Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Mary - An Advent Poem



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


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.


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

We lost a friend today . . .

Oh, Death,

perhaps for a moment
you have stolen center stage
with rot and rank offending
But remember
for every child of the King
a new life waits in the wings
light and life ever lurking behind the decay
a life that, at curtain’s call,
shall utterly ruin and replace your reign

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Kindred Mom Article

Thanks to Kindred Mom for featuring these thoughts on cutting the cord, so to speak. It's really tough, but I'm thankful to have some other gals to walk (and sometimes scream) through the valley with me. 

Click HERE to read the full article.


Sunday, September 6, 2020

John 6:68 - A Poem


Of John – Six and Sixty-Eight


Oh, where could I go, save to You, Lord?

My Messiah, with words life-eternal!

These teachings, they rub like a splintered board,

But where could I go, save to You, Lord?

See, I’ve come to believe that it’s true, Lord,

You’re the One to become sin’s reversal.

So where could I go, save to You, Lord?

My Messiah, with words life-eternal!

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Remembering Some Old Words in a New Day

I came across an old document today . . .

(from October 2017)

Some things that feel like death aren’t.  Life continues regular pace, but the wound seems to hang open, collecting decay.

This piece of broken cheap pottery reminds me of a loss.  It reminds me of a “last”.  It reminds me that something was torn away when I wasn’t looking -- something that felt holy and ordained, something more valued than I even knew at the time, something that I was obviously clutching a bit too tightly. I fought hard, but the gift (and so much more) was taken.

And many rotations later, it still wreaks of death.

Honestly, I just don’t quite know which way to go with what I’m feeling – this strange, cold deadness that swells up inside me when I least expect:  in the whisper of a quiet and sunny day, during a building bridge of a familiar worship song in the gathering, at the precise moment I think I am able to stand up and finally be done with it all.  But no.  When I try to live, the death is resurrected.

And again I see the pain vividly before my eyes in all manner of images dark and menacing.  It drains all the color from the surrounding landscape.  Sucks up the life.  Plugs up my heart.  I attempt a be-a-big-girl rebound, but then I hear one of my children recount the grief, gather up her own wounds in this tale.  She can’t escape it to save her life, and I am so angry.

I hold my husband’s hand, and we hunker down in supplication that God would twist and turn this ordeal to make these children better, not bitter, as I hear myself silently pray, “Holy Spirit, it’s okay if my own rest must wait.  Just please give me the words for this child -- truth that would remind her that God is good even when humans are blind and cruel.  Even when her mama is struggling to pry the bitter daggers from her own prayers for justice.  Give me good and righteous words to guide her.”  I desperately want her to walk away stitched up and wiser.

In the end (and this may be the most difficult part), I am beginning to swallow the fact that, for some heaven-only-knows reason, God ordained this season, this pain.  He is in control.  I believe that.  I know He is sovereign.  I want to say that that fact is somehow comforting – I’m trying.  But there are still so many tears.  Maybe I’m close?  At times, I am convinced to be comforted in one breath, but then, with the next inhale, His sovereignty makes it all even harder to understand.   

So I know only He can lift this curtain.  Not I.  Not now.  He is able.  In His time.  In His way.

And the waiting, too, feels like death.

I wrote the words shown above almost three years ago, but I didn't share them. Written while my family was walking in and out of shadows and struggling together to heal from a deeply personal wound. I was fighting with forgiveness in my own heart and watching my whole family, our oldest child in particular, lose faith not in God but in fellow believers. It was a brutal time, and I wouldn't step into one of those days again for anything.

I suppose it finally feels okay to share these thoughts at this point because, well, it's now a "then" a "was". But for every one of us that stands on the other side of the valley, someone else is just beginning to trudge through. It is a well worn but exhaustingly painful path, and it winds on for too long. If you are there right now, please, don't give up. Keep walking.

For our crew, time has now brought some closure, some healing. God has awakened me (again :||) to my own need for forgiveness and so also to my need to forgive. We are in a healthier and (though often still quite cautious) safer space by His grace. My oldest is more than okay now having seen God's faithfulness clearly through the journey. 

So I share these words and the ugly nature of my heart in those days to, perhaps, encourage you to "keep going" if you have been hurt, if you are hurting. Hang in there. Hold to Him even in all the raw and rancid ugliness. Eventually, you will notice yourself catch a deep breath of life and find your feet  steady, finally planted on the other side of the destruction.


Tuesday, June 9, 2020

A Reach for Understanding

Here’s a hypothetical:

Let’s say I buy a new toaster. I bring it home, plug it in and load it with my favorite flavor of Eggos, but then the toaster suddenly explodes into a fireball and burns my whole kitchen to a crisp.

I bring in the insurance adjuster to assess the disaster area. I need this fixed fast, because, come on,  every family needs a place to prepare sustenance. After surveying the damage he concludes, “There’s no proof the toaster caused the fire. It may have been faulty wiring, and that isn’t covered by your policy. I’m afraid this one is on you. Sorry about your kitchen. Have a nice day.”

Fuming, I call my local Walmart where I bought the toaster. The lady I speak with chuckles a little bit when I tell her what happened, then she asks if I saved my receipt. Well, the receipt was lying on the counter next to the toaster, so it’s ashes. “Without a receipt you can’t prove the toaster came from our store, so I can’t help you. You can try speaking to our distributor if you want. Have a nice day.”

Fine then. “Hello, friendly toaster distributor. You brought this crap product into my Walmart, this broken machine that cooked my kitchen, so are you going to help me?” By now, I am livid and exhausted from the lack of accountability. “Well, ma’am, we just ship the product. We aren’t responsible for the behavior of the merchandise. Sorry, not our problem. You might want to call the corporate office. Have a nice day.”

&@%$#*@&#^ !!

Turns out CEOs are difficult to get on the line, but I manage to find the corporate phone number, and I try my darndest to talk to Mr. Bigshot at Bigshot Toaster Company. His secretary puts me on hold for an hour each time I call, then she tells me he can’t address my issue right now. See, he has more pressing matters to handle at the moment, she pragmatically explains. Day after day she puts me off (because my problem is not a priority) before she finally passes the buck and suggests, “Maybe you should just try our customer service center. Perhaps they will be able to help you. Have a nice day.”

I immediately hang up with secretary lady and dial their 1-800 number. Press 4 for customer service. Press 2 for product safety concerns. Press 0 if you want to speak with an associate. My fingers are literally shaking with fury and frustration. “Please wait.” Hold. Hold. Hold.

“Good afternoon, my name is Tiffany. How can I be of service to you today?”

Poor Tiffany.

By now my blood is boiling. She gets an angry earful about the money I wasted on their garbage product, about how I can’t cook my family’s food like a normal person because of HER crummy company, about their lack of concern for the safety of people like me and how absolutely no one will listen! By now, I’m threatening lawsuits and destructive media campaigns and angry boycotts!

I’m not mad at Tiffany personally, because I don’t even know her. But she’s in the line of fire right now because I’m mad at what she represents in the moment: a terrible company that firebombed my kitchen, the powers that be who refuse to accept responsibility and fix it. Tiffany may very well be a perfectly kind young lady who shows grace and respect to all her customers as she earns just over minimum wage to deal with these kinds of tirades. And yet, right or wrong, in this moment, she is the available recipient of my fiery rant.

How does Tiffany respond?

Let’s say that, in this moment, Tiffany decides to NOT explain away my problem or bite back or offer excuses, but instead she takes time to give me the grace I need (and I sure do need it). Then she fully listens to my story instead of just telling me to calm down. She listens until the whole despicable tale has been told. What if she sympathizes as best she is able and tells me she wants to do whatever she can to make it right?

And then what if she actually follows through?

What if Tiffany risks her job to quietly send an internal memo to other customer service reps to see if there is a pattern of kitchen-burning toaster explosions that has been kept off the records?

What if Tiffany’s old college roommate’s dad is actually the guy who designed the toaster, and she can get me on the phone with him to voice my complaints and to try to convince him to use his pull to correct the problem before more kitchens go up in smoke?

What if she does some digging and finds out her uncle’s best friend is on the board of directors at Bigshot Toaster Company, and she can speak to him directly, maybe even show up at a board meeting to share my story and possibly get me the help I need to get my kitchen back in order?

What if Tiffany doesn’t acquiesce to her own smallness inside the problem, but instead looks for some creative way to lend herself to the solution?

Now look, y’all, I know this is way too long, and I know we are talking about a hypothetical toaster and an imaginary charred kitchen. If this had actually happened, in the grand scheme of things, it would be a minor disruption on the spectrum of big life events. And yet I know I would still be very angry at the injustice of it all. VERY angry! About a toaster and a kitchen. Fighting angry!

So, then why on earth would we be confused about the anger bathing our society right now with regard to frighteningly real life-and-death issues and deeply rooted unjust practices? Why is our knee-jerk response to this anger to deflect, to ignore, to shirk responsibility?

(I know the above analogy is weak and overly simplistic, but I’m just trying to sort it out in my head. Forgive me if I'm still way off base.)

I want to better understand the anger, to really grasp it.

Hundreds of years of waiting on hold, voices going unheard, bucks being passed – that will certainly make a person angry. Disproportionate damage and destruction brought on by a flawed system – that should make a person angry.  Being dismissed again and again and again – that absolutely must make a person angry. Angry enough to shout and rail at anyone and everyone in earshot, whether those recipients are culpable or not.

So, at some point if I end up being the “Tiffany” who gets the earful because I happen to be the only one so far that has taken the time to listen, then, yes, God, grant me the grace to NOT explain it away, bite back or deflect. Help me to listen well and deeply, to react with soul-level sympathy, to get up and act alongside.

There is legitimate cause for the anger. It’s multi-faceted. It’s an anger of righteous amplitude, and sometimes I don’t think we fully recognize that.

And I know I have a role to play in fixing the problem. We all do.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Grieve and Consider


Consider Now

If I somehow unwittingly prop up the walls
which were once torn down
--scratch that—
which were ADVERTISED to have been torn down
I solidify the division
and I am a transgressor


If we, those who believe,
have indeed
have been executed on spiritual planes 
with the blessed Messiah
and claim to live now only as “He in me”
then surely we can see
a hateful knee on the neck of one crafted in His image 
is a blistering, smothering stain
and there’s no excuse 
this must be anathema

Let us slow and consider now

Dearest ones, every sly eye 
of unwarranted suspicion must be
if we are to see more clearly
oh, and we MUST come to see more clearly
lest we quietly pave the road to hell itself
blind as we are with our two natural-born eyes of evil

For this Jesus, our Messiah
who showed up here in skin of rich Middle Eastern shade, by the way,
charged one and all as dirty sinners in need of a good washing
there is none righteous
and, while on this earth, He surely looked nothing like me
and yet He loved me anyhow?
Loves me even now?
Yes, because He values what He has made
--ALL He has made--
and what He plans to re-make

So listen now

His Bride must be the genesis of the healing
creating oneness inside diversity 
one in Christ
one in love
one in pushing back the darkness 
one in the careful keeping of our brothers and sisters 
in Jesus’ holy name

Oh, beautiful Bride, act now

And let every hue, every size and velocity of fist
away at the wall which
isolates and kills
Keep at it! Until
New Jerusalem arrives from the sky to
finally and forever 
and grind to powder
that bitter barricade 
one faithful fistful of dirt at a time
for His glory and for our good

Sunday, May 24, 2020

On a Day of Memory

On a Day of Memory

Blessed are those who mourn
those charged an awful price
who grieve still and always
who are able to fully remember
and even now weep weary in that remembering

Careful are those who mourn
careful to balance ideologies --
the obligatory pride in nation
with the seething anger at the mechanism --
in order to keep their souls intact

Envied are those who mourn
envied by many guilt-laden survivors
who carry their own deliverance as a cross
who wish to impart to those grieving
the peace they themselves cannot seem to find

Carried are those who mourn
hoisted high as names on street signs and monuments
on prayers and quivering petitions
on the lips of their legacy
in the energy of a Creation that erects Ebenezers

In each morning of new mercies,
kept and cradled be all those who mourn

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

For Teachers . . . Thank You

A few years ago, a woman I barely know (whose children are not a part of our local public school system) asked me nonchalantly  if our high school is “as HORRIBLE as I’ve heard”.  

Ok, see I have a loyalty bone that is connected directly to whatever part of my brain creates the anger monster, so I did not respond too well in the moment. I mean, hey, that’s my kids’ school! It felt like a question born out of ignorance, privilege and idealism. I wish I had had the wherewithal at that moment to take a breath and answer more thoughtfully, because here is what I would like to say if she were to ask me that question today:

Of course our school has problems, just as every school, business, organization and family, for that matter, has problems. Think about it:  Our school is an ever-changing organism composed of administration and teachers struggling to reach and teach the personalities of several thousand young human beings all at once. Wild and wondering human beings whose frontal lobes are not yet fully formed. Human beings with a million different personalities and bents and backgrounds and learning styles and combinations thereof.

These educators are dealing with adult-sized children who are all trying to figure life out in a thousand different ways, and most of them have no clue how vital this education will be to improving their futures. Nevermind that some of them walk into the school setting out of an unimaginably painful home life, mounting a desperate (unrecognized) search for meaning and purpose and love.

So, yeah, I’m sure sometimes that can get a little sticky and make a day “horrible” at our high school.

However, what I have myself witnessed in this “horrible” environment might also just blow your mind. Teachers often giving up their evenings to come watch my kids (“their kids”) in a loooong play or musical. And they are genuinely proud of them. Paraprofessionals forming strong bonds with kids and their families to support them even outside the school environment. Dedicated admin, directors, coaches all strategizing programs to best fit the community struggles these future world-builders, their students, are facing. Teachers reaching into their own often-shallow pockets to provide necessary tools for a young life whose potential has not yet been self-actualized. They are giving their time, energy and heart to believe in our kids.

Recently, I have heard from teachers who are brokenhearted at this sudden disconnect with their classes. They just miss them. I hear teachers tell how they sometimes find themselves in tears because they can’t seem to get some of their students, the ones who need connection the most, to connect through the online methods and continue their education during this difficult season. And it’s not because these teachers are worried about a bad score on a standardized test stealing their job from them (Those tests have died a rightful death this year. Thank you, Lord!). It’s because they worry that next year, when things do return to some sort of normal procedure, these precious souls will find themselves even further behind in their learning and will want to give up.

Yes, community is a messy and sometimes “horrible” thing, I guess. Sometimes it’s downright terrifying. And it is a constant, dizzying process to try and make things better. But let’s recognize what kind of fight our educators go up against every day. I’m so thankful God put it in the hearts of a select few of His creations to desire this battle. We, as a society, need them more than we know.

At the end of the day, these teachers are human, just like you, with worries and families and struggles and weaknesses. And, no, we won’t always agree on tactics, practices and plans, but I can tell you that they are doing their best to build something beautiful in their classrooms and in relationship with these kids and in our collective future.

I’m glad to stand close by and cheer them on.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Final Poem of PAD Challenge

The Tune of the Moon in the Late Afternoon

Like an actor in the wings awaiting her cue
Peeking ‘round the velvety curtain of blue
Halfway concealed, half in full view
Hear the tune of the moon in the late afternoon

Hastening the darkness so that she might shine
“The Sun’s had his circuit,” she wiltily whines
Then plots a great thieving. “His light shall be mine!”
Sings the tune of the moon in the late afternoon

I take in her opus as the Sun’s bedding down
For I too wait and wail in the wings for a crown
So I praise our shared hope hidden in the sweet sound
Of the tune of the moon in the late afternoon

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Poem - Total Time Elapsed

Total Time Elapsed

Feeding the frenzy of milliseconds
is a good Captain
kind and compassionate
joyous and jealous
wary and ever-watching --
and all of this is good

Coasting tall on the tides of time
are we misled miscreants
cleverly clueless
insatiably seeking
eternal, yet ending --
and all of this is good

The question is one of what we spend
which the true currency
mammon or moments?
riches or routines?
what’s spent, what’s kept
and which of these is good

And in the end comes an accounting
of total time elapsed
of words tendered as wages
of talents long expended
of trust nailed to the Perfect
and of Who is reckoned good

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

A Love Poem

A Love Poem

The Love that shaped the earth’s foundations
and beckoned forth Life’s living fountain
and held up the Hill of the Skull
calls out to me
my ears gone dull and defiant
as I battle for faux height in a land of faux giants
and jockey for might and position
grieving and graying in vile indecision
and yet Love’s echo
the sound is sweet
but to a broken vessel, foreign
Love will pour in every ounce of
good to become known and
understood and to take back
what Love has always owned
and isn’t that lovely?
that while I was trying to scale heights
someOne yet above me was
pressing down
pressing hard to keep me grounded
and tangled in that Vine by which
the finest of Love nourishes

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Trying to Pray

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay.

A poem on a hard day.

Like a Dream, But Holy

She closed her eyes in prayer
and found behind those eyelids
no clear image 
all was warped greyish-brown
as if subliminal sludge were
dripping across her mind’s eye
muddying her God-eye
her ethereal focus all blurred and distorted

She parted her lips to petition
and felt a greedy quicksand
seize her penitent tongue
dragging the words away to
the abyss
those determined whispers unable to
fly their verses to the heavens

Her pleading became beyond --
beyond sensory and
past human effort --
into groanings of Spirit-depth
like a dream uncontrollable but holy 
and this blind, mute seeker --
she tries to trust that the Helper will be
sufficient for these weak days
filled with murky, music-less invocations

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Holy Week Poems - Easter Sunday

Image by Oberholster Venita from Pixaby.


See the place where He lay --
it's empty,
so run with the news!
Falter not at death's broken shackles lying about. 
Stumble not at loss of eloquent phrase.
Be plunged deep into believing waters
and rise with resurrection songs on the tongue.
See the place where you once had lain --
it's empty,
so run with the news!

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Holy Week Poems - Saturday

Image by Pexels from Pixaby

A Day in Between

in the
silence this
holy Sabbath.
Strain your soul and hear
fear fading to freedom
in the hours lodged between
the vile wrenching and the rising.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Holy Week Poems - Good Friday

Image by congerdesign from Pixaby


Abram set his eyes on the twinkling stars
to count his promised progeny.

Messiah was swallowed in shadows as the sun itself died at midday.

Moses commanded the children’s doorposts
be clothed in a sacred lamb’s blood.

In agony, the true Lamb of God bathed humanity in His own lifeblood.

David wielded a harp and a lyre
and carefully led his cherished lambs.

The Son of David bore the mode of His own execution
and was Himself slaughtered before the eyes of His beloved flock.

All of ancient holy writ angles toward this
to this ghastly moment
the putrid wine
the violence
the confusion and chaos
the sound of crushing
the infinite abandonment
on that Good Friday fuming with dashed hopes.

And we have caressed and cradled iniquities,
coddling, nurturing rebellious stains.

This Rescuer took them from us, strapped the offenses to Himself
and murdered them all in His own demise.


Thursday, April 9, 2020

Holy Week Poems - Thursday

Image by Leandro De Carvalho from Pixaby

Holy Thursday

Arrange the table, prep the meal
A few more grains descend
Lean in close t’ward sweet reveal
Oh, sacrament, begin

Sing and pray, then take some rest
While blood drops fall as sand
Upon this field of violence
Of combat, soul and hand

Then follow on, yet stand apart
Beware the watchful eye
Acidic lies slide off the tongue
While fading hours slip by

But morning's call doth break the spell
Confront thy sin . . . and cry

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Holy Week Poems - Wednesday

Photo by Ernie A. Stephens from Pixabay

Two Wednesdays

Crawl carefully back across the timeline
to a holy Wednesday sandwiched between
parades and persecution
The bustle in the sacred city continues and
an unseen treachery is taking root
yet the Word keeps His mid-week agenda under wraps
Peeking around the shadows of silence
we hungry followers plead,
“Tell us now, please,
What are You up to in this day, Lord?
What is Your perfect plan on this Wednesday?”
No reply – we are left to wonder

Then whiplash now into today, dear one,
to this messy bend in a week stuffed full
of fear and press briefings and bland busyness
This mute mood distracts us from our distractions
as we battle the depths inside a different kind of silence
The frenetic movements are quieter today
and so we hungry followers plead,
“Tell us now, please,
What are You up to right now, Lord?
For heaven’s sake, what is Your perfect plan doing on this Wednesday?”
Wisdom offers no audible reply just yet
so we repent 
we worship
in hope, we wait

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Holy Week Poems - Tuesday

Holy Week - Tuesday

Come walk the way of holy feast
Bask in the words of thy High Priest
Ponder a fig tree so soon deceased
As Tuesday rolls around

The grimy grip of jealous hate --
Whilst vilest demons salivate --
In His countrymen, doth lie in wait
To steal His rightful crown

But stay yet watchful, humble souls,
And trim your lamps with ample oil
Your name’s writ on celestial roll
Soon evil will be bound

For you hear Him counter each wayward plea
With His Self-ordained authority
So, mountains, get thee to the sea!
The King has come to town!

It's our bi-yearly Poem-A-Day writing time during April. I haven't been staying on prompt too well, but I think the topics of the day and especially the greater topics of this special week warrant their own works. I pray you are all well and leaning in to the Lord in these exceedingly strange days.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Unusual Kindness

I haven’t been on a big grocery run in 10 days per CDC recommendations. There are five adult/adult-size people living under our roof right now, and we have begun scrapping the bottom of the storehouse, so I decided to get to HEB early when they opened to try to load up for another week and a half or so of isolation.
But apparently, HEB is only allowing a certain number of shoppers in the store at one time, and even before they opened, the line of shoppers waiting to get in stretched maybe fifty deep into the parking lot, all spaced out, with empty carts in hand, standing in somber silence. Waiting for their daily (or weekly) bread.
And since I didn’t have two hours to wait in line, I turned around and headed back to our local Walmart to scavenge for what we needed. Walmart wasn’t crowded, but it was busy-ish. No crazy hoarding going on. But what struck me most as soon as I walked in was, again, that same somber silence. Every face like stone. Not like the usually noisy bustle of our Walmart. Some customers wore masks. Many wore gloves. All were on guard. The sweet greeter at the entrance was hustling about trying to quickly get someone to refill the anti-bac wipe container by the buggies at the front. She was beginning to panic.
And no one spoke. Everyone just seemed . . . angry. Not like an overt anger because there is still no toilet paper or Germ-X in stock, but a low-key, droning, simmering anger. An anger at life in general right now, I suppose. An anger spiced with fear.
We are all afraid of one another right now, and that’s just so very sad.
I thought about crying right there in the baking goods aisle, because the only flour in stock was the bulk-ginormous bag variety, and I had to get flour, but where in heaven’s name was I going to store that much flour in our already human-crowded, pantry-deficient little house? Aaaah!! See, it’s the little things, the stupid things that are making me spiral lately.
And I remembered (was Spirit-reminded, probably) that just before I left the house, I had been going through our Acts study, reading chapter 28 where Paul and company are shipwrecked on this little island called Malta. And I remembered how the Word told me just this morning that the natives on that island, strangers to Paul and Christianity and maybe even to upscale Roman civilization in general – the natives showed them “unusual kindness”.
UNUSUAL kindness.
And me there in the baking goods aisle with all this fury and grief about a needlessly large bag of flour. And all the other shoppers carefully navigating around the other humans in their path to get the last bag of frozen tater tots or carton of Go-Gurt, eyeing any coughers like they are armed enemy assassins. The anger and quiet grief stewing below the surface of this suddenly broken “unbreakable” society.
God, we need you to make us able.
Able to show this unusual kindness somehow. At a distance even. To break through the cold terror clouding our collective hearts. When we can’t hug the hurting, show us how to support one another to Your glory. We don’t know how to get through this, Lord, and still keep our humanity, still let the divine spark shine.
God, show us how, make us able to love one another with unusual kindness right now.