Edwin Markham

Outwitted by Edwin Markham
He drew a circle that shut me out -
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout,
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle and took him in!

lunes, 30 de abril de 2012

Smells of Chile

*Ozone rich moisture just before the first fall rain.

*Sizzling ribs cooking on the neighbor´s outdoor charcoal pit, juicy meat odor wafting over the wall and permeating our patio.

*A young man with gel-spiked hair drenched in cheap cologne that overpowers the flowers and chocolates he presents to his budding love with a nervous grin.

*Freshly popped corn, coated in melted sugar, warmth seeping through the bags stacked and ready to sell from a sidewalk push cart.

*Steam whistle of a funny cart with a red drum announcing with little puffs of toasted white plums, hot, roasted, peanuts for sale.

*Home made bread baking in an outdoor, wood-burning, brick and clay oven.

*Rotten hay and musky sweat soaking my jeans as the horse rests on the steep mountain path.

domingo, 29 de abril de 2012

Sounds of Chile
*The metallic cawing of the Queltehue or Treile birds flying low at dusk across the fallow winter fields.

*The clippity-clop of a team of horses pulling a cart full of gravel and holding at bay the honking grumbles of motorized traffic.

*The  sweet melody of the Pentecostal faithful accompanied by banjos, guitars, tambourines and trumpets as they sing and walk two by two along the sidewalk.

*The terrifying rumble of undulations deep under ground rocking foundations, rattling windows, cracking walls and walking sleepers into hushed fear.

*Hammers from the construction site across the street beating to the rhythm of Mexican "ranchero" music.

*Laughter and screams of children playing in brightly painted playgrounds in tree shaded parks.

*The high pitched wail of the city siren, wailing a test at noon each day and otherwise urgently mustering volunteer fire fighters.

*Screeching tires and gunning motors of illegal midnight drag races down the newly paved avenue in front of my house.

*The crunching richness of bright leaves carpeting the mountain path at the Shalom Center.   

*The cacophony of the "chinchinero", the "one man band" playing and dancing on the street corner down town.

*The poorly pronounced English of my house mate as she cleans wearing her headset and singing along, at the top of her lungs, to American pop music.

martes, 24 de abril de 2012

In the Pool

Be still my soul and step lightly into the day;
the dew has washed clean the night.
From the ashes, rise up high;
the pool, filled with your tears,
heals the wounds, the cries, the questions, the fears.

I sit on the shore waiting for the hand
of God to stir the waters.
My crippled soul could never reach
the ripples in time to be healed.

I am blind and cannot see the steps.
I am lame and cannot walk alone.
I am deaf and cannot hear the call.
I  am bound and cannot feel my way.

I doubt the pool ever was.
I cry out pleading to be lifted
into the waters.
Confusion screams in anguished lament.

Where is comfort?
Where is hope?
Where is relief?
Where is God?

Why is healing lapping beyond my reach?

Be still... listen...feel...taste...smell...
Not with your senses but with your spirit.

To my surprise I am dripping wet
      in the middle of the cool water.                                      
I never left the pool;
the living water flows on,
surrounded by the Spirit,
from the day of the covenant sealing.

Be still my soul and step lightly into the day;
the dew has washed clean the night.
From the ashes, rise up high;
the pool, filled with your tears,
heals the wounds, the cries, the questions, the fears.

April 11, 1998
REVISED DEC. 16 2003

domingo, 15 de abril de 2012

Drusila is in bloom!


     When I arrived in Chile sixteen years ago, this potted plant was in my house in Curicó.  I named the plant Drusila, and when I moved to Talca, she came with me.  In those sixteen years, Drusila has never had a single flower.  In fact, I never dreamed that Drusila was a flowering plant at all!  I didn't know she even had the potential of blooming.  But in the three weeks since I arrived back in Chile, a bud has slowly formed.  This week, Drusila is blooming!  Drusila's flower has become a symbol of ministry as I take up my responsibilities in Chile.
     Acsa, the young nursing student whom I left in charge of the Gathering Point (the Shalom Center office/house where we live), carefully watered and tended to Drusila the nine months that I was gone.  Drusila flourished under her care with new leaves and nearly outgrowing the pot she is in.  Acsa never noticed the bud in formation.  She was thrilled when I showed her the flower about to open and explained that Drusila had never bloomed before.  "I did a good job!" Acsa exclaimed. "YES!" I replied. 
    There are many other buds flowering after sixteen years under the care of others.  I have returned to Chile to discover those buds, show them off and celebrate. 
     Pastora Viviana has cared for the Shalom Center staff and I celebrate their new creative ideas and programs.
     Carolina S (another young woman living with me at the Gathering Point) has finished her university studies in agronomy, found a good job, and embarked on her adult life.  I rejoice in reflecting back to her her new perspectives and dreams, responsibilities and opportunities.
    In many small and great ways, God is reminding me that I have had the privilege of planting, others will water, and still others will harvest.
    Yes, Drusila is in bloom!

sábado, 7 de abril de 2012

Carolina, Acsa and I spent the whole day today repairing the cracks caused by the series of earthquakes in the past two years and painting the Gathering Point.  We aren´t finished yet, but the bathrooms, the kitchen, and the bedrooms are nearly done.  The two young women volunteered their Easter weekend, a precious holiday from school and work normally spent with family, to get our home and the Shalom Center offices into ship shape.

martes, 3 de abril de 2012

Hardwick Pond

Emptiness. Inside, outside
    searching for
reason, need, hope, way.
    Each step leading
to deeper darkness.
    Draining self
        to fill
    absence with light
        chaos with spiral
            nothing with being.

Pure, unpolluted with
    modern contaminants,
control, consumerism,
    belly – boton-gazing

Emptiness. Filled.
    Inside, outside.

April 4th, 2012