Monday, November 17, 2008


It has been a crazy week around A-town. The returning theme, however, has been hope. Put your hope in the Lord - nothing else can save, nothing else can be counted on, nothing else is permanent or solid or steadfast or true. God insists in his word that we have a hope and a future in Him. This is the hope that I have, the joy that carries me through darkness, the faith that lifts me out of anxiety and worry.

My prayers go out to the family who grieves the loss of a young woman, to the young ladies who called her friend, to the campus community silenced by tragedy, to the country choking on anxiety and fear over what the future holds. Give us peace, Lord. Comfort our trembling hearts. Ease the lines of worry and restore hope. Restore hope.


Put on the full armor of God…

You loosened your belt,
let truth slide to the floor.
You slipped off your sweater,
threw it in the corner.
Your feet were bare and prone to slip,
legs uneasy, head dizzy...
What if you’d been wearing a helmet?
What if you had had a sword
to wave at that demon who lured
you toward the window,
who promised it would be best
this way, to kick out the screen,
to feel the cold air from seven floors up,
your blonde hair streaming in the wind?
What if you had known your opponent
wanted it this way, to beat you
in the battle? You had no armor,
no defense against the quiet, sudden
decision to leap. Tank top, underwear,
bare arms and legs sailing
among all of the other small,
unique, beautiful, irreplaceable
snowflakes in the dark winter night.

“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against the authorities, but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

Friday, November 7, 2008

Consider the Sparrows

Consider the Sparrows

So many come, Dad hides behind a blind
with birdshot and a rifle in the grain field.
They scatter, land, scatter, land. I hear them
chirping through the boom, watch their flight
ripple like cotton sheets lifted in the wind.

A sparrow’s egg on concrete - the yolk
seeping through the fracture - makes me stop
to look from broken shell to fretting maple
branches above for the mother who chirrups
in her nest, twitching, head tilted, eyes blinking.

This too shall pass, small sparrow. Tomorrow
I will walk beneath your bed just like today,
the ruined egg in smaller fragments, or vanished
and you will scavenge the earth, fly overhead,
the sky heavy with you and your flock,

who will not know me from any other beast
below. I will regard you as just another
house sparrow, aggressive attacker
who captures bluebirds in their nestboxes,
descends on golden fields of grain.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Gimme All Your Lovin'

Is there anything more moving than your child saying, "I love you too, Mom"? Is there? What could be better than saying goodnight and I love you and getting that reply? This is why we change diapers. This is why we cook meals and then make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches when they don't want ravioli. This is why we scold. This is why we discipline. This is why we snuggle. This is why we teach them how to be human. Oh, that blissful moment of reward! Thank you, Lord, for showing me what it must be like to be yelled at, screamed at, to receive the look of distaste and bitterness and anger and lack of understanding, only to be loved again, to receive in its turn some sense of appreciation or adoration. I see, now. I see. I see how you keep giving, and giving, and giving, and sometimes it takes us days or weeks or months, even years, even a lifetime, to hear those words -- I love you, too, Lord. Gratitude and thankfulness are not needed, sacrifice and payment shunned -- just love me back. Love me. I just want your love, child.