Monday, January 25, 2016

To Karen

It's your voice I want to hear
when I'm seasick in Missouri
ceremonial bowl, and cloth, and you singing,
Raincoats, Finlandia
Raincoats and lakes - 
God is love, and love will never fail me -
cross-legged on my bed
at 2am.

Italicized words from "North American Field Song" and "God Is Love" by The Innocence Mission

Thursday, January 21, 2016


Love is maladroit
and hypochondriacal.

It's (sym)pathetic (hug me, please)
and spun as fun as sugar.

How alarming - standing on sacrilege,
timber-lipped and monk(ey)ish,

while little birds
sing madrigals
to a hinting heart.

Surreptitious puppy-love has mitigated wonders:
histrionics, bliss, hysterics,
lickety-split hairs
or ears
or bread
until one's mustard

up the courage

to accept

that love's alive and glinting,
shriven, staring like a star,
patient in the hopeful, deft
midwifery of time.

It's feast and hunger paired,
it's holiness and hippos,
it's hippocampus, loneliness
picked up
where it left off.

It's cause and end, and undertone,
and nectar's long collection,
It's planetary motion
and the Bright and Mourning Son.

It's north wind, south wind,
fervor and safety,
labor, bath,
and laughter. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Lines from the Months of This Last Year: December

There are a lot of things, Lord.
First of all, I'm entirely at Your mercy. I've been dense, selfish, bitter and crude, all week so far. Basically I'm a rat carcass mouldering in the garage.
I want to cry because I want to believe You really mean Your mercy and wine. Is this joy believable?

I have such bad habits. Miserere mei, Deus.
You have been so patient and generous with me. Lovely contra, sweet YAs (and Lectio Divina worked, because You're the real deal) and today with S. was joy. We started off with coffee. We made 6 kinds of cookies, listening to Christmas albums. We had mushroom soup (luxury) and sesame coleslaw. We prayed in the car. Besides cookies, she sent me home with books, jam, and a hunk of lamb. Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz. Actually pure kindness and a gushing fountain of love.

Mom and Dad watched "White Christmas" tonight and laughed and cried. I ate my cookies watching with them, then painted. And thank You, You helped me make progress on 3, and gave me hilarious N texts too.

You gave me safety, and a Dad who takes care of me. Took the Honda in yesterday, found out the noise I heard was the power steering. Thanks for the money I had saved that could help. Thanks for really loving me. God, help me bring You glory.
I want to talk about You and live for You. I want everyone to know You, Jesus.
I need more of You myself. Please.

I wanted to write, because there are things I should remember. Sometimes I'm aware I'm living the best days of my life so far.
Tonight was so wet and warm, I took a barefoot walk for ~45 minutes in the yard. Felt alive again.
Tonight we had worship practice, J was over earlier in the day for tea. I painted in the morning.

I wanted to say that yesterday was a rich and meaningful day. ABF, sermon with a sobering reminder of the costliness of following Christ, Advisor's Meeting (with cookies), caroling with the 5th and 6th grade girls. So fun. Then I met N at the (torn up, depressing) park, and we crossed the stream and made music/talked on the grass for a while. Then a Christmas hymn-sing/fellowship/party. THAT was glorious. We ate, made music, shared things God put on our hearts, and played hilarious games. It felt so natural and full of God's love and presence. Thank You Jesus.
Help me rest in You, pray, work. Play too.

We both know that those
who are proud in their hearts are far from You,
are far, are far.

I've never felt like such a mess. OK, maybe. But not so chronically. Everything is slipping and I almost cried in Walmart yesterday, overhearing a senior citizen's comment about Hiroshima.

The spruce branches and clove-encrusted orange are making weird shadows on my ceiling, pinned up there by the window light.

I'm waiting to feel that I can go back to sleep. Waiting for rest on a lot of levels. But I'm waiting for the rest that is a choice - haven't You taught me that obedience comes first?
I'm jealous, I'm guilty, but I'm forgiven, I'm free.

Stretch me out as far as I will go. I'm the last nub of chalk, I'm 2 sardines and a stale cracker.

It's late Christmas day. I'm wiped out. But I'm also so tired I'm getting loopy, and some of the thoughts and impressions are pleasant to me, so I'm not in a hurry to sleep.
Jesus. If I don't look at Your face, everything is wasted.
Zephaniah reminds me of times when Your words were my anchor. It makes me uncomfortable, I'd rather not risk that much on You.
God, You are the ONLY anchor, help me risk everything.

All this is allowed to be hopeless, because You are, "I AM." You are hope.
That sounds hollow. You are the source of everything positive and orderly and lovely and true. We create nothing. All we can ever do is eat the good things You make and ____ them out. Why do You keep giving? HOW do You keep loving when we spit in Your face?

Teach me, disciple me in Your ways. Not so I can be some pure and humble nun, but so I can be You and know You and not care anymore how I appear. You are reason enough for everything. Help me trust Your mercy enough to rejoice in You. Rejoice over me.
All of me, everything.

Zech 4:10:
"Who dares despise the day of small things...?"
v. 6:
"'Not by might not by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty."

Thank You for taking me safe to Lanc after <3 hrs. sleep. So good to see HJ! And thanks for Sabbath rest. For Mad Max yesterday, and cards, & B's check.

You are my choice, Love over fear.

Remind me of this day. If (when) I ever doubt You. It is all Yours. Help me to be generous and wise. Live as if this really is my last year (it might be).
Help me see where I am sinning, hurting. Help me humbly follow You. Fill me. Help me sleep. Speak through me, help me understand, and laugh, and be still.

Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.