Born Lucky


I was born lucky.  I would have chosen my parents right from the start.  I was loved and I felt loved. Maybe they chose me and maybe I chose them.  They were a perfect fit.  I would never claim I was better than others or worse than others.  I know that I saw the world around me with a different view than others had.  When my friends and neighbors complained about their siblings or parents, I  remained silent or said I would choose the same two brothers and the  same four sisters and the same parents.

We didn’t always agree on some subjects but I  knew that our parents were special.  It wasn’t about money.  Money didn’t buy happiness. It wasn’t about material things at all.  We learned to enjoy the foods we had, mostly beans and potatoes and corn bread, and occasionally biscuits and gravy.  It wasn’t about the things we didn’t have.  We learned to use what we had and do without the things we didn’t have. Flour sacks became clothes. Hand-me-downs were common.  Time spent with family was valuable time.  Respect and truth and love were important.  Each day was part of a life-long learning experience.

Even though I didn’t have much I learned how to work, how to play, how to enjoy the world every day.  I was not perfect but I didn’t feel mean or rotten.  I wanted to help people who were hurting, sad, or lonely.  I was usually considered “nice”.  I was a good person, willing to help neighbors and friends.  I could change a tire, carry buckets of water, travel across countries, and participate in games without getting angry as long as there were rules to follow.  I believed in rules and fairness.

Lucky? Maybe I should say I was treated fairly in life. When I saw what others had, what they needed, and the conditions surrounding them, I knew I was blessed.  The world around us did not appear fair in its treatment to others.  Perhaps I was so naïve or oblivious to problems that I escaped what could have been painful experiences.

When I compared my circumstances with others, I began to wake up and observe.  When I visited a friend who  made great claims regarding things he owned, I discovered the truth.  His imagination gave him all the things he didn’t have.  He didn’t live in a mansion. He didn’t drive a fancy car.  He was surrounded by problems that he chose not to see.  He was ashamed to invite me inside his house. The house was tiny and crowded. The windows were broken and needed replacements. The floor had holes.  The house was cold and damp.

The worst of it was the human factor.  How could they survive with conditions like this? It got worse.  In another room his brother sat on a bed in dirty clothes. His eyes were glazed over, flies were clustered all over his face, and yet he was smiling.   I could not imagine living in that home.  His parents were sitting at the kitchen table, discussing the weather, waiting for some super cells to hit the area, and wondering where to go.

Maybe that is why I began volunteering, helping out when I could.  I came into this world looking to do something for others and this was my opportunity to quit talking and begin acting.  I am lucky because I got a good start in life. My life has been blessed even though I have physical problems. Physical problems will not hold me back. I am a poet and a writer.  I must encourage others to help make the world a better place. I must act quickly because death is always waiting and I don’t have time to die.

July 23, 2017

 

 

 

 

We’re Lucky to Have Christmas


English: A postcard from 1919, with artwork of...

English: A postcard from 1919, with artwork of Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

We’re Lucky to Have Christmas

 

Time stood still and my heart stopped,

 

When she announced she was leaving that night.

 

It didn’t sink in that she meant what she said,

 

Until she got on the very next flight.

 

 

 

I think of the time I wasted,

 

Letting it slowly slip through my hands.

 

I could have been loving her,

 

Rather than complaining and giving commands.

 

 

 

She promised she would love me forever.

 

I think she intended it to be true.

 

I said I could survive on my own

 

But deep within my heart I knew.

 

 

 

I could have used time in segments,

 

Dinner for two, flowers, a loving glance,

 

Instead I spent time on my own interests,

 

And time didn’t give a second chance.

 

 

 

It was the season to laugh and be jolly

 

And the time to play in the snow.

 

But it was a sad time for me that year.

 

She wouldn’t be under the mistletoe.

 

 

 

We wouldn’t be watching a parade together,

 

From the very first float to the last.

 

I made many mistakes along the way.

 

And now our parade had gone past.

 

 

 

She talked about having quality time,

 

And times we could just hang out.

 

I insisted she was my very best friend.

 

But I gave her many reasons to doubt.

 

 

 

The Christmas lights in that bar were blurry,

 

The drinks were making me cry.

 

I hadn’t told her how much I loved her,

 

Yet I knew I was a lucky guy.

 

 

 

I was ready to go home and decide what to do.

 

I needed some time to think.

 

I heard a voice calling my name,

 

Then, “Cowboy, can I buy you a drink?”

 

 

 

I’ve never seen a face more beautiful.

 

She had returned and was smiling at me.

 

Now I’m a reformed and loving man.

 

I’m sure that’s the way it should be.

 

 

 

That’s my Christmas story,

 

I hope you take a moment to pause.

 

If she hadn’t returned there wouldn’t be Christmas.

 

If you don’t believe what I told you,

 

Just ask my wife, Mrs. Claus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prayers and Doubts


Woodcut for "Die Bibel in Bildern", ...

Image via Wikipedia

I pray for
cold weather, you pray for hot,

I pray for
rain clouds, you pray they’re not,

Our prayers
are like arrows shot into the sky,

No one seems
to listen, we both wonder why,

Our prayers
can’t be answered if we cancel each other out,

If we pray
for the same cause there’ll be less reason to doubt,

You pray for
a friend’s healing, I pray guide the doctor’s hand,

What are we
really asking, do we both understand?

Is it
science we pray to because it seems so clear,

Or are we
more trusting with angels hovering near?

If God is with
us always, why am I filled with doubt?

If I don’t
see His hand in this, I’ve got to think it out,

A disease
strikes a neighbor, a madman is turned loose,

How did God
allow this to happen? I’ll pray, but what’s the use?

You say
you’ve seen God but you don’t remember where,

I’d like to
see Him too, can’t He show up here?

You say you
believe in miracles, can you name just one?

I’d like to
test it thoroughly, wouldn’t that be fun?

Darwin stated
we’re from the ocean, out of the water we arose,

We’ve been evolving since then, but where we’re going, who knows?

You can pray
for answers, while I still have my doubts,

Your answers
might come eventually while I think it all works out,

Science gives
us its theory about how we finally arrived here,

But I still
have many questions about what made life appear,

Patterns are
evident in the universe, everywhere I look,

And the
answers to my questions are not in a science book,

I believe a
power beyond my understanding created this earth,

Explanations
about life just happening have no intellectual worth,

I have to
believe in creation, I have no other choice,

For woven in
this tapestry of life is His voice,

I can’t see
God, but I see where He’s been,

I can’t
touch God, but I feel His presence again and again,

When
everything lines up against me, where else can I turn?

When I’m at
the bottom of the pit and by the world I’m spurned,

Who is the
King of Glory, and where does he reside?

I can’t
point Him out, but I know He’s inside,

Has He
forsaken me or are there too many on His list?

Is He off
doing something important and He’s forgotten I exist?

Are the
hairs on my head counted, do I mean anything at all?

Have I been
too long out of compliance, is my faith way too small?

When I pray
heavenly Father, am I not heard because of doubts?

Why don’t I
get answers when my whole world is crashing about?

If I’m one
of His children, a joint heir of the King,

Am I
surrounded by angels, will I ever hear them sing?

Am I
protected from demons and from the prince of this world,

Or will I be
tortured forever by the poisonous barbs he’s hurled?

What about
miracles, or is that an entirely different tune,

Are miracles
stories in the past and I’ll never see one soon,

My doubts
spring up continually, sometimes out of control,

My prayers
seem unheeded, despite pleadings from my soul,

I could give
up my belief that God still rules supreme,

And join the
world in saying that God is but a dream,

But in spite
of doubts and fears within, I cling to my hope,

That life
continues past this world beyond science’s microscope,

I believe all my trials and sins on earth will be covered with love,

While my
questions and fears will be answered in the realm above,

And the time
we spend discovering the pockets of faith inside,

Will come
back tenfold, and within that faith He’ll abide,

I’m forever
getting stronger as my faith answers my doubt,

I realize I
just have to believe, it’s not for me to work out.

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.