Poems, Personal Stories, and Observations

Thank God for the Fleas

When my parents were World War II refugees, they lived in various Displaced Persons camps run by the U.S. and other Allies. Sometimes it would be so cold that there was frost on the INSIDE walls of their “accommodations”.   (I don’t know exactly what their living quarters were like,)  At some point in there, my older brother (a baby!), one paternal uncle, and my paternal grandmother also lived in the same camp(s). At least they had shelter!  Traumatic as it all was, thank you Allies (and, ultimately, God), for keeping my family alive!  Others, as you know, suffered considerably more: in concentration camps, in battles on land, sea, and sky, and elsewhere.

LIFE IS A GIFT! And, I’m so grateful to live in a home with heat and hot water.

Corrie ten Boom was in a concentration camp during World War II, because her family had hidden Jews in their home.  She decided to take seriously the Scripture, “… give thanks in all circumstances …” (1 Thessalonians 5:18), so she gave thanks for the fleas in her barracks.  Sooner or later, she learned that the guards would avoid her barracks as much as possible, because of the fleas.  In that way they did not get as much abuse as they might have.  Perhaps most of us are not as faith-filled as Corrie ten Boom, but there is certainly a lesson to learn from her.

War is probably horrific for everyone touched by it, but perhaps it’s appropriate to also remember the positives.

Why do some (or perhaps all of us) encounter great trials and tribulations?  I propose a few reasons here, several or all of which could occur together:

  1. We are being tested by God.  It can be an opportunity for growth, to trust in Him more.
  2. We are being chastised by God.  ” … for the Lord disciplines those whom He loves, and chastises every child whom He accepts.” (Hebrews 12:6).  This is a good thing, because it shows that God loves us enough to correct us.
  3. We are suffering for our own or other people’s poor choices.  We make bad decisions, or others take out their frustrations on us.
  4. It’s just part of the fallen human condition.  Because of original sin, we all suffer consequences such as illness, accidents, death, etc.

No matter the reason, we must trust that God is with us through these difficulties.  I don’t see any other reason to hope.

 

 

 

Autumn

A hint of chill,
A wisp of crispness
in the air.
A gentle breeze,
Just slightly cold.
An achy joint,
If you are old.

The geese are flying
And clouds are lying
in lazy drifts —
Their white belying
The darker clouds to come.

We pull the sweaters
From our dressers —
the furnace on.
The harvest dawn —
The crops are gathered
And birds are scattered.

What is the reason
For changing seasons?
To keep awake
And not to take
for granted —
The wonder of creation.

Four lanes of traffic —
Morning commute.
Lord, let there be more than this.
Lord, let Your will be done.

Where are they going?
Mothers and fathers,
Students and singles.
Lord, let Your will be done.

Faces in cars;
We’re in this together.
Where are they going?
Lord, let Your will be done.

By highways and byways,
Twists and turns,
Detours and accidents,
Lord, let Your will be done.

There’s a Final Destination,
A place that we must choose —
A heaven or a hell.
Lord, let Your will be done.

Eternally Travelling

How big is the sky?
How far does it go?
And when you get there
Will there be more?

How wide is the sea?
As wide as the sky?
Or further and further,
Until it’s no more?

How vast is the land?
Does it suddenly end?
When sky, sea and land meet,
May it begin again.

When you come here
May you know love,
And all your cares
Be put to rest.

When you arrive
May troubles cease
To crease
Your brow,
And silence
Find a place to stay.

When you visit here
May lis’ning ears
Hear stories that
You need to tell.
May all disturbing things
Now be made well.

When you hang your hat
And stop to chat,
Please leave refreshed —
Prepared for battles
That are sure to come.

When you stop here
And stay awhile,
May your face then show
A quiet smile —
Knowing that you’ve been with friends
Who care and love until the end.

You feel a feeling,
You think it’s true,
But maybe it’s
Deceiving you.

You think a thought;
It seems so right,
But thoughts can come
From faulty sight.

You’re in a rut
Of rumination.
You must step back —
A thought vacation.

You need a standard
Of what is true.
Can’t be your feelings —
Misleading you.

Truly, you’re loved —
At least from above.

If others mistreat you,
Don’t let them deceive you
About your worth,
About your value.

You’re precious, you’re fine;
Your worth is sublime.
You are enough —
A diamond in the rough.

Quit being a victim;
Let God’s loving grace in.

Capture the Summer

Capture the summer,
The long, slow days
When dreams are hatched
And you can catch
A dragonfly.

Capture the summer,
The sizzling grass,
All brown and dry,
The sun baking it golden
As the days go by.

Can you put it in a bottle?
Intoxicating morning air,
Smelling of flowers
That have mated
And done their share.

Can you hold on to time?
And live again these moments
When the world seems sublime?
Capture the summer,
And save it for all time.

Home

A place where you can hang your hat,
And say “Good morning” to your cat,
To drink your coffee in pajamas,
Or raise a herd of lovely llamas.

A place where you can be a king,
Or queen, if that’s your hankering.
A place where you can be a fool,
Or spend some time beside the pool.

A place where you can get some rest,
A place to be your very best.
A place where you’re so much encouraged,
A place where you can freely flourish.

A place of many smells and voices,
A place where you have made some choices.
A place where people tend to greet you,
And say that they are glad to see you.

Or maybe you can be your worst;
Growl at the dog, and sadly, curse.
You wake up grumpy; you’re a bear,
But still the people love you there.

You say, it’s not at all like that?
Your home, does it these senses lack?
No domicile is truly perfect;
In fact, at home, you feel a reject.

Our real home’s in heaven above,
A place of everlasting love.
And there, you’ll meet with all your dreams,
You’ll live by living, flowing streams.

God has for you a mansion great,
With rooms that for your soul await.
And good or bad, your home on earth?
For that new home, to wait it’s worth.

Thank you, God,
For the quiet of early August.
The quiet streets,
The quiet mornings;
School’s not yet started.

The quiet neighborhoods —
People gone to their cabins at Tahoe,
Or on road trips, or plane trips:
Gone to weddings (or funerals) —
Gone to see relatives.

Thank you for the cool morning air,
All the better with the silence.
But birds do sing and twitter;
I hear airplanes in the sky,
And a mother’s lullaby.

Sometimes the earth has peace,
You can drink up the silence,
You can remember childhood days
Of endless summer,
And let today be your gratitude.

Speak No Evil

The Abuse Expose' with Secret Angel

Speak no evil…
is what we need to stress today…
avoiding all negativity…
and trying to be positive in every way.
And as schools start again…
with kids coming together this year…
let’s put a stop to bullying…

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