The Greatest Of These Is Love

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Join me today at Grace Table?  My words and I are over there telling a love story. A story of love.

“It wasn’t love at first sight, but it was love very soon after we wrapped our heads and hearts around one important realization. Beauty lay behind the fringes of the dirt. Redemption could be found on the frayed edges of the brokenness. Restoration would require patience and sweat equity. It would demand waiting. And it would call for trust. But it would return much more than it could ever have asked of us.

This was a transaction of the heart. And we would be reminded that love wins every time.

Thank you, as always, for joining me at the table….(Click the link to read “The Greatest Of These Is Love”.)

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The Givers

Grace

The Givers

That shade of green on the cover
Haunting
Like face paint green
In October, late
(Oh how I hate the wanna-be witches’ then)
Haunting, like so many books penned for children
Intended for the young ones
But, wait, it is we who are grown, who are or
Were the audience, all along
The souls who hunger for the messages of these books

That Giving Tree green
Cat calls from the shelf and says read me again and again
Soak up the
Metaphor on every page
Like communion bread dipped into crumb-filled wine

Memories are fickle
Holey like wormwood

Memory takes me to the story of the tree
And the boy
And the man
And the taking stirs me in ghostly ways

The paper-puncher holes in my own flawed memory
Fail to recall
Did the boy say a word
Was it only the tree
Oh what a story he would tell
Of his all-about-me-self
Taking the tree down to a stump

As green as that storybook cover
So sad is my soul for the boy, the man
I see myself in that boy
And want to be like the tree

And so I write
Poetry

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Join me for my new labor of love, a creative project for subscribers only. Follow my journey into letter writing  here, at “a quiet place for words”. I am fond of the letter format and would love to have you join me there. (Letters sent to subscribers in-box weekly) It is quieter there, away from the interwebs.

peace and grace,

e

The Delicate Task (Plus One)

Orange Truck, puddles and clouds

On Your Leaving

If I were to write of your goodbye, it would sound something like this
(I dreamed of loss last night, stammered the haunting memory of the nightmare
Over coffee in the kitchen with your father, I spoke of a baby left behind in the snow)
And so in fact, it is nothing like that, but more of a chilly release of you into the cold
While I am still so warm
(And yet, the dream still haunts me)

In the knowing that you will change
And truly
I always loved you just the way you were

I am numbed by the pain of void
You were you
And I am me, plus you
Sounds so simple, perhaps it always was
You will forgive me I trust, for everything that occurred
Before your leaving came upon me
We were two, close to one
On occasion

I wept
But then you know that, I am sure
You have known me, well
In all the small goodbye’s that have been said
You quietly studied the lines on my face
Tear tracts tell good stories of what lies beneath

Please read between the lines
Knit together were we, not as womb and child
But by a deep love
The thread of which is unbreakable

In the Spring, when you return
Change will have visited me

Because you left
Me loving you
Just as you were
(Because the dream still haunts me)
When the bough breaks the cradle will fall
The snow is heavy on the trees where you are

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Honored to have a poem of mine,The Delicate Task, over at a beautiful new community of words, The Mudroom Blog (click here to go there). I would be honored if you would join me there to read this piece of poetry in its entirety:

The Delicate Task

I watched his hands, a gentle blend of weary

Each line, earned, every callous worn like a medal of honor

The request, brave and earnest

His response breathed through his fingertips, whispers waft and billow

Through the labor of his hands

His yes, a gift of patient, steady love

I look away, the chore asks for silence…..

(click here to continue reading The Delicate Task at The Mudroom)

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Joining Laura today for Playdates At The Wellspring

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In Which I Quote The Apostle Paul and Anne Lamott

March really did come in like a lion. We felt the wind blow through our family, shaking us up. Waking us up. And the wind burns and the wind deposits a chill in the bones of man.

spencers wreck

And the greatest of these is Love.

Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love

1 Corinthians:13 – The Message

And sometimes prayers are best reduced to “Help,Thanks,Wow” as Anne Lamott suggests in her new book about prayer.
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The best of the three is love. Really.

I know this in a newer and newer way. I have known it. But there must be many definitions of “know” like the Greek has four definitions of love. This knowing takes on a richer covering of understanding. Like the tapestry has more colorful threads. And the weaving is more exquisite and intricate. This tapestry of knowing love.

March 1 knocked us around a bit. And then on March 4th it knocked us around a little more. Sweet daughter was driving when a blue hand crank smashed her windshield as she was motoring down the highway. At highway speeds. And minutes after or before, trauma blurs time, I fell down the stairs and we were really shaken up. The green and purple and blue running around my flesh was an outward sign.

But days after the highway shake up, we are still numb in our rejoicing. That the greatest of these is love. And that God protected our child.

But the hands and feet of Jesus were at work in our suffering. And the body of Christ was loving us through all of our pain. And we prayed a variation of “Help, Thanks, Wow” as Anne Lamott writes in her book on prayer because sometimes these are the true cries of the heart.

We look at the blue metal hand crank and we say “wow”. And we look at the impact on the windshield on the passengers side where there was no passenger that day. Wow, truly. Because we hear the mechanic when he says how close this was to going all the way through.

But we are even more amazed at the friendship that erupted on the scene of the accident. Our friends who came and loved our daughter. The father, mother, and child, a trio of angels ready to love our family in a difficult time. And we say “thanks”.

Our hearts are ready for the lamb part of March. The lion part is still growling and roaring a bit. But God…is growing our faith and showing us Love through His body. The body of Christ.

As I fell down the stairs and wept and shook, I was helped by two godly men. My husband and his accountability partner and best friend. And I wept at the trauma that appeared to be coming in rapid succession. The kind that leaves you shaking and asking and what’s next.

But what’s next is more Love. Because love wrapped around our pain. It bound our wounds and eased our suffering. March 1st left us shaking a bit. We had to pull together and move forward from unexpected change. And love together, The Patient One and I. We processed a big change in our lives under the mantra of we are moving forward.

But forward was paved by love to the left and love to the right. We were hemmed in by it.

Without the pain, without the trauma, without the shaking up in our lives we would have missed this action verb breaking through into our lives.

God allowed us the privilege of seeing Love cover us up. Friends blanketed us with words of encouragement, refocused our pain, and checked on us with words, written and spoken.

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I read the words of a blogger friend to The Patient One. And his response was “keep banging away.” We do feel like this, often, we writer/bloggers. That we are just banging it out.

But if I can bang out love, words of love, manifestations of love and God’s grace then bang away I will.

Though I wish there were a more poetic expression of writing than banging. But I bang like a loud cymbal or a drum if I am not writing and speaking of love.

So today I swim in the ocean of Paul’s beautiful words, again. And again. And every wedding and every occasion I can dive back into to this beautiful truth, I will.

When you have soaked in love and bathed in love and basked in love, you want to give it.

These days leading up to the cross, to the Lamb of God, I want to bang out love and point to the amazing love of Christ on the Cross.

Oh I am ready for the Lamb days of March. But I am grateful for what the roaring lion showed us too. And I want to pray “thanks” to a God who loves us so much it is sometimes unfathomable. Often incomprehensible.

And “thanks” to those precious friends who love us when we are hurting and scoop us up when we fall down. Broken, bruised, banged up but loved.

The best of the three is love. Truly.

Joining Jennifer today for #tellhisstory, Ann and Emily for Imperfect Prose

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