Memories

i’m going on a little trip
not fully sure how far
so i’m gathering all my memories
to put them in this jar

i want to take them with me
and keep them close at hand
so i can pour them on my bed
and wallow now and then

i’ve been saving them for years
they come from everywhere
but there’s enough to go around
they grow only when i share

so i’ll take some out at morning time
and a few more after noon
they’re almost gone by suppertime
spread out from room to room

but as the feathers hold my head
and my eyes have lost their white
all the memories come crawling back
and climb into that jar of mine

then the sun lifts my eyes again
the mercies new each morn
so i share each memory i’ve found
the old ones and the newly born


Mending Fences

Hebrews 4:16 “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

A decorative fence around his yard did stand
with white pickets, each placed with care.
Crafted and painted and set neatly by hand.
At its beauty all  would stop and stare.

A neighborhood boy, now becoming a man,
still too young, though, to drive tons of steel,
lost control as he drove and destroyed the pen.
He now faced a result, dire and real.

Not a single straight board was standing erect,
all disjointed, dislodged or displaced.
As the master surveyed the wonderful mess,
his options did not start with grace.

He could have elected to act as a judge,
a sure penalty both swift and severe.
No one would blame him for acting as such
or for the justice of his handiwork, either.

“You must make repairs to this chaos you made
every slat put back where it belongs.
And I will be talking to your father today,
or to that man with a badge and a gun.”

He could have instead chosen mercy to bless,
grant an option to make it all right.
Give him a chance to pay for this mess,
and to fix it, if it takes all the night.

“You must make repairs, but I’ll help you, dear child,
and I’ll let you work off your debt.
If we work with great zeal, no one need be wise.
Come now, quickly, with a pep in your step!”

But the man did not choose to be merciful or just,
for a third option was available still.
His election of grace astounded this Puck
with a “miraculous” choice, if you will.

“Are you hurt? Are you scared? Don’t panic, young man.
I’m here and will make all things new.
I’ll take care of this problem with my own feet and hands,
and when I hurry, my paint dries before dew.

“I won’t make you pay, for you’re just a young lad,
and my resources are rich, vast and deep.
I’ll make everything new; the old will be past.
Go and rest and I’ll work as you sleep.

“In the morning you’ll awake and glance all around:
the fence and the yard both renewed.
Perhaps then we’ll walk and remember our bond
that was formed when I sacrificed for you.”

Grace is a gift, both extravagant and free;
undeserved joy and favor unmerited.
We deserve justice, and long so for mercy,
yet find that, in lieu, grace we’ve inherited.


Hurry Up and Wait

Devotional as published on ChristianDevotions.us:

In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.. Psalm 5:3

The arrival of a baby is such bittersweet anticipation. For almost thirty-seven weeks, my soon-to-be-born son was developing in his mother’s womb. The normal gestation period is forty weeks, but at this point, he could arrive at any time. We knew he would be here soon, but we didn’t know exactly when.

He was our third child, so while the beginning of the pregnancy was still very exciting, we were perhaps a little complacent. After all, it would be months before our little one would be here, so it almost didn’t seem real. The due date seemed an eternity away.

Month by month, though, the time flew by. Every day, our eagerness intensified. We could hardly wait to meet this new addition as he was introduced into our lives. The day that seemed so far away was suddenly upon us. Our expectation of our son’s arrival both lengthened and shortened the waiting period. It made time both speed by and drag.

Sometimes prayer can be that way. We bring our requests to God, expecting an immediate answer. Unfortunately, there is never a specific timetable. God promises to answer our prayers, but he does not say when. We should pray with expectation, though, anticipating his response, regardless of how long it takes. This can make things go by quickly and slowly, both at the same time.

What are you praying for? Are you eagerly awaiting an answer? Spend some time today thanking God for prayers that He’s already answered, and in advance for the prayers he’s going to answer in the future.

After all, we know he’s going to answer, we just don’t know when.

 


tasty

(painting by Kristin O’Connor. Used by permission.)

sprinkles of color paint sweetness to tongue
eyes gazing empty to take it all in
distracted by chaos, colors turn one
steeped in this winsome graffiti called sin

gluttonous dog to vomit returning
sinking my teeth into filling of wrong
swallow, insides now rumbling and churning
ignoring the warnings, choose to chew on

not thinking now, my mind loses its grip
the way of escape i choose to ignore
lost in the luscious left lovely on lips
continuing what tomorrow deplores

dirty and cluttered, depravity’s mess
humbly confessing, grace there awaiting
heeding the call of acceptance, forgiveness
disregarding both failures and mocked disdain

find a new pattern, a brightness of palate
an icy road ends with beauty and love
say no to that voice that draws me into it
and yes to the other sweet whisper above


darkness dims

darkness dims as light’s unfolding
wrapped up in my Savior’s love
Son of God am I beholding
resting in His might above

cherish, o, those words so tender
as He softly speaks my name
at His image I remember
not my sin or dark of shame

at the right hand of the Father
judging saints and sinners all
from His precepts never wandered
from His grace never to fall

saved from that dark pit infernal
getting not what I deserve
son of God and heir eternal
at the feet of Him I serve

sharing heaven with my Savior
life not ending, glory found
resting in the arms of my Lord
resting where pure joy abounds


Olive Press

He holds me in place, gently yet firmly, knowing I won’t run.

I refuse to struggle against his grip – the ever-obedient son.

After all, Father knows best, even when I can’t make sense of it.

I just can’t help wondering, how will my suffering give anyone benefit?

As my hand brushes my skin, fear bumps swell in unison on my chest,

my face and heart involuntarily question the logic of my father’s request.


Why ask this of me? Why this? Why me? Why take what I might freely give?

Before my fears can grip me, rip me, I flip my tears away, or dam them where they live.


My adam’s apple’s swelling and getting harder to swallow.

But from Father’s eyes come peace, certainty, grace; my eyes follow.

Courage can mean a lot of things, but it does not mean fearless.

And what of Mother? Will she still laugh, or in her mourning remain tearless?

I try not to dwell too long on the coming scene, on how I will die.

I try not to think too much of the altar of twigs, of where I will lie.

Or even consider the cords that may bind my hands and feet.

My father will surely make it quick – finished before my first bleat.

So I rest on one knee, where the sacrificial oil will flow,

hesitating slightly, in case mercy he decides to bestow.


My weak body caving to my spirit yet willing:

Father, if you will, take from me this cup of suffering.


Nine Judges

Old trees stood nervously, swaying as one

arboreal chamber with walls of dismay.

Tarnished and yellowed, archaic and shunned,

limbs hanging tired in decrepit decay.

Bark fell off mangy and scabbed with disease,

rough like their voices, still churning out sneers.

Saplings and creepers, young scandalous trees,

sarcasm, ridicule, showing no fear.

Then all the trees to the bramble in scorn,

smiling and smirking, “You come be our king!”

Barbs, spurs, tines, points, prongs, spikes, prickles and thorns,

each red with tenderness after the sting.

Woven, suspended, intending no harm,

Thornbush fell wordless and stretched out his arms.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.