These small child’s hand prints on my glass backdoor
the sticky applesauce and popsicle on my kitchen floor
I wouldn’t trade for all the mansions in this world.
These conversations with my daughters
the new territories in this journey
I wouldn’t miss for all the fame this world could offer
These days I count as precious gems
to the road that leads me found the bend
I will simply give my sweetest Hallelujah
Do not let me go to sleep and drift off into the opioid of sabotage
Sin and persistent failures a cunning addiction
I grow weary of all the brutal truth of how one must guard the deep longing of their heart
For I wander high upon the cliff and the sea glistens enchanted below
I envy your assurance but find mine for my self
Though I am anxious to arrive I wish the journey to an end
A silence I cannot hear whispers of the Living Water where there are no dangers hidden
“…if you would ask him he would give you living water…(John 4:10)
I was not your faithful friend
I was not truthful, no
I am not the best daughter, sister, wife, or mother
But I know The One who is all I have not been
The One who is a kind and faithful friend
The One who always tells the Truth, yes
The One who is the best in me that I cannot be
The One who’s is all I have not been
So when you think of how I let you down
And remember the times I did not live in truth
I want you to know that I know
Jesus is The One who is all I have not been
Like the vaults of God’s Holy temple
the blue spruce branches arch over me
Each heavily draped with new fallen snow
I kneel down in grateful prayer under the Cathedral Tree
I have never been one to love easily and trust
but You Oh God have loved me with perfect love
I was heavily draped in sin and you washed me white as snow
I kneel down in humility under the Cathedral Tree
Everybody moving blindly forward, like fish in a shoal
How long have we been losing touch with our souls?
Everybody hating what they can not understand
We surely did not gain good from the knowledge of evil
We surely forsook the only wise God and Creator
We tried to be our own gods but could not do it better
I know this is not how the story ends for His image bearers
I know the Master Writer’s plan can not be thwarted
Let it be oh Lord I pray our Faith be made sight today
She said I can’t go through this again
I can’t cover up your sin
She just kept walking down the road
Trying to drop that heavy load
Oh the days go better than the nights
The prayers crack through a little light
The storm blows in like a runaway train
Jesus is standing there calling her name
Her hooded gray blue eyes are unexpectedly bright
She speaks of the “old days, the days of Bell Fright”
The terror, relentless ringing in the darkest hour of the night.
Communism she says, “did not deliver futures bright.”
Just more betrayal and fear, and torture called Bell Fright.
Not the Nazis, no but Comrades Stalin and Marx
Different regimes but same death toll ringing in their hearts.
Haunting broken melodies played on Hungarian violins
She still shivers with the memories of dark dank cells
She says no one ever knew before it could be so cold in hell.
This poem is inspired by the book Goodbye to Budapest by Margarita Morris and to all who have survived the Bell Fright of dictators of evil.
Oh yes I learned at an early age that my face and eyes and smile could paint a picture of self confidence and a surety I could articulate all the answers expected of me. I am after all, my Father’s daughter and “no one” would get next to me…
For years I danced this dance of being strong and able. Of not letting by hurts show. Of being articulate to hide the pain. Of keeping it all together for the sake of…
By God’s grace over the years this survival mode of being all together began to erode away as I grew into the realization I wasn’t made to just survive and I wasn’t made to please others or be strong or lead. I was made in the Image of God to live my life in such a way that He would be known and glorified by it (my life).
Now when I see my self coping with life in that old default survival mode more often than not I can spot it and go to the Holy Spirit for guidance and He is always ready and present. God does not help those who help themselves. Nope. That is recorded nowhere in Scripture. God knows that we cannot save ourselves which is why, of course, He saves us through His Son Jesus, by Grace, by Mercy, by His atoning blood shed for us. God saves people who think their coping skills are working until they aren’t. God saves us because of who He is not because of who we are or anything we have done. This is a great relief to me and probably any fellow believer in Christ. This truth gives me great comfort every day.
When Jesus told the disciples that He had to return to the Father’s house to prepare a place for us and said he would send us The One who would dwell in us, with us, guide us, and yes give us heavenly coping skills until that glorious day we go to our Father’s House forever.
How are your coping skills working for you? Eroding survival skills are a slippery slope that gives way to dying. God’s way is so much better. I choose not to go back to my comfort zone in order to avoid exposure, pain, or suffering. The cost is much too high so I choose to stand in The One who really did pay the highest price for me.
Hey let’s bend the light and pretend we’re sitting together on the back porch this September Texas evening. Come share it with me. Share the fact we are getting older and it is a fact we are still learning to love Jesus and man we really don’t love others well without him present. Let’s share our weakness and our strengths and how religious formulas are not why Jesus came for us.
Come share with me that we humans struggle with being exposed. That we try to behave a certain way and look a certain way so that we can belong. Let’s share that we are concerned about aging and health and what our kids and grandkids are facing in their future. Each generation succeeds and fails in some way. Let’s share that doing good is its own reward privately before our Lord. Let’s share sometimes life is so lonely but at other times so joyful we weep and laugh with thanks.
Let’s celebrate our blessings and grieve our lost dreams with humility. Together let’s take ownership of our relationships that failed and the mercy in the ones that succeeded.
Share my sojourn and yours with me. How God in his amazing Grace saved us when we did not deserve it. Let’s bask together in Truth and redemption and healing. Most of all let’s sit humbly and quietly embracing our humanity and God’s lavish unending love and goodness to us. Let’s say we are sorry, we forgive, and we rejoice in all that is this crazy ride called life.
Let’s share this September Texas sunset and Praise The Holy and thank him for the gift of each other and for giving us one more day to learn to love Him and each other better. Will you come and sit a while?
“A friend loveth at all times.”. Proverbs 17:17
She wore a Silver sorrow
like a crown upon her head
Upon her shoulders Burdens and
her feet were shod with Dread.
Then touched was she by Grace
and Mercy that crown replaced
Now she dons the golden Joy
made of tears from Jesus’ face.