Posted in Prayers

Depression 1.7 – I. Write. Pray. Heal.

(From February 24, 2016)

It was not too long ago when I stood on the precipice and caught a glimpse of the pit far below.

What I saw was me, yet it was a me distorted by a mind sick with depression. As that vision threatened to reach up and cast me down, I stepped back from the brink into the healing embrace of medication, a renewed sense of God’s love and the care of God’s people, and to a deeper commitment to prayerful writing.

The discipline of daily contemplative reflections from my interactions with the world around me has become a life line for me.

This place where we reside is not without its sadness. But such does not need to discount the inevitable joys. Depression skews the view towards the melancholy.

I am broken. So are you. That acknowledgement does not preclude our healing. We do ourselves and others a disservice when we are less than honest with our pain. But that is not the end of the story.

There is healing. Or at least a coming to terms with our existence. Joy indeed comes in the morning. And that morning comes with each new day we are privileged to see another sunrise.

So I continue in this daily discipline of prayer/writing. Each morning, I turn my face to the east and await the healing words that come with the sun.

Posted in Prayers

The Nectar of Tears

When
the pain
of life
fills
your eyes
and
the bees
arrive
to taste
the salt
of your
tears,
know that
when
they
depart,
they fly
to flowers
and then
to that
dark
humming
place where
bitterness
is made
into
something
sweet.

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

Stole Softly Love

I searched in vain for Love
since she did not search for me.
I prayed for her flame,
but lonely only warmed me.

Yearning deeply darkly for
the caress of her hand,
I swam within the hourglass
in the clutches of the sand.

The bell chimed.
The chimes rang.
The hands whirred in glee.
The pendulum would swing and
cut my heart,
A cascading sea.

In dismay I looked and saw
the future’s crushing weight,
of sweetness never tasted,
dangled before the grate.
My hands through the bars
could only feel the wind
of her precious wings as
Love passed by again.

As I sank within myself
in the blankness of despair,
to my side stole softly Love
and caught me unawares.

October 30, 1987

(Reposted from June 2016)

Posted in Prayers

Bottles of Tears

perhaps it seems that
they are wasted
this sad rain
that has fallen
from the gray clouds
of your eyes

but know this
child of heaven
each precious drop
has been captured
held close to the heart
of the One who has
cried with you

and on that day
when every tear
is wiped away
and joy is a
forever thing
these vessels
will be emptied
into that glorious
golden stream
that is for the
healing of the
nations

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

Community

I am a man among a sharp-edged people
with corners like the rocks
that made this
mountain,
scattered on the slopes all the
way down past Hog Run,
tumbling through the
baptismal silt
to the Shenandoah
and beyond.

They are smooth by then,
worn by water and
collective abrasions,
banging,
bumping,
knocking against each
other on the
journey.

I am not enamored with edges.
I prefer more subtle curves with their
laughing reminisces.
I want the joy of the end
without the pain of the
sharing that makes
stones smooth.

O for the grace to be content
in the midst of this angry splashing of
love where I am learning to be at best
an awkward swimmer.

(Written January 14, 2006, reposted from July 2011)

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

This Place Called We

I watch you dreaming,
strive to read the REM beneath your eyelids,
see the hands you hold in sleep,
the fields where your feet run.

Strange to believe that already how so much of who I am and
who I will be is contained in your body.
Strange to think how fragile is the vessel which holds this
thing called love.

The fear of losing you,
of losing you in me,
of losing me in you,
wakes me up in the early morning hours
when I am away from you.

I am torn between the beliefs that I am whole
alone and yet am not fully complete without you.

These thoughts live together,
rest side by side,
gather themselves around
my heart like a comforter and
give me peace.

Somehow someway there is truth here in this dichotomy.
Such is the paradox of love.
Such is this place called we.

October 24, 2001 

Originally posted here June 2012

Posted in The Sunday Driver: Life in the Slow Lane

Jacob

I used to believe that I wrestled with God.

I do not.
I wrestle with myself,
my Geminian twin.

God is a bystander.
Until we separate, make wide the circle, and
let her in.

I am still a card-carrying member of original sin.

(Originally posted here in July 2011)

Posted in PEACE GROOVES

Then Suddenly I Disappear (A Note to Suffering Self)

so often my anger rises
though righteous it may be
and i am lost in another crisis
of raging misery

when things don’t go my way
i am so wont to be forgetting
that the one with me each day
is well acquainted with suffering

then i remember to remember
that my lord is ever near
i reach scarred hands to scarred hands
then suddenly i disappear

Posted in Prayers

When I Know Not What Comes (A Prayer for Faith)

when i know not what comes
help me see your face on everyone
leave my impatience sitting on a warm bench in the sun

let me walk where you will
upon the narrow ways of compassion
so that the light in me is given all away when the day is done

then at night i’ll rest in your love
where else shall i run?
trusting you will refill me before a new day has begun