Jars of Clay…we were enemies of God

blur broken ceramic clay

Photo by Fancycrave.com 

 

The heavy burden of baggage, the relentlessness of clocks. No none likes to see something break. It would not be normal if we liked to see something or someone break yet we are all broken. The day we are born we begin the journey into decay. Some see this as morbid. I see it as part of the “fall” or disobedience. The brokenness that had to be reconciled. The healing that had to happen in such an earth shattering, heaven and hell kind of way. Complete light and complete darkness collide and God’s light wins.

Everything about us, our appearance, the miraculous functioning of our bodies and brains are designed. Some of us dress plainly. Some wear costumes of bright plumage. Some of us are Primary clay. Some of us are transformed by miles of rain, wind, and ice.

I was once broken but have been transformed into his marvelous light.

 

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of  your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.  Colossians 1:24

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Sun

selective focus photography of grass

Photo by Jens Mahnke 

 

The summer sun is baking the side walks and streets.
The Texas horizon looks like a melting mirage.
Summer solstice has arrived and a few things never change.
Even in the shade it is one hundred degrees.
My grandchildren have begun their love affair with the sprinkler and popsicles.
In the backyard with their parents.
And wonderful cool sheets for an afternoon nap.
And all is right with my world today and I am grateful.

Box of Secrets

black and white black and white depressed depression

Photo by Kat Jayne 

She took the cover off her box of secrets

No longer afraid someone might see them

Shreds of shame and names in pieces

No more to carry the cruel deceptions

And now Truth reigns with love God only shows

 

She knows they wonder what really keeps her

Guarded from those who want to meet her

The ones she loves they tossed like trinkets

Their distorted religion can no longer reach in

And take her soul from the love  God only knows

 

She has put her weapons down for good you see

Knowing nothing good ever hides in a shroud

Of course life giving Truth is what remains

Shame forever crucified into the ground

And her being is now  in the love God only bestows

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pedestal

abstract angelic art blast

Photo by Sebastian Voortman

He said I was too good to be true

but of course there were obvious clues

 

He said your eyes are like pools of mystery

but of course he couldn’t see my history

 

The pedestal was so lovely for a season

but of course in time it crumbled all to pieces

 

He said the crumbled ruins were better 

of course no one can love a stone cold pedestal

 

 

 

 

 

 

Louisiana June

white cotton flowers in vase beside clock

Photo by Irina Iriser 

I saw the first bloom of cotton

White and puffy like a cloud

it made me grin.

 

Mama Mae’s deep well water

Tasted like the honey of heaven

It rested my thirst.

 

My daddy had a smile

An umbrella to my world

it covered my heart.

 

The Night Heron

grey heron reflection on body of water

Photo by Leigh Jeffreys

She said what she first noticed was that images were spinning around her frontal lobe like those old 1950 children’s lamp shade night lights. As the lamp would spin around different nursery rhyme stories would glow in the dark. This is what she noticed first.

These scenes of life from childhood to ancient-hood would spin in her mind but then she would immediately forget what she saw. She said it was tremendously frightening at first.

She said with in a few months the the children started coming more often. Telling her what she should do more often. She just smiled and ignored them and worked in her garden. She managed dozens and dozens of tulips and daffodils around her large home built with field stones.  A beautiful home that once was in a country meadow but with human progress was now in the middle of a large city neighborhood. She said she loved to prune the bulbs and separate them each year. She used her little garden mat for her creaky knees and wore the hat which was her Mother’s. She said her Mother bought the hat in China where her family were missionaries until the Communist kicked them all out of the country.  The hat was perfect for long days in the Texas summer and was constructed so well that it looked as good as new instead of forty years old.

I would drive by her house every day on my way to work or to the market and everyday she could be found in her garden. I often stopped to chat.

One day we were talking and she said, “you know children can never know their parents young. That is why it is so hard for them to understand them as adults. They have never seen me run a relay race like a gazelle or fight with my sister. They have never seen me with skinned knees and pigtails. They surely cannot picture me as a lovely teenage girl going on her first date much less enjoying a healthy sex life at least until they were born! I also think they have forgotten that their Father always brought me tulips and daffodils our wholes lives together.”

As fall approached I would see her out there tending the bulb garden with her head bent over and her knees on her mat. It gave me a sense of comfort I think.  Then, of course, that inevitable day came when I did not see her for a week or so but had been too busy to stop by. The next week I saw a for sale sign in the front yard and stopped.

I was surprised when a nurse aid let me in and I knew this must be a bad sign but she was actually looking quite spry. I noticed when she stood up that her back was a tiny bit bent like trees whey they finally wear the shape of the wind. We sat together in some worn but comfortable chintz chairs by the front window. The gray-blue light of winter slanted through the stillness. She said, “Death’s cruel pluck is coming.” She was right.

By spring she was gone. By summer the children sold her house and the lot behind it. The new construction destroyed every single tulip and daffodil. All the lot taken up by a McMansion. They didn’t tear down the beautiful stone house but to me tearing up the garden was the cruelest act. I wonder if the children had no idea what it meant to her. I wondered why they did not see the hours she labored and loved in that garden. I wondered a lot of things.

The last time I saw her she talked about how the night Heron with it’s silver soft plumage was the most beautiful in all the marsh. She said she that the Heron had been visiting her each evening in the shadows of dusk. She said she was stuck in a memory of growing up on the Bayou of Houston and couldn’t remember a lot of things about being an adult.  The last thing she said to me with a gentle smile on her face was, ” thanks for coming to visit me Mama. I will see you soon for good.”  I just smiled and told her goodbye and thanked her for the beautiful tulip and daffodil garden.  She waved and I was gone. She was gone too.

Every time I drive by the property I go through a run of emotion from anger at her children for what seems carelessness to realizing I am not their judge. I feel sad that the beautiful tulips and daffodils no longer dance there in the breeze. I remember her smile and think of the Night Heron. I picture her in heaven with her Chinese hat on bent down on her knees with her mat working in God’s garden.

You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of the aged, and you shall revere your God. Leviticus 19-32

 

An artist and a poet

beach candle candlelight close up

Photo by Pixabay

I don’t know what you found after our childhood

Did love transform your dreams or did you have to choose?

 

Do we really know between the longing and the real?

I think of you often and am warmed by your gentle smile.

 

I hope you found a girl and some laughter.

A place to warm your heart through dark cold disaster.

 

Life is but a song we sing to touch others

An artist and a poet, a sister and a brother, a moment in the sun together

Lover’s Curtains

photo of beaded accessories

Photo by Artem Bali

It doesn’t really matter when

I pull back the curtains and see you again

It will be two-sided loving

like it’s always been

Come on in my lover and friend

 

There is a wonderful wildness in a true loves heart

once it starts the rhythm won’t stop

do you feel it baby,

do you still feel it too

When I pull back the curtains and come visit you?

 

 

“I got my meanness from the gutter and my kindness from God…

people-peoples-homeless-male.jpg

He said, “I get my meanness from the gutter and I get my kindness from God.” I sat down under the bridge with him and I said, “I think I could say the same.” He looked at me square in the eyes and I could see he was surprised by my response. He said, “You don’t look like you know much about the gutter.”

I smiled and said “looks can be deceiving don’t ya know?” Then he laughed. The sound of his laughter was one that made me smile. His laughter was like a nine month old baby’s belly laugh. The kind of laughter where nothing is held back and a sweetness of joy rings from it. I told him I had not laughed like that in ages and he said, “Oh you can only laugh like that when Fury and Thunder have cracked your soul and all the dark places have been opened up and cleaned out and all the pieces are strewn about and you cannot put them back together by yourself. I call it reconcilable purity. This laughter only occurs when you have lost your life to save it and when you were first but now you are last…”

I sat there in sober silence but something inside of me begin to tremble. “Who are you?” I whispered. He said, “I am just an old man who has been given a new heart and all day long I just like to go around and give my heart and life away to whoever might need it for a minute or two so that they can go about their day with some pure laughter…” The gorged veined, brown spotted hands palmed my face and the old man looked me in the eye and he said, “Go and be, not do. Go laugh and cry. Go and give your life away for someone else and you will see. You will laugh the laugh of “reconcilable purity.”

Lost Boys…

silhouette group of people standing on grass field

Photo by Afta Putta Gunawan

 

I always tried to save the Lost Boy…

I could pick Him out in a crowd

His eyes look sad as if they wanted to be found

He is hurt deep  inside but never makes a sound…

 

I always tried to save the Lost Boy…

he will never dance to someone else’s tune

he talks tough to his friends and howls at the moon

he takes care of others and will grow up too soon…

 

Oh the Lost Boys are blue, some are bound to lose

I pray to The One who can right all wrongs to sing His song

and fill the boy with sweet light and soul

because I know now I cannot save The Lost Boys…