Light of the World, Remember!

Floating through

Dragging my feet

Languishing and lazy

‘Til everyday feels like Saturday

With all its special gone.

Seeped and stuck in the sameness (and horror) of “status quo”

I settle.

Where’s my urgency?

Fight? (Not to mention “good fight”?)

Excellence-insistence?

Remembering – and repenting – paves for rallying*

                               (*rally – to rouse or recover from inactivity)

Takes energy, light.

 

Where the dark would have me still, stagnate, die off, smother, forget

Light’s instead remarkable: emitting only when electric’s current quickens the matter.

All these particles’ radiation could electrify, could be magnetic,

Push back the dark.

But only would I plug into life’s – light’s – Source

Oh, Lord, may it be so.

Only then will the scales fall

And dark and light’s difference recognized.

It’s there I’ll recognize Him:

There in Him where the real living is.

Where all the dark of wasted (death) days is forgotten and

Right remembrance and good days – enlivening, rich, beautiful, vital, and vibrant life-days are restored.

Like Paul, a blaze of light’s what’s needed, and now given.

Thank You.
Acts 26:12-18, Matthew 5:14

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A Soul’s Dawn

Those expansive desolate saturated monoculture February fields
Might tempt me towards gray and soggy.

That dissonant electric guitar wail 

Could draw me closer to fear or discomfort or distrust.

But I know what’s above the clouds and beneath the surface. 

There’s plenty of evidence of what’s not seen too. 

A smidgen of belief catalyzes right vision: no airplane’s needed to remind me of light’s sunshiney warming horizon-presence.

Some remembrance goggles is all.

Seeing through a glass darkly

Isn’t the only way to see.

A day’s heaviness of soul

Can break to light.

“I can feel it/Comin’ back again” a fitting and timely song confession cry just now for 

Grace’s scandalous help and palpable presence.

Suddenly all this light amidst all this gray

Lights up everything

And I’m reawakened and

Woken to glory.

Glory’s in every song

Every word 

Every breath

Every thought and I’m

Opened up to the pleasure and profundity and nothing’s-left-untouch-ed-ness of Love:

I’m right saturated.

A soul’s dawn 

Testimony to Life given and repentance honored.

Your condescension is Your glory, and unexpectedly, remarkably, wonderingly, my benefit, Lord.

What a wonder that simply admitting wrong, desiring better, discontent with wasted time, resources, self is enough to turn it all upside down and back to glorious where before there was just muck and gray and a slough of despond. 

What a wonder that forgiveness looks more like liberation than penance.

That turning toward the light – even when it’s not in plain sight – is enough to dispel the dark. 
And that repenting – literally “turning away from” what’s wrong is all that’s needed to turn toward that light.

That the remedy that ushers in the right comes from a willingness to face where one’s wrong.

What a blessing to serve a God Who’s much more interested in my redemption than my wretchedness.

What a joy that He gives 2nd, billionth, zillionth chances to turn toward Him and that He honors such turning every. Single. Time.

Hallelujah that the prodigal son is me and the welcoming forgiving father is Him, and it’s all real and better than I could have imagined. That I’m not just in story, but the story because it’s His story, and wonder of wonders He invites me into it.
What an opportunity to get to live into love’s inheritance and come into “love’s discovery” as the Indigo Girls sing it. 
Husband’s air guitar and

Happy belting “free fallin'” and 

Radio crooning and on the way to grocery shopping in all this gray early February day and who knew it could all be alight with wonder?

Who knew that yesterday’s despair could be today’s joy? 

Ah, love. You’ll always surprise, won’t you? 

You’re the God of the new and the old, the tiny and the magnanimous, the God of the unexpected, the grays, the rainbows, and the everything in between. 

You’re in the mud puddles and the pure waters and the failures and the successes. 

Thank You. Thank You for being available and awesome and impossibly huge and big enough to come down to the tiny. And thank You that Your coming down enlarges rather than shrinks power and purpose and love and goodness.

I’m smiling and almost overwhelmed with the goodness and the happiness of being back in my Lord’s sight.

Thank You, repentance. Thank You, redemption. 

Thank You, Lord, for these, for You, for LOVE… In all Your parts and effects.

Blessedly Forced Reckoning

  
Shhhh…. He whispers.

With so many words

This breeze

Ailments-forcing-downtime

A rocked-jacked-up-unexpected-turn-of-events

Forced inactivity

This fragility I’m tempted to begrudge

My greatest asset

As it makes room

For all His goodness

That I temporarily forgot

In all my (quite temporary) capability

Oh, Lord,

How majestic is

– Not just Your Name –

But Your way

You

Light as a feather

Heavy as a mountain

More besides and all the in betweens

Wild 

Sweet

Huge

Complete

Staggered, lonely, and full am I

With such a God as You

You Are

And Everywhere

Help us see YOU

Reclamation

The fullness and

Scope of this

Gulf Stream life

And I’m right saturated

Even bogged down while moved along

Regardless of my desire for calmer (stagnant?) waters
I’m the mom

For all practical purposes

But all I feel is to be like

“Butter spread over too much bread”*

*Bilbo Baggins

 

All these children’s questions

Charge the particles

In my like-an-old-school-tv’s

Snowy insides
Instead of jolting to life

Every audible word

Zaps already taut and sensitive fibers

And this tired old battery sparks only to grinding
Proof again

That mere machinations

Aren’t the source of life and

Just-function won’t sustain any of us
Without the proper mechanic’s lifeblood to

Recalibrate all these lifeless moving parts we’re all just

Bound for the junk heap
Overdue

I wheel myself in for inspection

Open the hood

Expose the innards

Wait for His assessment
It took me way longer to get here than it takes for Him to look

Surprisingly gentle, thorough, and quick

He fusses with something (I don’t see what) and
I expect the damage report – as ever –

To be that this time I’ve ridden too far, too long

Without this scrutiny, this help, this exposure
He bids me turn the ignition and

Expecting dead space

A deep resonant purr sounds instead.

Instead of more static misfires and sparks

A healthy hum of life and connection fires full and throaty.
Smiling

I shake my head in wonder and thanks and

Roll forward back into the stream

Anticipating a new horizon and steady current to

Carry me along
Thank You, Lord.

A Middle Finger to the False Self

 

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It’s weird. Probably not uncommon, but still weird.
This being compelled towards a certain way of expression and feeling so utterly self conscious about said expression. Part of me thinks that real artists don’t question their artistry, at least in as far as the doing. Most of us measure the product and its worth, of course. Wonder about, assess, measure. Maybe it’s naive to think that no one else thinks this much about the process. The just “doin’ the thing” part. But I just can’t help but think that if I could just settle into the thing that my battles with self expression (with self?) would be largely (or just more) over. The weirdness that I not only wrangle with, but frankly am totally sick of, is weird. I feel compelled to write a certain way while being totally and completely uncertain about it.
When (and how? How, I ask you?) does a person Just Do It. (If only there was a t-shirt to remind me.) By what miracle of changed thinking and upside down modus operandi (how? How, I ask you?) does someone suddenly just stop all the years of shame and doubt and ridiculous indoctrination and start living fully into his/her self? And THEN create something authentic and real and of value?
New Year review and reflection stipulated honesty as my “word of the year.” Sounds good. Good like all those other words that find their way colorfully and persistently into the margins of journals and legal pads in various pen colors in order to (hopefully) then find their way into my psyche and then (hopefully) eke into my living. And I’ll stay open to that notion. Honesty sounds right, if even ever so slightly loaded and terribly tenuous (for me anyway. See elephants in the room, “social graces,” and skeletons in the closet [wow. Even the references don’t tell you anything.] and you have a terrible battle with what being true to yourself means. True to myself? Heck. I’d just love to wake up with any sense of self. A true sense unfettered and/or unmarred by loads of proverbial baggage.).
Which brings me to my point. (Maybe.)
After being figuratively smacked into an uncomfortable oblivion yesterday, I had to take another uncomfortable but much needed look at my difficulty with transparency and vulnerability. I’m tempted to delve in here about the bummer-of-a-disagreement my husband and I had because of my seeming inability to be emotionally intimate due to years and years of self destructive behavior but I worry that I’ll lose you. I’m assuming you’ll understand without being privy to details. Wait for the book. Because, you know, a book about addiction, promiscuity, victimization and the like would be so read-worthy. It would, you say? Only if it didn’t stop there but continued on to the happy ending of redemption and healing and rescue, which is where my story ends, er, will end once I get to the bottom of this vulnerability thing.

Vulnerability thing? Oh, right. That’s where I was going with this. I was going to talk about how to get to a place where I stop second guessing every. Single. Thing. I. Do. Say. Write. Think. The place where all this being gets to just be without all the maddening ing-ing. Thinking wondering, second-guessing. That little suffix has added too much extraneous ing-ing on my ability to just be.
Just be, Amy. Just be, you who’s reading. You who’s out there wondering about your inherent value and all its attachments and/or inevitabilities. Not in a mystical touchy feely way, but in a true way. That we might get down to the business of living: comfortable enough in our own skins and comfortable enough with whatever our contribution to the world is ours to give and stop all this ridiculous posturing in order to add what’s ours to add.
Maybe I’m just getting old and tired. Maybe that’s really what wisdom is: getting worn out enough that you stop expending energy (because you no longer have any extra to expend) on posturing and instead concentrate on just be-ing. That ing-ing being the only sort you can muster up enough energy for. No frills, no pretense. Just you and just me with all our wondrous and remarkable magic. ‘Cause it’s in there. And it’s fabulous.
It’s terrifying, but I’m pretty excited to toast to transparency (or maybe I’m just excited to toast. Here’s at least to an enthusiastic and celebratory beginning.). Pretty excited to find out what all this before-now-elusive “be true to yourself” business is all about. Excited to move forward with my eyes wide open instead of frantically darting around trying to read cues about what skin I ought put on to satisfy any onlookers. How are chameleons not completely exhausted? I’ve not learned to adapt so well to this way of being. Or at least not thrive. I’ve maybe learned too well how to adapt. Regardless, I find it leaves me significantly less colorful than more…
So here’s to richer color sourced from an inward treasure instead of environmentally imposed ones. To more transparency and honesty. And though I don’t wish the fiery abyss part on anyone, I do like the spirit of; “ta Hell with all ya’s. I got my own beat and I’m dancin’ to it.” (I don’t usually talk like that, but this finding my voice thing may take some practice…)

……………………
How about you? Do you struggle with “being yourself”? Desire truth in your inmost parts? Or if this isn’t a struggle for you, what has helped you to be a person of integrity/honesty/transparency?

 

Turn (to the light)


What’s all this angst that rises to the surface?

This right to be vexed?

Are they sourced in these irritations that challenge

my (snotty and ridiculous) sensibilities?

No.
These children, these demands, these challenges,

circumstances, inconveniences, or others’ bad behavior

Are not the cause of my reactionary ugliness.
No.
Just the me’s to blame.
But thrillingly, that doesn’t have to be the end of the story.
In a signature moment of said angst and growing irritation

– just another day together during life and learning –

An unexpected choice was made.

A lightening bolt epiphany supernaturally

(how else would I have chosen well?)

Suggested I laugh instead.
Laugh instead of explode, fume, brood, resent, chafe,

offend.

I could just laugh out loud at that dark power that was

ready to steal our joy and erect more walls.

So I did.

I laughed out loud

At all this wretched humanness.

And then they did.

And our communal laughter

Tsunamied over all the filth and

Diffused all that impossible tension and

Revealed a clean place.

A brighter place.

A start-over place.

And the tone and the magic and the potential of an entire day

Re-upped.

Sweet redemption

In its mind blowing everything-changing way

Prodigiously entered the room and

Effortlessly swept away the (now) silly-small vice.

In its wake an entire room’s climate and

all the relationships in proximity to it

Were enabled to shift and turn to a better way.

All ’cause in a solitary moment

One soul turned to the light

Instead of bowing to the dark.

The ripple effect

Enabled us upright and

Drew us together

In light and in love.
Thank You.

The Dark Won’t Hold

  
  All these words have already been used –

I can only hope not used up

Looking back on all this time 

And all these mine-times

Is like looking painfully and unaware 

At someone else’s life

That’s not so bad, I guess;

A long aching road’s

Being replaced by snatches of sunlight

That stretch and change

And quietly brighten all these inner rooms

Simple unexpected joys burn away 

(What I thought were) too many shadows

The light dances

In all these unexpected ways

(But always yearned after)

And the dark can’t hold

Praise His Name

The dark won’t hold