Body-slammed By Grace ( And A Poem)

Some weeks just feel more grace-filled than others. Maybe they truly are. Or maybe it is our perspective. Perhaps grace comes in waves. Flowing freely some weeks and dripping slowly drop by drop during some drier seasons. Or maybe it is a matter of the lens we use to view this wild and crazy grace laden life we each are given to live.

This week was full and long and lovely. And I was body-slammed by grace. Felt the weight of its glory bearing down on my soul.  Washing over me like a tidal wave of wonderful palpable moments. Sweet and savory, a sensory overloaded stretch of amazing grace. A covering of a canopy painted in shades of neon and pale, brilliant and faded, but always, mercifully blanketed by it. Exposed. Receptive. Receiving. Surprised. By Grace.

elizabeth's path

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Vingettes of Grace

One
I got lost really turned around in circles lost. In a fog figuratively and in the rain literally. Bound and determined to eventually find the T-mobile store. I know, don’t judge. I needed a new phone. But what God had in mind was for me to be touched by the words I exchanged there with a total stranger. This is a story. This is a poem. This was the heart of human connection at a soulful and spiritual place. It wasn’t deep but it was wide. I brushed up against the cloth of his garment. He embraced me, this tall and dark stranger. He asked me if I was a Christian. This is a story. A very long one. But it left me dazed by grace. And in awe of what was waiting for me in the rat’s maze of my lost wanderings in a city I don’t yet know well.

Robert Lewis Stevenson

Two
I left town for a week or so and I am now on my fifth week away from my family, with my family of birth. I am lonely but not alone. Filled with joy, but torn into pieces. By the separation from pieces of my heart that are a five hour drive from here. This is a ministry but  I am being ministered to. A paradox. A new paradigm of love.  While I am serving in a small way I am healing.  This is my Africa. This is my foodbank. This is my shelter.  I am where I was called to go. I am home but I am not home.  I am body-slammed by the ministry of presence. And I am the receiver of the gift.

Three
I am wearing a new hat these days. I am a book editor and a proofreader and on the team of a book launch. My mother wrote a book. For ten years she invested in this project of the heart. A story that was handed to her in the form of letters over 100 years old. She weaves the tapestry of this story. One of a girl whose parents send her to Virgina while they serve as missionaries in the interior of Brazil in the late 1800’s. It is beautifully told by my mother who doesn’t remember writing the story. Dementia took that part of her journey from her.  Over two hundred pages, Homeward is a historical novel based on the letters of Esther, her great-grandmother who is separated from her family who remains in Brazil while Esther is sent to school and to extended family. This is a story. This is a poem. Here in  an eruption of grace, in the birthing of the book and the dedication of my father to have it published lies a love story. You will read more from me of the unfolding of book and its journey to be published. A grace explosion right before me. I am glad that I stayed. I like this hat. It fits me. Maybe not well.  Amazed, truly, it even fits me at all.

the glider

Four
I had my words go a couple of places this week. Humbled and honored that they have wings.  That they were invited to  fly out of the nest. I stand under the shower-head of rushing grace to think that they, my little fledglings are journeying elsewhere. I would be honored to have you see one of the places my poem “I Was Just Wondering Because I Am Weird That Way” landed. It was written a couple of Sundays ago after I visited a church with my parents. It is the overflow of my heart after a worship service in which grace was manifested, moistening  my wide-eyed windows to the world. Click this link:

130811-24Window

And Tweetspeak Poetry ran a little piece of mine this week under their “Literary Tour” section. If you missed it you can read it here. I enjoyed the experience that lead to writing the piece, and even more so the comments and feedback from readers. Thank you. If you haven’t visited Tweetspeak, maybe now would be a great time to check out the words, the wit, the wonder that awaits at this fun home for poetry. And you can add to my joy.  It would drip grace over me if you have time to read and leave a footprint over there. Thanks friends, in advance.

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A Poem

I joined Tweetspeak Poetry this week for their poetry prompt “Bottled and Canned”. The creative folks over there threw this one out.  Clever., huh? What a fun way to be stretched creatively.  Here is my poem:

wpid-IMG_20130808_104817.jpg

Canned Hands

We played with the long green veins
In church
Ran our fingers down and up
While he preached the sermon
Children, restless
Intrigued by the vessels big and raised
Called them worms
Back in the days
Of her youth and ours
Now she reaches out for me
I count on them to be there
Wish I could bottle it up
or can it, place it on the top shelf
That warm feeling
We knit fingers, grasp and clasp
I want to save those ten digits, flesh and bone
Preserve the love found in them
Can the goodness
Preserve her love
Better than any bottled potions that the Ride Aid sells
A mother
And her aging love, suspended in time
Held

7 thoughts on “Body-slammed By Grace ( And A Poem)

  1. so much going on in your journey right now friend…I liked reading the snippets, the God moments that he brings, the way that you are home and not home, how your heart longs for your dear family but is with family, and so awesome to be part of this journey with your mom’s book. I loved your poem…especially the last few lines, I felt the tenderness, I saw you together, with hands embraced…loving each other in the quiet. love you friend

  2. Lovely post, and now I’m convinced I know you — or knew your family growing up. I typed family letters for one of my mother’s dear friends, and they sound exactly like what you’re describing. Small world? I look forward to reading the book. I’ve often thought of those letters and what a wonderful book they would make.

  3. Dear Elizabeth, it was so good to bathe in this grace place here. How I enjoyed reading your words today. Thank you for your heart and your telling in snippets and in legatto these phrases of a life filled with seeing and love.

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