Poems, Personal Stories, and Observations

When Fear Comes to Haunt You

When fear comes to haunt you,
Just say, “I am not going there.”
When fear comes to taunt you,
Just say, “Your lies I will not bear.

“The Master said, “Be not afraid,”
And on His shoulder gently laid
My trembling heart,
And said again, “Be not afraid.”

In the Melting Pot

It’s a land of many strangers,
In crowds — and some lone rangers.
You might be in some danger,
But making friends — a game changer.

You look for what’s in common:
“Do you like pasta, or ramen?”
“Do you say ‘ae-men’ or ‘ah-men’?”
“Or how about ‘crawl-ING’ or ‘crawl-IN’?

You want to be understood,
But you don’t know if you should
Speak up or keep your peace — 
“Just pass the paprika, please.”

It can be so confusing —
The culture clash I’m losing.
But having no fear, must dry my tears —
Here’s wisdom for the years:

You look for the best in people,
Look up to the heights, like a steeple.
It’s others’ problem if they mistreat you,
God, who is love, won’t reject you.

There’ll always be those who mistrust you,
Or just tend to misunderstand you.
It’s just human nature; they don’t have the big picture.
Let it go, and you’ll be the victor.

Pleading

Pleading with you, Lord — 
The world at times seems cold,
My courage less than bold.

Emptiness does threaten,
The world my spirit dampens;
Please let a new thing happen.

I cling to You in trust,
My faith in You a must,
Till I go down to dust.

Deep down, there’s something solid
Since childhood I have followed —
Your Name, may it be hallowed.

Though many times I’ve wandered;
My talents I have squandered,
But then, forgiveness pondered.

Your love; I don’t deserve it,
So let me be Your servant,
And sing Your praises fervent.

The Storm

The air —
Laden with care —
With guilts, not graces,
With long-gone places,
With regrets, what-ifs,
With laundry lists.

And then —
A gust of wind —
The Spirit comes
And speaks in tongues,
Slamming doors,
Awakening snores.

The lightning strikes —
And thunder rumbles —
The tension crumbles.
Then sweet release
Of pent-up rain —
God comes again.

His tender care
Dispels all fear.
All will be well,
All will be well.

Ah, The Shade

Ah, the shade, on sultry day,
And wisp of wind against your skin.

Thank you, magnolia.
Thank you, styraciflua,
For braving winter wind and cold
‘Til summer — leafy arms unfold.

And water from faucet,
With ice cubes, too,
Or lemonade, or brown iced tea,
Down the throat, deliciously.

Without the heat, ‘twould be no pleasure,
Without the heat, we could not measure,
Blessed relief, after the heat.

What are memories for?
To haunt, to taunt, and still harass?
To calm, to heal, forgive at last?
What are memories for? 

Connecting us to times long past,
Is memory true, or false, we ask?
To weave a story, to give God glory,
To dream a dream, or nightmare gory? 

What are memories for?
To be a human, safe from danger,
Or so afraid — beware that stranger!
What are memories for? 

Without memory, we cannot learn —
Life’s long lessons grow strong and stern,
And yet, through hardship, we are stronger,
In trials and tempests, fear we conquer.

God Is Near

Cottony clouds and lullabies,
Seagulls wings and loud crow cries,
Blustery winds and rustling leaves —
Wondrous — and a joy are these.

Birds a-flockin’, squirrels a mockin’,
Kitten cries and puppy sighs,
People, ‘spite their sins and lies —
Glory, though appearance belies.

Storm and calm, a laugh and tear,
Worry, confidence, faith and fear.
Things aren’t always as they appear.
Through it all, God must be near.

Fighting, conflict, violence,
Riots, mayhem, anarchists.

Someday, our world, the light will see;
But children cry, and Jesus weeps.

Those things he said; can’t let them go.
I won’t forgive; my hate will grow.

Someday, our world, the light will see;
But spouses cry, and Jesus weeps.

Can’t see beyond their shade of skin,
I’ll just dismiss their good within.

Someday, our world, the light will see;
But races cry, and Jesus weeps.

My parents were such selfish jerks,
Though they did give me many perks.

Someday, our world, the light will see;
But parents cry, and Jesus weeps.

That kid at school, he’s such a fool.
I’ll beat him up; he isn’t cool.

Someday, our world, the light will see;
But school kids cry, and Jesus weeps.

That church they go to, can it be?
My church is better; don’t they see?

Someday, our world, the light will see;
But Christians cry, and Jesus weeps.

A desperate woman doesn’t know
Abortion’s not the way to go.

Someday, our world, the light will see;
But angels cry, and Jesus weeps.

Lord, you made every human being in Your image.
Each person, no matter their color, economic status, or anything else,
Is precious in Your eyes.
Each person contains within them a spark of the divine.
Yet, we fail to see this.  We fail miserably.
Many of those in power do not share their power,
Sometimes the rich do not share their wealth.
Or, even “good people” are unaware of the suffering of others.
The poor and the weak often despise themselves,
Not realizing their great value and worth.

Our nation is deeply wounded.
The wound is hundreds of years old.
Anger and frustration boil beneath the surface.
And yet, and yet,
When You change hearts, something new can happen.

Give us new eyes, new hearts.
If we have material wealth, let us share it with others.
If we have gifts of encouragement, of education,
Let us use them to lift others up.
If we are poor, weak, or feel powerless,
Let us not succumb to fear, discouragement, or despair.

Let us see others with Your eyes,
Not the eyes of corrupted man,
Who looks only at ways to bolster his weak ego.
Not the eyes that look only at the surface,
At outward appearance, possessions, or achievements,
But eyes that see Your beauty and goodness in each person.

Give us the courage to reach out to those who seem different from us,
And to accept their friendly overtures.
Heal our fears, worries, anxieties.
Challenge our prejudices, faulty beliefs, and hatreds.

Let those who stir up hatred of people be thwarted.
Let those who have been injured find the grace to eventually forgive,
For an unforgiving heart injures only itself.
Let justice be done for them.

We thank you for Your mercy to fallen mankind.
For without Your mercy, there is no hope.

Amen.

Wondrous Soap!

What a wondrous thing is soap;
Without it, much harder to cope.
Semmelweis and then Lister,
Two docs in the mixture –
Their ideas now medical fixture.

Our doctors must be antiseptic,
For the rest of us, too, it’s effective.
Wash off those darn germs,
The doctors affirm –
It kills viruses; we can confirm.

Viruses, bacteria – invisible;
Unseen enemies — incorrigible.
But don’t panic or fear,
Solutions are near.
Let us hope for horizons to clear.

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