To Heal


Healing
Reading Isaiah 53:5

Scourged To Heal

Near lictors, nauseated and sweating,
we seek to know our ailing, to confess our place,
and there to seek wellness.
The scourge, so devious, so malevolent,
made most evil by man, is
laid upon His tender body, and we feel each lashing in
ways barely known.
We see Him new each time.
Wet and lacerated, in red risen welts,
there is pain and healing found.
Bound, the way to freedom, and beaten fiercely,
He suffers before me,
before my soul, my weeping presence,
and I will be healed.
In fairness, torn apart, and purity
set aside in bloody flesh,
we are there, and aware,
barely alone in absolute agony,
in community, yet alone.
And the love grows inside,
healing the body, the spirit, the me.
He heals; scourged, He loves.
We are healed each day.
The sharpest scourge breaks the heart,
and in that broken place, there is fresh healing.

–Tom Bolton, 31 March 2015, Bay View

 

cross

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2015 Stats on my Blog


I did not write as much in 2015 as the previous 3 years. Here are the stats though: https://tbolto.wordpress.com/2015/annual-report/

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From Abstract to Living


aleutian-cacklling-goose-capture-and-translocation_w494_h725

As I was reading Mark 3:

In a Concrete World

Some days in this world, the law is such that the silence is deafening,
or comments are shouted so harshly that ears ache and minds are crushed.
The doing that puts us in the midst of real doing
May be costly doing.
So, do we yet save lives?
Do we get gritty?
Scratching with hens out back, do we fill our nails with hard grit?
May we freely endure embarrassment?
How dirty are my hands each day?
We learned this in school, no?
Were these messages inside our textbook covers?
Some days, the messages of school days are lost.
Some days, the messages seem different, long lost.
But in the midst of this concrete world,
Christ is with us.
The doing that puts us in the midst of real doing
is blessed doing.
Beside us, the Master is doing.
In the abstract of life,
we do and are doing.
In the gray of life,
the doing shows in some black and white.
In the abstract of life,
Christ is with us.

My hands are dirty;
I am in the midst of doing today.       Light Streaming Through the Crown of a Tree
I listen.
In the grit, I listen.

(c) Tom Bolton, 17 July, 2013, Milwaukee

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Then Lifted


800px-olive_tree_at_the_bosque_de_los_ausentes_parque_del_buen_retiro_madridReading Psalm 52

           Estranged, then Lifted

As David, angry, and yet aware of
flourishing olive trees–fruitful and beautiful!
These sinners around me,
and of me, are big shots, boasting
in our own minds.
The saints are here too,
laughing,
joyous and aware too.
There is always evil,
in high places and in my places too,
and I would look beyond it–
at flourishing trees,
green shoots and pure blossoms.
In the beauty of the orchards,
and in the blossoming groves,
we will share laughter, and joy,
and He will lift us up.
Joy in His Word!
We are away from the pits,
out of the trenches laced for righteous,
snares and pits now for the evil.
We hear His word
and we flourish this day.

© Tom Bolton, Milwaukee, December 7, 2015

Young Father Holding His Young Son (4-6)

 

Advent Devotions:

Advent: Mysterious Love

Mystery Anew

Mysterious Piety

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From Sin


Upon studying Genesis 11:

verse

                              Sin

Proud, alert, important, in charge,
in control,
I am me, alone, lost.
A creator, a builder, a survivor,
I too am a destroyer,
lost, alone, and proud still.
Why am I so sad?
Why am I so troubled?
Let me place my faith in God once more,
my savior, my personal anchor, my love,
in my beginnings, as created,
so sound, so safe, so joyous.
And quickly so violent, so pained, so
disobedient.
Let me share the dish, the rightful fruit,
righteous and sustained.
Adamah, the earth suffers, and alone, as
Adam once, we cannot heal it.
Restore me.
Lift me gently.
May I yet be innocent! May I be yet in covenant!
Yet in chaos, in this world proud,
I would find again His grace.
Another chance!
Joy in the Word!

(c) Tom Bolton, December 7, 2015, downtown

 

Advent Devotions:

Advent: Mysterious Love

Mystery Anew

Mysterious Piety

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Generations


Genesis 26:18 and Deut. 6:6-9

WORD

                 Continuity

I would re-dig the wells in this day,

and renew the covenant in this way.

Covenant waters, clogged and war-polluted,

I seek the waters for me and for mine.

Contention, Enmity, Broad Places,

and Well-of-the-Oath,

I  would affirm again the faith.

The covenant becomes personal–now as then.

Let this new well become a shrine of

Peace and Promise.

Remember!

I will share the stories,

I will share the faith, and

the reality will pass with the history.

We will observe the stories around the well.

Keep these words too,

Recite them, share them, listen to them,

Be open to them.

Fix these faith Words firmly upon you.

Hear them and listen with all parts–

with ears, and eyes, and mind and soul.

Be here in the truth,

and listen to the Word,

gurgling up from re-dug wells.

I am renewed and made pure in this water.

(c) Tom Bolton, December 7, 2015, Milwaukee

                   Advent Devotions:

Advent: Mysterious Love

Mystery Anew

Mysterious Piety

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Anticipating Advent


A D V E N T   2 0 1 4:     D E V O T I O N S   T O   O U R   G O D   I N   T H E   M A N G E R

Jesus

Week 1    Stay Awake

Hard Waiting

I want to crack open the best fruit today,
but the new shoot on which it will perch has just started up.
As before, I am seeking wisdom, knowledge;
as a boy, I seek a mighty counselor,
Abba, strong and sure.
Impatiently, I wait.
I see the green fruit, ripe and luscious,
and I am almost deceived,
disappointed, alone.
I do not do well to do without,
but I know to wait now.
My questions are deep, barely-formed,
and I am anxious anew.
I seek new rooms, new places,
new relationship,
and I wait.
Anxiously, I seek to crack open new fruit.
My Christmas stocking is there, still empty.

Fruit Platter

Fruit Platter (Photo credit: Matthew Kenwrick)

(c) Tom Bolton, 2 December 2013, Downtown

I expanded my Advent Devotional in 2014, and have been working on re-editing and publishing a hard copy.  It looks like it will be distributed in October 2016.

 

In 2015, my Advent Devotions will be focused on Repentance and then two weeks on Joy.

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