Poetry Friday023


My ghost.

Image by vk-red via Flickr

If I maintain a calm composure no matter the circumstances
If my dog walks well on leash and
comes when called
If my children rise up and lead worship
obtain a minimum of 3.8 GPA and like learning
If my floors are swept clean
and my toilets are without rings
If I bake cookies and dinners from scratch
If I host gatherings
lead group studies
exercise my gifts and talents
and always have an open chair at our table
If my bible has tattered pages and
highlighted verses and sticky notes
If my vehicle is washed and waxed
and free from crumbs
If all my surfaces are dusted and
my floors dry mopped spot free
If I keep a fit body and mind
and dress appropriately for every situation
Will I be acceptable, lovable,

If I don’t admit to paying someone
to clean my bathrooms
or expose my thoughts of darkness and longing
If I don’t tell you about the time
I swore at my husband or how I
once slapped my child’s face
If you don’t see me speeding
or tossing an apple core
from my car window
If you don’t hear me yelling
If you never know about my past
mistakes, or current temptations
If I keep my blinds half drawn
and exercise my garage door opener
every day for quick entry and exits
If I keep my eyes down
and my mouth closed
Will I be perfect, enviable

If I line up my life
with ugly and pretty, somehow meshing
my shortfalls and what I say I believe
If my honest to goodness gut level

insides match my outsides

Then what?
What will I look like?
Living in the tension, who will I be?

1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. 3-7If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (The Message) For entire chapter, click here.


  1. Your poem makes me think that not only are we not as good as we try to appear to be—what we desperately want to be—but we also are not as bad as we sometimes see ourselves, since we cannot yet see as our God looks upon us, through a Father’s eyes of unconditional love.

    I’m glad I stopped here today, Lesley-Anne. : )



      1. Yes! A couple of months ago, I was studying the prodigal son parable again. I realized that both sons measured themselves by their possessions, abilities, past deeds, and both isolated themselves from their father’s heart. It was the son broken badly enough who sought—and found—his father, who was able to receive his father’s love. All of which made me realize that even when the devil rubs my nose in my sinful behavior and tells me I’m a bad person, my Father is not measuring me by what I have, what I’ve done, or what I think I’m able to do for Him. This was an important step for me to move from brokenness to feeling humbled to receiving grace.


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