Friday, August 8, 2014

Traveler's Rest

And there will come times of refreshing--

Fevered feet, cooling, touch mountain streams

For the point, where you truly are weakest

Will outsource grace and purpose you seek.


Farther on are oases and culverts

March on, though you long for long rest.

Past the summit that's blocking your vision

Lies a sunrise, surpassing aught else.






Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Inevitable

Why do things have to change?
Or, rather,
why do they bother me so when they do?

It's like the grownup child
inside of me
emerges every time
change comes

It's only the inevitable

Perhaps that's why I chafe at change

I watch old movies and read books published
Long before my birth
For the memories they've frozen
For the outsider view

And I internalize lost worlds
Like an atlas
Til I speed myself through them

It's the here and now
inconstant, soon
That evades me
like the steps of a waltz
or the Charleston
No matter how many times I study it

For the present is a shifting current river
And the water I hold
never the same in my hands

Give me quieter waters
sans stagnant
Let me study my hand
in the same light and same part of stream

That's the poor choice I would make if I had one
the way would seem right
but I'd perish in the end

It's the "such a time as this"
I am meant for

Letting summer fade and mellow the sweetness
it once held
when it was a lengthy stretch of uninterrupted days

Where is my innocent childhood and springtime
I wished away with the speed of a jet plane?

Where are the past lives
i can't live
but know outside in
like the back of my own hand?

They are past me now
They are somewhere
unromantic

I must believe
the best days are ahead

Romans 8:28 says
that's inevitable, too.


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Small Beginnings

"Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin..." (Zechariah 4:10)

For all these smallnesses, Lord
I thank You*

Small struggles
Small budget
small summer
smal stipends
small household
small dreams

Small struggles
that prepare me
for the larger fights and wars
reminding me that passing each of the small tests
and focusing alone on the small steps
is more important than worrying
about all the large tasks that await me
in the future
beyond my present tasks, my present strengths

Small budget
that teaches me how to be faithful with little means and yet avoid meanness
before and if I have the chance to see more funds, more knowledge accrue
multiplied joy in the saving and giving versus spending
as I formerly governed myself

Small summer
to make me appreciate the long ones
more aware of each season
more conscientious of what's near me
finding ways to better spend time
You have asked me to steward as well

Small stipend
to re-prioritize the wanted and the needed
that You somehow continue to stretch
in ways faith alone has made possible
exceeding and abundantly more mileage each paycheck
than I could ever dare dream
You are still the Ephesians 3:20 God

Small household
that reassures me Your timing's so right
for a family of my own
in the future,
God willing,
not present--
only me to look after
and for now, quite enough

Small dreams, God
You keep making bigger
the more You can trust me
Not the 40-page annotated blueprint of my own
when I thought it was easier to lay them before You and ask for Your blessing
instead of starting by requesting, truly requesting,
what You had planned for me instead
sans blueprint in hand
reminding me to trust You,
Your broad strokes, Your details

You are teaching me how to stretch my wings
as a newly-hatched butterfly
cupped so tenderly within Your scarred hand
that counts time
for the full dream revealed
when I am strong enough to greet it

The small things
left piling
So often steal peace

But Your presence
Your contentment
Help me see and not grieve.


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*First line borrowed from the poem that inspired mine: "For All These Smallnesses" by Ruth Bell Graham