Monthly Archives: October 2018


I feel overwhelmed
And my familiar alone.
The weight bears down,
Under which I groan

Unheard and unknown.

It’s time to smile,
To cook, to play;
It’s time to give
My kids their day,

Swallowing what I cannot say.

Endless tasks in every column,
Resistance from every side,
Pushing my way through
The brutal riptide

So I can know I tried.


I cannot get there from here.
I cannot fix what’s broken.
I cannot attain to You;
I fight to maintain You’ve spoken,

And these things are not just tokens
Of my failure.


“Not that I have already obtained it
or have already become perfect,
but I press on
so that I may lay hold of that
for which also I was laid hold of
by Christ Jesus.
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do:
forgetting what lies behind
and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal
for the prize of the upward call of God
in Christ Jesus.
Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude;
and if in anything you have a different attitude,
God will reveal that also to you;”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3:12-15‬ ‭NASB‬‬

Your forgiveness flows
In fathomless depths
And I sink below
Brought to breath
By the oxygen of grace;
Washed clean
Where bitterness defaced:
The place unseen.

A sudden turning;
A fresh beginning.
Once burning,
Bleeding, sinning-
Chewing questions
Like shattered glass,
Like broken bastions
Of empires past.

Ocular scales shed to ground,
Questions falling each alone,
Like wilted leaves, soundless
Before Your Holy throne
I tremble and forgive, subdued.
I confess and boldly stand-
Because if faith pleases You,
Let it guide my hand.

My reluctance dissolves
In view of Your glory,
You choose to involve
Blind-me in Your story,
And that will ever be enough
Nay, more than plenty-
I let go; I give up-
I beg You to send me

To love, to serve, to proclaim, to suffer,
For the glory of Your name.

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance
and the sin which so easily entangles us,
and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith,
who for the joy set before Him endured the cross,
despising the shame,
and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:1-2‬ ‭NASB‬‬

I Believe

You spoke over me
When I was yet Your enemy,
Before I could see,
And I believe.

Your sacrifice is deep:
Invulnerability to bleed,
Life to taste death, to keep
Even Your lost and wandering sheep

May I never blaspheme!
You are ever supreme,
Worthy beyond highest esteem:
You speak and I am redeemed.

I believe You-
Beyond what I am, through
Every age past- imbued
With Your promises true
And good

And I believe You,
And I repent,

And I surrender
Come what may!

Father Almighty

I’m so sorry-
Like Jonah on the hill
I only submitted to see them killed
I waited for You to defend-
No, to choose me over them,
And in the worst of the violence,
And in Your displeased silence,
My heart accused the Almighty
Subtly, unsettling and unsightly,
I accused You of utilitarian favor,
Or at my worst, of being a slaver;
Even You, who sets the captive free:
Forgive me! Forgive me

The jagged case I’ve defended,
The complaints I’ve extended
Like a bitter shard- sharp, twisted,
Squeezed and shaken in a bleeding fist
At them, at me, and also at You.
I didn’t want the truth;
I wanted compensation.
Forgive me this degradation.
I wasted it all.
Your kindness- Your call-
I orchestrated my impotence
And undermined my inheritance:
I am so sorry.

Complexity and Complicity

Forgive me my ancient remedy,
My overthinking, my overwringing
Each moment into a cacophony
Of strained, offkey singing

When I feel overwrought.

You gifted me to look inside,
And underneath, and from afar
A gift to see conclusions implied,
To guide my wandering star

By unknown charts and graphs.

Your gifts preserved me
I’m thinking on them oft again-
My years now stretch to eight and thirty:
You discipled me in lone places when

I wasted so much trying to join a club.

Disciple me again in this foreign land
I use this overthinking
To try to understand
When my engagement started sinking

Into the deep barrier of me:

To find the ladder back out-
I can feel another cistern
Of grief, and anger, and doubt
And I know I must return

To the spot, to break open the earth

I want to be angry,
Because I know if it’s not true
I enslaved myself to agree,
To believe them over You

And there’s nothing left but to repent-

Which I know I will do,
But I thought they held the keys-
They didn’t permit me pass through-
And now could it be

It only mattered who held the Truth?

It only mattered who the Truth held?

An Elephant, a House, and a Temple

My herbivore teeth ruminate
On the sacred elephant.
Bite and chew, the juices make
Indelible prints,
But bit by bit, bite by bite,
The portions remaining shrink,
I lift my head in daylight
Because it’s not about what I think,

But whether I choose to chew.

Tasked with repairing a home
Touched by elements of decay,
Standing crooked on ancient bones,
Half exhausted and rotted away
And wired wrong- too much
May spark eruption
A roof that crumbles at the touch:
A constant threat of corruption

And who cares for the old
in the face of the new?

I fill the cracks, pull off the vines,
Whispering, “”I believe You.”
How can I hold back the hands of time?
But death, but life, remain Your purview.
I begin to sense my anguish
Spreads beyond the disrepair
Were every inch refurbished,
And the holy calling spared

Wouldn’t I still be too old, too broken, to fulfill any purpose there?

I am the house; it is me.
Our fate is linked by common trust;
No promise of return, and costly,
And who would choose to build that up?
We both sit abandoned, irreparable,
But for the hope of Your activity-
I may not see how it’s accomplishable,
But I’ve glimpsed Your creativity,

And I know You resurrect beauty from the ashes-
You are ever victorious:
Calling forth the diminished
Into the Glorious

By Your Fiat.

“’The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’
says the LORD of hosts,
‘and in this place I will give peace,’
declares the LORD of hosts.””
Haggai‬ ‭2:9‬ ‭NASB‬‬

Of a Monday

Praise Your name!
These wordless days
Gush forward
In endless praise.

The Lamb redeems the donkey;
One must die before the Adjudicator,
And You have spared
The lesser with the Greater.

Endless patience shown
As I mull over eternity,
The high things, and the low,
In audacity and humility.

Forgive my presumptions,
Ever a bridge too far
Grant my life may honor You
For everything You are

And remember I am dust.

These Present Sufferings

Last night, the ancient fire stoked
Poking again the ancient burns
Seared into flesh once tender-
Yet never without yearning.

Nearly thirty years, I’ve known;
Nearly thirty years I’ve heard the call’s persistence,
But reprimanded- gender demanded
A more quotidian existence.

Now they say it’s a new day.
Now it’s my responsibility
To weed out whatever lies
They sowed into my identity.

I wept to You today.
Wept, and begged, and confessed
Willing to surrender, to forgive-
Years of anger repressed.

Fearful, as Aaron and Miriam
Raised their voice in similar fashion,
And You rightly struck her pale
Until Moses pled compassion.

I sit with Brother Lawrence now,
All my energy spent-
I ponder still if I’m in Your will;
If I know how to repent.

I thought of what they kept me from:
Visible learning, belonging, a voice,
But they existed in constrained abstraction-
My conscience rejects that choice

But I might not have.
This is the thought I cannot lose-
Had clergy embraced my passionate adherence,
Praised for artificial virtues,

I would have engaged in the show,
And become a company-man.
I would have watered down the truth
Mitigating the crowd’s demands

And I know I, the corporate protégé,
Would have died in the rote
Expecting You to be pleased
With the foreign fire I devoted

Equating obedience
With the art of being heard
Instead of the manifest calling
To lay it down, to serve-

Never to learn the simple beauty
Sitting with the bereaved
When no one expects a word from me,
But hears the hope that I believe

Never to live out my faith
When only You are watching:
My gifts, my thoughts, my heart,
All to only You, I sing-

The summation of these thoughts
Lifts my broken face
A lifetime of biased rejection-
A provision of dearest grace!

The Reluctant Child

She stopped the car once,
Not even looking in my direction,
And told me of the night
She carried us both to the intersection
And tried to do us in together.

You were there then.

Later, as she ironed behind,
A tiny child of two or three,
Playing on the floor while
A man spoke of You on TV
You filled my little soul

You were there then, too.

When I learned in dark attics
What little girls must do,
What the world expects of little things,
I still recognized You
Desperately alone, unvalued,

But You were there then, too.

And as my skin hardened
Under many blows,
As I learned to hide my little self
Away from all opposed,
In the quiet, secret places I withdrew,

You were there then, too.

Relentless years, relentless waves
Eroding the shoreline of trust
No spine ever placed designations
On the just or the unjust-
It was just another thing to go through

But You were there then, too.

Death I breathed, death I reasoned,
In death I lived and grew
But You, as Life, loosed the boat
And bid me not pursue
Peace, You whispered, Shalom-

And You were there then, too.

I passed through many hands
Most of them were rough-
I learned I’m too intense,
Too much to be enough
Only loved in short bursts

But You were constant then, too.

Endless stanzas can’t convey
The moments You indwell,
You led me from there to here,
In ways I may never really tell
But one thing I always knew

You were there then, too.

You gave me another soul
To cherish, honor, obey,
And he’s unlike the host before:
He’s better every day,
Faithful when I’d fallen through

You were there then, too.

And it was never about me
You came before anything I could do
Your faithfulness predates
The heaps that we pursue:
It could only be accomplished by You

And You were there.

Reluctant, I have grown
Head-shy like the dog oft-hit
Sometimes I whimper-
Sometimes I growl- or sit-
Or fetch with head held down

And You are there then, too.

So few speak the language,
The only one I’ve come to know,
And my shoreline’s still eroded,
But even broken, or lost in the flow,

One truth shines clearly:

You are always here with me.

Hallelujah, blessed be Your name-
Your incomprehensible ways!
And may this unworthy little tongue
Never cease to praise.

Fickle to Faithful

How often I heard in my youth
If I stumbled away from You
It meant I’d never known You at all.
How often I chose to fall
To see if You would catch me.
I had to believe, to see
You weren’t as fickle as man
You lingered beyond our span-
In my folly, You remained.
I considered everything to gain,
And nothing to lose
If Your anger should choose
To smite me ere I try it.
I learned to wait when You felt quiet
To trust, to press further in
I learned not to fear my sin
So great, but paid for by Your hands
I began to understand
By looking at us in terms of years
Not by weeks, nor days, nor mere
Moods to punctuate our relationship
I found the foundation doesn’t flip
If I’m standing askew-
As long as I’m standing on You.

No one can undo all those years
Not with floods of earthbound threats,
They still say I can drive You away,
But can’t explain why I haven’t done yet.
We mortals defend Your honor
By amending all Your claims,
By saying You always or never,
By explaining away Your name

Which is the power of life and death.