The Way of Love – Worship

bible haiga

Today’s theme is worship. In his podcast, Bishop Michael Curry says that the act of worship helps us get out of ourselves and draw near to God. Worship reminds us it’s not all about us! We give thanks, we pray, and we go back out into the world changed.

I would add that one way we accomplish this change is through God’s word. For those among us who are homebound, Bible study can be the mainstay of worship. By doing this, we open ourselves up to seeing, hearing and feeling the word of God reflected in so many other aspects of life. And in this way, we begin to heal.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”  
–Psalms 147:3 

NaHaiWriMo – Feb 7th Writing Prompt


the sweetness of honey

verdant fields, flowers abound

water gushes from earth’s bosom


 Today’s prompt is “milk.” It calls to mind Chapter 4 of King Solomon’s “Song of Songs.” In the section called “Memories of Engagement,” the main character, known only as Lover, says to his Beloved:

Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride; milk and honey are under your tongue.

Solomon was quite the expert on engagements–he had 700 wives. He also had about 300 concubines, but presumably was not engaged to any of them. How did he keep track of them all, without the modern convenience of a database? One imagines him walking through the palaces with a bevy of executive assistants, reminding him of his lovers’ and children’s names so that he can greet them.

With his propensity for multiple dalliances, and his unrivalled drive to marry foreign princesses for diplomatic reasons, it’s amazing that he was able to express such a beautiful and poetic vision of romantic love and marriage.

Some scholars believe that the Song of Songs is about God’s love for Israel, or Christ’s relationship with His church. But the sensuality and sexuality of the language goes far beyond a pure and chaste relationship.

With 1,000 wives and lovers, did Solomon ever achieve true love? Or does the Lover sing only of physical beauty and sexual desire? I like to think that the Song of Songs is a celebration not only  of youthful desire, but also the possibilities of a life lived with love.


Today’s photo is by Tom Tolkien, one of my favorite photographers.  For more of his brilliant work, see Tom’s photostream on Flickr.


NaHaiWriMo’s writing prompts can be found on their Facebook Page here.

Lots of lovely haiku can also be found on their Facebook timeline.

NaHaiWriMo – February 5th Writing Prompt (Vegetables)

Copyright montecellilo -

the colors, the texture

the fragrance

a sensual gift from Heaven


Today’s writing prompt for National Haiku Writing Month is “vegetables (any kind).”  I’m continuing yesterday’s theme of oblique Bible references for my celebration of vegetables.

I love food, and not necessarily in moderation! You could never tell from my zaftig physique, but I crave protein, fruits and veggies far more than carbs. So did the ancient Israelites.  Apparently, wandering the desert for 40 years can work up quite an appetite, and there was a dire shortage of food as time went on.  God gifted them with manna from Heaven, but even this amazing miracle wore thin.

“We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!” – Numbers 11:5

In Mark, Chapter 4, Jesus has a conversation with the devil, who tempts Him to break His 40-day fast, and prove that He is Lord,  by turning stones into loaves of bread. Jesus told him,

“No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” – Mark 4:4

 Also, some veggies would be nice.

NaHaiWriMo’s writing prompts can be found on their Facebook Page here.

Lots of lovely haiku can also be found on their Facebook timeline.

NaHaiWriMo – February 4th Writing Prompt

February is National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo), and today’s prompt is “spice.” This haiku incorporates part of Solomon’s admonition from Proverbs, Chapter 7.

Festive wrapped cinnamon sticks

cinnamon, aloe and myrrh

ancient temptress scents her bed

his heart remembers


NaHaiWriMo’s writing prompts can be found on their Facebook Page here.

Lots of lovely haiku can also be found on their Facebook timeline.

Big gulp?

They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat upon them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water.  –Isaiah 49:10

And on the third day of 100+ degree heat, God led me to the bottled mountain spring, from whence I shall sip relief! (It also works, just holding the condensation-dripping bottle to one’s temple.)

Psalm of Arthritis

The last few days have been particularly painful. During these times, I try to remember that I am not alone in the experience of extreme pain. I often turn to the psalms of David, who also (apparently) had arthritis. His psalms are peppered with references to it.

Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am faint;
O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony.
– Psalm 6:2

My back is filled with searing pain;
there is no health in my body.
I am feeble and utterly crushed;
I groan in anguish of heart.
– Psalm 38:7-8

David’s relationship with his pain is a recurrent theme in the Psalms. He sometimes viewed his pain as a punishment for sin, primarily his relationship with Bathsheba and his involvement with the death of her first husband. He sometimes viewed his physical pain as part of his political and family struggles. (I imagine the pain of arthritis was worse when his son tried to overthrow him, worse when he fled certain death to hide in a cave.) David also viewed his pain as a metaphor for the broader struggle of the people and nation of Israel.

Despite the pain, David usually ended each psalm with praise for a God who listened to his cries for help. I need to remember that. It’s comforting to know that others feel your pain, but even more comforting to experience their sense of hope.

I don’t know what else to say than: Amen.