Standing Alone with Elisha

We all like to think that standing for something big would not be too hard because in a part of our head and heart, we know that we really aren’t standing alone–

at least, really alone-alone.

And yet, there are times when the likeminded seem to fade away,

weary of the fight, fearful of being targeted, or just not as committed to the cause as they had thought;

and so, standing alone becomes real, necessary,

and painful.

And resolve is almost enough,

but not quite.

And stillness is almost peace,

but not quite.

Let my soul rest in You so that the chaos would not swallow me.

When I stand alone, let me see the armies of Jehovah surrounding me.

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II Kings 6:17 “And Elisha prayed, ‘Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”

Collector of Words

I am a collector of words, a hoarder of fractured phrases.

I scribble in the margins of my life words wild and wonderful that shout a divine “wow.”

Other words I grind down fine as they seep into my belly, lubricated by tears.

Waiting.

Some words roll off my tongue, like gold threads of morning light:

evanescent

breathless grace

forgiveness

Wave-walker

fellowship

freedom,

and Camelot days.

Other words stop at my teeth, choke the air right out of me, saved at the frayed edge of my life where tension lives:

savage

ugly

betrayal

myth madness

splintered hope

withering,

and nevermore.

My linguistic calisthenics and mad manipulation are not just a benign desire to create, but an insatiable desire to find the right label to organize this messy mind, this muddled life.

To form this twisting and turning earthbound into everliving everafters—

thoughts that matter,

truths that stand.  

And so:

unfailing faith

intimacy

willed reverence

wrecked heart

repentant soul

passion outpoured, and

open-chested praise.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart”

                (the inside and the outside of my mind’s mulling)

“be acceptable in Your sight,”

                (pleasing, lovely, thoughtful, and honest)

“O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

                (my Rescuer, my sustaining One, the Hearer of my wandering heart.)

Ps. 19:14

The One Next Thing

No matter how long I have lived and how many lessons I’ve learned, it never fails that my desires betray my selfish heart,

my answered prayers run smack dab into my control and ambition;

and once again, I find the need to humble myself before God,

just do the one next thing He has put before me,

and leave my future in His careful, tender hands.

. . . For You

L onely . . . in this time  

O f increasing unbelief, looking frantically, hungering,

N ot for miracles, but for signposts that used to be so faith-clear, undisputed—

E ver-present testament, truth, surety,

L ooking for sanctuary, and I guess . . . just lonely for

Y ou.

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“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.

Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” 

~John 14:27

My House Is Haunted

My house is haunted.

I detect the wily ways she uses to move about, subtle but there,

unnerving.

My husband notices dishes that I have previously washed—meticulously, I might add—and they will have miniscule specks of baked on something or other. Not enough to be “dirty,” but just enough to be irritating.

She is saying, “I’m here; get used to it.”

Shoes I have put away appear in walkways so that I almost trip over them if I’m not careful. She sprinkles dust in the night. She leaves the light on in the garage, burning electricity, making me burning mad.

What is probably most disturbing is that every so often she appears in my mirror, her white, disheveled hair, her wrinkled brow,

those staring eyes.

I stare back; I glare back, but

I cannot be too irritated for too long because she does look familiar;

and she looks to have stories to tell; and yet,

she seems trapped, prowling around, haunting my house.

After All This Time

One day slips slowly by, minute by minute, filling up its hours.

One life slips slowly by, hour by hour, day by day, filling up its limits, bounded by health and will and intersection with others on this human path; and

the child’s mind is still there behind the lined skin, the greying strands, thinning. And

the insecure teen is still buried somewhere in those pieces of flesh and neuron, hiding

behind her guitar, trying

to convince the world she is worth something—

trying to convince herself.

And the wandering, wondering minstrel is there with her boundless creativity and her endless insecurity, all muddled into one mass of synapses firing

with the only thing giving weakness away, the red blush that fills her cheeks,

announcing to the world that she is floundering in this finding of her way.

And in a corner is the hesitant bride, sure and unsure,

all the same,

loving and yet not knowing how to love, hoping against hope that she gets it right.

And the mother and the teacher and the artisan and the Christian—jumbles of crisscrossed wires, confident, failing, falling and rising,

sometimes laughing, sometimes crying, now tucking it all in the folds of the grey.

In these slowing days, she can pull out a thread at will and feel what it was like. It’s gone, but not. Each memory has settled into its place.

And there should be a contented sigh to see it shuffled and settled; and yet,

when wisdom should frame it all,

when lessons learned should feel so sure,

she feels she is only beginning this journey.

How can it be that this weighty five pounds of flesh should still be wondering and wandering

after all this time?

I Am Broken

I am broken; I am mended.

I am broken; I am scarred. Lessons learned and some forgotten,

and I say, “Again, Lord, really—again?”

Round and round, my thoughts conflicted, hope and despair in this raw dance,

sure and steady, moments from the fall,

and I am broken; I am mended.

I am broken; I’m dependent, neither seeing nor knowing at all.