Things are breaking down,
Decomposing and exposing their worth,
The value of their component parts.
This chemical untethering and weathering
Is pungent, gritty, quiet, unhurried;
A process natural, rational, and so foreign
To the breakneck speed of modernity,
With its showiness and curt efficiency;
This slow, steady, deliberate work humbles,
Discouraging pat responses and deflections
About the true substance of things and instead
Creates space and time for stillness, for sifting.
It is uncomfortable to reveal and relinquish
The bits and pieces that have no further use,
But to recognize essential things and invest
Them in new soil is grace alive in the dirt.
It is not a hidden thing
It is the name I carry
It is my bare face open to you
Testimony is deep light
Working out from within and dancing
Rejoicing and weaving into every fiber of my being
I have been redeemed
And heaviness still comes and grief
And in the midst of everything
Every joy and prayer and breath and meal
I am known and I am not alone
I am held and dwelt with
Oh ever-present grace
Grief is patient and unwieldy,
So much of a thing and lingering there
And here in a breath, in a moment, in a whiff
That incites memory and oh the weight.
Grief is obtrusive and deafening,
A ringing in the ears to signal all is not well,
As if that were not already felt to the bone,
It is brutal and honest and personal.
Grief is bitter and necessary,
Like un-sugarcoated medicine or a splint,
A reminder of need and lack and pain
And, in dear unforeseen time, of mending.
May we meet and be met with grace in our grief.
May we meet and be met by grace.
Smothered by our blanket statements so grand and unnuanced we are blinded, but particulars from this distance dodge about like the dust hanging in the air and are equally as hard to catch and know up close. Variables, circumstance, history, future - seeking to form an ethos without an objective truth is to spin and spin and spin and pin the tail on something arbitrary, or at least incomplete. A party game without a winner, with spectators chuckling nervously at the failed attempts, perhaps uncertain they will be able to stumble any closer to the objective, but boasting that their aim is more true. Dizzy. Buzzing. Busy. Shouting hoarsely these coarse things as if they were not made of the same hate the shouter claims to decry. Why is it like this? Or why is this how it appears in this all-seeing, biased biased screen of scrolling, trolling news. It is abuse - to peace of mind and to good thought and to honest, personable conversation. Is this how to process now: In screams and slapdash justice without a beat to listen or extend grace? Without a care for the soul behind the face? What are we? What are we here in this place?
Days, moments, years take on a mixture of hues, but this through-line keeps its color. This through-line anchors me in peace, when I will look to it, recognize it, believe it. So often I run in scattered ways, scrambling to catch a breeze, not listening to the constant melody, the rhythm that can truly hold me, the rhythm that knows me. Selves take form in situations; I flutter and dash, but in some stillness, in some loving action, in some choice to listen, there is stability, growth, genuine childlike faith.
- - -
You don’t feel solid, whole - you think because there is room
for growth you do not have all you need now. You have been sheltered, but you don’t fully trust Me. You don’t know how to balance faith with how overwhelming it all feels. But you do know Me. You do know My heart for people, My heart for you. You have sat in My presence and met My eyes and felt My sincere love, grief, patience, joy, humility. It is much. I Am complete. You don’t have to do everything.
I see you completely.
I see you completely.
I see you completely.
I want you to trust Me out of loving obedience.
I want to spend time with you.
I don’t want to be a passive checklist item in your day - a phone a friend,
I want to live life with you.
I want to be your center, the first person you run to with everything.
I Am your encourager, comforter, counselor, friend, Lord.
I want you to recognize and walk in My stability.
My humble peace is for you, for My kingdom.
we run full out and leap into this swirl of a thing,
knowing it is limited in the physical realm,
because the worth is in the intangibles
of its nature: heart, narrative, and relationship.
so we invest ourselves in the process,
growing in experience and skill, together,
because we have felt the worth of the work
and we in some grand sense are the consequences
of the labor of those before.
then the swirl ceases and we must release
its magic to resonate in memories
while its form we deconstruct and cleanse
to allow space for new ventures and we are
the better for having dwelled and let go.
made up of all kinds of things
that are magic and earth, and, like alchemy,
made up of the endeavor to see the mundane
go gold and brilliant. quaint. both nostalgic
and optimistic. hopeful in a certain sense.
certain that in the substance of things
there is magic.
A brightness flows out from all sides of forgiveness
A brightness that would be silly if it were not true
A brightness because the weight of bitterness has no claim anymore
A brightness because humility begets empathy and grace
A brightness that speaks a language of peace
A brightness that is joy in suffering
Oh a brightness
A brightness that reflects the heart of the King
I build my own pigsty and wallow.
But, daughter, there is Kingdom work to do.
I wrap myself up in deflective material.
But, daughter, your heart is for feeling.
I swallow my tongue and hush up.
But, daughter, your words are for testimony.
Daughter, I continually choose you.
Daughter, I continually love you.
Daughter, I continually call you Mine.
Daughter, I know your wounds and heartache and pain.
Daughter, I am with you in your dark places, with you, and calling you into My light.
Daughter, I tenderly care for your heart.
Father, I will trust You.
Father, I will believe Your love.
Father, I will listen to and obey You.
Because, Father, You are totally good.
I am short and the youngest of five
So I have spent abundant time looking up
The line for inspiration and wisdom and humor
Confidants and critics and caretakers
These people with blood like mine are there
As legends in my eyes and as dear friends
Siblings with strengths diverse and specific
To balance and sharpen each other in love
Sharing joy and sorrow and the mundane
Given to one another at birth and choosing
To stay given we champion our kin in growth
Hold snuggly in grief and laugh oh we laugh
I am the youngest and I have learned much
Through seeing and being well seen
What privilege it is to be fifth