A Quiet God with Loud People

Christ sacrificed

skin,

speech,

defense,

and life —

it is,

perhaps,

the least we can do

to sacrifice

our impulse

to dominate

in argument

and put

in its place

prayer.

Easter

On a day

celebrating second life,

I am thankful

for the rebirth

in Christ,

that, against all odds,

my leaves again

turn green.

Ironic Beauty

When you consider the moss and the clay, it seems wildly unreasonable that we don’t give it space in the prestigious category “beauty.” God made flowers and stars and lightning bugs, sure, but He also crafted the things less immediately radiant: the soil, the stones, the molding bark on trees. Without vibrant colors or sweet aromas, these things yield a beauty beyond senses: purpose. How beautiful it is to have purpose; has anything else ever been so tirelessly pursued?

Go ahead, give her a bouquet of molding tree bark; weed out the narrow thinkers 😉

 

(What else is beautiful because of its purpose or potential that we don’t traditionally honor with the title beauty?)

Barabbas

I cannot

help

but to admit

that I am

Barabbas,

released

to an undeserved

freedom

at the Name of Jesus.

Wordsmith Wednesday – Poem VII

There are always chains;
to the boulders of regret,
to the walls of doubt,
to the prison of loss.
For every thing
there is a chain –
but chain me to Christ.

Strong Language

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Holiness

Sure, we’re all holy

(from the neck up)

 

aren’t we?

Strong Language

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On Possession

I said she was mine
and he was mine.
They were mine.
And I swallowed them whole,
cherishing the explosive flavor of control.

Then, He came,
and pulled them from my throat.
He told me they were His.
They were all His.

But he didn’t devour them.
What kind of revolution is this?

Strong Language

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Strong Language, and Bloody Creations

I spent most of 2018 in the bedlam of poetry. Poetry is like a wound — one that pains and one that heals. The wound is internal, garnering leverage over the organs with every experience the poet encounters. It forms and it festers, spreading wildly throughout the trunk of a person until it finally reaches the hands. And, through claws rigid with purpose, the poetry is expelled as ink onto parchment. The lesion that once victimized the poet transforms into liniment that relieves the aching reader.

My poetry was finally, fully expelled in November 2018 when I published, with great trepidation and greater reward, my first compilation of poems: Strong Language. It could be argued that our most powerful appetite is for creation – a constant master that renders us unable to leave behind the mechanism of construction. We cannot help but to compose. What day or what hour didn’t see you forming ideas, designing sentences, or shaping reality? Creation is the only passion we don’t put down even in our sleep.

It was equal parts triumph and relief to fashion 77 wounds into an ordered piece of writing. Enthusiastic for every breed and every style of literature, my mind hammered the stone in a thousand different shapes at once. I could not tell the stone what shape I wanted, for I wanted them all. So, I abandoned expectations, prescriptive rules, and reservations to just form as many sculptures in as many styles as my mind ached to construct. My book of poetry is without a determined style and is without a certain format. It is a flowing river of bloody letters expelled from my wounds.

Poetry is alluring yet strikingly powerful – a delicate strike of lightning. I will remain in the storm a little longer.

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Letting Go: Releasing Control

via Daily Prompt: Release

chains
Photo credit: wakingtimes.com

Even a title that suggests a discussion about relinquishing control is unsettling isn’t it? We want control, we crave control, we need control. We hold onto the details of our lives with white knuckles.

And what do we have to show for it? Strained relationships, stress, and regret? Our relationships are strained because we try to manipulate the other person to our whims and we resist when they try to do the same to us. We’re stressed because it’s exhausting and disappointing to manage everything (especially the unmanageable). We’re regretful because every disappointment is our fault, because we’re in control of everything, right?

The greatest irony is this: when we abandon control — in that very moment — we finally achieve freedom and triumph. How could we, though? How could we loosen our grip on our own lives? If we don’t obsessively monitor our lives, who’s going to take care of us? Enter: God.

Abandoning control only makes sense when we’re granting God the power. I don’t know about you, but there’s no one else I want to transfer control to — not to my boss, not to my parents, and not to the government. Only to God can we entrust our intentions every morning and dreams every night. And only He will honor us when we grant Him control.

Add up all of the love everyone has for us and it still can’t rival the providential love God has for us. He loves us even more purely and carefully than we love ourselves. That  sounds like someone who ought to hold the reigns.

Next time you’re stressed over deadlines, nervous about job opportunities, anxious about relationships, or overwhelmed by the vast details of life, offer your control to God: “Lord, I could try to anticipate and control everything, but I know that I’ll fail, because I have every time before this. Take the reigns on this one. Whatever you would do or wherever you would send me, let me follow your path. You work all things for my good. How could I help but to trust you with my life and heart?”

May The Lord bless you as you give more of yourself to Christ!

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This is a platform to discuss and reflect on ideas, advancements, questions, and other musings. I am neither a health expert nor a member of clergy. The only authority I have to speak is my experience — I yield no degree or certification to give you medical, psychological, or religious advice. This is simply where minds come to meet and broaden. 

Covered by God’s Grace

via Daily Prompt: Cloaked

Well, that’s an intimidating title to write content for! How big, how unprecedented and life-altering God’s Grace is! But when I read the prompt “cloaked,” I cannot help but to reflect on the divine cloak I’ve been given.

That sounds a little odd (because it is a little odd). God is at the same time a just and a merciful God. According to justice, sin (smiting God) must receive its due punishment. According to mercy, the sinner is pardoned punishment. How, then, can the Almighty fashion such a contradiction? Enter: Jesus.

Really, in almost every moment you wonder about God’s contradictions, Jesus enters! Sinless but became sin, God but became man, God but not the Father — what a paradoxical man! Through Him, every contradiction and paradox is made possible and made perfect.

Because of my sin (I’ll just call it ‘my sin’ since listing the individual reasons I deserve judgment would overload this platform), I should expect to meet God’s judgment. There is nothing I can do. How could I squirm my way out of it? Divine laws that don’t change with the times. Divine wrath and judgment proportional to my faults. How could one get out without being noticed by the Enforcer? Enter: Jesus.

Jesus has covered me. Someone had to countenance the punishment, because justice requires it. So, instead of bending His own rules (which would be fickle and ‘un-God-like’), He came down to us to satisfy judgment himself. So, now, when The Lord looks upon me, He sees a radiant, white light — Jesus cloaking me. On that day, Jesus became me and I became as Him. I’ve made a lot of trades in my life — I haven’t regretted that one.

IMG_0645

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This is a platform to discuss and reflect on ideas, advancements, questions, and other musings. I am neither a health expert nor a member of clergy. The only authority I have to speak is my experience — I yield no degree or certification to give you medical, psychological, or religious advice. This is simply where minds come to meet and broaden.