Thursday, May 14, 2009

Keepers of the Light

She stands alone
In the quiet of the lighthouse
Silently searching
The surface of the sea.

She watches for those ships
Who may have lost their way
In the dark fog.
She shines her light
And lets them see their way home.

She doesn’t ask how or why they strayed.
She only knows they did,
And her job is
The keeper of the light.

She does it well.

One can never tell
When it will be we
Who are called to be
Keepers of the light—
Not to speak, or to steer,
Simply to watch,
Then share our light
And welcome the ships home.

The Gardener

like a fragile blossom
then fades
then is forgotten.

I will plant
the hopeful seedling
though I know
it’s gift is fleeting.

I will still
the gentle scent
though I know
it’s transient.

I will still marvel
at the flower,
revel in
its glory hour.

I will still
its velvet leaves
and, with its wilting
will I grieve.

But I will plant
that seedling still,
bending to
a higher will.


She rises
from the ashes
of a consuming flame
(hence the name)
more brilliant that she'd
Ever been.
Eternal fires
Kindled within.

In the Garden

I labor in the vineyard

barefoot and bare-souled

clinging to the tools I'm given

with a weak and trembling hold,

waiting to lay the world aside,

my mind on the din and clutter,

hoping for some small simple relief

in a promised world, new and better.

As my bruised knees hug the soil,

as my fingers bleed and toil,

as I tend both petal and thorn,

a seedling of new faith is born.

And as His Spirit soothes my pain,

as He cools my sweat with rain,

as His hand encloses mine,

it's easier to tend the vine.


This is the game

I said I'd never play.

Rules I thought I knew

suddenly changed by you.

I don't know what to say.

Time-out called mid-play.

I spoke,

and the whistle blew.

Penalty imposed by you.

I don't know what to do...

We, the team,

are split in two.

For She Loved Much

If she came today

anointing our feet with expensive oils*,

rinsing with her tears

and drying with her hair,

our jaws would gape

in unbelieving, unattractive stares...

So she must come

bearing gifts we recognize:

fine meals, smiling eyes,

generous expenditures of purse and time,

and laughter filling us with music

and with rhyme...

for she loves us much.

And we, who feel so undeserving,


knowing she believes us

worth her while.

*Luke 7:47


I squeeze my trembling knees

tightly to my chest,

clench my eyes and teeth

and try to calm by pounding breast.

Tears escape my eyelids,

overflowing with my fears

trickling through the many sets

I've played inside and out for years.

Like so many starving actors

snatching pieces of my brain

(I'm not sure I can play a scene

from the pieces that remain).

Shadowed figures flail and pitch

in dramatic fits of rage

and laughingly destroy by script

as they overtake my stage.

But out there in the audience

through darkness soft, I hear

two hands clapping just for me

as I enter from the rear.

I say my lines, stand on my mark

(continues, the applause).

I speak my last soliloquy...

Silence...(with my pause).

Then follows an explosion
with cheering and ovation;

the house lights flood the audience

of only Him in adoration.

And all at once I realize

that He has been them all

director, writer, audience--

He, smiling, cries for curtain call!

But I Have Prayed For Thee

-Luke 22:31-32

“Behold, Satan hath desired to have you,
that he might sift you as wheat…”

Here in my anguish
my defeat,
I believe He’s won.

I’ve come undone.

Faith lies rumpled
like discarded clothing
at my feet.

The sifting of my soul
nearly complete.

“But I have prayed for thee…”

Could it really be?
A Father’s Son,
a Savior,
on His knees,
in prayer
for me?

Before Arriving at His Door

Before Arriving at His Door
(Matt 25)
We assemble
each with our color
and textures and sizes--
all with our palettes
of spirit surprises--
foolish and wise
still we gather
here at His Table
willing and able,
like so many lamps,
yours fuller, mine lacking
his flowing, hers glowing
theirs dim
coming to Him
in consecration--
a celebration of amber and blue,
scarlet, ecru and clear
sharing our store
so they who have less
have more.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Turning Hearts

"The hearts of the children

shall turn to the fathers..."

...and to the mothers.

With siblings still at rest in my nest,

I'm blessed, but missing the others.

I yearn for the fledglings' return to me,

those lately-flown few

who've soared far from my nursing,

my gentle rehearsing of verses and truth,

the stuff of their youth.

They've now outgrown

my yearning heart

and I am necessarily

learning the art of letting fly

while holding on

to the promise of their hearts turning...

knowing they're gone, but off and on returning

quieting my yearning.


I have met a part of you

that you have yet to know;

a hero humbly waiting

for his chance to face the foe--

a man that you don't realize

is struggling to break free

to be the mighty warrior

he was sent to earth to be.

Magnificent in stature,

brilliant to behold,

and in his hand, the sword of truth:

Shining. Polished. Gold.

His heart holds much of sorrow
his mind still shelters pain,

and still, he steps out boldly

on the battle-scarred terrain

and all of the mistakes he's made

have tempered him like steel

combined to make the whole of him


and Real.

Return of the Prodigal

You left before you left, you know
and couldn't know how far you'd gone
or how far you'd need to go--

packed up the Spirit and Truth
of your youth,
hid them behind your 80 proof,
spent all your time with Jack*,
and Jim**, and Mary Jane***,
always trying, always failing
to forget from whence
you came.

This time the leaving
has brought you back Home.

How far you'd gone.
How far you've come.

*Jack Daniels
**Jim Beam

To a Child Too Soon Grown

When you were very small
with thumb and tricot never far
from your lips,
I would brush the hair
that tangled in your lashes
with my fingertips.

You would smile with chubby-cheeked delight
throwing stubby arms
around my face
in an open-mouthed, wet
toddler-tight embrace.

I would hold your squirming
to my heard, and you would start
to pull away
your little brain already chugging
toward the next stop-plop
like a two-year-old, diapered train.

If I had only known
you'd travel faster than a baby's breath
from those days to these....

If I had known you'd glide
from child to woman like a breeze
from earth to trees...

I would have held you close
a moment longer
trying just to make it last
long as a lollipop.
I wouldn't stop
as precious seconds passed.

But you would be already off,
bouncing baby fat from my lap,
to the floor, to the door
to the day...

hurrying away...

hurrying away....