A Holiday Traveler's Prayer

Dearest Savior,
Lord of Laughter,
Soul of Kindness,
Winged and Bright:

Take us to
A small hereafter;
Bring us home
Without a fight.

Grant that we
But wait on waiters,
Let us know
Repose sublime.

Let us not
Find alligators;
Let our airplanes
Leave on time.

May the flight attendant prim
Glow'ring at her podium
Not deliver news that's grim --
(Did i pack the Imodium?)

Be it tropics, be it slopes,
Your mercy and your mirth await.
Please shed it not on angry mopes
Deserving of a harsher fate.

Let we few, the meek and pious,
Praying for Your swift return,
Find Your presence ;) swiftly by us
Ere we for our ending yearn.

Forgive our sin and and grant us unction,
Heal us with Your love Divine;
Rid us of our shrill dysfunction --
Yea, e'en this is only thine.

Help us better servants be
By leading us to healing waters;
Lend strength renewed, build faith in thee --
And keep a close eye on our daughters.

Let holidays dawn clear and calm,
And let each walk in Your straight way.
Drop on us your loving balm --
Let nothing us (and You) dismay.

And coming home, as You've decreed,
Having had more than our fill,
Our souls and not our stomachs feed --
May we know again the thrill:

Our hearts renewed and elevated,
Our souls on fire for love of thee:
Let us not be enervated
By chat and mail and MTV.

Some portion of Your gentle grace
Must follow us as on we move.
Our home is but the borrowed place
From which we strive our love to prove.

Love for You, who sped our flights,
Who filled us full of bubbling spirit,
Who graced our days and blessed our nights,
Hid not Your face, but drew us near it.

Let all who in Your vineyard toil
In every place and every season,
Returning to their native soil,
Know Your love, beyond all reason.

Mr. Gobley wishes you the deepening peace and boundless love that is the essence of each soul -- yes, even yours. We will meet again in the new year.

--Mr. Gobley



Shorn of its medallions,
Honor is
An active verb.
Applied to life,
It means:
Respect, revere,
Rejoice over.

Offer yourself,
Devote yourself
To seeing
And serving
Even an atom of
What is honorable.

Find and fortify
What is holy

Here is
The hard part:
Every soul deserves
Your honor, has
That holy spark within.

Has been
Hammered into shape
On the great anvil,
Forged in
The Divine Fire.

Can you
Honor that?

Can the judge
Within you rest,
So that your spark
And the spark
Of your adversary
May for a moment meet,
In sacred recognition?

Nothing may change.

Everything may change.

It does not matter.

Give honor to the spark
Within even the darkest
Of souls.

At this dark season,
String lights throughout
The world,
From soul to soul.

The light will be seen
And smiled upon,

From on high
And from a depth
Within each of us
Hungry for light.

--Mr. Gobley


The Sacrament

Tonight, it's wine.

But, really, it could be anything.

The taste of your lover's lips.

Anything that you,
Deeply immersed in the
Sanctity of the moment,
Absorb into yourself,
With deep gratitude
To the All:
That is sacrament.

The goal may
(Or may not) be
To make
Life Itself
The Sacrament.

The goal may be
Just to get through the day.

But each day,
Of whatever kind
Must contain one,
At least one,
Perhaps even more,
Of these:

The prismatic shattering
And wholly, holy

--Mr. Gobley


Cats and Dogs

What brilliant soul-sparks,
Clothed in fur,
Looking deeply into
Your eyes and
Silently training you
To love!

Love and obey them,
For they are teachers
Of these high arts.

In time, when you
Find yourself
On all fours,
Looking up
At a giant,
Perhaps you will
Understand in full:

Put love and obedience
Before all:
Place them at the feet
Of your master,
Your student,
Your soulmate,

To share
Like the saved morsels
That bind your four-legged
To you
In eternal vigilance,
Unending compassion,
Silent devotion.

--Mr. Gobley


A Psalm for Monday

Oh, Lord,
Do thou remember me.
My soul weakens
And climbs toward thee
Like the frozen spire of exhaust
From the tailpipe of
The car in front of mine.

And though the Sun,
The bright shield of your love,
May shine down upon me,
Yet the earth is cold,
The radio chatter is shrill and foolish,
My heart is weary.

And the week has only just begun.

Another Psalmist said:

"Enter His gates with thanksgiving and
His courts with praise."

On this day,
In which i see
And yet cannot feel
Your love,

Let me pass through
Your gates --
Give me voice,
That i may yet praise
All that You have made:

The near and the far,
The kind and the unkind,
The 5-CD changer
And the seat-warmer,

The morning paper
That heralds
Your coming,
And the cup-holder
That caresses
The thimble-ful of Your compassion
That warms me on my way.

You, Lord, only you
Can give courage
To my timid soul:
As my seat warms,
So does my soul.

Your steadfast love gives me hope,
Your caffeine gives me courage.

i praise all that You have made.

--Mr. Gobley


In Praise of Mediocrity

We all are driven,
But by what we cannot say;
Lashed, burned,
Toward excellence.

All too often, we wake up and
Say to ourselves,
"i am not good enough."

Tomorrow --
Or whenever your Sabbath may be --
Give yourself a different mantra.

Let that mantra be
An absolution,
A Divine
Get Out of Jail Free

Let it be:
"Today, i shall embrace
My mediocrity."

Your shortcomings,
After all,
Are of Divine origin.
The flaws of our world
May be reminders
Of God's own failures.

Wherever we come up short,
Precisely there,
We find fellowship with God,
Feel the painful partings
Of Creation,
Nod to our mortality,
And -- if we are blessed --
Find humor in our
Clumsy climb
Toward Grace.

i proclaim my mediocrity,
i shout in joy to you,
wondrous humans!

Answer me back,
And let us together
Rejoice in
The immanence
Of our

--Mr. Gobley