Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Sleeping Shard

The Sleeping Shard

Sometimes things sleep,
waiting for me to
stay up too late
or eat too many granola bars

Gnawing, hoarse, troublesome things
that were supposed to be gone
last year or perhaps the year
before, and yet

Other things sleep too,
good, green things planted long ago
that can survive unfed
with little light or love

waiting patiently for
me to remember where
I laid the keys to
all I am

the real things, true
things remain, unbreakable
because they are already
broken. Waiting for

me to take off my
shoes and step on the
jagged truth of them.

tonight, amidst the din
of everything but words,
my soul stepped on
something sharp and
true. Something scary.

It was the best feeling
in the world.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Back again

Back Again

Just when I think
all is shiny red
and wrapped tight
with my best bow

there you are
again, whispering
at the foot of my

asking for things
that dropped out
of my pockets
more years ago
than I can number

hunting for the
crumbs of me
at the bottom
of my favorite
dream and slumber

you come calling
back again
calling me
slack again

and I can't
say a thing
lies to night
of mourning


back again

Monday, November 13, 2006

Okay, this post is going to show up on somebody's Bloglines and scare them silly. It's scaring me silly and I'm the one writing it. I have no idea why I'm here except that tonight I feel like a fake and a fraud and I wanted to just come and lay down in my nightgown. It's been two years since I've been over here and I wonder really just how much of me has washed away in that time. How much of all of us.

I don't know.
I don't care.
Not tonight. Tonight I am cold and weepy and hungry and mad and thankful and afraid. Tonight I have no photos, no videos, no outbound links. In fact, I hope nobody reads this post but me and God.

Wouldn't THAT be something cool? It really was cool, you know. I was just too stupid to know it. Well, I really don't have anything to say really. Dancing on tables for so long though is bound to make a girl dizzy, especially when she was pretty dizzy to start with.

Help me. You see it all, don't You? Of course You do. Maybe You piled it all up there like that so I'll look somewhere else. If that's it, show me that too. Or not. Maybe I just need to sit here and look at You, even if nothing changes, even if this is my reasonable service. And so I will, sit here a while longer and just cry.

See there, it worked already. I'm smiling. I hope You are too.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Movin', Groovin'

Well, I finally got around to moving over to Typepad. Maybe there I will have a more professional, writerly, less angst-ridden blog.
Don't hold your breath.
Perhaps I shall keep this spot for the bloodletting and look sane over there. What say you? Anyway, come on over to the new place and say hi.
Rhythms of Grace, the easy listening version?

On Writing

“The aim of an artist is not to solve a problem irrefutably, but to make people love life in all its countless, inexhaustible manifestations. If I were told that I could write a novel whereby I might irrefutably establish what seemed to me the correct point of view on all social problems, I would not even devote two hours to such a novel; but if I were to be told that what I should write would be read in twenty years’ time by those by who are now children and that they would laugh and cry over it, and love life, I would devote all my own life and all my energies to it.”--Leo Tolstoy

This quote echoes how I feel about writing today. Almost. I don't know that I will devote my heart to another book again. It hurts too bad when I have to kill it. :) Have a nice day.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

One Still Sun

On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel:

"O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon." So the sun stood still,
and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar.
The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the LORD listened to a man. Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel! (Joshua 10:12-14, NIV)

Good news travels fast, especially to those who want least to hear it. Joshua's laps around Jericho that left it's mighty walls in ruin added to his victory over Ai and deceptive allegiance of the Gibeonites passed through the region like fire.

The king of Jerusalem wasn't having it. He decided to send a message to Joshua and to his foolish neighbors the Gibeonites who sought to align themselves with him. He called five other kings to join him before the Israelites got any other big ideas. All five were happy to oblige.

And that news traveled fast too, tumbling out of the mouths of frantic Gibeonites begging Joshua for help. "Don't let us down! Come and save us! All the hill kings are on the way to destroy us"
Now I don't know what Joshua thought then, but I can imagine he thought for a second about how these people had deceived him with their old clothes and moldy bread, proclaiming that they'd come from far off when indeed they lived close by. They'd come to him falsely, but he'd given his word . . . "Don't worry. We're coming."
And he did come. In fact, they marched all night to Gilgal and at the word of the Lord, the men were thrown into confusion and routed before them. (The giant hailstones didn't hurt either). That would have been victory enough for anybody else. I mean, these weren't even his people, right?
Joshua wouldn't be satisfied until he defeated every man he could. If only there was a little more daylight . . . "Lord, hold the sun up there. Don't let it go down until I'm done."
And it didn't go down. For the first time, the sun hung in the sky for a full day so that one man could get the victory he'd promised, the one he'd been promised.
Lord, I need a day like that today. One still sun. Some extra time to slay my dragons, do my work, love folks, love You, love myself. Some of that hail on the enemy wouldn't hurt either. Thank You for being bigger than I can understand. For doing things that have never been done, for being things I never thought You were. Thank You for refusing to be constrained to my set of commentary-coded guidelines, but rather surprising me, shocking me everyday. Thank you, Lord for the many times that You have provided one still sun.
And one still Son too.

In Christ's name,

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

On His Shoulders

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6, NIV)

Back in the day, when we thought love could fill the holes, a friend of mine kept an assortment of men for every occasion. I never could keep them straight. One day, she broke the categories down-- the money man (long in the tooth and in the green), the funny man (never a dull moment but he don't have a dime), the honey man (figure that out on your own) and an assortment of oddballs for emergency needs like car repairs, free dinners, homework help and of course, that who-knows-when-you'll-need-it ride to the airport.

Trying to remember all that, much less try and have relationships with that many people (although I tried my best to keep up) made me dizzy. Still, I agreed with her flawed premise, we are complicated people with a variety of needs. The cool thing? Jesus meets them all.

He's a counselor to listen to my crazies on days like today when the threadbare strap on my purse is holding up better than my brain; He's a mighty God, a warrior willing to fight my battles, a leader with hideouts in his arms and hope in his eyes, a place to crash when things get bad; He's an everlasting Father, one that always sticks around, always worries about sore throats, tummy aches, bad dates and scary stuff. On top of all that, He's a Prince, royalty, the Son of God, willing to not only mingle with such derelicts as myself, but to give his very blood, his very life too. When His reign starts, it's going to be all peace, all the time. I can even plug into that reign now if I get off the throne of my heart and let sit down.

He's the money man, the funny man, the honey man . . .

As Heather Headley would say, He's the Soul Defender of Anything I Fear/The Baby Conceiver/ the Make Me Believer/The Joy Bringer/the Love Giver/He is the Dough Increaser/the Pleasure Releaser/The Hard Knocks Knower with the Scars to Show Ya/The Night School Teacher/the Good Life Preacher/the Caretaker/the Joy Giver/the Kiss Craver . . .


And I'm so glad, 'cause you know what?


Especially not today.

So today I thank God that a child was born. That a son was given. And that after seven PM, P. Diddy, Barbara Bush, Quincy Jones and my Governor Jeb will cease and desist from calling me in five minute intervals. (They will, wont' they?) I'm thankful that there will come a day where there will be no elections, no recounts, no law suits, nothing but ever-increasing peace and a pair of shoulders strong enough to carry it off.

If you need me today, that's where I'll be, perched on His shoulders, naps against His cheek.

See you there,

Monday, November 01, 2004

A Slap in the Face

"So now the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The LORD has decreed disaster for you."

Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah went up and slapped Micaiah in the face. "Which way did the spirit from the LORD go when he went from me to speak to you?" he asked.

Micaiah replied, "You will find out on the day you go to hide in an inner room."
(1 Kings 22:23-25, NIV)

For three years, there was peace between Aram and Israel. For Ahab, that was three years too long. It was his land and today he decided to retake it. Unfortunately, Jehoshaphat, who had no business being there, happened to be in Samaria for the weekend.

"Will you go with me to fight against Ramoth Gilead?" Ahab asked, tying the destiny of Judah with that of his own empire. They're all family anyway, right? That whole God of Israel thing was overrated.

Jehoshapat looked up from his buffalo wings. Nodded. "I'm down with you. Just one thing though. We need to seek the Lord on this."

There he goes with that. Better get my boys together. "Sure. Call the prophets."

Four hundred scarred men shuffle in, looking suspiciously similar to the ministers of Baal, but who's counting? God is God, right?

"Go," they shouted in a thundering chorus. "The Lord will give it into the king's hand."

Relieved, Ahab waves them off. It was good to be king, to do God's will without living it. "See?"

Jehoshapat dipped a wing in bleu cheese and made a sour face. "Ain't y'all got no, uh, REAL prophets up in here?"

Here we go.

Maybe J-Dog wasn't as stupid as Ahab thought. Well, no, he was that stupid or he wouldn't be here eating buffalo wings instead of worshipping that God of his. What does he think, he's going to change Israel or something? Make Ahab some kind of Jehovah worshipper like him? Please. It's much to late for that. And for the prophecies of fools. "There's one man who we could ask, but I can't stand him. Always hatin' on me, prophesying something bad. Never has one good word to say. Micaiah is his name, Imlah and nem's son."

Jehoshapat licks his fingers. "Don't trip on the prophet, cuz. Let's hear him."

Sure J wanted to hear him. What did he have to fear, besides maybe Ahab himself? Ahab on the other hand, had everything to lose. Everytime that fool came in the court and spouted his prophecies every word came true, making the king look like a fool. Micaiah was the only one still telling Ahab the truth about himself. Worse, sometimes, when the fool was prophesying, Ahab started seeing things, thinking things, wondering if maybe he was jacked up after all. Maybe Jezebel had it wrong--

One of the officials reached out to steady Ahab's quivering shoulders. "Are all right sir? You seem upset."

If only you knew. "I'm fine. Get the prophet."
Micaiah stood at the back of the line of "prophets", staring at the lush purple robes of Ahab and Jehoshapat dragging the floor. This image was the start of the vision that had troubled his sleep, kept him up all night. His head and heart hurt at the sight of the King of Judah.
He's going to get his behind killed if he doesn't leave this fool alone.
But talking sense into Jehoshapat would wait for another day. Today, it was all about Ahab, the man he'd spent his life trying to turn around. For all the evil in that fool, there were times when they both connected, when Micaiah was sure the king had heard him. He could count on a good beating after those times. As he listened to the prophets ahead of him proclaim peace and victory, he knew tonight would be another of those beatings. Probably worse than any before.
Next in line, Zedekiah, son of Kenaanah, stepped to the shofar wearing a hat of iron horns. He paused long enough to roll his eyes in Micaiah's direction. The weary prophet tried not to laugh. Ram's horns again. Micaiah knew immediately what Zedekiah would say,"You'll gore them until they are destroyed." Ahab would love it. They all would.
As Kenaanah said exactly what Micaiah knew he would, the messenger who'd sent for him whispered a warning. "Now look, all these guys are telling the king good things. You do the same."
"I can only tell the king what the Lord tells me." Micaiah's eyes met with Ahab's.
The king of Israel turned away, then steadied his gaze, focused again on Micaiah. "So should we go up or what?"
Tell him what he wants to hear.
"Go for it." He looked over at Zedekiah. "Gore 'em to death and all that."

Ahab hammered a fist into the ivory table beside him. He cut a look toward Jehoshapat before turning back to the prophet. "How many times do I have to tell you, huh? Enough with the games. Tell me what the Lord has shown you."

Do it.

Micaiah threw back his shoulders, took a few steps toward the throne. "Hear the word of the LORD. I saw the LORD sitting on his throne with the host of heaven surrounding Him. They had a little meeting about you, trying to figure out who would get you to attack Ramoth Gilead and die there . . ."

One of Zedekiah's ram's horns crashed to the floor. Micaiah took another step toward the throne. "There were a lot of suggestions, but finally a spirit agreed to entice you."

"How?" Ahab spoke with a trembling voice. He gripped his throne.

"There is a lying spirit in the mouth of all your prophets. The Lord granted the spirit success. He has decreed disaster for you--"

A slap stung across Micaiah's face. Sour breath hissed across the prophet's burning cheek. "Which way did the spirit from the Lord go when he went from ME to speak to you?" The other horn hit the ground. The clang filled the hall, echoing its emptiness, though many souls filled it.

Micaiah stood still. "On the day you run and hide in your closet, you'll find out where the spirit went.

"Take him!," the king ordered. "Send him back to mayor Amnon and prince Joash. Tell them to put him in prison and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely."

Micaiah turned back to the king as the officials drug him away. "If you ever come back safe, the LORD never spoke through me." He paused, then added the warning ringing in his heart. "Mark my words, all you people!"

Lord, thank you for the Micaiah's in my life. Give me the courage to hear them. Give me the courage to continue speaking, writing and living the visions that You give me, even when they threaten the kingdoms of others. Forgive me for the many times I've slapped Your truth away, out of fear and pride. Don't let me join forces with fools. May my ears not itch for what makes me comfortable, but for what is true.

In Jesus' name,