Chosen With Care

If only I could
Hear my words
Before sending
Them out into
The atmosphere-
If only I could
Let them hang
In the air for
A few moments
Before anyone hears-
If only the vowels
And consonants
Exclamation points
And question marks
Returned to my ears-
An opportunity
For restoration
As I suck them back in
Through my lungs
And into my heart-
Filtering out any
Selfish thoughts
Removing any
Hateful words-
Allowing them to
Be transformed
Into words of
Hope and love
Before their escape-
If only I could
Hear my words,
Would they
Be chosen
With care?

I’m Fine

I keep saying
I’m fine
But, I’m not-
Not really
 
What am I, then?
Sad and anxious
Angry and confused
Wrapped up in one bundle
 
The flow of opinions
Remains constant-
To feel empowered?
To overpower?
 
I don’t understand-
Absent from
Truth and love
They are meaningless
 
And yet, continually
Thrown like stones
Aimed at an
Invisible target
 
Except-the target
Is not invisible
It is flesh and blood
Feelings and emotions
 
And each stone
Adds another rip
Another cut in
The already worn fabric
 
So no, I’m not fine
But I am learning
To keep my opinions
To myself
 
I am learning
What’s important
Roots of truth and love
Holding me steady
 

“And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.” John 8:32

Lasting Legacy

The sun is setting
Out of sight
Out of mind
A cool breeze
Touches my face
As a stroll down
An empty sidewalk
Eases tensions
Allowing a few
Moments of peace
Turning the corner
A stifling reminder
The air no longer cool
Power left behind
By a forgotten sun
Western facing
Redbrick walls
Radiating heat
Received earlier
In the day
Stored for later use
A lasting legacy-
Remarkable strength
Revealed in
What is left behind

Sacred Space

Sacred space
Sunrise to sunset
Precious hours
Waiting to be filled

Pleading with us-
Accept the love
That wraps us up
In great affection

Powerful love
Eclipsing both
Light of day and
Dark of night

Pleading with us-
Avoid judgmental
Questions leading
To a critical spirit

Avoid bitterness
That bleeds into
Treasured time
Set aside for rest

Sacred space
Sunrise to sunset
Precious hours
To love and be loved

Sunrise, Sunset from Fiddler on the Roof

Sunrise, sunset,
Swiftly fly the years,
One season following another,
Laiden with happiness,
And tears

Let Go

I wrote this poem yesterday. The same applies today, I’m afraid. Just different levels of worry. Different levels of seeking control. I keep telling myself this is not the time for opinions. And that not everyone agrees with me anyway-shock, I know. 😉

It is difficult, however, to remain calm and consistent when so many others are expressing opinions concerning what school should look like during this worldwide pandemic. Those opinions have the potential to affect me as a teacher, as a wife, as a mother.

So, I will not share any opinions today, only this thought. Continue striving to let go…

The Anxious Me

The anxious me
Keeps dropping by
I must admit
She is not
My favorite
Always grasping
For control of
Things that are
Out of her reach
Not logical
I realize
But here she is
In the flesh
Short visits
Are acceptable
Long enough to
Bring awareness
But extended stays
Become tiresome
Weighed down with
So much worry
She has been here
Most of the day
Time for her to go-
With compassion
Of course-so I can
Rest, focusing only
On what matters
Nothing else
Not giving in
Or giving up
Just releasing the
Concerns of today

Heart-Piercing

I follow a local news photojournalist, Mike Simons, on various social media platforms. He has a way of capturing events in our city and surrounding areas that show humanity. Photographs that react and respond to current happenings without sensationalism.

One such photo recently caught my attention. The subject was a local minister known for his consistent peaceful protests for civil rights. On this particular day, the minister encountered a man asking for water. The man appeared to be homeless.

The minister’s response, captured in this photo, pierced my heart. I cannot get it out of my mind. The man requesting water, sitting on the ground, was met with unconditional love. The minister not only gave him water, but he also stooped down, washed the man’s feet, and provided him with clean socks and shoes. https://www.facebook.com/mikesimonsphoto/photos/a.487995598044480/1651200578390637/?type=3&theater

I have not had any interaction so dramatic as this one. Maybe that is why my heart cannot let it go. But I did recently have an interaction with a homeless man. Telling the whole story at this time does not seem appropriate. I did, however, write a poem to express my thoughts. Maybe I will write more later…

He Has a Name

Sad, empty face
Eyes distrusting
And suspicious
Tired-lonely
Beaten down
Shoulders slumped
No home-no
Place to rest
How? Why?
What series of
Events lead him
To this place?
Someone’s dad?
Maybe
Someone’s son?
An undeniable fact
He likes BBQ
Sandwiches from QT
And Monster drinks-
That is all I know
Except that
He is a person
And just like me
He has a soul
Inside that shell
And just like me
He has a name-
His name is Sam

Old Friends

The rain stopped
Some drops lingered
In the rich soil
Beneath the tree-
Resting after the
Long journey
On the tip
Of a pine needle,
One drop called out
Or perhaps, up
To its dear friend,
Sunshine

It’s your turn!
I’m waiting!
Send your rays
My way-So that
We may have
A moment of fun
Can’t you see?
We belong together
Simply shine your
Light on me
And watch the branch
Begin to glisten

The sun obliged
Sending its rays
To pierce the clouds
And touch the Raindrop
The two old friends
Danced and played
While the branch
Glistened and smiled
Soon, each went their way
But neither said goodbye
Knowing they would
Meet again another day

The Way I Saw It

The past few mornings have been rainy. It’s difficult to wake up and get moving when the sky is so gray. But yesterday morning, though rain still fell, had a different appearance.

Looking outside, I noticed the sky looked strange. The view out the back door was still mostly gray, but with an odd hint of pink. Looking out the front window showed the sun trying to shine through the rain. My first thought-I bet there is a rainbow.

So, I walked outside, and sure enough, there it was, a beautiful rainbow, the full arch, from one corner of the sky to the next. Little drops of rain fell on me as I took in its beauty. And then, of course, I had to snap a few pictures.

My eyes saw each color of the rainbow. Clear and bright. But when I looked at my photo, something was wrong. Still beautiful, but the colors seemed muted. Not what my mind remembered from just a few moments earlier.

I immediately began to edit my photo. Don’t you love those filters? But this took a lot of adjustments. I played with light, contrast, shadow, etc. Finally, I had a picture that represented what I had witnessed.

Why was it so important for me to change the original picture?
Seeing that rainbow brought a moment of beauty and peace during difficult days. And by sharing my photo, I hoped to share that experience. Maybe someone else needed that same kind of moment.

Which photo best represents what I actually saw? In my mind, it is the second. But logically, I know it is probably something in between the two. Maybe the second one is more representative of how I felt. Either way, that’s the way I saw it. And I think there’s a lesson in there somewhere… 🙂

Temporary Gray

The earth still spins
As the rain falls
On this new day

Looking only at me
Leads to apprehension
For today’s troubles
A clouded perspective
Heavy and gray
Veiled like the sun

It is difficult to
See the potential
For good…for love

But looking upward first
And then outward
Taking my eyes off of me
Allows powerful light
To brighten this
Gloomiest of days

Assurance of hope
Shining even in
The temporary gray

Oh it’s so hard to see

When my eyes are on me

-Keith Green “Make My Life a Prayer to You”

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5

Layers

I love the combination of a blue sky layered with clouds. Saturday was one of those days.

My husband and I took a short drive to a nearby peach orchard and store. Fresh peaches (and peach ice cream from the store) sounded like a perfect treat on a hot summer day. Yet, on the short thirty-minute drive, the sky had my full attention.

I noticed clouds moving in front of and behind one another. One cloud providing shade for the earth, but also for other clouds. Casting shadows in surprising places.

Of course, the sun plays a role in this phenomenon. It may be hidden from direct view, but its presence is undeniable. Somehow, its rays cause some clouds to glow. Allowing the creation of shadows.

Another key player-the wind. Its speed and direction cause the clouds to move-usually incrementally to our eyes. But if we intentionally watch, we can see the shifts.

Maybe more powerful, we can feel the shifts. A drastic change in heat felt as they pass over us. The relief, welcomed, even if temporary.

Now picture those clouds as people. Some gleaming, others providing shelter, and others being tossed about. Yet, all still human beings. All moving. Weaving in and out of life’s storms.

Some days I’m the one in need of shelter. And once I have gracefully accepted that provision of love, then I’m able to offer that same love. And so it goes-infinite circles of need, acceptance, compassion, love. As we help each other navigate this crazy world through beautiful layers.