More poetry…


I’m giving them away, I know it. Instead of saving them up for some bigger purpose, I let them trickle through my fingers like sand. Time passes so quickly, and these are only words. Why not say them now.

DSC_0505

Sub Zero

The fridge trickles and pops,
the ice maker oblivious to the deep freeze
outside, and our growing thirst 
for wine, and flames.
The lake is thick skinned with ice.
Like our winterizing bodies layered in
blankets, Fazl socks, and comfort foods,
water is a memory of itself,
a dream of what comes next.
We have done this before, hunkered down
in tired horizons when darkness comes.
We will wait it out,
try not to think about
four season sleeping bags
or Fentanyl
or our saviour complex.
On a night like this
our hands are empty. We need
mercy. We all need mercy.

LAE2016

 

Enough

You come to conclusions
like you know
the end from the beginning 
have the verdict from the judge,
are a presiding member
of an end-times jury.
You call it child abuse,
and murder – you are
a character assassin,
your slogans a series
of slicing pronouncements resulting in
curbside fatalities, pedestrian
bleed out. 

He was silent
and then he said, let you
who has no sin cast the first stone,
let you who has no sin.

I try to look away but see
you are an elder, with a time worn face
and commitment to a particular flavour faith.
I see sandwich boards and signs,
team huddles on your gang turf
railing against the other side
where girls walk, drive, and ride
a gauntlet to the clinic.
I imagine they have tried
to find another way through tears
and bargained prayers, lost sleep,
arrival at a cross-road and
a choice. This.
And you choose. That.

I drive by. Each Tuesday.
I want to drive through… my over-righteous
indignation, then I am ashamed
I am not blameless, yet I blame.
I once shared your state of mind.
No longer sure, I am witness while I drive by,
every Tuesday, before 9.

He was silent, finger marking dirt
with what…a symbol of his throne?
And then he said, let you
who is without sin cast a stone,
and the righteous weaponed ones all left.
And only he and she remained.
Neither do I condemn you, proclaimed the voice
of overcoming Love.

How then does it end,
me judging you judging them?
(apart from any conversation about sin
which I am clearly choosing not to enter in
because it is bigger than I can entertain.)
My commentary though cathartic is just the same
as you. This is how we cancel love. Enough.
Enough. Enough. Enough.
Dear God forgive me I have said enough.
Forgive me for what I do not do,
and what I do, not knowing.

LAE2016

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A surrendered life


Seems I’m a master of melancholy and melodrama and start ups, but not necessarily finishes. At least that’s what the voice in my head says as I sit at my laptop and consider putting into words what may or may not be 100% true for me, 100% of the time.

I’m often tormented in my thought life around how I live vs how I should live. While I hunger for real relationships and depth and breadth of conversations,  I withdraw from my close friends and let the phone ring and texts go unanswered. I hide. Sometimes I don’t check my phone at all. For hours, for days.

Oh, I want to do good. I want to be good. I’m just not very good at being good. I want to love. And I don’t know how to do that in a sustained way. Sometimes I am absolutely unloving. I shared some thoughts on this place of living in the tension of wanting one thing and doing another HERE. But there is more…

Thankfully, this Sunday’s talk (at the church with walls and a roof at Springfield and Spall) is about a way of finding release from living in torment/angst/tension/legalism and living in the freedom of non-performance and  without condemnation (you know, those voices in your head saying awful things about you).

Romans 8 is all about living in the gracious, wide open spaces of spirit focus, spirit life, where I can stop should-ing and could-ing on myself, stop questioning my every move and every pause, and simply walk ahead into whatever God has for me. Believing God will go before me. Believing there is a way to walk somewhat blindly into something you know nothing of, yet do because… it’s intriguing, drawing, compelling, offering more than what simply is the mundane superficiality of life, most days.

This way involves SURRENDER, and I don’t entirely understand what that means in a practical, rubber hits the road, type of way. I want to know. I want to live a SURRENDERED life.

On Sunday morning, after the talk part, we are each given a piece of red paper (blood red, valentine red), and invited to write down something we feel we might leave, deal with, acknowledge before God, something standing between us and the simple and profound way of spirit surrendered living.  And I know what it is, right away. I scribble down not good enough, and take my red paper up to the communion table, to the shredder provided, and push that paper in, and listen while the machine pulls apart the words I’ve been living. I surrender these words to the shredder… and at that moment, surrender to God…

Not good enoughnot good enough… not good enough.

And then I gently take a small piece of bread and a tiny cup of wine in my hand, and go back to my seat, and silently pray to, in the words of John Terpstra, “the one who won us over,” who says with his last breath, I am enough. His life for my freedom. His life for my spirit surrendered life. Jesus, who turns it all upside down and asks me to stop keeping score for myself and everyone else. Jesus who wants me to empty myself of me so he can fill me with something better. I say these words without knowing what they truly mean. What this really looks like in my real life.

Boy with cross

Boy with cross (Photo credit: Eileen Delhi)

I will be thinking on this for a while. I want to live this simple yet profound truth. Not to be great. Not even to be good. But to take the focus off me entirely, and put it back on the one who won me over. I wonder if I can really do it? Can anyone really do it?

Can I capture the wonder of a simple crumb of bread and wash of wine, surrender what hinders, carry significance into Lent, find sustenance enough for a new way of living?

Are you with me… is it possible?

SDG, Lesley-Anne