Category Archives: Poetry

Poem: The Things that Keep Our Hearts Apart

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Digging through some old stuff this morning and found a poem written several years ago. I’m thinking someone might relate.

Folks have called me brave but the scariest thing I ever did was going into the throne room, covered in the mess of my life and staying at the feet of the Holy One who made the stars. 

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Born for this other place, tucked away inside Your heart.

You pierce the cellophane holding me captive to this narrow

little world and I see— Your eyes, crinkled at the corners.

Bathed in kindness,

backlit with mercy.

Anything, my Lord. Just say the word.

You sit, take my hands and smile that smile I love beyond bearing.

You’re after something.

What will it be this morning?

My humiliation with the oatmeal?

Shame on toast.

I reach inside, toss corruption at Your feet but You aren’t distracted.

Who am I kidding?

You know the particulars that keep my heart insulated from Yours.

You held a penitent sinner, forgave my transgressions with a sigh of negation long time passing.

You cleaned away shame on a couch long ago, holding tight, wiping my mouth while I spit blood and renounced the works of darkness.

So what keeps us apart?

I wanted to do better. I promised You more.

A pledge of faithfulness beneath a bleeding tree—

–Broken on impact.

Your eyes speak forgiveness but this fickle memory spits out data while Your arms caress my back.

Your faithfulness reminds me of my failing.

Wandering eyes. A harlot’s heart.

You deserve better.

Kindness, goodness, virtue.

Not a snarling hellcat with a thousand regrets packed in a suitcase, banging on Your door.

I throw myself at You because I cannot suffer apart from You a moment longer.

This mercy lies beyond understanding. How can You look at me that way? Your eyes full of longing, Your hands more eager than my own?

And so You dig.

You hold out hands scarred by my failures

ask for things Your sacred eyes should never see.

You say You’ll have it all, not one held back.

Because I trust You—

Because every word is Truth—

Because I can’t live apart from You one moment longer.

I’m staying right here, holding this hand, holding You to my heart.

I choose to believe You want this woman.

Mercy beyond reason.

I’ll never understand Your kindness in this lifetime.

So You’re stuck with me, how does that feel?

I’ll throw myself against Your side a million times until

the ugly keeping our hearts apart jars loose, piling

up at Your feet. Until it’s on the floor, out of our way, crushed

beneath heels strengthened with favor.

I’m never going anywhere without You again.

Poem: Song of the Bride

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Poetry is personal. I dug through my pile of thrashing on paper before, looking for something to share but most of the verbiage lies too near my heart to publish. A post over on Anna’s blog brought this free verse to mind and after a quick read-through, I’m thinking maybe others can relate.

I wrote this when my voice was gone entirely. I walked through the house day after day, careful to focus on the floor to keep from making eye contact with the beast. He said he didn’t like the way I looked at him. It made him angry. He ‘could tell what I was thinking’ and punished me when I no longer felt by going after the children. I did what I had to do to get through each day.

For those who might not be familiar, the imagery here speaks of a common teaching in the church concerning the Bride of Christ. The concept of a conquering King returning for His Beloved is both mysterious and haunting and that’s the realm where I believe it belongs– A mystery, near the heart of God, to be revealed in His perfect timing.

Song of the Bride

I want to sing of Your goodness but I have no voice.

Birds sing,

Whales sing.

My voice alone is muted.

Of all the creatures in all the universe, I know Your kindness, the depth of Your love, Your fire, Your passion. Our story is written in the heavenlies, blared across time, hidden in Your creation.

I can tell Your marvelous works, outline the majesty of Your compassion, string together the thread of Your determination to pursue a bride, to purchase her freedom, to bathe her wounds in the oil of anointing, the wine of gladness.

And I have no voice.

Let me declare Your goodness into the heavens. Let me tell of Your sweetness to a new generation. Let me proclaim Your salvation, the acceptable year of the Lord.

Let me hold You close, sing into Your ear of little things, quiet things we share.

You have sung over me from the time of my coming into this world. Your songs awakened my heart to dream of arms that hold without demand. Behind I see a trail of songs, bringing life, bringing hope, resurrecting the dead.

And I have no voice.

 

Another song I ask of You. Awaken the dead once more and sing me a voice into this sleeping world.

Once You declared the rocks would cry out if your people were silent.

What will happen if Your Bride is mute?

Prepare a voice for me, keep it safe until You call it forth in the fullness of Your time.

Until that day, I will lay in Your arms and sing tiny songs of freedom.

Your smile is my very great reward.

November 29, 2009