He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. ~ Psalm 147:3

Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

From Damnation to Redemption

The Cross

Sugar and spice and everything nice

That’s what Eve was made of

And placed in the Garden of beauty and charm

To bask in the warmth of God’s love

Then along came a serpent so charming and sweet

With a hellish mission in mind

To crush and destroy the apple of God’s eye

And to rob her trusting soul blind

How foolish was she that fateful day

When she ate from the forbidden tree

And lost the cloak of God’s righteousness

For all eternity

But even before He formed the clay

God had a plan for man-kind

To redeem and restore our broken souls

And give us life sublime

He sent to earth His only Son

To die on a rugged tree

To wash away sin’s ugly stain

And to set our spirits free

Don’t Know Why

Don’t know why the twists and turns

Our paths so often take

Don’t know why blue skies turn gray

And cause our hearts to break

Don’t know why when a babe is born

It’s left alone in the dark

With no one to love and hold it close

And comfort its fearful heart

Don’t know why love comes and goes

Like the changing of the wind

Don’t know why our time on earth

Is over before it begins

Don’t know why the if’s and but’s

That oft come into play

Don’t know why a loving word

Is oft so hard to say

I guess it’s not for me to know

The why’s of every day

But to walk in faith and trust that God

Will lead me all the way

Cheer Up! Old Age Will Be Over Before You Know it!

funny-old-age-quote-agingOld age comes bearing no gifts of gold
But tokens of wrinkles
Aches and pains
Ben-Gay
And laxatives

Most of our friends are either dead
Or in nursing homes
Or just don’t remember who we are

Teenagers think we’re from another planet
Middle-aged people wish we were
And the rest of society just doesn’t care

Bit by bit we lose our independence
Our eyesight
Our hearing
Our mind

We pine for the good old days
Pray for another day
And hope to get through the day

But I’m thankful that I’ve been around this long
And to see my grand-kids with kids of their own
I just wish I could have done it
Without getting old

No More Autumn, No More Rain

Beneath the covers and snow white sheets

her body lay so frail and weak

Wasn’t it just yesterday she was young and strong

laughing and singing a happy song

I don’t like Autumn she told me one day

because everything dies and withers away

Then into the night the angels came

with Autumn leaves and falling rain

Now it’s Springtime forever in heaven so grand

where she strolls with Jesus hand in hand

She’s happy there where she’s free from pain

and there’s no more Autumn no more rain

Handle With Care!

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139: 23, 24).

Hearts are very fragile

so handle them with care

Caress them softly with loving words

and let them know you’re there

Hug them when they’re feeling low

with a smile and words of praise

Lend them a strong and helping hand

when they stumble along the way

Remember that hearts are not perfect

and have a tendency to stray

Especially when they’ve been broken

by reckless words we say

So if you want a happy life

that is joyful and complete

Be tender and compassionate

to every heart you meet

The Outhouse on the Hill

Kenny followed Barbara everywhere, even to the outhouse where he waited patiently till she came back out. This moment frozen in time is one of my most cherished memories. Barbara, my only sister, died of breast cancer at the age of fifty-seven. Kenny is my only surviving brother of four.

Though just a child of long ago

I remember still

The narrow crooked rocky path

And the outhouse on the hill

It creaked and groaned against the wind

And possessed an awful smell

Yet stood tall and proud beneath the trees

And served its purpose well

I like the comforts of today

And know I always will

Yet sometimes think of yesteryear

And the outhouse on the hill

Walking Opens Your Mind

I woke up confused this morning thinking it was Thursday and scolding myself for not walking yesterday. What a relief to discover that it’s Wednesday and I’m not losing my mind.

At the end of the driveway, I turned left instead of right, this time. It’s a little longer and a lot tougher with the hills and all. We live in a pasture. Well, a once-upon-a-time pasture with houses now instead of critters. Some farmers kept their land, though; the ones with the cows, horses, and goats. Pigs, too. But they don’t smell as bad as some of the seeping sewage around here.

See that house on the hill? Hubby and I toured it after it was built. I loved the sunroom, and the basement, and the garage, and the kitchen, and the fireplace in the great room. It even had running water and inside toilets. Not that our house doesn’t have those bare necessities. They just felt more luxurious in a big brand spanking new house.

Trudging up the steep hill, my back whining now, a man with a Santa Clause beard swaying in the wind was unloading a bicycle from the truck parked in the driveway. The kid pacing back and forth excitedly must be his grandson, I mused.

I hollered, “Good morning! I love your beard. My son would be jealous!”

Beaming from ear to ear he chuckled, “Thank you! My grand-kids like it, too. Won’t let me cut it off!”

I’m walking slower by the second, now. Somehow the hill seemed bigger than the last time I walked it; like a Mount Everest kind of bigger.

Taking my mind off my grumbling hips and legs, I spied a tree I wanted to take home with me. It had huge branches perfect for a swing I’ve been pestering hubby to death for years to put up. But none of our trees have branches big enough to hold even my great-grandkids so I guess that leaves me freezing stark naked in a blinding blizzard.

Passing another house, I heard voices drifting from the driveway, a great relief knowing I’m not alone in case I pass out in the middle of the road. Wait. They weren’t just in my head were they?

I’m on the homestretch, now, feeling ecstatic considering the steep hills I just conquered. I wasn’t crawling anyhow. At least I didn’t think I was until a snail passed me, laughing his fool head off. Smart-aleck!

Suddenly, a bug smacked me on the arm. But I didn’t throw a conniption fit. Didn’t want the neighbors peeking out their windows and thinking they have a crazy person living near them.

Trudging up the long, narrow tree-lined driveway now, I didn’t realize it had so many cracks in it; more cracks than we have money to repair them. Then I got this great idea. I’m going to sit at the end of the driveway holding a cardboard sign that reads:

PAVE MY DRIVEWAY AND I WILL FEED YOU

 

 

 

 

 

 

Face, to Face

Into the darkness, He came

He whispered my name

He took my hand

And the journey began

Down the steep winding stairwell

Into the dungeon of my soul

Where I dare not tread before

And I was afraid

Of the ghosts from the past

With glaring eyes and scornful frowns

Violent screams pierced my ears

Shattered my soul

Shook my world apart

And I felt worthless

Unloved

Unwanted

And I wept

I wanted to run and never stop

Then I felt His gentle nudge

So we moved on

To the bottom of the stairs

Where I saw a little girl

Gazing into a hazy room

Where her dad sat

Like a corpse

Oblivious to her tears

Her pain

Her longing to crawl on his lap

To fall into his arms

To feel his heartbeat

His love

His protection

From the angry world in which she lived

But he never looked her way

Ever

Then she turned

And saw a face

Shining like the sun

Smiling

Arms extended wide

She ran to Him

He hugged her tight

She felt His love

He dried her tears

And there at the bottom of the stairs

In the dungeon of my soul

I met my Heavenly Father

Face to face

He Was There All the Time

He was there at conception, knitting me together in my mother’s womb, watching me grow, delighted with His handiwork. And He smiled.

He was there when I took my first breath, beaming with joy as my mother held me to her breast and kissed my downy head. And He smiled.

He was there when I took my first step, picked my first flower, and chased my first butterfly through hills of green. And He smiled.

He was there when I grew up, fell in love, got married and gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. And He smiled.

He was there when my body was slammed against the wall and vice-like fingers squeezing my neck. And He cried.

He was there when anger consumed my heart, hatred ravaged my soul, and darkness flooded my mind. And He cried.

He was there when I sobbed in the darkness searching for His face, questioning His love, cursing the day I was born. And He cried.

He was there when I ran away, far from His beckoning call, ignoring the thorns and choking vines along the foreboding path. And He cried.

He was there when my heart was shackled by fear when my eyes were filled with tears when my lonely soul was shivering in the bitter cold. And He cried.

He was there when I fell on my knees calling His name, surrendering my stubborn will; deeply grieved that I made Him cry. And He smiled.

He was there all the time patiently waiting to set me free, to prove His love, to draw me back to Him. And we smiled.

Seasons of the Heart

When I was a child, going to Sunday school and church was as much a part of me as putting on my clothes. I wasn’t made to go, I wanted to go.

Childhood memories flood my mind with Billy Gram crusades, Oliver Green tent revivals and meeting in the preacher’s house, then in his garage, then in a circus tent while the church was being built. Laughing, I remember the preacher’s rattle-trap van bouncing me up and down and banging my head against the window as he drove through deeply creviced ditches to pick up poor kids for Sunday school. Mr. and Mrs. Sterling were more than preacher and wife; they were our family’s best friends.

Mr. Sterling often brought us bags and bags of groceries telling mom that God told him we needed them. He prayed over my baby brother one day who suffered a bowel obstruction. When mom sat him on his potty, everything broke loose and he never suffered bowel problems since.

I felt safe in the church; like I belonged there. I enjoyed being with my friends, memorizing scripture, having Bible drills, and singing and playing my accordion. And I liked that the church was plain and simple, not big and fancy that seemed more like a morgue than a church. It was a little, cinderblock mission where babies were allowed to cry, Baptisms took place in freezing cold creeks under God’s blue skies, and get-togethers were hot dogs and weenie roasts and kids wading in the creek and catching tadpoles in jars.

I always felt that people needed to be in church and always encouraged my brothers to go, thinking that it would somehow change their lives. And I’m not saying that it doesn’t change people’s lives, but it’s not the church that changes people, it’s a repentant heart and the cleansing power of Jesus Christ. And there are many people sitting in their pews thinking that because they go to church they are going to Heaven.

Sadly, along with many years of attending church, come heartaches and misunderstandings, gossip and quarrels, cliques, and favoritism, frustration, and burn-out. Instead of being the perfect place for coming together and working things out, some leaders prefer to sweep conflicts under the rug and hope no one notices there are problems in the church. And then they wonder why people emotionally and physically drift away.

I feel that many in the world today are either looking for something they long for in church or have lost hope of ever finding it and given up. And many may never find Christ as a result of it.

I’m thankful that I grew up in church and remember the good times. I’m thankful that I asked Jesus into my heart when I was five years old. I’m thankful that we have a warm and loving relationship and that He is always by my side regardless of whether I’m praising Him in church or sitting on my back porch or in my living room in front of a cozy fire.

I wish I could say I miss going to church. The truth is, my heart is totally at peace with not going. Many don’t understand why I feel the way I do, but God does. He knows and understands the deep hurt and the tears I’ve cried over things that destroyed my trust and turned my heart away. And where I expected to find love and understanding and let’s sit down and talk about this I found cold indifference; a total lack of concern.

After more than three years, I’m still struggling with hurt and anger and confusion. Call it a bruised ego, an unwillingness to forgive; whatever you want to call it. I call it a grieving process; and as with all grief, it takes time, for some longer than others.

And if anyone comes to the conclusion that the only way you can be a real Christian is to attend church, where does that leave our shut-ins and those in nursing homes?

I don’t apologize for my feelings, they’re mine and God allows me to have them plus all the time I need to work through them. Just like life itself, the church has its ups and downs, hurts and confusion, but it’s how it deals with it that matters in the long run.

 

 

 

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