The Great Pause

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Adversity. Restraint. Community. Three words that have absorbed new depths that challenge us during The Great Pause. Although independent in meaning they combine in an unfamiliar, or at best, forgotten triune mystery leading our hearts and/or minds to envision reality as it emerges from the paralyzing grip of the Covid19 pandemic. I say hearts and/or minds because it appears to me we are being led to a fork in the road opportunity.  To resume what history and science has deemed an impossible fight against limited resources or to continue by encouraging a new way of life afforded by the hidden grace imbued by this pandemic’s new normal. To resume disconnects the heart from the mind while to continue engages a childlike fellowship between the heart and mind. Like the tired argument against faith and works, transformation occurs when hearts housing an Image awaken to its divinely invested goodness and dignity that would better serve us as stewards of the human family and the gift of this planet we call Earth.

The Great Pause

A chorus of excitement filling misty air,
Cool and thick with joyous birdsong,
Awaiting the miracle of warmth and light,
Praising The Giver of sun to whom they belong.

The invisible assembly of unrivaled echoes,
Rise higher and pierce sharper than the day before,
Growing aware of newfound inheritance,
Grateful praise from feathered bodies increase in vigor.

The white dawn breaks quietly,
Piercing the horizon in glittering light,
The days pass by namelessly,
Whilst a vast solitude imposes its invisible fight.

This peculiar adversity,
Restraining exploitation into private Lent,
Yet the Earth breathes cleaner in respite,
The pillager fasts from consuming Natures willing ferment.

The predator grows lean and ever anxious,
Yearning to rejoin its hunt with the pack,
Still…Paralyzed in profound hesitation,
The sullen hunted awaits planning its counterattack.

Repentance drawn by contemplative breath,
Unwelcome at first by dawn’s first blush,
Yet the comforting sounds of Nature’s delight,
Awakened childhood memories replacing their scouring rush.

Like a shoot blossoming from a dry, dead limb,
Miraculous prospects haunt repentant minds within,
Hoarding gives away to communal needs,
Realizing less is more gazing upon Nature’s healing skin.

Childhood’s idealism seeds a new uprising,
Preparing for war against pedantic wants,
Thoughtful discussions fill conversation’s sandbox,
Proposing a new hope like a baptismal font.

A decision awaits the marauder’s fork in the road,
An ancient choice between an old and new will,
Submission beckons both to slavery,
One is kenotic… the other lonely and downhill.

The wondrous orb sinks quietly into dusk,
Returning with birdsong’s grateful delight,
Hoping tomorrow brings rise to new daylight,
Dreaming that the predator is gone from their sight,
Praising The Giver who changes hearts to contrite.

by Chris Clody
5/23/20

Knob Hill

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There are just two doors,
To enter the Kingdom at hand,
A turn of either knob sends suffering,
Both are grace…not punishment.
One door is child-sized,
One is not.
Through the first enters the martyr,
The saint, as if escaping fire.
This God of opposites,
Who renders crucifixion
into sublime resurrection,
Hides Truth within our fear…
Invites us to embrace weakness,
Our very suffering,
Without fear.
For Love,
True Love,
Is the untamable, Life of God,
And it Is not to be trifled with.
The Truth of God’s Love,
Can only be known by the heart.
Love cannot be learned,
Nor truly understood,
Only followed.
Let us dare to follow the Little Way,
Question not why little footsteps,
that walked before…
Rather lead,
With the singular focus
The very same a child loves their Mommy and Daddy.
Carry nothing!
– and run like a child laughing,
Excited and giddy just to turn that knob.

By Chris Clody
6/10/16

What Child is This?

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What child is this?
Wrapped in strips of poverty? Comforted only by the warm breast of his mother. The cold silence returns after the echoes from heavenly choirs fade. Left is the quiet crackle of a small fire, anxious looks, and muffled conversation. What need has entered our history, our country, our community, our family, our very personal life?

Why this child?
Why is God among us? A mother’s secret warms her miracle. A husband’s dream lingers in both confidence and doubt.

How?!!! His faith, his awe, his love for wife and God quiets his slippery doubt.

When will this given son save us?

The what, how, why, and when God steps out through the in door of time confronts our sanity with an unexpected offer of security. A security that conquers fear by fearlessness, hate by loving those we love the least, loneliness through charitable sacrifice, and peace through inescapable monologues of prayer. The chance to adopt this child within ourselves is presented to us in every second, of every minute, of every day. If the eyes are the windows to the soul then what do you see staring into the eyes of baby Emmanuel?

O Come Emmanuel

Gazing into the eyes,
God’s impossible promise has begun,
Needful, cold, and crying,
A virgin nurses a begotten son.

O come Emmanuel,
My soul cries out what I cannot fathom,
Do I need a Savior?
A man born to die for such a ransom…

O come Emmanuel,
My desperate soul sings ever louder,
This love song warms my will,
Humility replaces the prouder.

O come Emmanuel!
I now know the first love I never knew,
Becoming this child,
Because of this One who makes all things new!

By Chris Clody
12/24/15

May this hope be born within – Merry Christmas!
His,
Chris