Poems, Personals, and Commentary

On the brink of eternity,
I pause and look behind —
The people known,
The work grindstones,
The things I owned —
What do they mean?

For nothing lasts,
And all must change,
And jumbled thoughts,
All disarranged —
Assail me.

Those people I looked up to
Seem to grow so small;
I don’t know them at all.

I cannot tell what God is doing —
What purpose does He have?

So many years ago,
All seemed bright and full of promise,
But gradually, the light did dim,
And now the world seems grim.

I cannot tell what God is doing,
But surely He lives —
As He slowly writes my story.

This life is one of tears and pain;
We once get up, and fall again.
Evil, sin, seep through the cracks;
The heart of man — God’s peace it lacks.

And yet, with patient, open arms,
Our Savior calls us from all harm.
A different path He offers us —
Of peace, of joy, of deep’ning trust.

When evil grows, when peace is shattered,
Cling to the cross; His Love’s what matters.
Have patience, and with growing faith,
Let God be guide to glorious fate.

How small I am
In Your immensity;
How ignorant
In Your luminosity.

Who am I
That You should care for me?
A wretched creature —
Yet destined for eternity.

How tiny I am
In Your vast universe;
And yet, invited,
With Your Heart to converse.

Participating
In Your joy and sorrow —
Through present, past
And all tomorrows.

In Your crosses, trials,
I can partake.
And thus in heaven
Your face will contemplate.

Winter Walk

Whipped-cream waves
Of frosty foam
And winter white.

Wind whips at your face;
Pull your hat on tight.

Weak heat of the sun,
But still so bright.

Something suddenly moves;
Now seagulls take flight.

The world is alive;
Let us walk in the light.
At the cafe/grill — a Monday.
It’s slow at 9 a.m. —
Not the bustle of a Saturday.

Low, soft voices
Of Spanish and English;
The frying pan sizzling.

We’re the privileged —
A day off,
When everyone else works.

At the other cafe
I saw a man outside in the cold,
His head in his hand,
Mumbling to himself.

I feel so helpless sometimes
In wanting to help others.
Don’t hold on too tightly;
See the light shining brightly —
Let earthly things grow dim;
Hold onto life lightly.

Your wealth, your possessions,
But briefly will last.
What good do they do you,
When too closely grasped?

We’re just passing through,
And life’s but a gleam.
Just love for God and others
Makes worthy our theme.

We’re on our way through;
The world seems an illusion,
With dangers and snares,
Fraught with tears and confusion.

There’s just one exception:
The good that we live,
The love that we share
And compassion we give.

Tell Your Story

Tell your story –
Your life is gold.
Each precious life –
Its story must be told.

Do you not know?
Your wounds can heal another.
Through them you passed;
Your life was turned asunder.

From wounds you learned;
Your heart became much stronger.
Your life has turned;
It’s time to tell another.

The years must pass;
If well, we grow and flourish.
And now, at last,
We can another nourish.

All the Difference

One life, Jesus’ life … has made all the difference.  Because of Him, we can have light instead of darkness, hope instead of despair, forgiveness instead of condemnation.

He was born in poverty, not riches. He was born without fame or popularity.  He was born to teach us how to give, not grab.

You, too, can make a difference by loving your neighbor and forgiving your enemies.

The Good Thief

One of the criminals, a thief, who was crucified with Jesus, said to him, “Jesus, remember me, when you come into your kingdom (Luke 23:42)”.  Somehow he knew Jesus’ name and that Jesus had a kingdom!

Was Jesus that famous?  Did everyone in Jerusalem know about him?  Perhaps it was because of the sign above Jesus that Pilot had ordered placed there.  The sign declared, “Jesus, King of the Jews”.

In another gospel, it states that, “And the robbers who were crucified with [Jesus] also reviled him … (Matthew 27:44).”  Either the two gospels are inconsistent, or there was a transformation in one of the thieves.  He went from reviling Jesus, to, in effect, asking his forgiveness.  He realized his sin and that he deserved punishment, whereas Jesus was innocent (Luke 23:39-41).

It is interesting to imagine how “the good thief” came to this conclusion.  He may have known something about Jesus before the time of execution.  Or, perhaps observing how Jesus bore his own suffering, he realized that Jesus was not just a man, but God also.

The cross of Christ is a paradox.  How can something so painful be good, and even holy?  Perhaps the more you love others, the more you will suffer.  Yes, there will be times of joy, but let’s face it:  often, it hurts to love.

Because you cared about others, but often they misunderstood you, or they felt threatened by your love, you suffered.  Or, you suffered when you saw your loved one suffering.  Or, you see their bad choices, but cannot make them change.  Then you must wait and pray and trust that God may change their hearts.

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