WIP Wednesday on Friday

Because school started, and I can’t keep my crap together this week…

I am VERY slowly, but surely working my way chapter at a time through the book of Romans in the Bible. With each chapter, I read through, note the verses that stand out to me, and then boil it down to the “bottom line.” I choose the verse that most clearly states the main theme of the chapter and write it down somewhere on my blank page. As I sit with that verse a while, I draw what comes to mind as I meditate, and then I write a poem that reflects that meditation. I also go back to the verses that I marked and write more about them (I use the SOAP method for that, for the very few of you who wondered.) in a journal file on my computer.

It’s an intensive process on a single section of scripture, but I found that I was often reading the Bible every day on autopilot. This process forces me to slow down and digest the words more slowly. Slow is hard for me because I’m not often patient with creative work – once I have an idea, I want it done. I also keep walking away from this work and only coming back to it in spurts because it doesn’t feel as instantly rewarding as a quick sketch or single poem. But God has used this work to show me how to dig deeper into his word and his love, so I’m really silly for putting it off. Turns out I’m a work in progress, too. 🙂

And because the poem is hard to read in the photo, here’s the text:

Oh, how often I’ve failed

Crumbled in the face of temptation

The, oh, how I’ll beg

For mercy

For a fresh start

For life

But I must not believe you

As I try harder, work more, to make you love me

But that isn’t your way

You want truth

You want repentance

You want faith

So watch me open my hands

And let go of my desire to control

To earn your love, to claim myself

So I can believe

So you can make me new

So I can be free

“In the Fields Today”

20180701 In the Fields TodayMy body has been crouched in this furrow for so long

That my view is narrowed

To just the dirt in my hands and the plant in front of me.

This plant is sturdy.

The stalk is strong, the roots stronger.

But what of the seedlings around it?

This small patch of field is dry and shriveled.

How can one plant be good, while the rest languish?

Didn’t they have the same care, the same sun?

This is not my concern,

Just as the weeds will wait for a more discerning eye to sort.

Shaking the dirt from my hands, I rise.

My view widens.

There are rows and rows as far as my sight stretches.

Some are lushly green; others are wilting.

My hands reach out to another furrow,

Somehow knowing

Without words or commands that the farmer needs them there.

I follow to find more rows, more need.

I feel the satisfaction of fingers immersed in rich soil.

The farmer wants me here.

I kneel into the work, and the panorama of rows tightens

To the one plant before me.

My Poem upon Your Heart

Part of the sermon text today was 2 Corinthians 3:2-3, and it immediately grabbed me. This is what started running through my head as I listened to these words.

20180624 My Poem upon Your HeartWhat letter am I writing on the hearts around me?

I can write a masterpiece in pen and ink – look here at these words…

But what do they mean?

Absolutely nothing unless you see my heart,

Unless they way I love you speaks that same masterpiece to your heart.

Oh, what I would give to erase the sharp things I carved into your heart –

Words my temper and pride etched in harsh lines,

Things my neglect scratched into your beautiful prose.

May the grace and love of Christ that more often flows through me

Cover those errant marks

And write love

And peace and joy as my letter – my poem – upon your heart.

Dear Child, You Are

You, dear child, are a flower –

A dazzling concoction of scent and hue,

Deeply passionate as a rose,

Bright and full as a hydrangea.

 

You will one day be a tree

With deep roots, strong arms,

And comforting shade –

A blessing to all you shelter.

 

You will always be a river –

Continuously changing and flowing

Past obstacles, through time,

Until you reach the sea.

 

Above all, dear child, be the sun.

Spread light. Give life.

Have joy. Speak truth.

Shatter the darkness with love.

Invisible Made Visible

Invisible made visible;  
Impossible and unimaginable
Sprung to life and speaking,  
Writing volumes of theology  
About the Creator –  
Words scholars have yet to discover.
Step out into the Word,  
Into the God-breathed world  
Of constellations and forests,  
Living creatures and changing seasons.
View his eternal power, his divinity,
His immutable law.  
Clap along with ocean waves,  
Shout as loud as the rocks,  
And skip with the mountains for joy.

Self Portrait

Every time I stare in the mirror, I see the same face I’ve always seen:
Hazel eyes topped by dark brown brows, full lips, 
Average nose with a chicken pox scar on the bridge, 
High cheekbones- the right one with a little straight scar from a run-in with my grandmother’s coffee table.
No matter how much time passes, I feel I am peering into the same face.
I am me no matter how old I become.
I am in an instant thirty eight and twelve.
I wonder how that will feel with each passing decade.
Will I always just see me?
Or will I begin to see my age and my flaws first,
And myself last?
Long before I could imagine growing old,
I vowed to “age gracefully,” to let time fade my hair to gray and trace lines across my face.
I felt I would have earned those marks by a life lived fully.
Now that I look closer, I see that the creases around my eyes are growing deeper,
And the hair around my temples is showing more gray.
But I am not disappointed by these changes.
Each crease is a reminder of how often I smile and laugh.
Each new gray hair is an outward show of hard-earned experiential wisdom.
Each scar is a memory – my grandmother’s house, dance class as a little girl, homemade lasagna, pain I’ve overcome.
I see strength and grace and beauty and hope in every line and curve.
I see a child of God.
I am me, and I am enough.