Joy – Letters From The Village

joy boat leland

(In this Lenten series, Letters From The Village, I am speaking out from the heart with my strugling voice, through a fading art form. Letter writing. Because? Why? There is a lovely intimacy between reader and writer which rests in the lines of a letter. Break the seal, open the thin glue lined envelope, pull the paper from its home in the nestled space and read.)

Dear Sad You,

Hold on tight to the Lover of Your Soul in these dark times. When much seems bleak and  the world is cloaked in hurt and you wear a heavy coat of confusion, cling and grasp your God. His very hand.

And if these times were not ,would you hold on tight like the barnacles on boat bottom, hull hold fast? Do you embrace hard, white-nuckle in need and cling as the Confederate Jasmine to the lamppost when all is calm?

This place of self-sufficient stillness leaves you untethered in pride and independence, one step away or farther from your Christ.

If not for the whirling times, the turbulent stirrings in your world would you rest assured, rest alone, one step away from the Comforter.

Dear sad one, it is hard, so hard to see in this fog of war, a war in your very world. But throw your life-line to the One who calms the seas and guards your boat and loves you with unfailing love. And know that Joy comes in the morning.

Grab hold in love. Squeeze tight the line. And put on the lens of faith. That on the other side is recovery from the squalls and lessons learned in rocky times. And the same God, unchanging, always loving, remains before the storm, through the storm, and on the other side.

Look through the lens of faith and trust. Look through the lens of faith and know.

Look ahead assuredly with a knowing. Joy comes in the morning. Read the unchartered places as chartered. Steer ahead in confidence and faith. Waver not. Worry not.

And begin to set the table of celebration during the pitch and toss of your vessel. Because when the waters calm and the swells die out, you will throw a party in your soul and celebrate what you now know anew.  You will glean the glory from the storm. And what is evident in the light will bring you closer to the Protector.

Sad one, celebration longs to throw her confetti high and colorful in the air. Where the winds of change can carry it away in joyous currents of rightful praise.

It will  sail away on the winds of sweet release.

And Joy will come and the Light will be radiant, blinding even. On the other side of the storm. The blinding blue sky hovers over the horizon of doubt and gloom.

Welcome Joy as she waits to reclaim her rightful place.

And rest in and on the safe place. Hover under the Protector’s coverage, safe and dry. Warm and loved.

Then tell. Speak of Him who brought you through.

Dear broken heart put on the lens of faith and wipe the fog from your shattered view. Restoration of the broken and recovery from the wreckage wait in love, right round the next turn.

Joy is sweeter, so much sweeter after the winds have whipped your ship and tangled your heart in the messy. After your time up on the rocky hard places, sip from the cup of Joy.

And the mystery of this is just that. The Joy tastes sweeter  after the choppy trip through rough times.

Then rest. Know He is good, your God.  And thank. Savor and see. That He is good. So good, sweet one.

Your Joy has come in the morning. Sing a song of praise.

be still know thank

joining Emily, Ann, and Jennifer

Dear Poet, Writer, Artist, Friend – Letters From The Village (Day 4)

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see

–edgar degas

facebook art

I understand a little better now.

Than I ever did before. About how you stare off with a wondering, wandering mind. How beauty is captured in the net of your imagination. Stored up and tucked away. For a moment while it grows.

Your gift, God given, gifts us all, the receivers of your art. You give us a lens through which to view the world in ways we could never dream. We see through eyes of artist you. And it is beautiful, indeed.

You, artist, writer, poet, friend, are co-creators with the God and creator of all, making beautiful new and offering it into the world. 

Using your eyes, hands, soul and heart you render offerings, take the stale and make it new, breathe new life into the dull, blow the dank and dusty off the weary, light us up with life-giving beauty.

Dear you, don’t stop. Pick up your pen and write us stories. Make us cry or laugh. Cause us to feel human in our loneliest moments, lowest times.

Inspire us when we lie in a place of uninspired repose. Blind to beauty, numb to life. Point us, lead us to every particle of God-beauty. Grace us with your art. Show us Him with paint and words.

Walk us to the very edges of creation and frame His glory with your artful gift.

Pick up keyboard, write a poem, one that aches as it tells of love and loss and life. Whisper into our souls and say I know, I hear, I see, you are not unto yourself, living on this side of Glory.

Pick up your palette and release the paint until it becomes a masterpiece of ships wrestling on the sea or children nestled on a mother’s lap. We will wait for stroke on stroke to flow from your finger tips, tips of brush, the very soul-notes that only you can sing.

And frame it as only you can frame, this life, with the singular vision of your soul. You, you turn kaleidoscope and slant and tilt us toward your art.

The earth is whispering to you sweet things that I cannot hear. Will you share with me?

I am missing out and missing much, but you redeem my blindness with your art.

You see it slant, so beautiful, will you write me songs of all that sailed right by when I was sleeping, lost at sea.

Will you write me love songs of this life, so I can sing and dance and sway my hips into the night.

We are hungry for your special gifts. Would you wrap them up in love, release them into this world. We are dry and brittle to the core and long to read your poems and listen long into the night to stories that you tell so sweet.

And if we fail to say thank you, can we tell you now how truly grateful we are for your art.  The tender workmanship of your hands. When you were flying high or sinking low or seeing life as only you can see, you created, offered your very self to your fellow man.

And we are changed. We are touched. We see life, anew.

Dear poet, will you write as only you can write. And wrap it, send it, share it please don’t hide it where it’s dark. Let light shine on it, in it’s radiant release.

And poet, songwriter, story-teller you, please let your words truly breathe. Then exhale in the light of day where we may smell the fragrance of each syllable and note. Each phrase and fragment of your word choice, the cadence of your heart.

You photographer, our eyes would miss so much if not for brave and beautiful you. You walk soft up on beauty, click in perfected rhythms as the earth breathes in, breathes out.

Dear artist, hold your pen, grasp your brush, hover over keyboard, piano keys, journal pages, canvases for all the art and lay your gift, your offering out before for a very grateful world.

The human heart receives your art and off the lips of all man rolls a chorus of sweet thank yous.

Now artist go make art. Now artist go use your gift. Go find your voice. Go create. We wait.

I understand a little better now.

new fave for art quote

Joining Laura, Heather, Jen and  Ann

Bend, Bow, and Bare “Letters From The Village” – Day 3

Day Three in the series “Letters From The Village” in which I pen a poem of praise, writing as if in letter form to the bending bowing limbed beauties. The wood from which the cross was cut and hewn.oak park tree my fave

trees in oak park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

trees skyward

Bend, Bow and Bare

You teach us well the lessons
How to bend and bow
To stand and lift, turn toward the sacred
Stretched skyward in tall praise.

You show us well the lessons
Of how to bare a soul, strip down to  simple naked frame
Stand stark, vulnerable, 
No covering to hide the shame or blight

You live well this life of shedding, pruning back
Of cutting back dead wood, this vital piece, the
Part that leads to vibrant verdant growing, new life
I watch you walk through seasons dignified, majestic, stark to full

Simple beauty,

I stare, eyes fixed in silent solemn  awe,

I gaze on your reverential stance displayed in vertical repose

Dear Ones who show us how to bend and sway rooted deep in soil of life
You lift up strong, your limbs in praise
And bear your radiant fruit in due time
You who holy held the son of God on wood hewn cross He bled

the sins of all were carried on His back while nailed, obedient, to you.

The pain, the nails

The perfect sacrifice.

And so we bow

and bend lower, lower still

lower day by day inside the shadow that you cast for us, recall His holy sacrifice

The bark, stump, root, limb, leaf, bud and branch

Metaphor for us,

We the people of the cross.

We bend, we bow

We break, we bare,

We look to wooden ways, the forest and the trees.

amen ,no alleluia’s at this time, stark worship on these days

Remembering

The stump, the root, the cross, a final sacrifice received

Bent humbly, praising God

You teach well these lessons

Of both the  forest and the trees.

big bent tree sepiatrees, moss, bluetree cowpraying praising tree