DIVINE SWEETNESS

Everyone who’s ever experienced God
Talks about the “sweetness” in loving God directly
And also indirectly through other people or creatures;
Or by, suddenly, intuiting God’s “presence” nearby;
Or even, perhaps, in overhearing a subtle “whisper” of God.

Atheists and agnostics have little interest in such experiences
Because they’ve gotten trapped inside their own minds.

It’s the human “heart,” however, that, in truth, experiences God
Because, after all, this is a love affair –
So sweet, we often lose our ability to even “think” –
And only remember, much later, what God “tastes” like –

That is, a sweetness – to “die for.”

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THE PEARL THAT IS YOU (for Ruth)

When you tithe, you might buy a few more bricks for a new church annex,
But, unfortunately, you won’t be able to buy God
Through this kind of material agency.

And, even though thousands of people regularly assemble at a specific place of worship –
God will more commonly be found, waiting alone, out in the parking lot.

In truth, God resists being organized
By a committee, a denomination, or even a religious empire,
Nor can God be systematized by logic or complex mathematical equations –
In fact, it’s simply not possible to preserve a spiritually deteriorating civilization
By transforming a standard-issue, everyday God into a shibboleth
To be held in people’s mouths like a piece of butterscotch candy.

Even if we stand out in the street – shouting –
“Open, Jesus, Open”–
God will refuse to open
Because God doesn’t respond to “holy” passwords.

Usually, God is most likely to be found when we’re not really looking –
And, frequently, is discovered in the most surprising places.

The human heart has enough room for a miniature sky – sprinkled with surprises –
But the best one – by far – the one you’ve always hoped for –

Will arrive first thing in the morning
When, half-asleep, your hand reaches under your pillow –
And, there it is –
The pearl you’ve traded your entire life for –

The pearl that is you.

IT COSTS TOO MUCH TO BUY WHAT CAN ONLY BE EARNED

It’s more generous than sunshine,
More unstoppable than a runaway coal truck,
And more important than a room full of Presidents.

What is it?
Love, of course, the instant it touches a human heart –
Who or what could stop it?

Every human being has experienced this.

So what’s recently been restricting it to a trickle –
Why isn’t it still fire hose strong –
Rushing and gushing into the world with all the force of a springtime flood?

Perhaps, we take love for granted –
Like air –
Believing it’ll always be there because it’s so essential.

But that would be a mistake –
Because real love is not free –
It has to be worked for.

Since it’s so wonderful, we believe it should be a gift,
So when it’s not –
Futilely, we attempt to buy, and sometimes, even steal it –

This is why a life without love
Often turns out to be so painfully expensive.