Poems, Personals, and Commentary

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.

The Jungle

I am a part-time gardener;
this 
reflects some of my experience.

——-

I came upon a jungle ,
‘Twas hiding near a shed.
The vines o’er trees did tumble
And many vines were dead.

The dust was thick — caused coughing,
The dead leaves dense beneath;
The vines o’er shed were tumbling,
The sunlight they did seek.

Perhaps the vines were ancient,
Some dead and some alive;
A canopy they plaited;
O’er tree and shed they twined.

I hacked away, just thinking
The light I soon would see,
And cut blackberries underneath
On which no fruit could be.

What wonder! — I did notice
A rose beneath a vine,
And which privets obfuscated —
Still a true plant sublime.

So if you have blackberries,
Some privets, and some vines,
Just know that in the future
A jungle you may find.

The Selfish Cells (2)

The lumpectomy surgery was successful!

The one lymph node they removed was cancer-free, halleluia!  But, they did find some cancer on one of the margins, so I’ll have another shorter surgery, scheduled for 11/30/2018, to remove those cells.

Radiation will perhaps start in early January.

The King Is Coming

The King is coming in mighty pow’r
We do not know the day nor hour

He’ll ride upon the thund’ring clouds
Midst lightning flashes and angel choirs

No longer will sin darken hearts
All sin away — its curse departs

In shining brilliance, true majesty,
The King is coming — all darkness flee!

When the forgiven learn to forgive,
When the poor give everything away,
When the broken learn to mend,
That’s when Jesus has his way.

When the striving let go,
When the conflicted surrender,
When we befriend our foes,
Then our hearts become tender.

When all seems to be defeat,
When expectations don’t meet,
When sorrows grow, with tales of woe,
Then our victory is near.

The Selfish Cells

Well, once again, cancer has visited me.  (See: The Kidney Stone Miracle .)

A routine mammogram in September eventually led to a breast biopsy on  October 1st, and I learned on October 4th that it was cancerous.  The good news is is that it was small (Stage 1), and Grade 1 (usually slow growing).  (Ladies, please get yourself checked regularly!)

Surgery (lumpectomy) was today, October 23rd, 2018.  They took out one lymph node, also.  So, I will keep you posted on how things go.  I’ll have radiation for sure.

Just recently, I came across an excerpt from Ann Voskamp’s book, The Broken Way: A Daring Path Into the Abundant Life.  She is sitting in the waiting room of a doctor’s office.  Another woman is there, talking about her “cancer checkup”.

The woman says, ” ‘You know what? … Dr. Reid says … that in our human bodies, the cells that only benefit themselves are known as cancer.’ ”  Ann goes on to write, “How had I never known that cancer is the cells that only take for themselves?  Cancer is what refuses to die to self.”

 

Cling to the cross
And trust its might power.
Remember what He did for you
In every minute, hour.

Focus on Him
And keep your eyes above.
Let earthly cares now fall away,
And drink His cup of love.

Take up your cross;
With grace your burdens bear.
Let not your cross bring bitterness —
Have hope, and don’t despair.

Carry your cross,
And one day there will be
A glorious crown, a shining light;
Make love your destiny.

Carry Me

Holy Spirit, carry me –
I cannot walk alone.
Son of God, deliver me
Unto my heav’nly home.
Father God, create in me
Love that for sin atones.

Saints in heaven, pray for me
For graces needed here.
Saints on earth, please do the same
Else I will fall, I fear.
Holy ones, in heav’n, on earth –
Help me love Jesus dear.

The road is long, the way so hard,
With sin and strife replete.
Yet, Jesus does a work in me,
A work He will complete.

Bugs Like Me

Those little things
With six thin legs
Seem just at night
To like me

Each night I find
One on an arm
Or leg, or ear –
They fright me

And then I cannot
Sleep a wink
For fear that they
Will bite me

[Unless I say
A little prayer
And then that act
Will calm me]

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