Posted in Musings

Depression 1.11 – The Gift of Brokenness

The gift of depression is compassion. I look in the mirror everyday and know that I am broken.

Elegiac tells me that I should stay there, captured by this narcissistic reflection.

Yet to do so is to miss the truth that I see through a glass dimly, that “now I only see in part, then I will see in full.”

And that often my reflection as seen through the lens of depression is not how God sees me.

Knowing that I am broken can incapacitate me.

Or it can serve as the humble catalyst for me to show grace and mercy, compassion and gentleness, and above all, patience, to others.

Tonight, I will serve a meal to women whose lives have been upended in ways that leave me breathless. They are broken like me. Yet they are strong, so strong.

They are always gracious, kind, and encouraging and I always leave feeling like I have received more than I have given.

And for the briefest of moments, I do not feel the weight of Elegiac and Lethargy, my everpresent twins, upon my shoulders.

Posted in Musings

Tales of Kindness From the World Cup – Good News Network

These Tales of Kindness From the World Cup Are the Best Examples of Humanity at its Finest!

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree


what is this urge
to get ahead
my incessant
rush to reach
my destination

on the island
many traffic lights
are still out
from the hurricane
so at these
people take
turns driving

seems to be
a culture of

even when another
has the right
of way
they let
me go first

which leads
me to do
the same
to look out
for the
the car
from out
of the
long grass
where the

i feel the old
pull to make
sure i get my
place in line

until i
take my foot
off the gas
take a deep
breath and
realize again
that what is fair
is not always
the same as
being kind

Posted in Musings

Saved by Blood

For six decades, ‘the man with the golden arm’ donated blood — and saved 2.4 million babies – The Washington Post

Mr. Harrison is an example to all of us.

Each day you and I have the opportunity to help someone. As Christians in particular who have received the ultimate gift, the least we can do is be a conduit for Love.

Who knows? Perhaps we might even save a life.

Posted in Stories

The woman with the sad eyes

He cannot remember when he first noticed her.

Perhaps it was a glint of the morning sunshine on her auburn hair as she walked past the house that caused him to look up from the desk where he was writing. He would often glance out the window to gather his thoughts, knowing from experience that the brief respite could alleviate a particularly bad case of writer’s block. That morning he happened to look up and there she was.

After a while he began to realize that she made this journey every morning at the same time and so he began to look for her. He noticed other things as well. She walked in a slow, methodical way, head down, thinking hard. She was young, but walked bent over like someone much older as if weighed down by a great burden, stepping forward up the hill as if to leave something behind.

Later he made it a habit to take his morning coffee out to the bench in the front garden so he could be there when she would pass by. The solitary life had made him awkward around others but his heart remained soft. Like the bees beginning to gather around the crocuses, she drew him.

She began to notice him sitting there and though her intial glance was brief, in her eyes, he glimpsed a deep sadness. He had never been a courageous sort, preferring to explore the emotions of others within the confines of pen and paper. The pain he saw within her almost drove him back inside where he could safely leave her to her mourning. Yet he remained.

As spring came, the front garden began to bloom and so he would leave his coffee on the bench, move closer to where she walked on the sidewalk, and begin to tend the garden. He would prune the roses or weed or mulch or plant bulbs. He had always preferred perennials over annuals. His memory being what it was, he could never remember what he had planted or where. So each spring brought him a host of lovely surprises.

His favorites were the daylilies even though they seemed to have begun to take over all of the other flowers in his garden. He was constantly thinning them out. Which kept him in the garden near where she would walk.

Their interactions had changed now so that they would give each other a brief nod and say good morning. Some days he wondered if there was something he could say or do to ease the sadness that seemed to hover around her. Somehow he knew these walks held a meaning for her that he would never completely understand and so he tried to be content with their simple interactions and his small part in her morning routine.

There was one daylily that he was particularly fond of. Every spring he looked forward to its blooming, the flowers’ bright mix of gold and white with a splash of scarlet. This season it seemed to be more beautiful than usual. The dew of the morning lay like soft diamonds upon its surface and he marveled again at how such beauty could break forth from the frozen ground of winter in the continuing cycle of renewal and life.

Bending low in the garden one morning, he heard her footsteps upon the walk and glanced up to give her his typical good morning. She replied in turn, softly as she always did, the sadness still residing there within her dark eyes. Then she was past him and heading up the hill.

Suddenly, he was grasping his shears, clipping a bloom of the daylily, calling to her as he rushed after her.

She stopped, her back to him, waiting, and then slowly she turned. He stood before her somewhat awkwardly, the lily in his hand, holding it out to her.

Here, he said, this is for you.

Her eyes became bright with unshed tears and a light he had not seen before began to shine from their depths. Then with a shy smile, the first he had seen upon her face, she reached out her hand and took the flower from him. She turned without a word and continued up the hill, leaving him standing alone, the shears trembling in his hand.

The next morning she did not come by. Or the next. Or the day after that. After a week with no sighting of her, he began to wonder if he had offended her, if somehow his offering of the flower to her had crossed a line, that he should not have let her know he knew that she was in pain.

The next morning, he took his coffee out to the bench to find a small hand bound journal sitting there, the daylily pressed and beautifully woven into the cover. Opening the journal to the first page, he saw two words; Thank you.

He held the journal in his hands, relieved that even in his awkward attempts at kindness she had understood.

Then as he turned to go back inside, he paused at the sound of her footsteps coming up the hill.

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

Heiwa Haiku 94

to be so unkind ~
is your primary response ~
simply proves my point

Posted in Musings

The best way to combat hate? Acts of kindness

This has been years in the making, and it is not the first time that those with walled up hearts have come to power, hiding behind masks of righteous indignation which are only thin disguises for hate.

This must be the last time. There is too much at stake. We must prepare for a change. 

In the meantime, I propose that each day each of us commit to performing at least one act of kindness. 

Not just to our family or friends.

But to the stranger, alien, and, yes, even the ones we disagree with.

And to the haters as well.

We shall call this the Reign of the Burning Coals.

We shall fill the streets, the chambers of power, the halls of education, the airports, train stations, and piers, with a people filled with fire.

There shall be no more enemies.

You will look out at night and see a million tongues of flame hovering in the air above our heads.

Pentacost will have come again.

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

Llort – Ode to Troll


So you’re proud to be a troll,
(where you’re heart was is a big, gaping hole)
you missed the lesson in how to relate,
stripping flesh from bone
with talons of hate.

You pretend to be the revealer of the true,
but it’s just plain meanness revealed in you.
Somewhere you’ve misplaced your humanity
and become a beast of mythology.

Therefore, because of your decidedly backwards view,
I bequeath a new name upon you,
having judged you in compassion’s court,
thou art nothing but a “Llort,”
a title fit for a life of a lie.
(PS. the double L sounds like a y).

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

Fear Is What Keeps Me From You

I do not really understand what I am afraid of.
Fear is what keeps me from you.
My lack of mercy is in direct correlation to the rain-gauge of my terror.

You and I.
We are the terror(ists).

The others are convenient scapegoats for us to drape our unicolor fear-coats on.

There is nothing wrong with being afraid, they tell me.
A healthy fear is good, they say.
Security is equal to safety, I’m told.
I am an unkind, fearful man in a society of unkind, fearful people.

Ancient words rebound in my intolerant head.
Perfect love casts out fear.
I am not perfect and I can be so unloving.

And yet you have been kind to me.
And you
have not been afraid of me.

And sometimes,
on days when the wind comes softly through the laundry room window and
caresses my cheek as I fold your warm clothes,
I have returned the favor.

In that circle is my hope and the balm for a trembling humanity.