From the Beginning


 

Dancing around
Dancing around (Photo credit: a hundred visions and revisions)

 

My Life from the Beginning

 

I awoke from darkness and fell into light,

 

Cold was the day, not as warm as night,

 

Understanding the world was my very first task,

 

Answers surrounded me, all I needed was to ask,

 

Wet puppy kisses, purrs from a cat,

 

I found favorite things precious like that,

 

Storms in summer bringing driving rain,

 

Scratches and bruises, living with pain,

 

Dancing and laughing till dawn’s early light,

 

Learning to love was well worth the fight,

 

The world continuing to be comfortable and fun,

 

Until I struggled with challenges not easily won,

 

Relationships were fragile, few were deep,

 

Ripped from my grasp, not mine to keep,

 

Without knocking or asking, time opened a door,

 

Health and wealth were not mine any more,

 

Minutes passed swiftly and turned into years,

 

My memories were washed away by tears,

 

Nights were growing longer; cold was gaining ground,

 

I gave away all the treasures that I’d found,

 

I left behind the darkness and entered the light,

 

Laughing and dancing, Oh, what a sight!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awkward Moments, Part one


 

The Reconciliation of Jacob and Esau, as in Ge...
The Reconciliation of Jacob and Esau, as in Genesis 33, oil on panel, at the National Galleries of Scotland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I’ve traveled through a lifetime discovering moments that were challenging, or to put it in simpler terms, I discovered those awkward, embarrassing moments when time seemed to stand still with the spotlight focused on me.  I didn’t mind attention occasionally but how could I divert it when I preferred privacy?

 

What did I learn from the embarrassment and awkward moments?  I learned that life goes on, day after day, and those moments are remembered more kindly after time has smoothed the harshness and gave me a chance to look at them objectively.

 

I did not have awkward moments of Biblical proportions like those of Jacob.  Jacob had moments that were extremely awkward.  First, he stole the birthright and blessing that rightfully belonged to his twin, Esau.  Jacob fled to save his life.  Esau wanted to kill him.  His troubles were not over.  He met Rachael and worked seven years to win Rachael’s hand, but after the wedding feast and a night of revelry Jacob woke up beside a new wife.  He had been tricked!  Instead of Rachael, he was married to her sister, Leah.   Jacob’s problems were much worse than mine.

 

The following four scenarios display moments when I was uncomfortable.  There are countless others that disturb my dreams and make me avoid people until sufficient time has passed.

 

Consider the job interview when my prospective boss and his wife were driving me around, showing me off, discovering my likes and dislikes, my strengths and weaknesses.  It was a time when I should have been listening or politely answering questions.  Instead, I did the unthinkable and inexcusable.  I assumed his wife was pregnant and asked when she was due.  The interior of the car became icy cold and all conversation stopped.  She was not pregnant, just fluffy.

 

Perhaps as father of the bride I should have taken special pains with my appearance.  After all, i did escort the bride up to the altar in view of the guests.  I was in the reception line when the bride asked, “How long has your fly been open?”  It was too late to worry about being awkward. My only choice was to greet each guest warmly and thank them for coming, after of course, discreetly zipping up my pants.

 

My six year old son and I were in a supermarket buying supplies for dinner.  The store was crowded but that was of little concern.  I only had one child with me.  What could possibly go wrong? Unfortunately, in the aisle we were in a large well fed man in coveralls was filling his cart.  My son looked him over and shouted, “Hey, hey, hey!   It’s Fat Albert!”  There was no place to hide.  No place to run.  We deserted our shopping cart and just left quietly.

 

In Spanish classes I scraped by, never becoming fluent.  I could read and write in Spanish but because of a minor tongue tie conversational Spanish was not my forte.  In the language section of the college library were tapes to review.   I went in thinking I could brush up my conversational skills.  While reviewing, I heard my professor saying, “Be careful to pronounce your words.  Listen to this gentleman.  It’s the worst case I’ve ever heard.”  I listened closely as my own voice stumbled through the language.  There was nothing I could do.  It was true.  My pronunciation was terrible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Give Me Time To Earn My Wings


An Angel
Image via Wikipedia

Are you the angel I talk to at night?

You’re right at my side when I turn out the light,

I encourage you to listen but I ignore what you say,

And yet you’re expected to guide me the “right” way,

I should be quiet for awhile and listen to you,

But I’m only human, so what else can I do?

I should be wiser and hold your words dear,

Because you speak the truth, I should have nothing to fear,

When you leave for a moment even in the night,

My heart watches for you, and keeps you in sight,

Are you the angel that hovers during the day?

Fanning me with your wings, keeping the heat away,

You’re playful as you flit and twirl around,

While I can only imagine my feet off the ground,

You’re forgiving when my words hurt deep,

 I don’t really want to give you reasons to weep,

But you’re one of the angels assigned to me,

Shielding me from demons protectively,

They’re always close by, urging me to run,

“Escape from your angel and have some fun,”

“Freely enjoying without someone holding you back,”

“You don’t have to stay on that one way track,”

The demons forget I’ve walked on that side,

I’ve scars and bruises all over my pride,

I eluded my angels while demons preened my vanity,

But like a prodigal son I returned to my sanity,

Worse for the wear, out of the muck and grime,

I stay closer to my angels, so much wiser this time,

I don’t always listen to those angelic voices,

And I blame only myself for unwise choices,

My angels guide me to those in need across the land,

And show me ways my heart can expand,

Are you one of those angels who’s constantly sharing,

And teaching me ways I can still be caring?

Whether an angel extraordinaire and wise,

Or still earning your wings while in human guise,

You’ve been patiently waiting while wisdom I acquire,

Becoming steel at last, hardened by the fire,

So if you’re my personal angel, or one of a troop,

Make way, I’m trying, to become one of your group,

For I like angels, butterflies, and fluttery things,

Just give me time to earn my wings.

What’s Prayer Got to Do With It?


People praying during Durga puja. Original tit...
Image via Wikipedia

When You already know what I’ll ask,

Is it to stretch me well beyond myself,

So I can see the greatness of Your task?

What’s my role in the words I say,

What’s my heart got to do with how I pray?

Let my heart be a sounding board,

As I talk to Your son, the Holy Lord,

Fill my spirit with compassion and love,

Let all my words flow from above,

What’s prayer got to do with it?

It lets my heart and mind be a perfect fit,

It’s not in the beauty of words I spout,

But how my soul takes away the doubt,

You are the one I want to magnify,

 Your word flows through me, it’s not about I,

There are no words that I need to say,

Except Your will be done, I will obey,

What’s prayer but conversation between You and me?

Your blood shed on the cross is what I see,

I pray for Your love to cover all the sins,

That the world displays, and those within,

I’m still learning what I need to say,,

Our heavenly Father, give us this day,

The things we need for our daily bread,

Help us face those things we dread,

Teach us how to reach out and forgive,

The wrongs of others with whom we live,

Deliver us from the evil that fills our day,

The temptations that seem to come our way,

All the power and glory to you belong,

I’ll celebrate Your love all life long,

I’ll pray for the boy lying in a hospital bed,

I don’t know why it isn’t me instead,

Nine years old with a terrible disease,

He hasn’t seen life, so take me please,

Let life through his veins run its course,

Please don’t let death take him by force,

I’ve wasted years doing things not so bright,

He’s too young to turn out his light,

Innocent as a lamb, he’s caught in a trap,

If it’s his time to go, let him sit in Your lap,

The beauty of this world won’t be his home,

But there he can dance and have places to roam,

With tears in my eyes I approach Your throne,

I’m ready, take me instead as one of Your own,

He’s nine years old, lying in his lonely bed,

Heal him with Your power, take me instead,

I’ll pray for the girl who cries in the night,

There is no one to listen to her sad plight,

We turn away from accepting her abuse,

Insisting nothing can be done, there’s no use,

The Holy Spirit listens as her spirit cries,

Within each of us part of our own spirit dies,

All the promise, her hopes and dreams,

Are not important to us it seems,

What can we do if evil is around?

We call on the Lord for demons to be bound,

Each of us knows of wounds that need to heal,

Our hearts are willing and we want to feel,

The fields are ripe with broken people today,

Why should we wait when we can pray?

I’ll pray for husbands to love their wives,

And wives to respect their husbands all their lives,

For the couple who argues in the night,

Haven’t they seen love’s pure light?

God has called them for so much more,

So why do they choose just to ignore?

Their hearts are hard, it’s all about self,

There’s not room for two egos on their shelf,

Their children watch and learn how to fight,

They think love is weak, and might makes right,

Rarely do children see their parents in prayer,

Little do they forgive or show compassion and care,

Do they really hate the ones they love?

Should they be listening for guidance from above,

What’s so important about daily prayer?

It awakens our spirit and feeds it there,

I’ll pray for the homeless on the street,

Who struggle daily for food to eat,

They have no permanent place to stay,

In alleys at night, and shelters by day,

What little they have is precious to them,

Their pasts are dark and their future grim,

Arrested by the police because they trespass,

When they guard against storms under an underpass,

I’ll pray for the homeless, society’s outcasts,

That someday all this will be in the past,

Prayer is the starting point for each of these needs,

It’s just the place to plant the seeds,

These gardens of lives need tender loving care,

The work is ready, and now I’m prepared,

To carry out the tasks that started with prayer.

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