Tag Archives: God

For the Love of Poetry (Pt. 3) – Exploring God

Image Source: CreationSwap

Image Source: CreationSwap

Today, can I share with you some words incredibly personal and dear to my heart?

When I first started writing poetry, it was a place to process emotion, to unload all that teenage angst, to play with words.

But then I read John Donne.  And he intrigued me.  I mean, first you have The Flea – this long, eloquent discussion of a flea biting a man and a woman which turns out to be quite the elaborate (and can we say it – slightly ridiculous) pick up line.  And you have No Man is an Island, a brilliant consideration of the connectedness of humanity that has resonated with countless hearts across many generations.  And then – his Holy Sonnets.

Batter My Heart, Three-Personed God led me through new doors and down new paths as a writer and a Christian.  As I read these words again and again, my heart stirred to write about God this way, to know Him this way.  All throughout Donne’s Holy Sonnets, he pulls on unique images and concepts that help you see God through fresh eyes.  Sometimes it’s uncomfortable; always it’s enlightening.

So I began exploring God through poetry.  I began, if you will, documenting my spiritual journey through poetry.  I learned what it meant to pour my heart out to Him – to hold nothing back, to be laid bare, to not be afraid to be brutally honest when it was hard or when I wanted to quit.  And to this day, when I am struggling to hear Him, when I feel like I am out of words to pray, I can find Him through the poetic voice in my spirit.

I do not share these poems often, but I would love to offer you three today.  And from the bottom of my heart, I would hope and pray they might draw you a step closer into His romance and mystery.

 

Greystone

I saw my heart

tossed upon the jagged rocks.

I saw my soul

tumbling down the emerald hills.

I felt my bottled tears

as the icy rain fell.

 

But then I knew how all that has been:

my hemorrhaging heart –

the endless solitude that would poison my soul –

the relentless fear that would paralyze my heart –

the merciless desert . . .

Brought me to this intoxicating moment,

 

Where the wind brought us close,

where Your arms held me close,

and after so long a silence –

You whispered my name.

 

The Sea

I am so small,

staring into the face

of a blue expanse

that could devour my existence.

And You, should You stand beside me,

would gather it all, beyond what I see,

into the palm of Your hand.

 

It is me You hold right now.

 

I see the reflection of Your eyes

in the shimmering surface.

My wavering, trembling soul

is stilled at last,

by the warmth of the flames in Your eyes,

by the breeze of Your lovely voice,

and the gentle fingers through my hair.

 

Hands

Invisible –

yet real as the air I breathe.

Blind to the things I can see,

I depend on the shadow

only my soul knows.

 

So soft – my velvet shadow –

caress my skin and fold

around my heart.

Hold it in Yours.

 

Rough – my stubborn shadow –

from holding this clay

in the blazing forge.

(Do not let go.)

 

Desperate devotion – I cling

to Your feathers and steel.

I follow this solid phantasm,

adore the silken touch,

real as the air I breathe.

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Filed under Creativity, Faith, Poetry, Writing

Rooftops

(Over the next 10 weeks, as I work my way through Story 101, a lot of my posts will come from prompts and subjects we’re discussing.)

Consider this :: what is it that keeps you up at night? What could you talk about every single day for the rest of your life? What do you want to shout from the rooftops so everyone will know?

What runs electric through your veins?

I have to admit – I stared at these words for a long time, slow panic rising in me.  Lots of things keep me up at night right now – and all the uncertainties and struggles began dancing around my head in broad daylight.

But out of the chaotic thoughts came countless moments from my memories – me, a heap on the floor and tears in my eyes and heart laid bare.  And I knew.

I shout from the rooftops that I love Him – shamelessly, fiercely, desperately – because He is all together perfect.

I don’t understand so much, but I love Him.

Some days it scares me because I live in a world that wants to make it seem foolish and pathetic and ignorant to love Him.  Sometimes the Church has earned those criticisms; often she hasn’t.  And it is hard to live in a world that seems hostile to what you love.  But still I love Him.

And I shout from the rooftops that He loves you, me, all of us, and if you do not love Him, perhaps you have not really seen Him?  And I suggest this with not a shred of condemnation or shame, but rather to stir up hope, to urge you to keep looking.

Electric through my veins is the desire for people to encounter His presence, to catch one glimpse of His eyes gazing into them – seeing all and loving all.  If we do not have Him, we have nothing.

And I shout from the rooftops that He is holy, and it is ok that we are not because He is committed to making us holy, even while we are broken.  When He corrects, it may be uncomfortable, but it still feels like grace.  And if it feels more like shame, then maybe just wait a little longer before making any changes?  Shame produces some nasty fruit, nothing like what He offers.

For the rest of my life, it comes back to Him, again and again.  And I know sometimes He seems far and sometimes He seems unreasonable and sometimes He simply makes no sense.  But don’t give up.  He is never truly far.  And I know some days this journey is just so, SO hard.  But don’t give up.

I shout from the rooftops that He is worth it.  I believe it with every fiber of my being.  I love Him.

And He loves us – this is my loudest shout of all.

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Filed under Faith, Passion, Presence, Worship

Waiting on a Miracle

I have suffered a death of sorts this week.

Our car died.  And I can hear you now: “But it’s just a car . . .???”

But it’s not just a car.  You see, our last car died.  Slowly.  Over the course of many months.  We watched it happen, but there was so little we could do.  And then a miracle.

My grandfather had a car, but was no longer able to drive it.  My husband was at school in the evenings, and my grandparents were worried about me, at home, with two babies and no way to go anywhere if I needed to.  We weren’t able to handle the expense of two cars at the time, so my parents ended up buying it from them.

But when our car died, my dad said, “This was always intended for you.  And so it’s yours.”  And just like that – a miracle.  A reliable, well-cared-for (free!) miracle of a car.

In the season when this happened, there was a lot of other craziness happening.  Transition.  Challenges.  And the car became for me a symbol that nothing was impossible, that God could bring something out of nothing, that He was faithful.  I had heard stories like this from other people, but this one was mine.  My story.

Two weeks ago, we experienced some minor issues with the car.  A flat tire resulted in taking the car in for some other routine maintenance.  And when our tiny bit of precious savings was spent, it became obvious that the issues were far bigger than the life of the car.  Literally all this time, it has been excellent, reliable, such a gift.  And then in a matter of days, we watched it fall to pieces.

My miracle.

This current season has its own challenges, like every season does.  But these have been particularly excruciating.  My heart has been raw and bleeding and weary.  They always tell you in these hard times to look back and remember how God has been faithful to you.

But in the midst of this dark, suffocating season, the thing that served as the most visible reminder of faithfulness died.  How do I explain?  It’s not that this was the only time in my life God was faithful to me.  It was just the most tangible, wrap-your-hands-around-it, see-it-with-your-own-two-eyes experience I have had.  I could see the fruit of my faith.

And its death feels like a betrayal.

It feels like I was granted sight for a moment only to be plunged back into darkness again.

It’s not about a car.

It’s about deep wounds inflicted on my heart.  It’s about dreams that are buried and agonizing to remember.  It’s about pressure that threatens to crush.  It’s about the demands and exhausting challenges of mothering two pint-sized world changers.  It’s about watching my enemy carry out an unrelenting vendetta against the man I love.

It’s about the age-old lie that says He is not good, He is holding out on me.

I know I am not the first to walk these dark, hard places.  Nor will I be the last.  And I will say what so many don’t want to say – this faith journey is so dang hard.  More days than not, it feels like it gets worse before it gets better.  More days than not, it makes no sense.  More days than not, it seems like the people just doing their own thing have it so much easier than the more eternally-minded among us.

But.

More days than not, I see the fingerprints of His goodness all over my ordinary.  More days than not, I am assured that I am deeply known and deeply loved.  More days than not, I hear His voice above the chaos, saying, “I’ve got you, beautiful.”

So today, I will acknowledge my feelings, but I will not be governed by my feelings.  I will not let my enemy win.  I will cling to His hand for dear life, let Him lead me one trembling step at a time through the darkness until the clouds lift and the miracles appear.

 

 

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Filed under Faith, Grieving, Miracles