Category Archives: Poetry

The Other

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If I find in myself a desire
which no experience in this world can satisfy,
the most probable explanation is that I was made
for another world.

~C.S. Lewis

I am so ready for that other world.
Some days my heart aches with the desire to be
With Him over anything this world can offer.

I know that sounds strange to some.  
And I’m not really sure how to explain it. 
It’s not escapism… as has been suggested.

I know I wasn’t made for this world.

I have always felt something is missing.
Something. isn’t. right.

I don’t yearn for possessions; 
I’ve had my fill of those,
Purging to live more simply.

I don’t yearn for success; 
The little I’ve had only left me completely insecure,
Realizing I’ll never be enough.

Maybe… I yearn… for relationship. 
Yes…
I think that’s it.

But, not anything of this world. 

I have had many human relationships. 
And still enjoy some… but…
No-thing satisfies.

I believe I was created for perfect relationship.

I believe I was created for a relationship with One
Who will never leave me.

One who will never forsake.
One who will love me no matter how weird I get.
No matter how messy I am.

I yearn for One who is greater than any I’ve experienced on this earth.

I desire to be found in Him.
Complete.

I yearn.

I crave The Holy Other.

The Holy Experience.

Me or You?

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I hunger
For more of You —
To know You, intimately.

I pour over Your word,
Wanting to learn Your ways,
Hoping to understand Your thoughts.

My mind fills with words;
My heart, full of questions.
My life?

Overflowing with dead works for others’ praise.

If I’m not moving in Your Spirit,
Are my works worthy of Your glory?

If my mind controls the work of my hands,
Hoping the deeds will bring You honor,
Secretly wondering what accolades I may receive…

Am I a hypocrite,
Or a self-conscious enthusiast
Worrying about appearances?

I want to get it right,
But I keep getting in the way.

And yet, I can’t yearn for
More of You,
Unless You are calling me to
Know more of You.

Is it me,
Or You?

Does it matter?
Be still and know.

You began the work.
You will complete it.

“Prone to wander,
Lord, I feel it!
Prone to leave the God I love.
Here’s my heart,
Oh, take and seal it!
Seal it for Thy courts above.”

Thank You.
When I am faithless,
You remain faithful;
You cannot deny Yourself.

Feeling Safe

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Dedicated to my brother on his birthday:

Oh, the comfort —
The inexpressible comfort of feeling
safe with a person,
Having neither to weigh thoughts,
Nor measure words — but pouring them
All right out — just as they are —
Chaff and grain together —
Certain that a faithful hand will
Take and sift them —
Keep what is worth keeping —
and with the breath of kindness
Blow the rest away.

~Dinah Craik

In context from her novel, A Life for a Life:

Thus ended our little talk: yet it left a pleasant impression. True, the subject was strange enough; my sisters might have been shocked at it; and at my freedom in asking and giving opinions. But oh! the blessing it is to have a friend to whom one can speak fearlessly on any subject; with whom one’s deepest as well as one’s most foolish thoughts come out simply and safely. Oh, the comfort — the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person — having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.

Somebody must have done a good deal of the winnowing business this afternoon; for in the course of it I gave him as much nonsense as any reasonable man could stand …

Happy Birthday, Brother Burton! 

 I love you.

Growing Pains

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I found a new gem…for me:  Dazzling Wings

She writes about abuse and the freeing life she has found in Christ.  I find her thoughts honest and transparent, and, often, she has expressed my exact feelings.  I’m still learning how to recover from many abuses and the shame that can overwhelm.  If you need help, as well, check out Tanya T. Warrington at Dazzling Wings.  She has lots of good things to share.  Here’s a poem she wrote that puts words to my most recent journey:

Mind Control

I was cold;
You said I was not.
I was frightened;
You said I couldn’t be.
I was angry;
You said I must be tired.

My emotions had no room,
No floor.
They were wrong,
Always wrong

I learned to doubt myself,
To assume I must be mistaken.
Feelings were wrong and so were banished,
Shoved into an invisible box, hidden deep inside

I walked in numbness
Wasting years
Before God awakened me,
Helping me to new life

But learning to trust myself
Is a slow journey,
Believing in myself a lofty pinnacle,
Accepting what my senses tell me,
Another slow lesson

I walk in life,
Trying and failing,
Experiencing and shutting down,
Rejoicing at freedom,
Chaffing at old habits,
And fighting old thoughts

You, you’d say I was crazy
That I made up my past,
But I know better now.
You’re in denial and I won’t join you–
Not any more,
Not ever again!

~Tanya T. Warrington

Another gem: www.brokenbelievers.com

Happy Father’s Day

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My Dad

My dad is so cool! He’s a charmer, a singer, an artist, a soldier, a director, a provider, a comic, a gardener…my teacher.

For much of my life, Dad has been my inspiration. From grade school he has encouraged me to hone my artistic abilities. He’s a professional artist – has been since I was eight. He sees beauty everywhere and much of the time it brings tears to his eyes. Then he has this uncanny, God-given ability to paint the landscapes in his mind. He’s also one of the few truly talented calligraphists in the country. His art has been published for years through a Christian publishing company. They’ve produced posters and calendars of his work. He’s retired now but still, when I’m out shopping at our local Christian bookstore, I’ll come across his work. Pretty cool, huh?

I wrote this poem for his birthday a couple of years ago…

I remember watching Dad
When I was only nine,
Creating pictures for the news
And adverts for the Times.

He inspired me to watch and learn,
To see beauty everywhere.
He gave me guidance as I tried
To express myself with care.

As we traveled on vacations
He pointed out the sights;
Showing much appreciation
For the expression of God’s might.

The waterfalls, the sparkling streams,
The chipmunk on the wall,
Were shown to me through his eyes
As we walked to view them all.

The mighty oak reaching to the sky
With gnarled limbs and shade;
Dappled sunlight shining through,
Creating wonder with all God made.

I thank you, Dad, for inspiring me
To see beauty in the world;
I feel a fullness, a breadth of wonder
You have helped me to unfurl.

My dad’s awesome.

I love you, Dad!

(a repost from May 24, 2008)

If you haven’t yet heard “A Testimony“…don’t miss a miraculous Father’s Day story…

Out In The Fields

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The little cares that fretted me,
I lost them yesterday
Among the fields above the sea,
Among the winds at play,
Among the lowing of the herds,
The rustling of the trees.
Among the singing of the birds,
The humming of the bees.
The foolish fears of what may happen,
I cast them all away
Among the clover-scented grass,
Among the husking of the corn
Where drowsy poppies nod,
Where ill thoughts die and good are born,
Out in the fields with God.

-Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Each Spring I feel the rebirth in my soul as the flowers, trees, and grasses come to life. This year I have needed time alone with God among the fields, but the ability isn’t with me anymore. I don’t last on a nature walk, so I’ve brought nature closer to home. In the past my yard has been my oasis, but this year I’m in a third-floor apartment with a cozy balcony among the treetops. I have crammed my pots full of flowers and most enjoy the evenings when the shade has covered my chair and I can sit and talk with God. Meeting with Him among His creation…I think I would have loved knowing Mrs. Browning. Someday, in heaven, I’ll meet her and we’ll figure out the relational connection. Great great great great great great aunt or grandmother…??? Until then, I truly do enjoy connecting through her poetry…and her faith.

You will live in joy and peace.
The mountains and hills will burst into song,
And the trees of the field will clap their hands!
Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow.
Where briers grew, myrtles will sprout up.
This miracle will bring great honor to the LORD’s name;
It will be an everlasting sign of His power and love.

Isaiah 55:12-13

When We Speak

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I asked the Lord to come into my life

but not too far

 

I asked the Lord “please change my life

but leave things the way that they are”

 

I asked the Lord to be my guide

but just where I wanted to go

 

I asked the Lord to show me truth

but just what I wanted to know

 

Now I’m asking you Lord to come into my life

All the way

 

Lord please change my Tomorrow

Starting with Today.

(By my friend…Moggy)

How often do we do this?  I find myself praying the right words, but not really meaning the depth of each word.  As a teenager I sang in a travelling group on the weekends.  One song I sang with much conviction, my hand shooting up in the air with a testimony on my lips, “I Surrender All!” 

It reminds me of Peter.  So much of his exuberance for the Lord was not spoken, or acted out, correctly.  The Lord had to set him straight on many occasions for he would speak, or act, before he thought.  Or, possibly, he did think, just not too clearly.  But Jesus continued working with him.  He knew Peter’s heart was in the right place.  He knew Peter’s desire was for Him. 

“The apostle Peter learned a lot through hard experience.  He learned, for example, the crushing defeat and deep humiliation often follow hard on the heels of our greatest victories.  Just after Christ commended him for his great confession in Matthew 16:16 (“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”), Peter suffered the harshest rebuke ever recorded of a disciple in the New Testament.  One moment Christ called Peter blessed, promising him the keys of the kingdom (vv.17-19).  In the next paragraph, Christ addressed Peter as Satan and said, “Get behind Me!” (v.23) — meaning, “Don’t stand in My way!”…through the painful experience of being rebuked by the Lord, Peter also learned that he was vulnerable to Satan.  Satan could fill his mouth just as surely as the Lord could fill it.  If Peter minded the things of men rather than the things of God, or if he did not do the will of God, he could be an instrument of the enemy.”  ~John MacArthur, Twelve Ordinary Men  

“I Surrender All” is still a favorite, but I find I understand the meaning better now.  When we surrender all to Him, He has a way of taking us at our word.  He will test us.  And sometimes we’ll fail the test.  We might not have meant it as far as He would take it.  Or maybe we didn’t understand the path He would take us down to get us to where He wants us to be.  But other times, in His mercy, we could scrape by with the strength He gives, and become more like Him in the process. 

He’s shaping us.  And our commitment to Him deepens.  We will fail and suffer the deep humiliation.  But we need to remember, this too is His work in us…and He’s praying for us to overcome.  Remember another test for Peter…

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat;
but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail;
and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

Remember, when we don’t speak well for Him…

…He’s praying for us.

Seasons

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It’s beginning to feel like Fall in North Texas. The wind is cooler, but the leaves are still green. The rain hasn’t stopped for days. Somehow, the tears falling from the sky mock my own.

Spring had such promise of new life. Without realizing the change of season, all at once, buds appeared. The gray skies became brighter and the brown limbs, greener. It was a beautiful promise.

Summer had its moments. Swimming in the heat. Cool drinks under the fan. Vacation time to forget about responsibilities…for a while. The summer flowers were spectacular. Now…they’ve faded away.

What will this new season bring?
It should be a time of harvest.

But, I’m afraid of what I’ve sown.

Help me, Father.
Let me bring glory to You,
Even in this moment of fear;
This Season of Unknown…

Love is a Verb

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Love
Bears all things,
Believes all things,
Hopes all things,
Endures all things.

To bear…to cover with silence…to suffer…to forbear.
Love suffers.
Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. 

To believe…to have faith…to entrust…to commit.
Love entrusts.
Love is a commitment with a beginning and no end.

To hope…to put trust in…to expect…to confide.
Love expects.
All things work together for good. 

To endure…to stay under…to remain…to persevere.
Love remains.
Do not be afraid, I have overcome the world. 

Oh God,
Help me to love
As You love.

I choose
To bear,
To believe,
To hope,
To endure.

I choose
In all things
To love.

 

 

(*Wayne Hudson,  Many a Tear Has to Fall)

I Believe

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Words scrawled on a cellar wall where Jews had hidden in Cologne, Germany during World War II:

I believe in the sun
Even when it isn’t shining. 

I believe in love
Even when I am alone. 

I believe in God
Even when He is silent.

To believe…even when the world, as you know it, is falling apart.

I know God is real. He may be silent at this point in time, but I will trust His silence.

He is never asleep.

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?

My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.

Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.

The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.

The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.

~Psalm 121


I was sure by now
God, You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can’t find You

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth