Poem From A Broken Writer

I felt sunlight softening soul into spirit,

Liquifying calcified dreams

Pressed dormant into crannies

Of this flesh-shell.

 

I felt icicles like prisms melting

Drips of radiant, golden life

Suspended from the end of despair

And soften, butter-yellow

Fall, back into this flesh-shell.

 

Yes, I felt sunlight soften my soul

Dripping spirit back into body

Filling, ever so slowly, back up this

Gutted flesh-shell.

 

I watched goals and dreams flitter

Like litter cross the street,

Fast and flimsy, uncharted, un-chased

Un-pursued.

 

Acorns pop beneath my feet,

Rebelling, I walk past lecture halls

And lessons.

I abandon should’s and should-nots and

Probably nevers.

 

I refuse the notion that my pen,

My words, my voice propels

The essence of my story.

I am not the harvest of so many pages

Or the culmination of book deals,

Digital friends and lurid likes.

 

I am not a soul-ish creature

But spirit filled and driven,

Spirit carried and consumed.

I am an artist and a canvas,

Both a creator and a lump of clay.

 

So, I let the warmth of sunlight

Bake my spirit firm.

Like autumn pies, rich with clove

Fragrance wafting from this open heart and

Weakened pen.

 

As soul melts and drips spirit

Back into this flesh-shell,

Abba bake me in the morning rays

Of Your exquisite love

And infinite purpose.

 

A purpose so profound,

It is only written on a softened heart.

A purpose of worship,

In words and notebooks, pens and pages

Hearts and humanity in right this minute.

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Cause of Christ

I am contemplating causes.

Those things which clamor for commitment,

Constrain us to sacrifice for their worthiness.

 

Cancer has drafted the voices of millions.

Nearly everyone has a someone who has tasted of its dregs

And come up, if fortunate enough, forever changed by the bitterness of the disease.

It is broadcast from billboards and bumpers and tattooed on bodies.

It is touted from television and telethons.

It has been walked-for and Made-a-Wish for.

And millions declare this cause their anthem.

 

Cancer is a cause because it alters all that’s as it should be.

And we hate it for that.

Cancer is not greeting the sunrise with a steady stomach and

firm constitution.

Cancer is not combing swishy ponytails,

Not relishing long walks,

Not having a voice or controlling the bladder.

Cancer is not having conviction of tomorrow,

Not nursing a newborn.

Cancer is not caressing the smooth flesh of a lover’s breast.

Cancer is not life as it should be.

 

Causes are taken up for holiness of all that’s as it should be.

Causes are the human call for restoration of right.

Causes ought to be Christ.

 

How can I call Christ a cause?

How can He be all that should be, if He isn’t all that is?

How can I take up a cause for the establishment of

something that is not yet,

And how can I be sure that Christ, the consummation of that which is not seen

Is really as it should be?

 

Christ contains all that we do know as it should be

And scatters it through a kaleidoscope.

He takes all that really is, refracting and reflecting ordinary

Through the lens of Himself and like cancer

Creates what is not.

But unlike cancer, Christ creates

All that is bigger, radiant and full of glory.

 

In our world, Christ is a cause because

He makes martyrs who do not slay themselves.

He is the Book which has not settled in grooves

On dusty shelves.

After centuries, Jesus is not irrelevant

As is normal for all names attached to dust-men.

His years were pocked with things not as they should be,

Things which are not now –

Blind men seeing, dead men walking, un-hands reaching.

He is things not as are in the confines of human intellect –

Fishermen teaching, murderers weeping then preaching.

He is redwoods from seeds no larger than a cherry,

Wings from a sticky chrysalis.

He is hearts that beat insatiably through decades and disasters.

 

Christian!

Where is your voice for the Cause?

Where is your anthem for Christ?

 

For His cause, His utterly other worldly cause

Consumes death,

Unlike all things as they seem – confined by years.

Christian, your Cause consumes all others.

Your Cause constrains you to declare it

Not only on bumpers and billboards, or bodies

Not only on television, telethons

Walks and wishes,

 

But in action and deed,

In expression and smile.

In small hand and sweaty backs,

In silence and solidarity.

In doing all things unlike as they are,

But all things, as they should be

As the Christ, whose Cause you carry.

 

(This poem is in no way intended to minimize the valiant efforts of all who have taken up a cure for cancer as their personal cause. It is only meant to draw attention to the fact that as a whole, we make a greater deal about something that steals lives than about the One God who promises eternal life.)

Worship

Like a rush of butterfly wings, or maybe an angel

My heart wakes and rustles.

Worship runs between the membranes of my heart,

Lifts from kneeling, worship

Rises heavenward, ecstatic flurry.

Then rests. Settles. Calm washes over.

Repose, stillness.

Like the mysterious, hidden beating heart.

Pulse continues, power resting

In the requisite moments of peaceful worship.

Returns, unrestrained, loud

Worship of tongue and whole being!

Then rests. Settles. Calm washes over.

I Am From…

I am from coffee, splayed journals, sticky notes and puppy slobber, from patio benches, blaring worship music and continuous
sermons. 

 

I am from the lonely spaces of a childless home and a driven husband. 

 

I am from spicy, masculine scents that remind me of my granddad, 

From the the roaming fragrance of cinnamon and the silky soft of coconut oil, a hint of tobacco and wet dog after a romp at the lake. 

 

I am from the twin golden rain trees where my sister and I dreamt homes in their branches, strung empty, green bean cans for childish conversation. 

From lean-to barns and scratchy slumber parties in the hay, 

From gravel roads and helmet-less go-kart rides, 

From bearded iris along the edges of home, where the dogs dug up Mom’s bulbs 

and crab grass flourished,

From red clay and Oklahoma dust storms, from scuffed knees and bunk bed-trundle beds.

 

I am from the oak tree under which we played softball, whose long limbs I remember as if they were my own.

 

I am from Christmas at Grandma’s, double jointed elbows and one more daughter.

I am from “God’s bounty” and “Gift from God”. 

I am from savers and teachers and strong wills and early risers.

I am from “You’re the oldest”, and “Let’s pray”, and “I love you”. 

I am from Jesus Loves Me and America the Beautiful.

 

I am from Texas and hybrid caucasians, Oklahoma, Kansas and Fort Bragg and Fort Benning and Fort Lewis and Fort Myer. 

I am from rich coffee, chocolate chip applesauce cake, winter soups and Hamburger Helper. 

I am from trail rides and summers at the lake and laying rail road ties. 

I am from long eyelashes and sappy songs. 

I am from yellowed pictures with mysterious names on the back, Daddy’s Bible with my name and my sisters’, a mother’s ring. 

 

I am from happy hands, buried treasures and trunks of unsorted photos. 

 

 Dear Friends, this was prompted by SheLovesMagazine and their sychroblog today for the question? Where am I from...There’s a .pdf template you may download there to write your own discovery of history. Do you know where you’re from? Perhaps not if you haven’t sat to ponder.

“You can only know where you are headed, when you know where you’ve come from.

There is a voice that gently reminds you. It is fatherly and familiar. It reorients you to where you are, who you are, and most importantly, Whose you are. That you are essential. That you are Known.

The God who knows all, knows me.
I can know my calling, because I am known.
Together we will be known as a Catalyst for change.” ~ Catalyst Atlanta 2013

Guest Poem by Heather Worrell

Could this be the Rosh Hashanah
My Lord returns for me?
Would surely be a splendid thing-
A happy day to see!
As faith turns into blessed sight
And human souls- set free!

But for those left behind-
Who failed to heed the call-
Overwhelming darkness
Surrounding one and all,
A mere twinge of regret
Of sins that did appall-

A spurning of God’s love
As each chose their own way,
Giving up the conscience
To follow sin’s death sway,
Rejecting of the sacrifice,
His life that down He lay.

And then a hardening
Of the heart,
A twisting of the mind-
No hope left to impart.
No turning back-
All reason to depart.

But here is the warning-
Hearts can still repent.
He is standing by-
Soon comes judgement.
Choose while you can-
Now is your moment…

Make sure your heart
Is truly ready;
You’ve kept the faith-
Held steady;
Your place reserved
Already.

Weary sojourners here
Waiting to be found-
Listening to the air
For a trumpet sound;
Refashioned bodies
To Heaven inbound!

-Heather Worrell 9-2-13

An Invitation

Hi Friends!

I have something new for you today…an invitation.

Your kids are headed back to school. Most of your life is narrowing into a straighter line, a tighter tunnel. Not so much less busy as it is just more focused: classes, ball games, practices, lessons, homework. Monday through Friday – wash, rinse, repeat.

So, I’m wondering, are you headed into deeper study of Jesus? While your kids are learning the fundamentals of arithmetic, literature and history, are you studying the one and only thing that will fundamentally prepare you to face each next chaotic day, each next difficult relationship, each new phase of parenting or married life?

Several months ago, a very dear friend introduced me to Good Morning Girls, a groud-breaking group of women who have harnessed the Internet in order to internationally declare Jesus and to bring to women everywhere a feeling of community as they study God’s Word.

I am finishing up the training to become a leader/facilitator for the next Good Morning Girls Bible study that starts on September 2. We will be studying in the book of Luke, following the theme, “Loving Like Jesus.” I’m inviting you to join me in this study!

The simplest of explanations: The study is conducted on Facebook. We will have a secret group once all of our participants have joined. Each day you will individually “SOAP” (Scripture, Observe, Apply, Pray) a passage of Scripture. Then, beneath a heading on the Facebook page, everyone will leave their comments about that day’s lesson. There will supplemental, short reading from Good Morning Girls and the authors of the study. The FB group will become interactive as we read each others’ insights, talk on a personal level and share our lives. I’ve done four studies like this now and I love it!

Again, the study starts on September 2, and enrollment, which will allow you to have access to the materials (reading guide and printable book) is from August 19 -September 1. Please let me know here by a comment or email that you would like to participate in my group and I’ll keep you informed with the details.

In the meantime, I wrote this poem today, an overflow of my study in Good Morning Girls, “Women of Influence.”

Faith is an unlikely thing,
In the trembling hands of a prostitute, a crimson cord.
Faith, unlikely in an ancient man to wait another year,
nine months, youthful years.
Faith, unlikely in a puny army,
To route the enemy at the hand of a woman.
Faith, unlikely in the sands of Egypt, the hungry woods,
After nine plagues, after forty years.
Faith unlikely, is an untimely thing.
Forever tardy, slipping in on the last cool breeze,
The dying breath of hope.
Faith untimely after 400 years of Heaven’s stony silence.
Through generations of sunrise, sunset.
Waiting on. Baited breath.
Past a wish. After hope. Often after life.
Faith slips in on the last cool breeze,
Hope’s dying breath.
And grips with one last talon,
The shred of light remaining.
Faith clings till sunrise, one more time,
And sees just a little farther, over the horizon,
And waits…

Thoughts on Anything

Dear Lord,
If I open myself to Anything
You will open windows to every horizon.
I can tread every coast and sail any storm to get there.

Daughter,
If I say I can take you Anywhere,
I will carry you Everywhere.
As you abide in me, I am with you Everywhere.
In my arms you can rest through Anything,
even violent seas raging against your soul.
You will defy fear in Everything.
The most staggering example of
“Anything is possible,”
Is my gift of Everything.
The last full measure.
Myself.

~Abby

This poem was prompted as I read the book by Jenni Allen titled Anything

Consuming Eternity

787290_a_little_landscape_with_little_river

I hustle and rest,
I try my best
To place you in the center.
Then find my heart in barren winter.
How with such pure effort,
Can I not comport
My self in righteousness,
Shaded by your holiness?

How do I find myself excavated
All my energies relegated
To survival, to clinging to shreds
Of dignity, goodness and holy fruit?

Like a thirsty tree thrusting branches higher,
When clean deep trenches gush with water.
I clamor for refreshment in obvious places,
Ignorant of your ready, near, abundant graces.

You are not far!
Though you hung the stars.
You never cleave,
Call me to cleave.
If I could but wrest away
My hands from briefer things.
Then part with time,
Spread these dormant wings,
And live this day, in its place
On the timeline of eternity.

On a Monday

imagesDamp clouds hug the earth.

Early rains,

Press their cheek to mud and clay.

And lift to leave the stain of

Sun kisses,

Daffodils

Hail Spring!

Cherry Blossoms

Hail Spring!

Stubborn, purple headed weeds,

Hail Spring!

Banish the winter!

Postpone the heat!

Driven by springs insatiable beat,

I begin to itch from inside-out.

Infected.

This fever a contagious malady

Soothed only by spring’s

Cool, soft, damp melody.

Morning clouds hug me close,

Press your dewy brow to mine.

Sun, plant your lips delicate, fine,

To my cheeks.