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

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Move

  

When? When’ll it get written ‘cept now?

When? When’ll it get planted and how?

‘Less someone like me cares a whole awful lot

Nothing is going to get done, it’s just not.

‘Cept what happens when caring’s not in the equation

When my mind is so full but so dull

What happens when I’m paralyzed with my self

And I just can’t distinguish my call?

What happens when my brain’s so full of turmoil?

(I’ve been stewing, despondent and down)

Feeling a victim all over the place

Smiles are scarce ’round this face: s’mostly frowns.

See nothing gets done – I just stop and I stare –

Then obsess more with all that’s not done

I am weak, Lord, You know it, wish I had more of a scapegoat

But my self is at fault – I’m the one

That is faulty and sinful and wretched and dumb

Full of Amy and all of her woes

I forget – least don’t act like – all Your goodness is here

That I could myself on Jesus throw

I’m sorry, I am, I’m so sorry ’bout these:

These leanings towards over and whelm 

I don’t know what the cause is, the source or the problem

That threatens my place at the helm

‘Cause it’s that: it’s that feeling that I’m not in control 

Of my destiny, life, or e’en hope

And it leaves me despondent (yes I know it’s redundant)

And I wonder how better to cope

I can’t figure it out (it’s only been 40 years)

So maybe the answer’s not there

Maybe the answer’s in just looking up

To the One Who assures me He’s here

See “what would Jesus do” is slightly off base

It’s “what’s Jesus doing” that’s now

It’s a matter of aligning myself with His Self

(And relaxing these lines on my brow)

I can trust Him (we can!) we can trust Him always

And forever to do what is best

I can trust that my angst, and my self, and these pains

Can be completely shored up in His rest

It’s not a naive sort of trust that I mean

Rather it’s hard and a battle for sure

But it’s all not for naught – there is good purpose here

Makes us loving, gentle, right, and pure

In order to separate the good from the dross

Some fire’s required: heat and light

The yuck must be skimmed from this soul that is His

That His presence is all that’s in sight

See there’s too much of me too much world and distraction

That it muddles one’s right view of Him

So these troubles I feel – though they seem very real –

Must be brought more to Him so to dim

So now on to remember – Lord, help me do better –

Remember Your presence always

Remember what You’ve done, are doing, begun

Fixed-on-Jesus-eyes are what must stay

Thank You, Father, for even now I realize

That You’re helping me this very minute

To remember Your goodness, faithful, gentle leading

Redeeming all that is amiss

That’s the God that You Are, the One who rights all the wrongs

Who brings healing and light to dark places

Turns all things inside out, turns all things upside down

Transforms shame into beautiful spaces

Thank You for help, and thank You for love

And thank You for helping to love

And thanks for redemption, freedom, and reminding

Me blessedly towards You to move.

Brain Conversation

  

 I must insist, brain,

 That you quiet down.

 Yes, I am the boss of you.

 Even if, at this minute, 

 That seems untrue. 

 Even if taking you captive

 Seems an impossible feat,

 I am.

 I can no longer afford your company 

 In its current way of being.

 You have taunted and shamed 

 And convinced me that

 All my best parts are buried and forgotten.

 Encouraged me to blame.

 Riddled me with confusion.

 And though “I listen to my words but they fall far below”* *Cat Stevens

 As an honest admission 

 Sounds terribly weak and puny,

 There is truth to it.

 In spite of all your efforts to confound me,

 (And with so much life feeling to be swallowing me up)

 Maybe I ought to be relieved.

 In healthier moments

 Such “sensitivity” coins as “virtuous.”

 I don’t know what makes the difference:

 Why and when moments posing as majestic or terrible

 As savor-able or unbearable

 As breathtaking mountaintop or suffocating pit

 Pose thus.

 That song 

 Before today too light, too cheesy

 In light of today’s darkness 

 Held just about too much poignancy to bear.

 I want to put words to this

 more-than-anxiety more-than-depression more-than-difficult

 overwhelming-not-severe-enough

 terrifying-may-be-a-start

 Experience.

 Suffice it to say

 I want to figure it out,

 Only it’s you who needs do the figuring

 (you and your ridiculously murky waters).

 Come to think of it,

 Such navigation requires a sounder captain.

 I think I’ll ask your Maker.

 He’ll know.

 Brace yourself.

 ‘Cause for all your best efforts,

 He’ll undo you

 In all and truly best ways…