“God’s Presence in the Chaos” – Dr. Jim Shores

January 30, 2017

“The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.  He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord,do not pass your servant by.” - Genesis 18:1-3

God - the three-in-one - at times mercifully shows up in the midst of my chaos, and to this dynamic, I penned a poem:

The Dance

Darkness peers into my window.
            Of this entangled messy house.
Within, the warmth of gingham, the orange of pumpkins,
            and yellow of mums
Wave hello to the counter festooned with
           eight and a half by elevens
tossing a cacophony of official voices
            up into the air – confetti to chaos.

            There’s a bag of granola, wallet, headphones,
And a prescription bottle full of white triangles
            That frankly save my life.

Each thing must be touched.  And tended.
            We walk miles from thing to thing:
Endorsing checks with our doctor’s scrawl
            And daubing marks in a daytimer
Each billet barking, “Be there then.”
            Our days are married to things.

And in the dance of brushing teeth
            And of taking B12,
Are the moments.
            And they become our lives –

A dog tiptoes by me looking for food
           As my wife frantically searches Netflix to see
           If she can assign a film to a class –
It’s all there, in front of us, our lives.

But the mums are homey, and the gingham comforting
            And the is dog cute – and outside dark
Gives way to the outline of forest trees
            Standing silent - silhouettes of a silver sky,
the interior lights bouncing off them in a kitchen window
            as somewhere a train muscles through it all.

Inside, in the warmth, I make another cup of caffeine
            And pick up the dance.

And of course then the miracle happens – again
            I open the door to peer outside and am struck
By the cacophony of roosters
            Vying for territory before the sun
            The sky roils pink
Those fall leaves fall - crazed
            Each one catching fire
Little crimson bonfires carpeting the lawn
            Like signal fires.

             And the three see them and come.
They come to visit.
            Knocking at the door early in the morning.
And me - I laugh.


- Dr. Jim Shores, Professor of Media Communications

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