Poems, Personals, and Commentary

Archive for May, 2016

The Fates of War

I was once your enemy;
The fates of war
Placed us on opp’site sides —
We had our pride.

We had a cause,
We gave not pause –
Our cause was just –
To fight we must.

Sure those in power
Were not always right,
But many focused
For loved ones to fight.

The many fallen,
The dead, the suffering,
The broken hearts,
The shrapnel puncturing …

The refugees,
The enemy aliens,
The lost, the forgotten;
The orphans taken in.

And then it ends;
We pick up the pieces.
We must forgive,
Or hatred increases.

In the end, the good will win,
Despite our many, varied sins.
And in every conflict, however grave,
If we want the same, we must forgive.

(Memorial Day, 2016)

Will There Be Freedom? (Memorial Day Weekend, 2016)

Flags on porches,
A warm, lazy day.
A party next door;
I hear music play.

On Facebook the pictures
Of soldiers so brave.
They’re not having picnics —
On duty they stay.

Summer is starting,
Graduations abound.
But will there be freedom
The next time around?

Sometimes I get lazy
On these holidays,
But I look up the history
Of men who were brave.

So many memories
Of summers are found.
The power to do good
Is freedom profound.

People are traveling,
The summer’s the time,
But will there be freedom
The next time around?

 

Misinterpretation

MISINTERPRETATION

Misinterpretation
When acted upon
Is flirtation
With misunderstanding,
Grudges, unnecessary conflict

Lack of guidance
Or true teaching
Brings reliance
On distorted facts –
Our mind has a lack

The ache of non-acceptance —
Too young —
Grows seeds of diseases
Of the mind, heart
And soul – perhaps body too

Only God’s light
Can set things right

Prayer for a Broken Heart

The heart breaks
And cracked spirit
Takes long to mend
But it’s not the end

The heart grows stronger
And it takes longer
For harsh realities
To do their damage

Somehow flowers
Bloom again —
A seed is planted
Through tears and pain

Amen

Jesus Calling

Come home;
I miss you so.

You’ve wandered long,
You’ve wandered far.

You’re weary now.

Your fevered brow
Has far too long
The sorrow born.

You need to rest,
To find your best.

To find your peace,
To end your quest.

Lay weary head
Upon My breast.

All things must pass;
Come home at last.

The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree

The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree

(Luke 13:5-9)

In 2006, my family moved to a single-family house from a townhouse.  One of our reasons for moving was to have a bigger garden (the townhouse garden was very small).

The new garden included a fig tree. That first summer, there was no fruit on it. I would prune it from time to time (perhaps improperly), but year after year, there was no fruit.

Last year, there were a few fruits on the tree. I was amazed! I had decided, over the years, that we had an ornamental fig (those do not bear fruit).

This year, perhaps with a warmer winter and abundant rain, it is producing many fruits! Now I want to learn the proper way of pruning and fertilizing it. There are ways to prune the tree to select the best branches for bearing fruit.

There are many lessons to learn from this:

1) Proper pruning is important: Could this mean that sometimes the discipline or correction we receive from others could be misdirected or misapplied.  I don’t question that we need discipline, but it’s something to ponder. We can pray that damage done to us will be healed. Or, we may have not received much pruning/discipline in life. That usually results in a much-reduced amount of fruit.

2) Patience is important: Like the fig tree in Scripture, we may need to wait a long time for something to bear fruit.

3) Given all else, perhaps the conditions or timing are just not right: “The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8).  Do we need to put ourselves (or allow God to put us) in conditions where we can blossom and bear fruit? In the natural world, some seeds grow only if they are first burned, frozen, or scarified (cut). Do we allow our sufferings to bring forth new life in us?

Gift from Above

 

Heaven is singing,
The choruses ringing,
Of God’s ever-love

Abiding in lightness,
In darkness, the brightness –
The Spirit, the dove

Gives strength to our weakness;
From pride, giving meekness –
The gift from above

The Quiet Ones

[To tell the truth, I wrote this out of the frustration of feeling that I’m
a “nobody”.  So maybe my motives aren’t too pure. But, anyway …]


THE QUIET ONES: Don’t Ridicule Yourself

 
I am grateful for all the people, famous or not, who have influenced me for the better.  Some are famous authors, speakers, etc., and many or most are Christian.  Some are well-known within certain circles. Many of them, whom I might not know personally, have exhorted, pushed and prodded me to desire and reach for a holier and more God-honoring life.  They are an essential part of the body of Christ.

 

But today I would like to write about what I call “The Quiet Ones”. They are not “leaders” in the strict sense of the word.  They haven’t written books that thousands read.  They don’t address large audiences.  They might not, like Paul of Tarsus or Mother Teresa, be very well known.  But nevertheless, they can have a huge influence.

 

I am thinking, in particular, of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Hardly anything is known about her. Very few words of hers are recorded. As far as we know, she was not followed by huge crowds. Yet, I think, most Christians would agree that her influence on the world was tremendous, because she allowed Jesus to live in her, both physically and spiritually.

 

Her life was on one of total submission to God and total humility. I believe that it’s because of her humility, her “nobodyness” in the world’s eyes (but submitted to God), that He chose her to be Jesus’ mother.

 

The things we do know about her show her deep humility.  “Let it be done unto me” was her “Yes” to God. While it was certainly an intense joy to know she would be the Savior’s mother, think also of the courage and faith she had to have, to face the ridicule of an “unplanned pregnancy”.  She could have been stoned to death. We could also probably write volumes about her husband, Joseph, another “Quiet One”.

 

Think of her praises to God, in the company of her relative Elizabeth.  To praise God in such a situation, facing ridicule and social ostracism, she had to focus on the glorious reality of what God was doing in her.

 

Think of how she pointed to Jesus: “Do whatever He tells you”, which I believe as His first disciple, she herself practiced.

 

And think of how she stood by Jesus’ side, not only as He suffered excruciating physical pain, but the emotional pain of scorn and ridicule, and feeling abandoned by God.  And of course, her unspeakable joy when He rose from the dead …

 

Yes, I am very grateful for all the “leaders” in my life, who have pushed me to grow and stretch for God’s kingdom.  It takes great courage to put oneself in the public eye.

 

But please, if you are a “Quiet One”, don’t disparage yourself.  You may be having a greater influence than you know.

Surrounded by Saints

Imperfect people,
Conflicts abound,
Striving for light –
In Christ, heaven bound.

Difference of viewpoint,
Don’t always agree,
But somewhere in heaven,
We’ll all be free.

And I’m
Surrounded by saints.
In God’s eyes, so great –
I’m surrounded by saints.

They don’t shout the good things
That they have done,
Humbly continuing
God’s work, ‘til it’s done.

And I’m
Surrounded by saints.
In God’s eyes, so great –
I’m surrounded by saints.

Yes, I get angry,
I get in a funk –
Don’t like what they’re saying
‘Cause I’m selfishly stuck.

But I’m
Surrounded by saints.
In God’s eyes, so great –
I’m surrounded by saints.

So, Lord, make me humble,
Please melt my hard heart.
And teach me to trust You
To do my own part.

‘Cause I’m
Surrounded by saints
Made whole by Your grace –
I’m surrounded by saints.

Morning Begins Again

MORNING BEGINS AGAIN

Morning begins again —
Fresh breeze upon my skin,
The promise of new things,
The hummingbird on wing.

The slate, it still is blank.
I pray, and yes, give thanks
For new beginnings,
For hearts now turning,
For all my yearnings.

The mourning dove, it coos.
I pray that I won’t lose
My hope, my faith, my patience here —
Nor let dread problems
Bring on fear.

So let our souls be light
Like angels, now take flight.
Give all to God
Though thoughts may prod —
The day comes after night.

 

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