I hide from myself.
I hide myself from others.
Not living. Safe. Imprisoned.
Seeing who I am.
Showing myself to others.
Living life. Risky. Freeing.
Living in deception is not truly living.
I deceive myself. I deceive others.
I do it without even being aware.
Until the day I come face to face with myself.
And then one day I see the deception.
I am filled with anguish and great sadness
For a life not lived fully, prescription
but in the shadows.
Who I am to myself and to others – a lie.
I step from the shadows of deception into the light of honesty.
I choose to see myself with eyes of truth, story
tempered by the love of God for me.
Seeing myself as I am is hard to do without judgment and condemnation.
Yet God is not as hard on me as I am on myself – He acts from a place of love.
I choose to see myself under the protection of God’s love.
I choose to be who God has created me to be – the person He envisions.
I choose to be transparent before God, to myself, with those who know me.
I choose to live in the light. I choose freedom.
Trapped in Shame: A Story of Mercy
(Based on John 8:2-11)
She sits in the dirt, rejected, ashamed,
the focus of unwanted attention.
Trying to be brave, she fights back the tears,
shielding her emotions from the stones they would throw.
Once again they grab her arms, forcing her to stand,
dragging her along to wherever
they are in such a hurry to get to.
She hangs her head, letting her hair cover her face,
hoping that the staring eyes of those they pass
do not see who she is.
Glancing up, she is horrified to see
the entrance to the temple court. Why bring her here?
Would they shed her blood in this holy place?
A crowd parts before her, as pushed and pulled,
she is made to stand before a Man.
She knows who He is – the Healer, Teacher,
some even call Him, Messiah, the Savior.
He has been teaching, would she now become
an object lesson,
used to warn others of a sinner’s fate?
The self-righteous leaders have no problem
broadcasting her sin for all to hear,
demanding that He likewise judge.
She glances at His face, expecting to see
condemnation, a cold heart reflected in His eyes.
He does not speak, but only looks into her face,
compassion meeting her guilt and shame.
The leaders, impatient, still demanding
He conform to their judgment.
And still He does not speak.
He bends to the earthen courtyard floor
letting His finger give answer to their charges,
writing in the dirt at their feet.
She stands there, watching Him, puzzled,
the leaders still question,
still demand He share their view.
But wait, she sees looks of puzzlement
and disbelief on their faces,
as her mind focuses on His words,
her own face mirrors theirs.
These righteous leaders of Israel,
their sinful state pointed out instead of hers.
Only if they are sinless themselves
can they condemn and pronounce judgment.
He demands they examine their own lives
before that of another.
Once again she sees him stoop to the ground.
What does He write?
Quietly her accusers turn and leave,
one by one, as they recognize
their own sin and need for mercy.
And now she stands alone,
and He straightens before her.
His love and mercy reach out to envelop her.
The Son of God extends forgiveness,
“You are not condemned, leave your sin behind.”
She walks away in the newfound grace of God,
By His mercy, set free.
We don’t always know what squeezes hearts to cause tears from words well spoken.
I didn’t know what I was asking.
If I had, would I have opened myself
to the searching hand of God?
Would I have let Him bring to light
things hidden deep inside?
My heart lies open…why can’t the pain be numbed?
Searching the very recesses of my being
With His Word, by His Spirit;
holding up the mirror of my heart
for me to see.
Oh God! The pain is so much to bear!
You show me the ugliness of my soul.
The door I have closed tight
You have cracked open, and I weep.
Shame and despair envelope me.
Can this be true?
Is this myself I see?
How Your light hurts my eyes!
I would turn away, close once more
the dark, sin-touched areas of my heart.
Yet, through the stabbing pain I sense
You are waiting for me on the other side.
You stretch out Your hand through
my sin and pain,
to touch me, to take my hand.
I cling to You. Only You can pull me up,
up through the stench of my pride
up through my very self.
Broken by Your love. I mourn.
Shattered by the reality of my sin. You heal.
I rise, crippled, yet whole as I
abandon myself to
the safety of Your love.
A baby born into a world that should welcome her
with joy and open arms and love.
When did that change?
When did the mother turn into the enemy
hurting, discouraging, hating
crushing an innocent heart?
A child grown into a woman
entering into marriage, yet not understanding love.
What was she seeking?
Was she looking for escape to a better life
of peace and love
with someone who would shelter her?
A young woman becoming a mother
holding a child in her arms for the first time.
Will she know what to do?
Will she be able to love and show affection
to this tiny babe
or will her own past come back to haunt them both?
Years pass, more children come,
distance separating the husband & wife.
What happened to her dreams?
Why, like her own mother, eaten with
disappointment and frustration,
has she continued the harsh legacy to her own?
The children grown and gone,
the husband with another and she….alone
Was this what she envisioned?
Can she live with the guilt of past
mistakes and mistreatment
by forgetting and living as if it never happened?
The children make their own peace with her
Why won’t she deal with it?
And then a stroke of fate claims who she was
and she, left to depend on the these same ones,
seems to have forgotten all…..
But the children have not.
I don’t know what triggers the memories
as feelings rush over me without warning
enveloping me in fresh grief and tears.
A place, a thought, words, a movie
touch a cord in my heart
causing unshed tears to burn my eyes.
Today it was a a show about another daughter
sitting with her mother
as death awaits.
Five years ago seems like yesterday instead
as I sit beside my mother
watching and waiting.
Reliving once more the sadness
of a last kiss
a last touch.
And the realization that the pain
will never truly
A great granddaughter she will never hold
whose joy and laughter
will never touch her life
as it does mine.
Birth and death
the cycle always continues
and we, caught in its current
hang on tight.
We can flail helplessly
screaming in fear.
I choose to embrace
where it carries me.
What is our life but one change after another.
Who we were at three…so different at thirteen….
and even more so at thirty….and still,
a spark of sameness remains.
All living things go through the changes of birth,
youth, maturity, death…..and we gather new
things along the way and subtle changes happen.
And all of a sudden we wake up and realize we
are not the same as the toddler at three…..the teen at thirteen….
or even the adult at thirty…and still,
a spark of sameness remains.
I love snow storms!
The sky is heavy and gray
The moisture waiting, ready
Soon the world will change
A blinding whirl of white
Fat flakes drift lazily down
Blown about by the wind
Soon changing to a whirlwind
White and blurry, crazily dancing
The world is still
Blue, blue sky
Fluffy heaps of cotton
Striking red cardinal against the white
To Be Free
My head is hurting
Feeling like it wants to burst
And something inside wants to be free
My heart is hurting
The ache is shutting out who I am
And something inside me wants to be free
Even my body takes on the pain I feel inside
As if it has no other place to go
Something inside me wants to be free
Thoughts fighting to be heard
Emotions fighting to be awakened
To be free…
A Tribute to my Brother, Liam….
In my heart I ask God, why so soon to take Liam from this Earth and from those he loved and who loved him. Only God knows. And only God can give us the grace to hang on, to trust, to love, to live and someday to accept.
A young child turns to God
His heart tender to the Father’s love
Innocent faith, unwavering trust
A young teen
Stays true to his Lord, sets his heart on God
When those around him often do not
A young man
Embraces truth and lets the Spirit lead
Giving his life for the One who gave His
A young husband
Blessed with a wife, a new life for two
Bound together by love and God
A young father
Filled with joy at the birth of his sons
Understanding the love his Father has for him
A man, young in heart
Strong in faith
Consecrated to God
Bound by love
God has seen him safely home….Amazing Grace
Often in life sorrow grabs hold.
It can wrap vines of agony around a heart
squeezing out life and leaving only bitterness behind.
Yet, it does not have to follow this bleak course.
Out of the deep distress that seems to ache endlessly
a spark of light and hope breaks in.
Feelings of abandonment and despair come.
But God who has abundant grace and faithful love
will tenderly break apart the tightly-woven vine.
Tender green leaves will slowly unfurl.
Loss will still be there, not all-consuming
but a bridge to life that must be grasped and lived.
God tends your heart.
Life will return to your soul and though not the same
new leaves will still push through to glorious light.
A Walk In The Woods
Snow crunches beneath my feet
snowshoes mark crisscross patterns
boughs of scented green overhang my path
Deep in this covered bower I listen
hearing the sounds of creation
seeing beauty all around I am at peace
A flash of red catches my eye
a reticent creature
a cardinal takes cover in the pines
Chitter chatter shatters the silence
the red squirrel annoyed at the disturbance
intruding on his ground
Familiar calls of blue gray nuthatch
and black-capped chickadee
remind me of childhood winter days
Tiny prints cross back and forth
Little brown mice
Scurrying to find a morsel then back to burrow
crisp cold winter air
fills my lungs and I am filled with quiet joy
Walking in the woods.
Cheeky little birds
Tilting their head
For a quick look
Before grabbing a seed
Tap tap tap
They open the black case
Flying back for more
Polite little birds
Taking only one seed
Never rudely chasing others
Tap tap tap
On pine branch
To open a tasty morsel
Repeat, repeat, repeat
Farewell to summer sunshine,
bare feet in soft green grass.
Hello to frosty mornings,
hands cloaked in mitten’s grasp.
If Fall could only linger,
bright colors on display,
I’d be content to sit and soak
each glorious day away.
Lazy flakes of white
drifting down to coat
the wood on deck
the needles on spruce.
Fat flakes of crystal ice
raining down on
a hungry squirrel
oblivious to all else
A snowy coating