Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Between Me and the Moon

Some nights when I pull in the driveway,
and the stars are clear, and the moon is cresting
above the neighbors' pines,
I'll stop the car,
turn off the engine and open
the driver's seat door
to sudden quiet.                     I'll stand
erect and still, and see the sky with nothing in between.

I'll soak it in: that there is nothing but air between us.
I take a fierce, rebellious pleasure in this. That even after
all our careful planning, politics and systems,
they haven't put anything between me and the moon.
There is nothing to separate us but miles
of naked space.

Courtyard

In our Italian palazzo, there was a room,
a living room,
lit by the sun,
the others opened onto.

In this room, if you entered, cats might pass,
or visitors from the street. Neighbors, historians,
a gypsy once. Air and sound
flowed through it.
Insects, bees, and birds.

It rained, and came down
on the living ground,
on the clover
and on the stones,
on the potted plants, and the fountain
full of earth and flowers.

It came down on the pale pink roses, climbing up the wall.
And on the birds-of-paradise.

I wish
my house had a room like that.
My room has light, and books, and a red blanket,
but the flowers on the hook
are dry. I don't like strangers.

And from my bed,
I cannot see the sky. 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Unflappable God, December 28

I myself am feeling strangely vulnerable right now. I always seem to be shaken by unbelievers - if they're not outright antagonistic or selfish, which makes their mistakenness obvious.
But I am shaken by people who feel relatable, who are like me, but come to a different conclusion.
Why me? Why not them? Why me at all? Do I want the narrow way?
I want the right way. And I want everyone with me. I'm not as brave or as loving as Paul; I don't think I'd take hell for anything or anyone. I mean, I'd take hell: neatly off the list of options.
I understand You so little. I don't know how to trust You and not let part of me - what feels like ME - be macerated. Or is it You inside of me telling me I've simply got You wrong? That I have to let my cheap idea of You die, to know You and see You and love You as You are?
I won't believe because I "should". I'll believe because of You. So show me.
You are big enough. The God I know, that I've loved and lived for, isn't stumped by anything. Is patient. Is kind beyond expectation. Is firm and unflappable and irritatingly (relievingly?) observant. I can't kill You.


To Want and to Work For, December 24

Please stir up our longing for You, the longing that can't be satisfied by food & drink & laughter.

Forgive me for my hard-heartedness, my fear of man, my pride.
Please take me in hand tonight.
And tomorrow, please help me to be a blessing. That is, to see and respond to those around me. To want and to work for their welfare. 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Under the Tree, December 23

It does feel like the end of something. The beginning of something, too, I guess. Being adults. Not having everyone home for Christmas. But it's so good to have J home.

Please help me know how to love well. Give me new oceans of hesed.
I feel pretty dried-up and brittle. I need reminders, I need hope. I need faith, and I can't see. And I forget that some (all?) of the best parts of my life were courage and faith and trust in the midst of the unknown. Help me to enjoy the journey. And please bring me forward (I would say back) to a place of confidence, of being excited about You, swept up in You.
Going to go sleep under the tree. 

Turn Around and Love, December 10

These cynic songs are coming to me pretty easily. But they're also helpful - showing me what I'm not. Help me see the holes in cynicism.

Recorded music here at home, "What Your Heart is For" and "And Now This". Planned with Mom and Dad. Watched, "My Santa", a vapid B-grade on Netflix. We were going for entertaining, and at least it was laughable. My favorite scenes were the string beans steaming and Chris putting his costume away in the trunk.

I'm so glad You are not a sinner like the rest of us. That I can turn from trying to please all these froward humans and come to You. But I'm also afraid of You, because of Your power to judge, and because You will undoubtedly tell me to turn around and love... humans, again.
Messy miserable humans.
I don't understand much. Have mercy on me. Protect my spirit. Purify me. Make me brave, and whole-hearted. And self-forgetful. 

Missed Some Boat, December 7

Reading K's letter and talking with A today were strong, sharp reminders of Your activity. Of Your power to move and draw people to Yourself, and to actually change things. Actually.
Convince me of this, when I suddenly feel tired and used up, and like I missed some boat. Nope.

I need Your help not to be so bitter and angry. About my circumstances. About the fallibility and mortality of everyone I love. Of the failure of everything to satisfy me. But You. You do. But I'm still afraid of You, and mistrustful. Wear down my guard, please, and make me brave.