For much of the United States, there is a polar vortex assaulting us with cold air. We are in the depth of winter. When the cold bites your nose as you walk out the door, you remember how harsh life can be. At the same time, there is a beauty to winter's austerity.
Seasons are necessary components of nature, a natural cycle. So too, our lives consist of seasons. There are times of abundant fruit. There are times of barren loss.
Are you in a winter season right now? Some thoughts on winter in nature, and in your life:
January 2nd is a bummer because Christmas lights come down. How depressing. It's part of the aftermath of Christmas, and it has a way of inciting loneliness. On January 2nd, I was thinking about:
Those who dread returning to a miserable job.
Widows and widowers living alone in a quiet house.
Those divorced or never married wondering if this is it.
Those mourning a death.
Those who have family far away. They were together, now gone.
Those suffering from a break up.
Some reflections on January 2nd, the loneliest day.
There is a beginning and an end for everyone.
May I be faithful in the span between.
Not successful or spectacular.
Not popular or wealthy.
Terror in Paris. Colorado Springs. San Bernadino. And these are just in the last month. We are left with fear, anger, and uncertainty.
I've seen God do kick-butt things in desperate situations. My faith leads me to anticipate the flex of God's muscle. The Psalms give voice to such defiant faith. Inspired by various Psalms, I say, "Come, hell. I dare you."
Come the muscle of all dominions.
Come the might of every kingdom.
Come the furnace and its fire.
Come the hellish demon choir.
Come with your finality.
Mount your horse; challenge me.
This, the place for God’s glory.
His reign in wicked territory.
Swing the sword; fire the arrow.
Gather an army like a Pharaoh.
Did you win? You bound my wrist.
But now you’ll see His mighty fist.
Resist Him with your travesty.
It only grows His majesty.
It multiplies His victory.
Few would have known of His great might,
Had you not challenged Him to a fight.
Stressed grapes make good wine.
Swollen orbs and clinging vine.
When it's hot upon the hill,
That's when roots dig deeper still.
Good vines make for good fruit,
Pushing down a buried root.
Twisting 'round to reach the sky,
Leaves like wings extend to fly.
Liquor is made by fermentation.
Only death can bring salvation.
The precious product of decay,
Comes from life that passed away.
Sip the blend of soil and sun.
Breath the scent of vic'tory won.
Raise your glass to make a toast.
Of your painful seasons boast.
That's when grapes become the most.
You've borne the world's sin;
Will you bear a little more?
You dined with the heathen;
Will you set a place for me?
You endured humanity's immorality;
Will you reckon with my misdeeds?
You forgave your abusers;
Will you forgive my abuses?
You took a friend who denied your acquaintance;
Will you take me back too?
You searched the streets for lost souls;
Will you pursue one more stray?
They abandoned while you embraced.
They betrayed when you befriended.
They cursed when you blessed.
They took when you gave.
You've borne the world on your shoulders;
Is there room for one more?
Inspired by 1.) Trinity Sunday. 2.) Playing in clover-laden grass with a 10-month-old.
Three Leaf Clover
This is proof of mystery;
Signatures of Majesty.
Signed unto infinity.
On display in leaves of three.
Wonder of the Trinity,
Who stoops into anarchy,
To present a gift to me,
By means of biology.
Made with creativity;
Blood painted on a tree;
Tongues spoke in plurality;
Counters all calamity.
Presence spans the widest sea.
Sure to make the demons flee.
Come adore on bended knee.
Reminded by these leaves of three.
In the season of Lent, our church is in a series called Broken. I'm reminded of broken families and the overwhelming pain that exists in homes across our communities.
The front door is painted a fresh coat of white.
Potted begonias on the left and the right.
From the sidewalk, life seems alright.
Behind the shades is a soft yellow light.
Next to the lamp is a girl on the floor.
Curled up and wounded down to her core.
Her daddy said, “I don’t love you no more.”
In the kitchen he bellows a whisky roar.
The front door is painted a fresh coat of white.
It covers the inside and all of its plight.
But truth can’t be painted and put out of sight.
The back door is open; she slips into night.
The crack in the blinds.
The hole in the fence.
We see but a line,
But not the extent.
Under the door,
A light in the hall.
My face to the floor
Ears hear the call.
The fog across the way.
The candle in the night.
It’s dangerous to stay.
I walk with no sight.
What does it require,
To march through the mist?
Hand stretched forward
Faith to persist.
My eyes are closed,
Blind to all fear.
Ears hear the sound
Of the Voice that is clear.
I’ve measured time with hands and digits,
Instruments to keep my minutes.
I mold my life unto the clock.
There is no open space to stop.
O God, redeem when time is rigid;
Obsessed with every minute’s digit.
Do not fret future events.
Live for love in the present tense.