Poems, Personal Stories, and Observations

Posts tagged ‘God’

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.

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.

Prayer for Racial Reconciliation

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.

To Dwell in a Garden

In wounded places, I sometimes dwell;
But yet, in a garden, I find all is well.

A man and a woman, a long time ago,
With God there beside them, in a garden did stroll.

Much later, our Savior, in deep agony,
Prayed — sweating blood — under a garden’s tree.

But, wonder of wonders, from death, did He not
Appear to a maiden? — “A gardener!” she thought.

Is heaven a garden?  My heart seems to tell,
Such sweet heaven for me, in a garden to dwell.

God’s Dream for You

What’s God’s dream for me, for you?
To go beyond this earthly realm?
To stand before a starship’s helm?
Or rather be an earthbound soul,
To till and dig the crusty soil?

To do those many tasks mundane,
The dishes washed, the diapers changed,
To scrub the floors, wipe dirty cheeks,
To fix the faucets, find pipes that leak?

To work with hands, or with the brain?
Or maybe both – a skill explain?
Will you be famous, or not well-known,
To popularity, or scorn be prone?

Will you be rich or destitute –
What will be your life’s pursuit?
God has a dream He can fulfill –
If only you will trust Him still.

A Year That Is New

All things must pass;
Not many things last.
Let go of regrets;
Let go of the past.

As for the present,
Just live it well.
Seek first God’s heaven;
Don’t foster hell.

As for the future,
It’s a blank slate.
Trust it to God;
He knows your fate.

Into God’s hands,
Put everything.
Why fret or worry? –
Won’t accomplish a thing.

Easy to say —
I worry, too.
But I just want to wish you
A year that is new!

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.

 

 

 

You Are Enough

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.

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