Saturday, November 21, 2015

Because You Get the Final Word, God

Because You get the final word, God
We will not worry.
We will not wonder if we should push through this
Because you have told us
Not to let go

Because You get the final word, God
You're working through this
Even when we can't see
Any visible proof--
You are working through it, Lord

We look to other people,
Hear their stories,
And captivatingly listen,
Searching for nuggets of golden truth
That might spell out our story for us ahead of it all to come.

But You invite us to the
Record of Your Word, God.

Though You can send us
Particular people and stories to encourage us 
And readily do to confirm it to us,
You ask that we anchor ourselves deeply
In Your promises
Where the only filter of interpretation on Your love story
Is the Holy Spirit,
 who has been given to us.

We run ourselves in circles of illogical logic
Of what ifs
Spiraling downward 
Until we hit our breaking point of doubt and fear

And that is where we find Your strength.

We don't intend to forget,
But we do.

We get worried and frustrated
Our hopes wane momentarily
We can't seem to find You.

That's when You meet us in our desert spaces

You wait for our seeking
And all that's tired to start leaning
On those everlasting arms
That have been there all along
Oftentimes so close we lost Your shadow

You let us lean deep
And remember 
Our circumstances change
But not the awesomeness
Of all that You are.

You can still be trusted.
You're still working it out for the good.

And sometimes the journey 
Feels like a cross country marathon
In a land down under
Of days without rest
And unyielding black nights

But each step marks a peace of our healing
Brings its blessing

And strengthens our faith, hope, and love again

We're still Your warriors
Even when we are struggling
when we are grieving

We're just in a battle
recovering lost ground

Because the Wounded One
took stripes
died and rose
so we could win this
and be healed

Sometimes the struggle is the healing
Jacob's life said

We are still Your messengers

You still have the final word, God,
In these seasons

You teach us to sing when Your light meets our dark.

Because You are faithful, even when we are not

Because You look deep into our hearts and see we still want You

Because You deliver and are mighty to save.

Alpha and Omega--
Full of lovingkindness, 
Always leading us onward and upward
If we'll only believe You're more trustworthy than our "this."

Because You get the final word, God
You know how the story ends
And it is never unhappily ever after
Because You get the final word.

If we commit our lives to Yours, God,
Your love will always meet us there,
Even when we're at the end of our strength

That's when Love gently lifts us
Spiraling upward
An unbroken cocooning
That opens high above us
And offers a much better view

Forever, You're asking us to ignore
What the physical sight brings
So we can focus on the spiritual realities otherwise blocked from our view.

That's when You free us
With Your songs of deliverance.
That's when we feel and believe what You're saying is true:
"Child, I love you!"

And our worries melt like butter
Fully erasing our clarified fears

Because You're with us
On the journey

Even when we can't see You physically
You are with us

Having walked the path before us
Before you retraced your steps 
to meet us where we are
And then You reach out Your hand
To walk beside us again
And to bring us where we will be
As we lean on Your arms and we clasp tightly to Your Unseen hand.

All because You love us and have prepared good things before us
That we might walk in them

That we might soar high in Your strength!

All because You get the final word, God

And the final word is "Your love never ends!"

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Remembrance Day

When my grandfather forgot my grandmother
She never stopped remembering him.

When he forgot he had a bride,
She kept her vows for better or for worse.

Love does that.

Love remembers even when ...

The man, who always wanted to hold her,
Morphed into the man 
who wanted to be far away from her

And she remembered whom he was beneath the surface of unraveling memories.

Like Penelope
She wove the fraying threads of logic
Over and over again
Into a beautiful tapestry
Of tear-stained prayers
To stay her through the storm
To keep the missing at bay

She was determined to love my grandfather 
in the same way 
he would love her 
if his mind were intact and the 
tables were reversed.

I learned so much she didn't know she was teaching me.

I learned what it means to love someone through anything, 
even when 
they can't love you back.

I learned how you remember enough for the two of you 
to hold things together, 
even when only one of you 
is in your right mind and 
doing most of the work.

I learned how to see what true love is, made plainly visible in one million concrete ways
 how love looks past what things look like on the surface 
to what can only be known 
heart to heart.

I learned God alone
creates love that will last
beyond its dying breath.

One day, so deep in that dreadful disease that he was primarily silent and 
rarely moved the slightest...

One day after so many days 
when his voice had been grating 
instead of grateful...

One day after the same hands
that had only ever before this disease
reached for my grandmother tenderly--
 stopped striving to lash out at her...

One day after many days 
where his eyes had searched 
my grandmother's face 
in anger or confusion, 
with the perpetual looks of either, 
"Who are you?" Or
"Stay away!"

For one fraction of one glorious day
God's love and grace exponentially surrounded us.
He remembered her
At a time all of his memories
Of her 
 whom she truly was to him
Should have faded forever away

The hands reached out in gentleness

The eyes brimmed full with affection.

The lips parted to ask for a kiss and 
to tell her,
 "You're my
wife...I love you."  

There is power in being remembered well and 
being loved completely for it.

even when love came and left 

Before it flew back home to stay.

Angela M. Byrd 
Copyright 2015, 2017