Thursday, October 7, 2021

Again. - a Poem, a Plea


How do you talk yourself into trying again?

Whether to make a friend
Or to trust in love
Or to sketch out the perfect landscape
Or to blanket a blank page with your brilliant nonsense

 

How do you will such bravery to be?

When the mirror mocks you
When time *tsks* its taunting finger in your face
When you have grown admittedly lazy and
The sparkling silver shows not your wisdom but your weakness, your weariness

 

How can you talk yourself back out onto the ledge?

To remember once more how to fully forget yourself
To stop overthinking and leap again into that fantastical unknown
To dare to believe that flight could be possible this time around
That this landing might actually stick and grow deep roots and bear sweet fruit

 

How do you shut down and shut up the patterns of the past?

And do away with the demons that tripped up your progress
And close your eyes tight enough to not notice the ghosts hovering
And hold in a big breath with your chest punched high
To then finally exhale all the years and scars and every sly thing that has pressed STOP

 

How?
How do you muster the madness to try it again?

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Rest & Work -- A Poem (sort of)


 . . . free writing is a messy freedom. Here we go . . .


I said again that I would wait to create until
after a little rest
A little closing of the eyes and folding of the hands
because I am always sure that
once my mind has been refreshed and my eyes
open wider to truth, unincumbered
then
then I could get to the work
But suddenly the day’s currency is spent
like each day before
and this soul slips haphazardly into easy Spectacle and flighty Flavor -
Distraction and Disillusionment then come to pay ready penance
A reminder that, frankly, the work seems too hard on a tired, old soul
And refreshment too, too far away
I hardly notice that the hours in waterfall rush me toward forever’s sea
But I do wonder if perhaps feeling fresh is more
about going to The Well than mustering
More opening up and less closing the deal
So before my mind has remembered
the villainous cast of naysayers swimming frantically inside
“Quick, now, before they steal control!
Move, child!”
Yes, I’ll Insist that Weariness take a seat there next to Anxiety and
I’ll busy Self-Absorption on some fool’s errand
and leave them and the others behind and close the door hard
Then go to another mental room taking only Wonder with me
I’ll be sure to check under the desk
where Apprehension is prone to lie in wait, salivating
He's there - shun him
If Doubt shows his face, I won’t send him away, but I’ll use him up
Let him watch what happens next
Because Wonder is holy and patient and will stay and will deliver
See, I have rested too long
And the work won’t wait
Eternity won’t wait
My mind is only aging and my bones growing gray
More so and more so every blessed day
So this little life, I’ll use it up
Use
it
all
up
On beauty and truth and God’s calling
Rest comes later and forever

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Mary - An Advent Poem

 


Mary                                                                                                                                


Precious girl,
even now we follow your lead.
You who welcomed such fearful visit
of strange heavenly tidings,
that a worldly impossibility would be swallowed up
to herald all Creation’s redemption.
You who chose to believe it --
we trace similar steps to bow and worship
the God who generously makes all things possible.

Blessed girl,
we hunger for a faith so simple and pure.
You who saw youth and station and ridicule as
no obstacles to God’s mighty work
within you,
for you.
You who quietly cradled the Eternal One incarnate
into this unredeemed soil and dirt
and reverently loved
with a mother’s love
the I AM steeped in flesh.
We watch you and observe how to handle
holy things with care and with fear and with great joy.

Chosen and willing vessel,
we are grateful for your ordained place in His story.
You who bore such monumental pain
in His coming,
then in His going,
and yet clothed yourself in obedience at the call of your King,
prayerfully patient.
You who abandoned common manmade dreams to follow your God --
your humble faithfulness kindles a fire in our bellies,
bears bold fruit even now
as an offering of worship,
a legacy of godly devotion and of love.



Thursday, December 17, 2020

A Prayer for Mission Week




One of our grown babies is helping with a mission effort this week throughout the city. As with all short term missions, things are pretty intense, a little scary and completely exhausting. Here is the prayer I'm praying for her and her team today, and I would absolutely love it if you'd join me:

 (Based on Psalm 23) 

LORD, be their Shepherd in all things this week.
Let them fully and constantly sense Your loving Presence
Give them good rest when it is time for rest
Give them refreshing sustenance for strength
Restore their fervor for You again and again
Lead them on these preordained paths
For the sake of Your Name and for Your glory

Even in uncomfortable and possibly dangerous situations
LORD, make fear flee from them
Let them feel your protective hand surrounding them
And be comforted to their cores

Before those who would oppose their Gospel work
Show Yourself as Provider in lavish, abundant, undeniable measure
Pour upon them an extra measure of your wisdom and strength in the Spirit
Let Your goodness and mercy pave every step before them
And follow closely on their heels
And be their guard to the left and the right
Grant to their souls firm assurance that You, O LORD, are their true home


Thursday, November 26, 2020

Giving of Thanks (2020)

in this year of want
wild with worries sore
tangled up in time
and left to melancholy

hearts are now humbled
bells set to chime
and I inhale long
dare to shirk the folly

and to look up and up
position a full posture
of gratitude galore
for these blessings You have brought me

how with reasons wrapped in rhyme
You whisper "Peace" within this war





Saturday, November 7, 2020

This Time -- PAD Challenge Day 7

 


This Time

Waste not

that accorded wisdom

to seize and to savor this slivering

Wait not

for ideal opportunity

born of wanton maneuvering

Wish not

for mis-sized dreams

drawn out providentially for another

Will not

the time to fly

this time, love, elect to linger


 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Decision



I have been instructed by the institutions,
“Choose you this day whom you will serve.”
What is a pilgrim to do
when taxed with the impossible?
When pressed to decide between which matters most:
children destitute at our borders in cages
or children in pieces in a biohazard container?
“Which is more valuable, oh voter?”
How has this been established a dividing line in a "civil" society?
For all are made through Him and for Him
and Jesus loves ALL the little children of the world,
just as He loves every confused, every desperate
mama facing every difficult, every impossible decision.
Where are the honest scales to properly weigh such a dilemma?
I own privilege. I know that. 
I did not earn it.
I often do not want it.
I watch as many I love continue to scrape and scramble day to day
just to be embraced as equal,
to be afforded a truly fair shake and
their pain matters, too.
Their plight deserves sober consideration.
And so much more!
But now I am expected to somehow sign my name to 
one – of -- two 
who stand atop even greater privilege:
one who pays lip service (my cynicism deciphers)
to equality of color and creed and gender
and the other so cold he can’t even muster the deception.
God help us, your chosen brood,
to bear with one another through this time
(for we do not agree). 
Enable us to forgive lavishly and
long-suffer like never before for Jesus’ name’s sake.
To recognize our greater heavenly bond
come what may in this kingdom on the ground.
And, in the end,
to refuse to require institutions or earthly allegiances 
to do the good work that
You have predestined Your people to accomplish.
We are Yours.
You are sovereign.
Jesus is King.
May He reign in our hearts above all else.