Dear Child, You Are

You, dear child, are a flower –

A dazzling concoction of scent and hue,

Deeply passionate as a rose,

Bright and full as a hydrangea.

 

You will one day be a tree

With deep roots, strong arms,

And comforting shade –

A blessing to all you shelter.

 

You will always be a river –

Continuously changing and flowing

Past obstacles, through time,

Until you reach the sea.

 

Above all, dear child, be the sun.

Spread light. Give life.

Have joy. Speak truth.

Shatter the darkness with love.

Invisible Made Visible

Invisible made visible;  
Impossible and unimaginable
Sprung to life and speaking,  
Writing volumes of theology  
About the Creator –  
Words scholars have yet to discover.
Step out into the Word,  
Into the God-breathed world  
Of constellations and forests,  
Living creatures and changing seasons.
View his eternal power, his divinity,
His immutable law.  
Clap along with ocean waves,  
Shout as loud as the rocks,  
And skip with the mountains for joy.

Self Portrait

Every time I stare in the mirror, I see the same face I’ve always seen:
Hazel eyes topped by dark brown brows, full lips, 
Average nose with a chicken pox scar on the bridge, 
High cheekbones- the right one with a little straight scar from a run-in with my grandmother’s coffee table.
No matter how much time passes, I feel I am peering into the same face.
I am me no matter how old I become.
I am in an instant thirty eight and twelve.
I wonder how that will feel with each passing decade.
Will I always just see me?
Or will I begin to see my age and my flaws first,
And myself last?
Long before I could imagine growing old,
I vowed to “age gracefully,” to let time fade my hair to gray and trace lines across my face.
I felt I would have earned those marks by a life lived fully.
Now that I look closer, I see that the creases around my eyes are growing deeper,
And the hair around my temples is showing more gray.
But I am not disappointed by these changes.
Each crease is a reminder of how often I smile and laugh.
Each new gray hair is an outward show of hard-earned experiential wisdom.
Each scar is a memory – my grandmother’s house, dance class as a little girl, homemade lasagna, pain I’ve overcome.
I see strength and grace and beauty and hope in every line and curve.
I see a child of God.
I am me, and I am enough.

From Psalm 116

Thoughts on Psalm 116:7, “Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.”

Dear Soul,
We have been in chaos.
I have been at war with you,
And I have won by shouting you down,
By declaring my desires are more important than your needs.
 
O my soul, I have wounded you.
I have arrogantly declared myself a king
And placed a throne where it did not belong
In the center of your heart.
My soul, I usurped your rightful King.

I sacrificed peace for anger, joy for pride,
And love for resentment.
I let the world carry my thoughts
And steal my heart for a time,
But soul, dear broken soul, no more.

In spite of my sin,
The Lord has lifted my head;
He has shown me truth and love
And filled my weary mind with his words.
O soul, your King is grace.

Come, dear soul, and drink
From God’s life-giving stream,
And feast on his bread of life and honeycombed wisdom.
Return to your rest, O soul.
I’ve laid down my burdens; I’ll fight you no more.

“From the Ends of the Earth”

At the end of earth I stop.

And wait.

And look for you.

All my life I have longed for you,

Even the moments I pretended you didn’t exist.

Now I stand here crying out for you to show yourself.

 

Come! And bind this broken soul.

Come! And soothe these parched lips.

Come! And put all of the pieces back together.

Just come and pull me close.

 

Whisper love to my soul and pour peace into my heart.

Breathe new life into my broken bones.

Lift up my head and show me the rock-

The mountain that is higher than I

And closer to you.

 

“From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2 NIV

“Run Away Home”

Go. Go be With Jesus,
Go and dance with your man,
Go and play with my babies.
We can handle the rest.

Run. Run away home,
Run and never grow weary,
Run and finish your race.
We can handle the rest.

Fly. Soar up to heaven,
Fly and leave all the pain,
Fly and live forever.
We can handle the rest.

Dance. Dance on two legs,
Dance and sing your praise,
Dance and bask in the glory.
We can handle the rest.

Know. Know that you are loved,
Know that you are missed,
Know as you are known.
We know you have earned your rest.

A few weeks ago, my husband’s grandmother died after a long fight to recover from a car accident. This poem was my way to say goodbye and process the loss of a beautiful, humble, godly woman who adopted me as if I had always been her granddaughter.

“The Healing Power of Spit”

Jesus once healed a blind man

with spit

and dirt.

Theologians teach that this was a sign

of humility

and surrender.

Maybe so.

Or maybe my dog is right, and it’s a sign

of love

and acceptance –

The healing power of grace expressed

with intimacy

and immediacy.

I wonder.

Maybe the sole purpose of my dog’s tongue is to remind me

of gentleness

and mercy

And the healing properties of spit when properly applied

with love

and just enough dirt.

*A little note about this post: The poem was inspired by our German shepherd, Brook, who refuses to let me cry alone.  If she hears a sniffle or smells a tear about to drop, she comes to wherever I am and sits with me.  Sometimes she actually tries to lick the tears off my face, and she always sits close enough to rest her head on my shoulder or lap.  The photo is an old picture of Bear eating a candied apple, which really has nothing to do with the poem except that it’s the best dog tongue picture I’ve got.