No Burden – Kindness #poetry

 

framed hand with flower

A hand offered in silence

a smile to soothe the days

eyes light hope’s tomorrows

cast warm summer rays

you choose to accept another

 to greet with friendly smile

burdens often we carry

lighter for two over miles

lean forward into fellowship

melt frost on coldest days

sun breaks the mourning

for God’s gift you can never pay

I am daily graced by the kindness of others. The gesture need not be a grand one but just in a simple act, a smile, a word kindly spoken.  The difference can have a profound effect on a person’s day. Try it!

“Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.:

~Proverbs 3:3

“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”

~Ephesians 4:32

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Despite Life’s Storms…Committed #poetry #haibun

forest path

*

One day from Japan to Guam, a P-3 crew of 12 flew into a tempest. In the face of death, some grasped for metal others crumpled straws; I held to confidence in my God. For hours we were tossed like a mere play thing; it seemed impossible that a craft could hold together against such force. As the storm lifted and just above the ocean we drifted, we beheld the most glorious image. All of nature awakened beneath a glorious, golden halo: Whales blew plumes of water, dolphins played on the surface, flying fish pirouetted in a dance with the waves.

*

eye of the storm

man clings to any hope

nature’s beauty emerges

I can’t paraphrase what the journey committed to God is like. For each pilgrim it is different. But this one thing I can say – no matter the sorrow, no matter the pain when the storm has passed there’s a beauty unclaimed.

The prompt at Poet’s United is “Committed.” What are you committed to no matter the cost?

“A Glimpse to the other side” is a more complete “story” that I wrote several years ago logging this day.

 

Safe in Grace #devotion

pink lily

encompassed in sweet fragrance

held together by His grace

bold sunshine rises golden

each day you warm my face

I fear the passing days

you assure me with your love

so little within my grasp

all I have comes from God above

Do you have those days where you turn a corner and you lose your resolve? Is it hard some days to get out of bed and face trials, pain, recent loss? We are held together so lovingly tho at times it seems just a breath that suspends us and keeps us from falling into a pit of despair.

2 Corinthians 12:8-9 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Great News #devotion #poetry

rock wall

my hand reaches for a firm hand hold

shale shreds off, hitting my face

“Im cut,” I shrug

there is a thread suspending me

but it doesn’t give way

I reach the top of this pinnacle

one of the many I have climbed

I add another bandage to the bag

I’ve survived another close call

I look over a breathtaking view

a warm breeze flutters my sleeves

“I love you” is whispered in my ear

I was reminded today of a person in the Bible who had close calls with death – Elijah. After a major miraculous victory, he gets great news “you wont live to see tomorrow.”  Running for his life he begs, “Forget this life, God. I cant do this anymore!”

Have you ever said that? I have and again within the last several weeks as I was handed another taunting lab paper that said “You can die…”

God told Elijah to gird up his loins (that means get ready to run long and hard.) He (miraculously) ran for 40 days and nights. All along God had a plan: first he would get Elijah to safety, then he would strengthen  and encourage him, and then he would share the plan.

Those gentle whispers are always welcome…

“4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”
5 Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep.
11 The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.”Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”
All verses from 1 Kings 19.

Go Deep #devotion

I just read an article about tears and that they are good for us because they open our hearts! Maybe this poem will make a clear visual:

Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; But a man of understanding will draw it out.

watering eye

I woke in burning pain today

the searing drew me to my knees

tears wash over even now

and I can only pray and plead

My heart heard  nudging from my Lord

“people are suffering all over the world

let pain wake you to the need

petition for the lost, your words I’ll heed”

I woke in burning pain today

I dropped sobbing to my knees

“Oh Lord children suffer it is true

they’ll burn alive without you!!! ”

Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; But a man of understanding will draw it out. 
Proverbs 20:5

heart in water

Should I focus on my own suffering or on that of others? The Bible says we will have trouble in this life but isn’t it what we do with the “suffering” that makes a difference? I was reminded as my pain has been escalating of  a time when I chose not to use narcotics to stem the tide. The pain would crash over me in the night and I decided I might as well pray. This went on for months (then years). I learned by praying for others that my pain would lessen and like an analgesic I would (eventually) fall back to sleep. These are troublesome times – Do we anesthetize our lives or do we walk on hot coals with fellow sufferers? May ours tears soften our hearts to hear the cries of those lost in the night…

“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

Romans 5:3-5

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

Romans 8:18

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. “

1 Peter 4:12

Sharing this with Godinterest today.

Wind Blown #devotion #poetry #photography

Between the panes it reaches

irrespective of my will

it howls in singular tone

ties my tongue, I feel ill

icy it tantalizing streaks

lookout for those to spill

through the woods it shrieks

and I cold and all alone

*

As we traverse life, there will always be those cold icy patches that reach out to trip us and at times we fall. In His grace, God picks us up and gives us refreshment maybe even some sunshine. Last year I fell on some nasty ice and had a bad break. The day I finally ventured out, I fell again spraining the remaining limbs. This winter I was afraid to go out if there was any snow or possible ice. I am learning to not be timid rather to be prepared with the right gear. Isn’t that how life is? A trial lays us flat and we want to just stay in the fetal position. We must prepare ourselves and bravely face each day.

 Psalm 23:4

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.”

James 1:2-8

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. …”

 Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

More verses for trial filled days:

Part of the Whole #devotion #poetry #humanity

chains and people

Whether poor or rich, tall or short

very young or oh so old

you child are part

of the greater whole

in this spinning world

rushing out of control

man would extinguish

the birds that sing

destruction is such a waste

still we await

the coming spring

we are connected

on each other lean

remember that this God above

the designer of hope

something great called Love

 

I am reminded of some sweet moments as a nurse and teacher with the friends I had made.  An outsider could have considered us different: Our language and skin color was not the same but the radiance in our smiles was like an echo and our voices had a beautiful blend as we sang. Culture may mold us and hand us mores. But as my dear friend Hil would say, we are sisters all the same. As the watercolors of life streak and create a new color, “man” gets angry at the thought that a “oneness” could be the start of a new day.

As a chain gathers strength by being linked together,  we as people gain support as we clasp hands and work together.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

Ezekiel 36:26
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

2 Corinthians 5:7
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Revelation 21:4