Poems, Personals, and Commentary

Paradoxes

I swallowed the bitter pill,
And it became sweet in my mouth.

I lowered myself,
And I was exalted.

I forgave my prison warden
(from the prison that I and others had built for me),
And I was liberated.

I cried tears of grief,
And God put a new song in my mouth.

So painful when we misunderstand each other.
Different ways of seeing things;
We grew up in different worlds.

I’d like to listen to your pain,
But it hurts too much
To add another pain to my own.

Education helps –
Exposed to different perspectives.
But can I keep my identity
And still cherish yours?

——————-

I used to think that
When we disagreed,
You didn’t love me.

——————–

Are you a liberal or conservative?
I’ve decided that I’m a libative.

——————

There is One who knows all our pain —
Yours and mine –
But do we know His?

     (All temperatures are Fahrenheit.) Our heater was repaired last week, after about five days of non-operation. I was so happy that I cried from gratitude. It’s not that we’re experiencing frigid weather — I was able to warm the house up to a high of 66 degrees each day, by opening any curtains where the sun could stream in. Perhaps I’m a “climate wimp”. But, I had thought of how things might have been different — it could have been 32 degrees outside, it could have been a longer period of time, and so on.  I thought of homeless people, people who can’t pay their heating bills, and about refugees and migrants who suffer through miserable weather. And I was so grateful for the friendly repairman who promptly came, once the needed part for our 30-year-old heater had been obtained.  Not to mention, grateful that we could pay the bill.

This brought to mind another story, which happened around 1947, told to me by my mother. My parents and older brother had immigrated to the U.S., after being World War II refugees (displaced persons) in Europe for several years. They had been sponsored by my mother’s cousin, who had immigrated to the U.S. before World War II, perhaps being admitted on the strength of being a scientist. My mother’s cousin helped my parents to get a house. When they sat down to their first dinner there, they started to cry.  Why? The dinner consisted of hot dogs and perhaps some other items. They had never had anything as good as hot dogs in the refugee camp, and they realized that others like them were still suffering deprivation.

After 70 years, somehow I’m still reliving my parents’ story. So whenever I eat hot dogs, or my heater is working, I’m grateful.

Silent Hours

The streets silent and still.
Families away: spring holiday –
Or is it a resurrection?

No shouting voices,
Nor school buses.
No parents patiently waiting
For school to get out.

I meet more people
Out for walks.
Perhaps they’ll
Take the time
To smell the flowers.

How healing
Are the flowers
And the silent hours.

Beyond the hills,
I sense the ocean,
Miles away.

Fish frolic in rolling waves,
Sun glances off glassy waters,
Seagulls wheel recklessly in cyan skies.

How do the mermaids feel?
Are they free as the wind,
Though beneath it?

Deep, deep down,
There are no waves –
Maybe God is like that –
Unruffled by the world
Above / below Him.

Woman at the Well

No one else could make me see,
My faults, my failings,
Without embarrassing me.

I suddenly
Came face to face
With my selfishness.

I still don’t know
If I see it all.

Breath of the Spirit,
Refreshment so deep.
Sanctified waters,
‘Midst noonday heat.

Sharpening dullness,
Bright’ning the dark.
Lifting the lowly,
Humbling hearts.

Without the Spirit,
There’s naught we can do.
Please fill us, dear Jesus;
Make hearts one with You.

There’s a Reason

There’s a reason for your suffering,
A purpose for your pain.
God’s forging new beginnings;
Your hurt is not in vain.

You may be in confusion,
Be tempted by despair,
But if you’ll keep on trusting,
No comfort can compare.

Your life is God’s creation;
His plan, it has no flaw.
And when His work is over,
You’ll stand in humble awe.

Remember you are clay now,
Or liquid metal made.
Each person finely crafted,
A creature now remade.

 

 

 

The picture is blurry,
The end is unclear.
The boat, it is leaking.
The vultures draw near.

But this is where
Faith comes in,
Faith comes in,
This is where faith comes in.

The rope, it is fraying;
Your hands getting weak.
You don’t see an opening,
Some comfort you seek.

And this is where
Faith comes in,
Faith comes in,
This is where faith comes in.

The last pennies jingling,
The bills left unpaid.
The doc’s diagnosis
Has made you afraid.

You drive in the darkness,
The rain pouring down,
Dear Jesus, please help me
Get back into town.

Your friends, they have left you,
Or so it can seem.
You’ve used all your options,
Might give up your dreams.

But you need to let
Faith come in,
Faith come in,
You need to let faith come in.

There may not be answers,
You just need to trust … and let
Faith come in,
Faith come in.
You need to let faith come in.

Storm’s a Comin’

 

Storm’s a comin’
Wind’s a whippin’
Air is chillin’

Leaves a blowin’
Wind’s a moanin’
Tree branches groanin’

Life’s a flowin’
People are growin’
Eternity beckoning

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