Fleeting Trends

So it begins

What would not end

If one lived a thousand lives

Flaunting trends

of mind, of meaning

Thwarting souls

of faith, beseeching

Still hope cries out

all believing

What truth, disguised

Will send

Posted in faith, Poetry | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Secret in Suffering

This poem by Liz Hupp was shared in the book When God Weeps

I saw the woman in the chair; she was in church again today.

Someone said they’ve sold their house; they’re going to move away.

No! I cried, they cannot go; they cannot move away.

I didn’t get to know her; there’s something I need to say:

Please tell me your secret; I want to sit at your feet,

I need to know how you handle the pain that is your daily meat.

How do you keep on smiling when each day your health grows worse?

How do you keep depending on God when you’re living with a curse?

Every time I see her; her smile comes from deep within.

I know her fellowship with God isn’t scarred by the chair she’s in.

She admits her health is failing; she knows she’s fading away.

How can she remain so calm when I’d be running away?

My friend, can you tell me how you can trust the Lord

How can you stay so gentle and sweet when He seems to wield a sword?

You are to me a promise that even in the midst of pain

God is near and faithful if I will turn to Him again.

Posted in A Purposed Perspective, faith, Poetry | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Meant to Be?

Sometimes my breath catches

Somewhere near my throat

And my heart leaps up

In there too

So my breath

And my heart

Mingle and touch

Like a little bit of heaven

With a whole lot of earth

Like a veil pushed aside

Or ripped from top to hem

And I see clearly

Or maybe not so clear

The transient moments of life

Weaved with the eternal essence of love

The poignant blend

Catches in my spirit

In my throat

Makes my heart leap

And spirit, soul, heart

Mingle and wonder if that isn’t

Perhaps

The way it’s meant to be

Posted in Destiny, Poetry | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Edge of the Wind

The air moves

In ways strange

It doesn’t explain

The winds change

From gentle to gale

From rushing to ripple

And I feel the urge

To clean out my house

Or my heart

Or even to disappear

Into the wind

And let it carry me

Far

A mountaintop perhaps

Or even a star

I can’t track the movement

Of the wind

Its cycles and cold fronts

Colliding with heat

Piling cumulus over nimbus

And stratus beneath cirrus

All I know is the rain

And the magic scent

Of sky before it falls

A smell like the sound of skittering leaves

Whispering the approach of a storm

This wind change

Will it be a storm

A calm

Perhaps a little bit of both

Settling and stirring me

At the same time

I don’t know

And at times

All I can do is close my eyes

To better feel the change

Skirting the edge of the wind

Posted in Destiny, faith, Poetry | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Almost Beyond Belief

road in the dark

Why do we tend to fear

Things we do not understand

Like love and God

And sometimes life itself

So big they are

So often out of hand

Throwing them aside is easier

Than taking a chance

Somehow

Beyond all knowing, I think

He cares

He understands

The questions, the fears

Even the choice, sometimes, to disbelieve

It’s hard, God knows

Only He knows just how hard

Life, and love, can be

Our hearts full of joy and pain

And loss and questions why

Sometimes

I think, almost beyond belief

He smiles, and loves

In spite of it all

Posted in God's Pursuit, Poetry | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Could You Live without a Mirror?

John Piper, in his book The Purifying Power of Living by Faith in Future Grace, shares this true story:

Evelyn Harris Brand, the mother of Paul Brand, the world-renowned hand surgeon and leprosy specialist, grew up in a well-to-do English family. She had studied at the London Conservatory of Art and dressed in the finest silks.But she went with her husband to minister as missionaries in the Kolli Malai range of India. After about ten years her husband died at age 44 and she came home “a broken woman, beaten down by pain and grief.” But after a year’s recuperation, and against all advice, she returned to India. Her soul was restored and she poured her life into the hill people, “nursing the sick, teaching farming, lecturing about guinea worms, rearing orphans, clearing jungle land, pulling teeth, establishing schools, preaching the gospels.” She lived in a portable hut, eight feet square, that could be taken down, moved and erected again.

At age 67 she fell and broke her hip. Her son, Paul, had just come to India as a surgeon. He encouraged her to retire. She had already suffered a broken arm, several cracked vertebra and recurrent malaria. Paul mounted as many arguments as he could think of to persuade her that sixty-seven years was a good investment in ministry, and now it was time to retire. Her response? “Paul, you know these mountains. If I leave, who will help the village people? Who will treat their wounds and pull their teeth and teach them about Jesus? When someone comes to take my place, then and only then will I retire. In any case, why preserve this old body if it’s not going to be used where God needs me?” That was her final answer. So she worked on.

At the age of 95 she died. Following her instructions, villagers buried her in a simple cotton sheet so that her body would return to the soil and nourish new life. “Her spirit, too, lives on, in a church, a clinic, several schools, and in the faces of thousands of villagers across five mountain ranges of South India.” Her son commented that “with wrinkles as deep and extensive as any I have ever seen on a human face … she was a beautiful woman.” But it was not the beauty of the silk and heirlooms of London high society. For the last twenty years of her life she refused to have a mirror in her house! She was consumed with ministry, not mirrors. A coworkers once remarked that Granny Brand was more alive than any person he had ever met. “By giving away life, she found it.”

Posted in A Purposed Perspective, Get Involved, Ministry, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

River of Reason

scales

There are times I think that in my life I’ve done more harm than good.

When I regret not having done those things I know I should.

 

There are times it seems as if a mountain blocks my way

And though I’ve heard it comes to pass, the sorrow tries to stay.

 

There are times I feel the way is harder than my heart can bear

Times I reach out and feel that there is nothing, no one, there

 

There are times I seek to pray but cannot say a word

Times I admit I wonder if a single prayer was heard

 

Then there are times that joy abiding comes to fill my heart

Times I understand that I play a special, unique part

 

In a rhyme that runs so deep it was formed before time started

In a love so vast that from it none could e’er be parted

 

In a reason for this life that calls unto my very soul

In a purpose helping others find that which makes them whole

 

There is a meaning that goes beyond life’s passing, changing tide

Given by the One who in my heart always will abide

 

[Originally posted in March 2012]

Posted in A Purposed Perspective, Poetry | Tagged , , | Leave a comment