Thursday, October 30, 2008

Shoe Fly

Sometimes I feel like I fly with muddy shoes
buzzing around people's ears
dancing around people's nerves
in the way
on the fly
and looking for a spot to rest.
Landing silence may be a relief
but they just roll their eyes
shoo me away
and wipe off my muddy footprints.
Those days where I'm that chubby, half-tucked shirt kid
that waddles up to the teacher's desk
greeted by a furrowed brow over the bifocals
and told to "sit right back down, young man"
and save my question for the afternoon.
Or the mom who only becomes visible
when someone can't find their other sock,
the quiet insecurity mistaken for snobbery,
the shaky hand in a game of Operation,
the cowlick who can't sit down,
the daydreaming dancer one beat behind,
the eager drummer one beat ahead,
running on ice
sprinting underwater
one broken arm in a sling
and one difficult jar to open.
Searching for a speechless cave
where I can close my eyes
not say a word
and avoid all disappointments.
But then I land in the middle of the 66
with David hiding out in a cave of his own
Just a kid with some rocks
who got on the nerves of a king
chillin' in a carved out rock
with his buzzing honesty
muddy sandals
and a scroll-lookin' diary.
Placing words back in my mouth
and truth back in my buzzing head
like a shower at the end of a dusty day.
We both peek out of the cave
and our blind-folded pity parties
to feel the warmth of the sunny truth.
We are not flies with muddy shoes at all.
We were hand-crafted
by the one who lit up the universe like a Christmas tree
built the spiraling tower of our DNA with a steady hand
and has much more in mind for us
than buzzing and muddy footprints.
So Dave and I take long deep breaths
and sing like we're back in preschool
"Shoe Fly, don't bother me
Shoo, fly, don't bother me
Shoe Fly, don't bother me
'Cuz I believe in what I can't see"
Then all we can do is laugh at ourselves
Two bemused, oddball poets
pens dripping with gratitude
and a calling to write it down.
Because You won't force them
to flock to our caves,
we have to fly to them.

"The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven of Hell, and a hell of Heaven."
John Milton

"If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"
even the darkness will not be dark to you;

the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful,
I know that full well."
Psalm 139:11-14

"Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it."
C.S. Lewis

"He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.
I desire to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart."
I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly;

I do not seal my lips,
as you know, O LORD.
I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;

I speak of your faithfulness and salvation.
I do not conceal your love and your truth
from the great assembly.
But may all who seek you

rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation always say,
'The LORD be exalted!'"
Psalm 40:3, 8-10, 16

"It is true that we make many mistakes. But the biggest of them all is to be surprised at them: as if we had hope of never making any. . . Life itself is imperfect . . . . Each individual thing is only a sketch of the specific perfection planned for its kind. Why should we ask to be anything more? . . . we cease to look for perfection where it alone can be found: in God. The secret of the imperfection of all things, of their inconstancy, their fragility, their falling into nothingness, is that they are only a shadowy expression of the one Being from Whom they receive their being. If they were absolutely perfect and changeless in themselves, they would fail in their vocation, which is to give glory to God by their contingency."
Thomas Merton, No Man is an Island

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fall Back

sometimes we forget
in our lofty plans for art that moves
in our sketchy dreams of beauty
in our whiteboard plans for the coming season
sometimes we forget to find joy in the crisp, bending wind
to listen for the clattered rhythm of our waving branched fingers
to see purity in the blanketing frost foreshadowing a stable night
sometimes we forget to keep it simple
to trust in You
to fall back
beauty of
Your wintry winds
and just . . . fall back.

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9

"I am always amazed that when I give God a fraction of an inch of willingness to follow, God gives me miles of goodness and grace. When we talk about guidance, we must remember that we are not the center of the universe. Ultimately our wants are not top priority. While God cares for us and provides for us, we are called to be part of God's kingdom, fulfilling the role he created us to fill. God is not part of our lives; we are a part of God's. But in being part of God's life, we will be richly blessed and well cared for." Valerie Hess, Spiritual Disciplines Devotional

"To wait open-endedly is an enormously radical attitude toward life. So is to trust that something will happen to us that is far beyond our imaginings. So, too, is giving up control over our future and letting God define our life, trusting that God moulds us according to God's love and not according to our fear. The spiritual life is a life in which we wait, actively present to the moment, trusting that new things will happen to us, new things that are far beyond our own imagination, fantasy, or prediction. That, indeed, is a very radical stance toward life in a world preoccupied with control." Henri Nouwen

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Cornering Krissy

There once was a little girl named Krissy
who seemed like a good little girl
her parents smiled at their beautiful child
but her older brother wanted to hurl...
The poor little guy was just way too smart
for his own little two year old good
and as he grew his parents knew
he didn't behave like a nice brother should.
The mother cried, the father was puzzled
"Where did we go wrong?
That our little boy would make it his joy
to torture her all day long?"
As he got a little older,
his genius was put to good use
to find new ways to terrorize her days
while she waved a flag of truce.
He got a little tired of being grounded
and the lectures from mom and dad
then one night, a bulb of light
what great idea he had!
So the next day after school
before the parents came home
he pushed her in the corner and began to warn her
and reminded her they were alone.
He said the meanest things that came to his mind
He just wanted to see her cry
he trapped her in, like a grenade has a pin
and wouldn't let her leave 'til her eyes were dry.
"If you tell mom and dad", he said with a glare
"things will only get worse"
the fear was real, so she made a deal
and promised not to converse.
He wasn't really that bad of a kid
just too smart for his own good
He never touched her, or even punched her
Just didn't love her like a big brother should.
But his word was always law
from that frightening cornered day on
he had the power to make her cower
like a mind-gaming Genghis Khan.
Krissy grew up and her brother did too
saying good-bye to childish days
he said he felt bad for how he was as a lad
and everything seemed okay.
But there were still those times in grown-up Krissy's life
when she'd find herself feeling again
like she's back in the corner, with no one to warn her
wondering when it will end.
This time is different, she tells herself
still feeling like prey in a den
this time instead, she bows her head
and walks away with a smiling Amen.

"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me." 1 Corinthians 13:11

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


I always loved highlighters
the secret hunt for main ideas
like needles in haystacks
in preparation for the review day
and the challenge of the pop quiz
a silent thrill ride
as I would roll my eyes
and pretend to hate it like my classmates
hiding my secret cravings for essay questions
and geometry proof paragraphs
but this
is a tough one
more like there's no needle at all
I just have to find the right strand of hay
they all look alike
and the barn keeps getting bigger
But that's when You come in
sitting with me in the cold of the barn
not afraid to get mud on your knees
knodding and pointing to search in certain places
and when these tough assignments come
I know You will always find me
guide me
and highlight what You have in mind
and in all my life
those are the real

"Faith and doubt are both inevitable, but they are NOT equal. Doubt is an inescapable part of the human condition. When certainty is impossible, faithfulness is still on the table." Rob Wegner and Chad Meister, Reasons for God class 10/8/08

"Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don't try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he's the one who will keep you on track.
Don't assume that you know it all." Proverbs 3:5-7 (Msg)