Saturday, April 14, 2018
I want to hold my worth in my hands;
to trace my accomplishments
in gilded letters on spine and cover;
to smell them in ink and paper.
But my desire is a dream awakened,
and all I can trace are tears
of shame, that I have nothing
to hold out in offering but empty hands. . .
Empty hands—not clenched fists,
angry, or grasping at given gifts;
Empty hands, ready to hold another's,
to serve, to open and receive. . .
To receive trust—a hand placed
in mine by a friend or a child;
to receive that broken bread,
spoken over, speaking over me: "You belong."
To belong, to be welcomed,
is not something I can close my hand
around—my palm is empty
on this pilgrimage, ready to give.
I cannot hold my worth in my hand,
but I can hold His most precious Body;
hold the hand of one in His Body;
be a hand in His Body—empty. . .
Sunday, April 1, 2018
"My heart overflows with a good theme," and "my tongue is the pen of a ready writer..."
Thanks be to God!
Friday, March 9, 2018
They are like trees along a riverbank bearing luscious fruit each season without fail.
Their leaves shall never wither, and all they do shall prosper.
—Psalm 1:3, The Living Bible
What if the season is barren
rather than bearing?
How if the leaves have curled
and the river has curved
away—away from from this tree, empty?
“Empty? Why art thou empty?”
Asks the Spirit-wind,
rustling through parchèd leaves.
“Have you ceased to delight in
my Word—written, spoken, spilled down?
In the stillness after the query
hangs an echo from ancient days:
“Who told you you were naked?
Why are you afraid? Have you disobeyed,
eaten what I forbade?”
“Yes, Lord,” I whisper in shame.
“I have known good, but evil is now
natural to my broken frame.
I have not delighted in Your Name,
to Your Word I refused to bow.”
“Yet all these days
I have guarded your ways—
return to me, delight in me.
My arm is not too short to save,
remember this and offer praise.”
Like a long-waited rain to a dry tree
were His entreaties to me.
I took delight as I meditated,
both day and night, upon
His Word—written, spoken, spilled down.
Photo by Peter Oslanec on Unsplash
Friday, January 26, 2018
Ten years have disappeared,
Slowly, so-very-slowly in ways,
yet how fast and bleared
go those years of days
So much has changed,
and I've changed, too,
but some things stay the same—
like how I miss you
I missed the gift
of your letters, your self,
only when there was a rift
between you and health
Five years, nearly,
since I last saw you, so altered—
I miss you dearly,
even the way your words faltered
So much has stayed:
my foolish words and blind eyes—
but for change I often pray,
and the Lord hears my cries
I miss your songs
and poems, your wonder
and childlike joys, gone,
mind and reality torn asunder
Years and disease
have made you disappear, my friend—
Sorrow brings me to my knees
at how we came to an end
So much might resolve,
but my hopes wane,
as the days and years revolve,
and you don't write again
I miss who you were,
miss what I didn't value
enough when I had it, sir—
oh, if only we knew. . .
If we but knew
how to order our loves,
our minds, our days so few—
how to give thanks to Him above
Had I known
ten years ago,
had I received with thanks,
what difference would that make?