After the Window Washer (and a few others)

After the Window Washer

I shook his hand
And didn’t let it go
Too soon.
Two other mornings
Over the past few weeks
Had met in the same place
Congenial talks
Liberal smiles
Gave him lots of ear
Now at the place
Of name exchange.
“Doug” (pause)
“Greg” (pause)
Put my hand
Firmly on his shoulder.
He looked sidewise
At this encroachment
“You seem to like that
Laptop of yours, Bud.
What’s with that?”
“Oh, I write things
Poems, usually about Jesus.”
“No kidding?
Is it real
Or just wishful thinking?”
The sun was coming through
The glass now, and hard.
Squeegy guy had just washed it.
I opened my little portable Psalter
And read the first
Fourteen lines Psalm 103.
No use just letting
Greg hear from me.
Divine appointment.
One more time
And the talk just flowed
Both ways.

His Strange Yes

What does it look like?
God’s “Yes”
When your fears hurl
Up those knee-jerk petitions.
And reproach
Takes on some novel editions.
When the wicked
Frustrate blessing well-earned
And your good ill-taken
Your witness spurned.
It looks like
He is busy elsewhere
Your family’s needs
Beyond His care.
But take a moment
Try to see
The others searching you
They will not speak
Too proud to ever
Let their troubles leak.
But you have this grit
And hurl up thanksgiving
In spite of it.
At end of themselves
They know you have
The reach to go beyond
That slough of despond
And see the feast
Yes even for the least
Or great ones
Tired of the pace
Who whisper they would
Gladly take your place.
God’s answers shine
And go beyond
This place and time.
He never leaves your side
He puts the “starch” of Christ inside
And makes you see
These tests as small
Christ’s fellowship worth it all.
His blood was spent
And you have precious inkling
What it meant.

The Advocate

He said to me
You’re an advocate
And the people bawl and squall
And they come to you
For the best defense
One blue-suited know-it-all.
And the schooling said
That I had the goods
Now to speak for them
When they fall
And the stories came
And the shifty eyes
And the late night jailhouse call.
And my heart grew dense
And my eyes turned dull
To the carnage all around
And I knew my own
Pack of predilections
That I neatly kept
And it weighed on me
And I often talked so slick
And I saw the law
As a faulty thing
And the image made me sick.
But the day did come
Reading Job’s old tome
And I saw his pain and tears
And in chapter nine
Frankly, just in time
Christ the advocate appears.
Oh to have just one
Come twixt God and man
Perfect stand-by for all my fears.


It’s hard again
And the loneliness
Abrades the skin and soul
I am yours
With assurance I am whole
But not today
The saints seem
All so far away
And claiming victory
Even in the smallest things
While I doubt much
And fear the strokes
That chastening brings.
But Father this is just
Denial of your love
You feel and touch
And timely send your
Rescue from above
Mine to wait and watch
And speak those words
Of timeless writ
Til I see the joy of it.

Street Peculiar

He was on the busy sidewalk, sandwich board sign over shoulders and covering front and back. The message read “Meet Jesus: ten, nine, eight, seven…”
Sun was trying to break through a misty late Sunday morning and many university students had taken to the sidewalks.
There were smirks and giggles, half hidden from the messenger. It was as if Saturday night foolishness could not let go. Others offered a congenial smile and perhaps a greeting. A few, glued to their cellphone screens, nearly collided. The majority just looked in some other direction when passing him by. What were their thoughts?
Meeting Jesus? He is alive. Wishes to be involved with them. Loves the streets of the common folk. Offers an exceptional encounter. It could be imminent, hence the count-down. Would they find themselves ready? What did that look like? Who might advise them, as they certainly were not reponding to the steeple bell down the block.
All this the messenger knew. He had left the gatherings of churchgoers for the thirsty and starving in spirit, out in the everyday. Standing upright, clear-headed and open-hearted, he was ready for engagement. Who might stop? Who might ask? This was the adventure of the Evangel. Peculiar or not, he knew his purpose. Close by the Gentle Carpenter was observing, smiling and readying Himself for a meeting of Providence. A good day for the Kingdom.

Anointing My Head

Can’t stop the restlessness
No, not at all
Up on this rock face
Where I might fall
Bugs all around me
Eyes, throat and ears
Gone to distraction
Brings me to tears.
Shepherd is coming soon
Bringing the oil
Sweet-smelling savour
Ending turmoil.
What is there in it
None of us knows
Simply apply some
And how trouble goes!
Then comes the comfort
Then comes the calm
Doctor and guardian
Helps us along.
Special His words seem
And settling too
Kindly our Shepherd
Who helps us come through.


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