Reduced to Prayer

Luke 22:39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed Him. 40 When He came to the place, He told them, “Pray that you will not enter into temptation.”

41 And He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, where He knelt down and prayed, 42“Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me. Yet not My will, but Yours be done.”

43 Then an angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him. 44 And in His anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground.c

 

Conversation, smallest unit of trust,

on which faith’s DNA is shaped into obedience.

In the garden heaven multiplies cells of lush truth

while relating to our God.

Willing clay shaped by willing love.

So that, when we are tempted to despair, we are never alone.

Mountaintop Corner Office

A glory glimpse of your mighty work, after grunting and groaning

up mounds of sweaty mountains–so worth

the breathing room of the corner office. I knew you here.

Studied and learned to read the blue prints of your plan for my life.

But returning to the valley assembly line  . . .

I quickly reverted into a disgruntled blue-collar drone.

Clocking in complaints, among the hot rows of trouble,

The boss, distant and irrelevant, to the idols

cluttering my desk. I missed our team building exercises.

So daily I rise early, hike the heights for a clearer view of your presence with me.

 

 

Thanksgiving, The WD-40 of Faith

Despair rusts my resolve.

Construction of new life halts,

when tears of losing oxidize into

bitterness.

The strength of my steel,

tested too long, flake away,

weakening exposed beams.

 

 

Thankfulness is my WD-40.

When worked into my frame

I remember Your goodness.

You built a firm foundation of

faith, hope, and love.

 

No matter the damage I withstand,

I can count on the sturdiness of my God.

God’s Gym: Working Out Depression

 

Suicide doesn’t water down my faith with

flowery prose about God.

I take my doubts to the mat and wrestle

with who I believe Him to be.

Depression is the resistance between

my will and Yours being done.

Sacrifice, daily dripping with sweat,

works out belief on the gym floor of reality.

 Muscles cry out at the strain of discipline.

But still you coach me beyond what

I think I can reach. “Just one more breath!”

Shaping and toning my soul into your image.

Turning heads with a foxy endurance

that is not of this world!

Redemption Butterflies

When I gaze too long at the hard shell of the grave,

I despair without your physical presence, and

when I rubberneck the collision of God and man on the cross,

I am overwhelmed by the required suffering sin must pay.

But, when I fix my eyes upon the reality of resurrection,

your authority surges through my veins!

I  testify, the cracked grave and crude cross are

the transforming chrysalis, where redemption butterflies emerge!

Poetry by Elizabeth Barret Browning

Grief

I tell you, hopeless grief is passionless;
That only men incredulous of despair,
Half-taught in anguish, through the midnight air
Beat upward to God’s throne in loud access
Of shrieking and reproach. Full desertness,
In souls as countries, lieth silent-bare
Under the blanching, vertical eye-glare
Of the absolute heavens. Deep-hearted man, express
Grief for thy dead in silence like to death—
Most like a monumental statue set
In everlasting watch and moveless woe
Till itself crumble to the dust beneath.
Touch it; the marble eyelids are not wet:
If it could weep, it could arise and go.

 

 

Clocking In

I didn’t quit my job of loving, when you stopped punching your time card.

I clock in to life,  heart uncallused by the

rough, 24-hour, work of losing. I freely

hope, with splinters of grief digging deep into my soul.

Faith, joy and compassion embrace the world

with a work ethic that suicide cannot render

unconscious to the world around me.