changing things, right? 

Perhaps prayer is about coming to terms with the way things are;

Seeing things as they actually are. 

First one must learn to see; to listen. 

Prayer is the breaking of illusion.

Sometimes the result of prayer is dis-illusion. 

You come to see that the way you thought things ought to be; 

Your expectations, are shattered upon the hard ground of prayer. 

However, don’t become so “real”; so “natural” 

That you dismiss the supernatural. 

Death always precedes resurrection. 

In the end perhaps you’ll  discover that prayer does change things

It changes you;

The way you see things.

And maybe

Just maybe, your

prayer will bring life out of death. 

Hoarder

In that corner are boxes upon boxes of frustration.
One can’t get down the hallway for all the piles
Of resentment and hurt.

The kitchen reeks of rotting rejection and regret.

Unforgiveness so fills the basement, it’s pressing against the floor underneath.

Expectations so fill the attic, cracks are starting to form in the ceiling.

Resentment is strewn across the front yard,
Passers by turn their head in disgust.

But love turns into the driveway and makes herself at home

Working day and night, clearing out space
To make room for peace, joy, hope.

A Home for the Artist Heart (a benediction)

There is a place where your soul feels free
Where it is allowed to be vulnerable
To come out and dance and sing and play
Without judgment.

May you find that place.

There is a space where you can take risks
To draw the drawings that reside in your heart,
Where you can feel the living and breathing lines.
A place where you can fashion a map made of these
Beautiful, living lines.
May you be fearless to journey the roads the map points to.

When you find this place, your heart will be its creative best;
Free to roam the textured canvas
The white paper
The soft clay
The wood
The stone
The metal…

Whatever medium it chooses to communicate through.
And in this place you will be heard
And understood.

May you find this place.
May your artistic heart find home.

Approaching the Holy Word of God

O’ Lord, I come to your Word with a certain reverence. I don’t want to approach it as I would any other text.

I take three breaths before entering into dialog with the Holy Scriptures.

Inhale
Holy Spirit come to counsel my soul
Exhale

Inhale
Jesus open my eyes to your redemption
Exhale

Inhale
Father usher my heart into the Kingdom of the Beloved
Exhale

To Bless the Holiness of the Present Moment

A Blessing I wrote for you on this cold morning

May you find in yourself
Permission to breathe in
breathe
out,

To take in life and exhale love.

May you come to feel
The present moment
Where everything touches everything else.

To greet the beautiful with hospitality
And sit with her over coffee;
To talk about what matters.

May you find yourself where all is as it should be;
May you find yourself
holy.

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