If Jesus Cared

If Jesus cared
The skies would all be blue
Children wouldn’t die
And I’d never say good-bye to you

The oceans, calm, wouldn’t swallow planes
Whales and dolphins free to swim
Not locked in man’s domains

If Jesus cared, I’d write a song
How goodness ruled the earth
Of happy times no earthquake split
Of lands profuse, not dearth

But Jesus, see, he doesn’t care
That’s why it’s up to me
So I’ll go out and save this world
And make its peace give birth.

Your Gun

You took my life
When I was young
Thought it fun
To bring your gun

There in school
Right by the door
You blew my guts
All into ruts

I had no chance
To tell you stop
You killed yourself
More blood to mop

What good is death
To children, young
You made no point
Except, your gun



May children killed in school know peace in leaving this life, and may those who love them be comforted.

Malala tells the world a bullet can’t stop education


“I raise up my voice – not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard.”

Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan, who survived being shot by Taliban gunmen last October because she advocates education for girls and shares her views with Western media outlets. Video of her recent speech to the United Nations.

Burn Your Bridges; Strike the Match!

When I left church to serve Jesus out in the world the way I’d been taught, the rector’s wife called me up and calmly told me I’d burned my bridges. Eighteen months later, in the wee hours of one of those dark nights of soul, I occupied my insomnia by listening to Dharma Ocean teacher Reggie Ray’s weekly podcast. I really woke up, as a Buddhist might say, when I heard Reggie say into my iPhone ear buds,

“Burn your bridges. Light a match and burn your bridges. And don’t just burn your bridges; you be the one to light the match.”

Reggie was explaining how his teacher, Tibetan Buddhist Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, had told his students to “Leap!” when the opening comes; don’t hesitate, don’t wait, because the opening won’t last.

When I left organized religion to “go unto all the world” as Jesus instructed after his resurrection, I did leap and I didn’t hesitate. I awoke to the mental download, “leave church,” in early September 2011. It was a premonition, a knowing imperative that doesn’t happen often. When it does it is irrefutable.

Church of the Beatitudes sidewalk

I immediately began letting people know that I had fulfilled my obligations to the church parish and was called to serve out in the world like Jesus. I expressed my gratitude for being allowed to teach, pray, and mission within the safety of the organization, and was therefore graduating from the fold to help those who weren’t in the pews. I was willing to leave the 99 to help the one, no matter where it took me.

To this day, I remain perplexed that I must turn to Buddhism to find understanding of such a call. Too many of my church-attending friends responded to my happy news with sadness, gossip, and confusion. Some have remained friends, others have distanced themselves, and a few have simply disappeared despite my attempts at contact.

I cannot praise Buddha, for I only worship God; but I am grateful to his followers who like me, are actively leaping. Don’t hesitate; strike the match! Amen.


Dharma Ocean

Chögyam Trungpa (1940–1987)

You Can’t Beat a Saint

For Mary

Her husband hit her
Bruised her bad170831_1815181585556_3787385_o
She didn’t press charges
Forgave the cad

Till he beat her again
This time it was worse
She grabbed her keys
Ran for her purse

He grabbed her hair
Knocked her down
She got up and ran
Far into town

Down alleys and streets
She made her way
He couldn’t find her
Until today

They met in court
He apologized
He loved her dearly
He’d realized

She said no
She wouldn’t go back
She had a new reason
A life, a shack

The judge gave her freedom
The divorce went through
She annulled at the church
Her life became true

Then one day
She felt the call
To help other women
Who’d caught the ball

She opened a center
Got ordained
Ministered love
That Jesus rained

Started a shelter
For women and girls
A place to stay
Where hope unfurls

Never had children
He’d seen to that
She was ok
Her life was fat

She helped others
Avoid her past
Her works done in secret
Became known at last

Oprah found her
CNN too
She was a hero
To many and few

The lives she’d saved
With Jesus love
Burned with fire
Lit from above

Her ex became
A joke and a song
Ended in prison
For doing wrong

She’d pressed charges
So many don’t
They’re too afraid
The jury won’t

She was a hero
A shining light
Like Jesus, a saviour
Of those in the night

She grew old
Her projects, too
Her legend lived on
Saving the few

Because she had money
They named after her
Because she had love
The world was astir

Her body died
Her spirit soared
The love lived on
Like Jesus, adored