A Tale Of Two Churches, A Tale of Two Holidays

A Tale of Two Holidays

It is snowing in places which don’t see much snow. And there is a white out. An indistinguishable cloaking of celebrations. Is it Thanksgiving time, is it Christmas time. They are morphing and blending into a hybrid one. She can see a blur of holiday on the horizon. It is one, no it is two.

Yesterday we bought lights. I said we can hang them but not plug them in. Preparing, but straddling. Doing something, but remaining decidedly present in a Thanksgiving mindset. I am glad we did neither. Because for our home, spiritually and physically, we slowed down for Thanksgiving. We freed up mental space, spiritual room for more of Thanksgiving.

Unless I burrow down and turn off more of the world, I will continue to hear and see early Christmas. And that is okay, because I can look to and dwell on the birth of Christ in the rooms of my heart. And prepare Him room.

But I want a Thanksgiving-tide a season focusing on everything that is. I want a little separation of heart space. To be a thanksgiving family. To be a thanksgiving mother. To focus my energy for a least a few more days on extreme gratitude. So that I can fuel up my heart for the other 364 days, to be a year-round person of thankfulness.

In just a few more days it will be Black Friday. Admittedly I want to hide, run away from all that day represents. I can choose not to participate, yes, always.

Maybe one day the day following Thanksgiving can be re-named “The Day of Residual Thanks”. Where we are so full, not of food and excess, but of gratefulness and gratitude that it spills out. Everywhere. Marking the world, telling other souls of what joy is found in living a life colored grateful. Not black. But the colors of extreme joy. For whatever we have. For just what we have. And just be. A Thanksgiving People, once again.

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A Tale Of Two Churches

She stepped off the front stoop of her little brick
home

Turned right, past the prayer labyrinth
Walked, thirty seconds
in her Alice gait, I am late for a very important date
blown by brisk winds at her back

Turned the knob of the old door, worn and gray
And entered into a sacred salty Sunday
Sanctuary, the church named for a saint

taking her seat beside him, it is now almost their pew
doing that claiming a seat thing that Protestants like to do
Wriggling in close to him to warm her soul, her body
too, touched by the cold
Her seat, worn red velvet, she thinks to herself
Frozen in time, there is nothing in this world she could possibly
Need, she is here
Saying the Nicene Creed
And the Eucharist and the Hymns
Hemmed in by him and extravagantly humble stained-glass
Blinded by beauty, familiar
She is home
Where the baby garbles a sweet uh-oh
And the gray-haired  lady,so regal and tall and very very old
Coughs and clears her aging throat
Where the sermon sings  truth where good news comes giddy
announced to the almost full pews
“we bought a water buffalo.”
Oh she is home.

But  when she stepped off the stoop
She could have turned left, too
Turned the key on the SUV
Turned left then left again on Hightway Seventeen
Driven down the four-lane road
Littered not with trash
But with splattering scenes of the sea
And salt marsh grass
Yes
She could have turned the door
Of the rather new church
Built with the reclaimed
Wood, to look old
Starred at the old rugged cross
While listening to the very new
Songs of praise

She holds a dual-citizenship
Feels a bit bilingual
As her heart lingers
Straddles two sanctuaries
And she wonders
Whose idea was it
After-all
To be forced to make a decision
About church and worship.

She may be a very long while
In this place
Of indecision, spiritual ambidextrious
Raising her hands, no, now leaving them down
Living within the body of Christ
A soul without the physical walls
Of a holy home.
Stretched, yet happy
Halved, yet whole
Wandering, yet not lost
No not at all.

A member of the body
The body of Christ,
Alone.
And she is at peace at last
At home.

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Joining Laura Boggess at Laura Boggess dot com for Playdates At The Wellspring

And Michelle DeRusha at Michelle DeRusha dot com

Grieving and Rejoicing

wpid-2012-06-29-13.00.59.jpgA co-mingling of
A grief so heavy handed
Sip by sip we drink of it
And the quenching does not come
The grief of man seems never ending
Life in grieving is prolonged
The heart so heavy finds no solace
From sharp pain the season long
The heart ripped open in the sadness
The depth of loss defined in terms brand new
The weary souls of hearts beat different in this sea of sad
And tremble, quake at news of death

But somewhere while the tears still wet
And as the human heart is weak with pain
The glimpse of Light and then bright rays
Will shine anew Hope, co-mingled with the pain
As healing comes, no matter at what rate
As healing comes in mercy wrapped in love’s still fragile lace
As healing comes and joy streams mingling,
Mixing with rivers of life’s salty tears
Our Hope in present darkness sings to hearts
And Love born in a manger, Love radiant will
Proclaim, that though the pain in life cuts deep
A manger holds life’s Comforter and Healer
And we will, we will rejoice again

And while the pen that writes the words
Is colored, shaded in charcoal greys or
Ebony black sorrow monochromes
A Hope restored brings Love anew
Creating slowly colors, brilliant Hope’s bright hues
And writes a love note to the hearts of men
And wipes the tears on cheeks and weary souls
Proclaiming Love and Hope and Christ’s Love
Still makes mercies new, all the mornings
Of all the days to come, everyone
Replacing broken fractured with healed and whole
Co-mingling tears of weary grieving
With those of a weary world’s rejoicing
A world still grieving
Will see a day, in days to come
Of Hallelujahs, broken
Still Rejoicing
Rejoicing still over
News of Comfort and Joy
Comfort and Joy
And though faint and weak,

Alleluia Anyway

 

Joining Laura for her Play Dates at the Wellspring

 

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Adagio: A Christmas Poetry Project–Black Night Of Hope

blades of grass adagio project

Adagio: A Christmas Poetry Project

We are writing together. As we did a little while back( click the Adagio Poetry page tab at the top of the site’s home page). And we would love for you to join us. Holly and I and each one of you. There is a beautiful hymn, a song, sung by a  friend of Holly’s. This is our inspiration for Adagio: A Poetry Project, here in this Advent Season. Here, with Christmas upon our hearts. Listen here to Born In The Night Mary’s Child.

Holly’s offering can be found here, at A Lifetime of Days. 

It would be our hope, our desire, and it would bring us joy if you would allow us the privilege of reading your words, poetry or prose. Just add your link to your art in the comments here and at Holly’s. We are all travelers toward this Christmas Day in this Christmas Season with expectant hearts.

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Black Night Of Hope

Walk us, with us
Pray we now
Fabric frail our worn out covering
Wind howls through thin flesh

World’s cold wind blows cruel
But He, was born of you
To shield in love, save from cruel sin
Bone tired weary we and you

Cradled Him , sheltered Christ
Under covering black of night
Though radiant beams from
A Child’s face would tell of Holy

Graceful Mother out of town
Traveler on a road of dirt, dust
Let us grasp your servant heart
And sing of Holy Sacrifice

Sacred offering in the night
Reconciled hearts, gloria in excelsis deo
We proclaim the birth of King
From your very mother’s womb

And Hope was birthed in stall with muck
On cold, in winter, still of night
That when the sting of death and sin
Would weigh us down

A broken fragile mankind now is
Changed, we walk free with
Broken chains
You birthed our Hope

One still dark night
Black night of Hope
We, weary
World rejoicing

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The Spice of Love

love rootHe by the fire

And I all folded up

under Tartan holding mug of dark hot piping black

Designing gifts of love

And I can see the yellow,house

Through window pane

And wonder

How you multiply a batch of baked and make it fill up all the cracks

And holes of days throughout the three

six

five

when quietly we live across, beside

Angled  on this street so quiet

How do we add enough to make up for lost words

A silence living in the quiet days and nights on quiet

Street, we chose, they chose

A peaceful avenue of still

Which spice can shake out love come down

And fill a heart up full to overflowing

And say I love my neighbor, golden

As myself

Its not the dozens from the oven’s

heat

Its simply love of Christ poured out

And empty handed we could go and take

A batch of baked up

served up

cooked up

 Christmas Love

heart bright in wood

And when the days that roll around
and cause a heart to spill
resolve
and resolutely
make a list
of all that will be different
in the year
the one
found when the page
is
turned

and

twenty thirteen
has a way of making all things
new
a wish can roll right off the heart
as I stare at the house
yellow through my pane
that I would deliver
Christmas Love
On all the days
Not simply one
To all the doors

not simply mine

that

sit in wait
for Christmas Love
Come down
All year

Round

Delivered Daily

not just sprinkled in one batch

no, love come down all year round

I stare at yellow through my windowpane

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Joining Amber at The Run A Muck for her concrete word prompts. The Spice Of Love was written out of the word prompt cinnamon. 

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