An ark of acacia wood

You shall make an ark of acacia wood,

covered with gold.

If I were an Israelite, just out of Egypt,

wandering who knows where,

following a fiery, cloudy pillar

and a crazed old man,

what would this command signify?

I and those with me,

no home and no possessions

beyond what we carry with us,

make such a thing,

another thing to carry,

for the fiery, thunderous Voice

that makes us tremble?



You shall make an ark of acacia wood,

covered with gold.

When I was a child I was told

one day I could be in a place

with streets made of gold,

gates of pearl,

miraculous trees

watered by a living river.

God lived there,

and one day, so might I.

It still captures my imagination.

You shall make an ark of acacia wood

covered with gold.

I never think about building heaven,

actually piecing it together

with my own hands.

It’s something provided,

provisioned by God himself.

It’s beyond me

my talent

my resources

my scope.

Only God builds heaven.

You shall make an ark of acacia wood,

covered with gold.

If I were an Israelite, just out of Egypt:

The wood, right here in the wilderness;

the gold, we carried as gifts out of Egypt;

the ark, something we never imagined,

but shown to us;

the skill, right here among us.

You shall make an ark of acacia wood,

covered with gold.

You shall make it.

See, everything is provided.

You shall make it;

and when you do,

I will dwell just above it,

hovering over your creation.

Grace and peace to you…


Current Events Other Writings

Half the civilized world

How is it that our comfortable society has lost its sense of the value of truthfulness? Life has become so easy that we think we can get along without telling the truth…

But the whole world has learned to deride veracity or to ignore it. Half the civilized world makes a living by telling lies. Advertising, propaganda, and all the other forms of publicity that have taken place of truth have taught men to take it for granted that they can tell other people whatever they like provided that it sounds plausible and evokes some kind of shallow emotional response.

No Man is an Island, Thomas Merton, “Sincerity”

Merton published this in 1955. Yes, 1955. Television in its infancy. No internet.

The attack on Truth that is relentless now has been relentless since the very beginning, the Deceiver saying in the Garden of Eden, “Did God really say…?”

Deceit pits us against each other, makes us see each other as deceivers, as enemies. It causes us to pronounce judgement on each other. Our compassion is throttled by fear for our own well being, that we are somehow being tricked or scammed.

But we all have a common Enemy, the one whom scripture calls “the father of lies.” Why he hates us, I don’t understand; but he does.

I can’t help but think that if we could remember we all have this common Enemy; if we could all embrace the wondrous news that we also have a common Friend and Ally, who came to bear witness to Truth and who gave himself up to rescue us and secure us forever in his Kingdom of Truth…oh, if we could remember and embrace these things, what a difference it would make!

Come, Spirit of God, Spirit of Jesus, Come!


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Become like children


At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

— Matthew 18:1-4, NRSV Bible with Apocrypha