On the occasion of her 17th birthday:
If pretty is as pretty does
And Clara does the best,
Then all who know the inward glow
With heaven must attest.
The race she runs until she's done
Devotion in each breath.
She walks up tall, considers all,
Then loves them right and left.
But in her still, a heart of steel
Puts doctrine to the test,
And when in truth sees glory's views,
She twirls in righteous dress,
She sings all day and when dusk breaks,
Her voice, I fear, is strained,
Yet if she held ten thousand words,
She'd lift again in praise.
But Father, I worry for her,
Not for body's safety,
But my regard is for her heart
That lends from her plenty.
Her fault, though small, is giving all
Leaving her cup empty
From which she takes, tries to remake
A girl, a woman, shifting.
So, dear God, concerning Clara,
A girl worth fighting for,
I ask hold fast my sister in
Your everlasting arms.
I was half-gone and worn
A little flame in me
But less and less.
And more and more
I turned to nothing instead.
The windowed hall I walked
The door I saw ahead
Bells rang and rang,
A voice sang, sang.
I did not answer the knock.
Seated at last, I heard
What the windows were for.
Music begins not for
But to flourish in score.
The sun rises not for
But to give the earth life.
Mothers will carry not for
But to raise a child right.
Husbands will marry not for
But to love and protect.
Friendships give all not for
But to serve and respect.
So I will walk not to
See through the windows to
And here and now
For Him alone,
Will doors be opened again.
In the City of God there's a temple white,
Clean and pure, open and bright,
Where lanterns burn throughout the night.
But there's no walls
Nor dark to fight.
All see by glory,
God's good Light.
In God's Own Wilderness there's an ancient hill,
Tall and straight, solid and still,
Where desert lands stretch out to fill.
But there's no drought,
Nor time to tell
The age of mountains
Or the height of that hill.
In the Living Water there's a waving sea,
Clear and crisp, wide and deep,
Where life and love swim endlessly.
But there's no width
Nor sandy beach.
The edge of the Water
Endures with the King.
"Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, In the city of our God, His holy mountain. Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, Is Mount Zion in the far north, The city of the great King. God, in her palaces, Has made Himself known as a stronghold." Psalm 48:1-3
"A voice is calling, 'Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley; Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, And all flesh will see it together; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken. '" Isaiah 40:3-5
"...but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life." John 4:14
I'm learning very quickly that writing a blog takes vulnerability.
C.S. Lewis said,
"To love at all is to be vulnerable."
So, take this as an act of love - I'm loving you by sharing my stories and things I've learned in hopes that they will encourage you and enable you to grow with me.
I'm about to be very vulnerable and share something that people will probably think is silly, or nerdy, or weird.
In high school, I had an English teacher that focused every spring semester on poetry. The whole semester we had up to four poems due every week. They ranged from acrostics to limericks to nonets to villanelles. Well, in that first long semester of forced creativity, I learned that I love to write poetry. I learned the beauty in words, and literary tools - things like onomatopoeia and alliteration. It turns out that I had always used those things but never knew how to really structure them into poetry.
I kept all my poems from those couple of years (only because we were graded on them at the end of the year haha) and sometimes I look back at them and wish I still wrote. But just as with artwork, good writing demands structure and purpose (other than a grade). So, I'm starting a poetry column. It may be silly, it's definitely nerdy, and probably weird, but that's okay. I love you, so here's a little bit of myself.
Written the spring semester of my high school senior year:
All the things I've never done
Stack up, add up, lean over
One on top of another,
The tallest peering from the tower.
How long will it take
To get where I'm going?
As I reach one with my right hand,
My left shoves another
Into the bottom of the stack -
Until all is forgotten, all but
The tallest still laughing from the tower.
On tippy toes, arm stretched up,
It's finally in my grasp.
And taking a closer look
Way up in the clouds,
It's not what I thought,
That distant thing,
The tallest falling from the tower,
Falling, falling -
All the things I've never done.
My response today:
The person who I am becoming
Looks up, stands up, runs farther -
It's in the valley where I first was lifted.
In the dry place, oh how the river ran!
In my death that breath came easy.
How is it that grace
Is upon grace?
Little did I know my Maker,
My heart-taker, is
The One without another
Made me who I am.
And I, not without some falling,
Climb higher still and
Not with empty purpose,
Reach for towers tall, above all
He's not Who I thought,
And good thing, too.
The Biggest, the Good, holds me, always
The person who I am becoming.