Friday, October 19, 2012

all is grace

Most melancholy days are foggy
This one was just cloudy
Watching the skies, enraptured
I seek out blue patches of light
The day is not luminescent
Nor does the sunset boast loudly
It’s only me and the clouds
Traveling, while I still stay
Lost in wonder, maybe
Afraid that I am trapped, more likely
I remember that water is no wall
That clouds protect me from weather
And light penetrates the thickest of those covers

Most days, I am a cloud
Today, that flower is me
Except I stole the cloud’s tears
Now with both raindrops and petals
I know my weakness
My stem is straining from the weight
When I thought the water would cure me
Would that my petals would break
Stretch and rip as consequence
For my selfish thirst
But the clouds do not condemn me
The blue sky does not condemn me
Sunshine does not condemn me
Only I condemn me
As warmth returns
It lifts the weight of pity
From my fragile frame
All is grace
All is grace

Sunday, September 23, 2012

running away

I was sitting on my mountain
The lonely one, you know
Where I thought you could not find me
You were always full of good advice
But sometimes I couldn’t tell your guidance
Apart from justified condemnation

So I had run away again
It was my nature, you know
Until I had scrambled to the highest point
Where I could see the quiet town below
Stable walls marking safety for all inside
Away from harsh mountain winds

You had been telling me stories
About restoration, remember?
And how you bind up the wounds of your people
I was convinced of your faithfulness
Although I believed it was for any but me
Who runs away when she is afraid

I was waiting upon my peak
For a sort of wisdom, I guess
That would give me the secret to perfection
Instead, the chill wind met my face
And I cowered behind a jagged rock
Unsure why I had come at all

I thought the wind carried voices
Imagined, perhaps
Whispers of my fears and your love, together
You were constantly close to my heart
Despite how I shivered and wandered
Losing my way with fading daylight

I decided I could go no farther
Fell asleep, so cold
With winds howling around my rock
Worn, confused, and numbing,
I was huddled next to undeserved protection
Yet bound to the ground by desperation

I awoke to warmth and feeling
Cared for somehow
By the Presence who wouldn’t leave my side
He had carried me down the mountain
Placed grace in my unworthy hands
And found the girl who loves to runs away

~

For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, 
“In returning and rest you shall be saved; 
In quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”

Isaiah 30:15

Saturday, September 8, 2012

moments after rain

Defining beauty…
Twilight
Fresh breezes
Seasoned with raindrops
The subdued rustle of leaves
A harmony to the soundtrack of crickets
Cloudy skies of white and slate
Like the safety of soft sheets
A faint chill, when breathed,
Transforming inanimacy to life
The serenity of nature, moments after rain
He restores my soul

Friday, August 10, 2012

fairyland

In my fairyland are trees
With leaves like dancers in the air
Gliding with wind, sagging with rain
Forming patterns for sun rays
To alight upon the earth

Lovely is my fairyland
Where mist and lakes melt together
Fountains laughing, rivers singing
Showing me the joy of expression
When beauty is central

My fairyland is peace and mystery
Blending questions with dearest truths
Like why sun showers exist
How dusk can be so bright
Why love makes me afraid

While dwelling in my fairyland
(Time’s never still, yet always safe)
I wander, muse, and pray today
That imagination is a sky of hope
Where light collides with rain

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

dragonfly

He flits by my face
Dancing in the warm afternoon
Then pausing on a blade of grass.
Shimmer. Open. Close.
Wings that are ever in motion
A buzz. A twitch.
Now he is gone.
Changes are a fact of life.

For a moment in time, I saw you
Before the breeze took you suddenly.
Shimmer. Open. Close.
Maybe you don’t know your leaving
Still tears at my heart.
Letting go was never my forte
Even if I never held you.
Oh, change seldom suits me well.

Sometimes, I feel the memories
Other times, the pictures are so real
Occasionally, some words come to mind.
Yet God has not forsaken those he loves
And just as distress and joy go hand in hand,
This day, I’m watching dragonflies
Alight again.
Shimmer. Open. Close.

~

But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.
Hebrews 10:39

Sunday, July 15, 2012

sacrificial love

In essence
I am
Water
Then warmth
Lifts me
Into air
And cloud
Wholeness

I dance
Reform, perform
At the whim
Of the winds
No shape
To claim
As mine
I am
D r i f t i n g

I trusted
The wind
To blow me
Kindly
To pull me apart
Without destroying
Me
Gentle transitions
Although unsought

When winds change
Cold arrives
Water turns
To rain
And I am
Ripping
Falling
B.r.e.a.k.i.n.g
Open

I thought
That I
Was a cloud
But the cold
Stole
My breath
For rain
I am
Dying

Why
Do I
Forget
That rebirth
Follows death
Just as rain
Brings healing
And new
Life

Poured out
I am
Surrendering
Myself
To my Maker
Discovering
The beauty in
Sacrificial love

~

If it doesn't break your heart, it isn't love
If it doesn't break your heart, it's not enough...
It's when you're breaking down
With your insides coming out
It's then you find out what your heart is made of

Saturday, June 30, 2012

unwind

[written 3.10.12]

Unwind the yarn
That you wrapped around itself again
So tightly

I know you hate the mess
But just this once
Let it be 

Leave the curly wool all over the floor
As you tug out
Your knitting

If you must destroy your efforts
At least tell me the story behind
Each dropped stitch

I promise to listen carefully
While you explain the disjointed reasons
For every mistake

Don’t rush to reroll this ball
Just hand me the kitten’s playground
For I will wait

Come, I will hold you close
While you ponder how it was
Supposed to be

And if the new stitches hurt too much
Give me the needles and I will knit
Beauty for you

~

You’re mine and that’s it. Forever.

Friday, June 22, 2012

wind

The wind was rising
The sky darkening
The trees swaying
And the color dropped from my cheeks

My hair was twisting
My fingers trembling
My breath tripping
For storms tend to catch me easily

Yet somehow, I survive
I never know why
My countenance steadies
I'm rooted more firmly to truth by trust

On days like this
I want nothing more
Than to be swept away
Carried off by blowing trepidation

Pull me into the cyclone
Grab me by the wrists
Spin me into confusion
Teach me to pursue Your safety

Until storms shall cease
Let me feel the wind
Surging through the clouds
And let find my only home in You

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

vision

Ideas upon the horizon
Haze over my eyes
The lake was now much too far to swim
Lonely rain enlarged it
Winds carelessly disturbed it
And we felt solitude catching each our breaths
But hidden destinations
Cannot preempt our trusting
For the guide of all brings vision through the haze

Thursday, May 10, 2012

bubble

Inside this bubble, I see only myself
My passions, my thoughts, my dreams
The rest of the world, a warped photograph
From here in my seat of breathless peace

Please burst this bubble, make it quick
Let me sail from the clouds, free falling
I want to know the taste of clammy air
And feel the trust that I'm claiming

Just take my hand, I've landed on rocks
Yet, Lord, you are enough for me
Losing myself as well as my sin
I choose life over security

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

glass

Sunbeams are falling
Shards of glass
I’m in danger
Of being struck
By perfect light 

~
He is not a tame lion... but he is good.

Friday, April 13, 2012

understood

Petals sail to the ground
As if loss is meaningless
Because of magic snow
But the blossom understood

There were green leaves
Forming in the branches
As they always do
Taken for granted that spring

Familiar with falling
Acquainted with unhappy endings
The blossom understood seasons
Nothing lasts forever

Now her hopes become fruit
And the leaves remain the same
They never understood change
Once grown, holding on

April showers come torrentially
She closes her eyes to the storm
How fragile is hope in the rain
Fright and loss seem inevitably linked

Her eyes open to a tempest
Raging winds stealing innocent leaves
No quiet resting place for them
Only chaos and rot

What she had seen as immobile
Was being torn from home
Resistance, a fantasy
Instability, understood

Yet what remained, grew
Brighter and greener still
Despite their loss
The leaves understood fidelity

That day I looked at you
And saw a resilient history
Of fear and strength
That we both understood

Of light and of life 
Our love is mutual
And the blossom knew she could
Find beauty in the green.

Friday, March 23, 2012

patience

Gorgeous white trees
Despite the freeze
Petals falling
Caught in the air
Please lay me down to rest

Reverie, mist
Clouds that drift
Empty hands
Clasped in each other
Please find me soon unless...

~

If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 
even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.
Psalm 139: 7, 9 - 10

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

why I smile at people

A true story, complete with excessive sappiness. But hey! it's spring... can I have a sappy post, just this once?

The other day, I was at the dining hall with one of my friends. It had been a long day, I was tired, and I wasn't feeling particularly cheery. My favorite thing to get at the dining hall (besides granola and almond milk!) is "Made To Order Pasta." Essentially, you go up to the Made To Order Pasta bar, talk to the cook, and she will make a pan of pasta cooked how ever you want it. I like mine with pesto, spices, broccoli, peppers, sauce, and a little Parmesan cheese. If you haven't tasted this, you are severely missing out! But, right, this is not my baking blog...

So, back to the story. That day, I walked up the Made To Order Pasta bar and found myself waiting in an extremely long line. I watched the cook at the stove as she tended to the three pans of pasta it could hold at a time. Each of these pans had different specifications, cooking instructions, and in some cases, dietary restrictions. While the food cooked, she restocked her different containers of vegetables and other ingredients at her counter. She seemed to have a great deal of experience in managing each of her demanding tasks. 

Fifteen minutes and about 8 people later, my turn had finally arrived. Our cook at the counter asked me what I'd like and I requested several different ingredients for my pasta. Then I thanked her, smiling at her. Right away, I saw her entire countenance brighten. Most of the students before me had thanked our cook. Some even called her "Ma'am" which I thought was really cute. Our cook would nod, make sure the student got his or her food off the counter, and go back to taking orders. But when I smiled at our cook, she looked at me and smiled back. I could practically see her taking a deep breath and her shoulders relaxing. It was as if her whole demeanor changed just from my smile. This experience in turn made me smile even more.

Before that day, I had never thought of the impact that a smile can have. When I am talking to my friends or people I meet, I tend to smile a lot. In the case of complete strangers or people I will never see again though, I rarely give them any eye contact, much less smile at them. It’s me vs. the world. I keep my eyes down and avoid everybody.

Smiling on this random day has completely changed my perspective on the people going about their day-to-day lives around me. They are probably just as tired or stressed out as I am. Honestly, the people I see on the bus, at the library, or even at the dining hall don't want to eat me up... they just want to know that there are other humans out there too. In smiling, I feel like I am making the world a nicer, more personal place. Besides, it is SO much fun when people smile back at me. Smiling at people is pretty much my new hobby in life. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

river

The river continues in its path
Outbound tides that pull me towards the sea
Leaving my beloved resting place
Traveling to worlds bewildering
And I am lost in the "could have been"
Presently floating
Far from the past
Further from the future
Familiar docks become distant specks
My new landings yet unknown
Constantly floating
The waters sweep me along gently
I feel my heart rise and fall
With every miniature wave
Each ripple along the surface
Whispers a meandering story
Of unexpected hope, sparkling wonderment
Collective endeavors to guess
The expanse of the unending ocean
~
Love is an ocean wide

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

snowed in

My winter eyes searched for color in the bleak scenery
As if the crimson, emerald, and sapphire had run in their first wash
And had drowned themselves in pipes far distant from here
I would be alone with the white, the haze, the mist
Either that or the sharp outlines of shadows in my soul.

Without those vibrant hues to keep me company,
Images of abandonment closed in over my head
Faster than the snow was piling against my window.
My basement room was blocked from gentle beams of light
While the snow grew deeper than my thoughts.

Snow Master, Heaven Lord, where am I?
                                     …Sunken, stranded, snowed in...
And then! drops of grace pouring down my windowpane
Becoming pools of water that fill my lonely eyes.
Melting walls, rainbow light, iceless sidewalks: the advent of your rain.


God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. 
So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. 
But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; 
otherwise grace would no longer be grace. 

Romans 11:2, 5 - 6

Sunday, January 22, 2012

starry host

[inspired by stargazing in TN and "Cactus in the Valley" by Lights]

Dusty flour
Sprinkled through the sky
Million-fold population
Just particles
Air & matter
We are
No glory of our own
Until you lit us
And we live
Alive

I felt the dark
Between my fingers
Blindfolded
Encased in sorrow
Letting the unlit
Define me
Forgotten membership
Among the starry host
Of witnesses
Ignited

Dearly known
Counted tenderly
An imperfect galaxy
Now filled with
Flickering inconsistencies
Like me
All lit by love
Which cannot die out
We are bright
Eternally

Friday, January 13, 2012

thorns

I gazed into the distance
And fear filled my foreground.
To prevent further blurring
I lined my sight with walls.

Keeping company with no one,
I saved myself from suffering.
My dwelling place of safety
Destroyed me from inside.

When gentle animals invaded
My comfortable, quiet peace,
I added barbed wire to my outsides
And preempted new growth and change.

I walked about my little land
My eyes roved over my earth
I saw nothing living, only dead,
And my vision faded like my hope.

With my distorted sight and little help
I knew the tripping was about to start
I predicted the fall – it would be hard –
But I didn’t expect such thorns.

I gathered them up into my hands
And fashioned a bitter crown of thorns
So all would pity my lone estate
And rescue me from self-created walls.

But before my crown was finished though
Thorns were pricking through my shoes
My feet gave way, my stability swayed
And I lay silently on the ground.

Dizzy, I couldn’t bear to open my eyes
I was frightened of deserved condemnation
Looking up at the stars, my vision cleared
And from enclosed reality, I'm released.

Why build up walls, limit love
When love will find me either way?
I am not equipped to see myself
So I’m begging you, Love…

Be here, be here, to stay.

~

You make beautiful things out of the dust.
{and hope does not put us to shame}