Searching

Poetry and other random thoughts from a wandering mind and a searching heart!


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Authenticity


Tears are running down my cheeks
Heart is broken
No words to speak
Stretched myself to honor a friend
Aware the night held potential for pain
I was not surprised when the moment came
I took the steps to protect my heart
Refusing to pretend, to play a part
Now I am the villain
How can that be?
They abuse me and I am to blame
But I will stand my ground and I will not be shamed
I cannot play this nonsensical game.
Love me or leave me
But don’t pretend
I don’t need your fake gestures
I need real friends.


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Iron Sharpening Iron


Iron-Sharpens-Iron-So-one-man-sharpens-another

What if we talked to each other instead of about each other?

I was recently blessed to have a sister in Christ approach me after I, in a moment of hurt, had done something in a public way that should not have been handled that way. She came to me and asked if she could share her heart, if she could speak freely to me. I told her to speak what was on her mind. She challenged me and asked if the way I had handled this event that had disappointed and hurt me was the way I should have done it. She reminded me that scripture tells us to go to each other with our concerns, disappointments, and hurts. She acknowledged my hurt and simply asked that I consider what would glorify God, what I could do that would be building rather than divisive.
I confessed sin, the error of my actions…I acknowledge that I had acted out of hurt….and I thanked her for her willingness to be vulnerable, to come to me, to speak truth, to help me to reorient my thinking.
Her actions and her words just confirmed for me a path that I am convinced we are called to follow. I mess up. We all mess up. What if when we saw sin in each other we talked to each other instead of about each other? What if we had the courage to go and confront the issue? What if we refused to gossip, to listen to gossip? What if we refused to let rumors grow? What if we loved each other enough to help each other change our harmful ways?
It is so easy to get hurt and go to others to seek affirmation, to vent our frustrations, to paint others in a bad light. It is so much easier to gather together and try to put together our puzzle pieces about a person or a situation to try to come up with a reason or an explanation for things we do not understand.
Can we find the courage, the resolve to love each other enough to talk to each other instead of about each other? Can we be iron that sharpens iron? Can we be the people who bring about healing, hope and reconciliation? Can we march boldly into the war and take away the enemies weapons?
To my sister, Thank you for reaching out, for speaking truth and for being a source of light in the middle of darkness.

Ephesians 4:2-3New International Version (NIV)
2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.


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The pain that won’t end


When you can’t move forward
And you can’t go back
When you are stuck in the middle
When you are off the track
When nothing feels right
When the tears freely flow
When you can’t get a breath
Cause the pains so intense
When there is no way to fix it
No direction to go
When you guard your words
When you try so hard
But your silence speaks
And the hopes all gone
When you pray and you pray
But don’t find the answers you seek
When you’d rather die
Than cause them pain

But look, oh look…
You did it again.


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Enjoy or Endure


The holidays are here.  What emotion does that evoke for you?

I confess that I have a love/hate relationship with this time of the year.  When I was a child Christmas was a magical time.   Most of my fond memories of childhood are of Christmas.   It was the only time of the year that my whole family came together.  We all lived in the same small town, but it took the celebration of Christmas to bring us all together.  For several days family was in and out, food was eaten and gifts opened.   As a child I loved all of it but it took becoming an adult and the benefit of hindsight for me to realize it was the family coming together that had been what was really important to me.

I won’t pretend that all of those “family events” were peaceful, that we all got along, that everyone minded their manners….but still somehow it was just important to me that we were together.  I waited all year for those few days.   On Christmas Eve my anticipation and excitement reached higher than the stars and I was dressed and ready hours before the first person would arrive, standing at the door, waiting.   No matter what bad thing happened, or what argument marred the joy of the moment, somehow my memories were always of it being a special time.

My father died when I was 19 and the family slowly fell apart.  He was the glue that held us together.  The once magical Christmases ceased to exist and so began my battle with the holidays.   There is still so much I love about this time of the year.  I start playing Christmas music long before it is politically correct to do so and in my good years I put up as many as 5 trees.  The lights bring a joyful peace to me and I am positively ridiculous about matching tree ornaments with wall color.  And then of course wrapping paper and ribbons have to match the tree they reside under.   I find great joy in buying gifts for the people I love, in baking and sharing food, in humble attempts to share with those who have less than I do, in the wonder and delight of children, in the laughter and warmth and beauty of the season.   There is so much to love about this season when love is in the air.

There is also so much I hate about the holidays.   I hate the feeling of not belonging, the loneliness, the not having a good answer to the question “what are you doing for the holidays? I hate the empty tree on Christmas morning and the pain and sadness that always come with the joy and laughter.   And so there is the battle between finding such joy in this season and trying to endure the other emotions.

I know I am not alone with this struggle and so my challenge to all of us is to look around you as we enter into this season of celebration.   If you are with friends and family, embrace those moments, be present and patient and engaged.  Value the time you have, even with the people that may not be your favorite family member.    Look around you and be aware of those who do not have strong family ties, those who may be in need or those who may be far away from their families this holiday season.  Some are fighting life threatening illness, others may be going through the first holiday since losing a significant person in their life.   When God puts one of these people in your path, ask Him how you can help, how you can make this season a little brighter for them, how He might use you to bring joy to them even in the midst of all your busy and joyous holiday preparation and celebrating.

The truth is that this is the season of love.  We celebrate because someone loved us enough to send His son, born of a virgin, to be our savior.  And while historically this is probably not the right time of year for the birth of Jesus, it is the time the world has chosen to celebrate His birth.  For this period of time in our year, the focus is on Jesus, the baby born in a manager.   What an opportunity for us to share our faith, to talk to those who might not otherwise listen and to show the love He has shown us, to reach out and be love to those who might be hurting.    In all our shopping, decorating, cooking and being together let us remember to reflect the one who gave us the greatest gift of all….Life and a home with Him forever!

May your travels be safe, your visits be loving and your joy be full!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Noise


Silence falls like a familiar friend

And here I am alone again

Listening to the sounds I can’t quite hear

Musical notes that are still unclear.

Instinct tells me words will come

Time will reveal what is yet unknown

Truth rushes at me like a cold, hard stone

Breaking my heart and delivering pain

Tears all hidden, expression the same

Quiet reigns and the world rushes on

The silence grows louder

I strain to hear

Waiting for the moment when it all becomes clear.

 


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Endings…


Walking down this lonely road

Fighting to hold on to hope

Dreams are dying

Questions mount

Emotions swirl

Time is running out

Already so much lost

Much too high has been the cost

Heart beating wildly

Tears freely flow

New realities begin to evolve

Replacing lies

Shining light into dark

Facing the future

The great unknown

Waiting for the pain to end

Trying to learn to breathe again

 

 

 


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Alone


Alone

The word falls to the floor

and lands it the puddle

of the silent tears I cry

Alone

Not the absence of the presence of others

Not lonely seeking companionship

Just Alone

Void of the ties that binds you to others

Void of the presence of people who are “there”

Alone

Not because there are not people out there

Not because there are those who do not care

Alone

In a way you cannot understand

If you have never been alone…

 


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Repetition..


When the second verse is the same as the first

When the pain is always the same

When you never quite get over the mountain

Cause near the top, it always starts to rain

When you can’t quite see through the tears in your eyes

When the road comes to an end

When you find you fought but did not win

When you have given your all

And it’s not enough

When everything seems unclear

When it feels like you lost,  all that you held dear

When you know you’re to blame

And it can’t be fixed

When there is no place else to go

When you’ve run into the same brick wall

And still haven’t learned it hurts

When there is no way forward

And no way back

You welcome the darkness again….

 


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The friend who stays….


I needed you

But I would not say the words that would draw you near

Instead I built walls, walls so tall

And I tried to drive you away

I rejected your attempts to draw me out

I sat silent, alone and afraid

I wanted you to go away

I feared that if I let you in

You’d see my hurt, my shame, my sin

It was easier to push you away

Than to risk the chance you would not stay

All bound up behind my walls

Sinking downward

In a free fall

Blinded by lies and unspeakable pain

Darkness ensuing

Nothing to gain…

Finding no hope

At the end of the rope

Lost inside the walls I created

Walls built to keep me safe

But suddenly I looked to see

You sitting there, right beside me

Undaunted by my sturdy walls

You listened to my silent call

And led by love

You came along side

And assured me you were there to stay

You refused to let me push you away

And I found myself grateful you’d stayed

That you heard the words I could not say

Encouraged by your persistent love

I find the strength to try again.