Place your bets; place your bets

One guesses there is a breaking point for every non-believer, a point at which betting with the House makes more sense than betting against it. Here’s a probing try at finding where that point lies for someone who sits in the dark contemplating the Light.


No atheists on take off or landing.

Foxholes, of course, everyone knows about that one.

What about those swinging seats

when the Ferris wheel stalls?

Bet there are none there.

Skydivers — none.

Scuba divers low on air, too far from the surface — none.


So what does it take

to get you to take Pascal’s gamble?

A chute that won’t open?

Or simply the realization

that every beating heart



Sizzling stellar songs — Kalahari quandary

This one asks a question: Has being immersed in the high decibel modern world caused us to lose the ability to hear the stars sing? Do Kalahari bushmen really retain it?


I’ve run across this

poem that tells of bushmen

attempting to help


a city dweller,

like ourselves, to hear the stars

singing in the sky.


Unsuccessful, they

pity his stellar deafness,

generations old.


Did the stars once sing?

Is “the music of the spheres”

more than poetry?


Can we reclaim it,

or have the stellar sensing

cilia died off?


Is the “silence’s”

sibilant sound’s sussurance

what remains of it?




true Spirit

February 21, 2001

true Spirit

by Jeff Hensley


The lie of modern thought,

the deepest, darkest of the lies

deceives us into thinking

we are all alone.


All our links this lie would break

until at last we lay awake

pondering our fate.


Are we doomed to be unknown

dying cold and so alone?

If this is true, then

Christ has died for naught,

the God Man coming down

to leave no greater legacy

than buildings tall, Franciscans brown,

the snarls and gurns of gargoyles found

to laugh the last and soundless sound.


But lies are lies

and truth resounds

when unity of life is found,

when atomized illusions drown

within love’s interwoven bounds

of family and mother’s love

of deathless ties, below, above

that worship gives a form.


True worship forms its unity

of faith and song

of words and deeds

of sweat and tears and laughter loud,

of mourning and rejoicing and the day-to-day

persisting in the proven way.

The way trod now for centuries,

not blighted by dissembling.

The trail that leads through dust and stars

that calls to hearts from age to age,

that heals the heart’s most grievous scars.


Twice gifted

Twice Gifted

July 5, 2012


DNA from two bloodlines;

joined family cultures that may differ

more than the alleles from each.

Our first big choice made for us

No personal say, no do-overs,

we might as well have no regrets.

What’s done is done.


But still and all

the other choices

are left to us


We have the life;

we are a new amalgam

a new beginning for humankind.



It’s as though Adam and Eve had come together for us,

brought us forth and lifted us up to God,

physically and figuratively offering us up,

their gift to the future of the race.


Whether our own parents did this

or not, does not, in the long term, matter.


We each are lifted and gifted.

The One who has loved us well before

our first two cells were joined,

long before our bodies first touched air,

and air exited our lungs as a cry of life

still offers himself to us.


Our crucial choice is to accept God’s gift to us.

If we do, we allow him to do

what may or may not have been done in infancy.


Finding God’s offer of adoption;

accepting his gift of a new birth,

allows him to put aright the long and tiring list

of things done and undone, to wipe clean the slate.


Blood shed while hanging from a tree,

meant as a sign of ignominity,

creates a womb for all who will believe.


And we, accepting this new place of warmth

and comfort and re-creation,

become ourselves a new iteration;

through a time of protected growth,

of learning a new family story;

a new culture of life and love and mutual nurturing,

through learning reliance on our new family’s story,

our new family’s culture,

accepting a new nature,

receiving love so unlimited we can’t comprehend it,

assenting to obedience to higher laws,

adapting ourselves to a way of life

in which offering ourselves to those in need

of word and bread and health and love,

are as natural and essential as breathing, drinking, and eating,

as we ourselves, splitting cell by splitting cell

achieve a new birth, having accepted our unseen, all-loving parent,

our new Father; our new Brother whose blood was spilled

that we might be joined to his Father, our Father;

a new Spirit, poured out upon all who accept this rebirth;

a new mother, once given to the one known as the beloved disciple,

and by extension to us all.


Our new and forever Father’s outreached hand

offers a life unlike a fairy tale’s fiction

Its title and final pages carry only two words, and entirely new diction;

Alpha replacing page one; Omega extending untattered to the end.

Living happily ever after in our eternal Family, the end of the matter.



“A rabbit walks into a jar with a jellyfish…”

May 25, 2013

“A rabbit walks into a jar with a jellyfish…”


They say that with God all things are possible,

but so seldom do we get examples.

So I’ll offer a few.


How does a speck of a flea

jump so many times its own height,

with legs so tiny,

circulation of bodily fluids

flowing through vessels infinitesimally small?


How was I able to weave through a field of jellyfish,

spaced at varying levels, all around me,

like a minefield of pink volleyballs

in the Gulf of Mexico’s salty waters,

as I bounced on my toes

doing my feeble best

to avoid contact with their stinging tentacles

but lacking ballet skills

and still emerge unscathed?


How can a mother rabbit on shore

know that her babies are being harmed

on a boat in the middle of a lake

and become (unexplainably) distressed?


How was it possible for my Ford pickup

to skid down an ice coated hill sideways

at 20 miles per hour

to within 30 feet

of the middle of a row of five cars

and suddenly pull to the end of the row,

turn 90 degrees to its left

and slow to a stop, exactly in its lane,

just short of the line

marking the edge of the intersection?


Perhaps its possible to begin to offer an answer

to some of these ponderings

with the words, “life began when a unicellular being

first captured the spark of life

in its complex combination of chemicals

and began to replicate itself.”


But the futile silliness of answering such ponderings

with elementary evolutionary principals

is vastly inferior to simply leaving our ponderings

to our wonderings to carry along with us in our wanderings.