These Are The Days, Sacred and Holy

rolled tile roof in oak parkSometimes we just want to cry out loud Mercy at the top of our lungs. Mercy come rain over me. Mercy take me away to some physical and figurative place of peace. Mercy when will it get easier to raise a child. And this boxed in place of not enough, of  at the end of my rope and really, really still and again. It can leave a girl choosing wrongly to place a quantative value on a day. This one is good. This one is very very good. And this one was horrid. There was something to the girl and the curl and the measurement of her behavior. Good was very and bad was horrid.

But these days.  We stumble and name. Give up and give in. Give a grade or an adjective, undeserving of labels,these days. Really, these up and breathing and seeing life beating and blood flowing days. They are sacred and holy. Each one.

Because these are the days of breathing deep and living wide open. And of seeking and creating. These are the moments of loving and building. Of learning and grasping. Of holding and treasuring. Of serving and glorifying. Of offering hope and creating beauty out of the ash.

So the days when we shake a fist at the sky and rail and cry and name the day broken or less than. Well, it just shortens the days of our living, robs self of self.Bleeds them dry with the worry and the tears. Robs them of potential slivers of joy by wrapping them up in the brown-paper wrapping of plain or uninspired. Too filled with pain or sadness to be labeled glorious. Snuffs out the creative and puts a dark mask of blindness on the eyes of the living.

But with the few I have, the ones I am gifted ,granted, don’t I want to maximize the breath and the life in each. How can I put an end to the labels of the days of pain, the desert days, the days of mourning and weeping and wailing. And instead see them each as a perfectly jig-sawed piece to the whole of the puzzle. Each worn and torn frament as a vital and necessary piece of the tapestry of a pulsating life.

How do I wrangle the worn out and worn down and weary and weave them into golden glory. Re-create the mud-pie meals and make them gourmet edible delicacies after all, because its what I have. Recreate the broken and see it as healable redeemable and lovable after all. Because of His life and death. Because of His power.

Because it is life and life is it. This place of in the middle of unknowing and uncertainty, of one day soon it will make more sense and we will see better and clearer and it will be redeemed.

I know about seasons of living. The seasons of pain and the ones of pure joy. But what of the days which can’t be painted with strokes of meaning. Which seem longer than a season and in need of a new naming. The long cycles of questions and not quite clear, the blurry and bleary and tear-stained days.

What of the long periods which feel like they may never end. The repetition of the same recycled hurt and struggle. Where complete healing and total transformation seem to elude this life.

What of making and re-making these days into the best they can be and give, in spite of, despite. What of dropping the measuring sticks of worth and naming all the days as all the days. Each one  the sun up and sun down, moon up and moon down and all the in between. And we do seek extra hard and we squint and we squint some more and strain,on some of these crying out days. The loud mercy days.

I need you to help me reframe the days. To see the beautiful where I can only see hurt. To hold me where my mercies cry out loud and deafening. I need you to be his hands and feet and to catch a tear . To  help me salvage and save what is right here for the living and loving through the pain, inspite of the pain.

Despite the struggle, I need to define the beauty. And the lovely. And the worthy of praise.

When the crying out mercies seem to overshadow the new mercies where does the heart sit and find her rest, the soul her peace. Catch me brother, catch me sister and hold me in the arms of your strong Christ-love.

Catch my tear when the seemingly endless repetition of the wearing down and worn out and numbing pain send me back into the shadows. Pull me out with reminders of light and life with the strength of your Christ-love.

And sister, brother may I do the same for you. Help you frame the pain with a new lens of redemption and healing. Sit with you in the no-matter what’s that come. Hold you in the painful places of grief and loss, of despair and sorrow. Hold you as Christ would, love as Christ does and encourage you to walk forward into the days of healing.

Walk it out when I am weary, be my rod when I am crippled in my place of wandering wondering. And be my strength when I am weak.  Be my peace when I am warring with myself and wrestling with my soul. Be my gentle in my hard places, glimmers of light when hope is dim.

Be Christ for me, brothers and sisters. And teach me how to be Christ for you.

Walk with me into the days, the days of  the holy living, each and every single glorious one.

 Live out the days of breathing, as they are sacred. And as they are holy.

And live out the days, sacred and holy – together – in shared awe and wonder at it all. All. Every. Single. One.

Because these are the days of our lives. These are the days of the holy given.

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joining Laura at Laura Boggess dot com and Jen at finding heaven today and Heather at Just Write.

Shelly and Duane.

(note: a day or two after this original post, I have added a word or two more. writing evolves and changes, sometimes, as the heart of the writer hears and sees more, different, and new)

the cabin in the woods 2 exterior

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April, Fool

house camelias

Dogwood blossoms bounce on twig ends
Like lace doilies doing a jig aboard a Charleston green joggling
Board
With the cold and old dead leaves
Bouncing up and down outside
The window still wears winter
While acorns dive bomb the roof like Japanese fighter
Pilots pelting the earth, releasing the heavy artillery on
Pearl Harbor’s ships
Floating unknowing, waiting for the unforeseen
All of this bouncing in the wind
Like a lost line from a Dylan ballad
As if some long awaited answer to a question asked in the 1960’s
Will come landing in the yard blowing in on the next flight
On the tail of the windswept tumbleweeds, dried leaves
Of remnant winter winds
The earth is stuck in between a gear shift
Winter to spring like a sixteen year old driving
Grinding, the transition is that of a novice
Grating from, to without well-oiled perfection
Shifting not smoothly from one to the other

No the cold wind still whirls like a flushed toilet bowl cyclone
As a frozen and confused squirrel with an acorn the size of a grapefruit
Stares his cold stare straight through the dirty window
And asks with his eyes
Is there room in the inn it is cold and wintry here in the yard
Blackbirds serenade a shrill birdsong, trilling as if gargling,
The sound a constant attempt at announcing spring
Their overhead conversations sound like an underwater melody
Muddled and muted
Like these early spring days
The tempting temperatures dip and dive
Then rise, like a flirty girl raising her skirt
Then dropping it down again just as we warmed
To the thought
Of Spring
It mocks a bit in its procrastinating
Giving us hot flashes, then cold
Like a menopausal woman
The earth drags along
Forgetting to turn the page to the next
Season
We are stuck in the inbetween
As the boinging sound on tinned  roof clamors from raining down
Deadwood and nuts
Keeps syncopated rhythmic time to the symphony of songbirds
Serenading the hot pink garish blossoms of the Azalea bush
Excuse them, they no not what they do
Rushing the season and  loudly overdressed
Their gay pink frocks
Make us cry out a little louder
Buried and weary
Worn out by winter’s wiley ways

Yet the dogwoods sway and swing keeping time to the earth’s broken timepiece
Tocking when it should be ticking
Ticking when we thought we had arrived a tocking
A cruel game of wait and see
What April Fools are we

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Joining tweetspeak poetry book club, Poemcrazy, by Susan G. Wooldridge

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Beautiful Broken

wisteria cross

Maybe the best way to write of the broken, to tell of the broken, to bleed words of broken, is  in a broken way. And that is all I have any way. Outside of The One Who Makes Things Whole and New. The Great Restorer Of All Broken.

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Why do I miss the beautiful in the broken, when the broken is the beautiful. At first glance I saw a dried flower. Crooked, bent and missing petals. At second glance I saw through a lens of grace and true beauty.

I played and basked in the warm early Spring sun, wrapped in layers of warmth. My body warmed by clothing. My soul warmed by her children. Their creativity and passion for living called out to me. Called out to my needy soul. Their invitations  to enter into a world of imagination were beautiful and trusting. We had never met. But we were lost in the world of playful discovery for two of the happiest hours of my week, this Holy Week. I was renewed, my dry bones in need, by two children who took me from my broken adult world, into their precious world.

My joy came from their contagious child-like joy. To see through the eyes of little ones with their unbridled thirst for twirling and running and dancing. For going as high in the sky as the swing will go. Brave and bold. Their hunger for a story of imaginary brides and their clover bouquets. And eyes that see dirt as a canvas.

I looked at the dried hydranga. And though it is my favorite flower and the one that I long to see bloom in the spring, I missed the beauty upon first glance. And then the artist eyes of Kelly revealed the beauty to me, anew. Fresh. Glorious beauty in the broken. Do you see the transformation from broken to beautiful. The tender way her fingers hold this fragile flower.

How many times must I be shown the beauty in the broken.

He reveals it to me fresh and new, in His patient way. And I am  a child learning  again.

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cross on a wall

I keep returning to this picture taken by a friend, my dearest. I have spent time staring at its broken beauty. The wall is gray, the day was
gray, the one when we stumbled on this wooden cross. But what shines through is the rugged beauty, tilted beauty and simple truth about the cross. Here there is no gold, nor diamonds or even turquoise or silver. Here there is wood, faded and barely hanging on.

There is beautiful broken redemptive love shining through the gray.

And I am learning to see the beauty in the broken. And to seek the broken and find true beauty there.

That is what I am and He loves me in my broken, shattered, imperfect, fragile state. And sees even me as beautiful.

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The new life is seeking to push through the cold dark winter that does not want to end. And daily I am wrapping around the needs of the broken
lives of friend. We pray for each other. Cry out in pain to one another. Please, please pray.

And I write down the names and the list is long. And I read the news and shutter and walk away. At the brokeness. At the pain and despair.

But the beautiful part is that He knows, sees and feels every ounce of my pain and hurt. That my trembling is held in the hands of the Healer. And that He hears the weakest of prayers and the feeblest muttering of my heart as I intercede for my family, friends, and strangers.

We are broken but held, broken but heard, and broken but Loved.

And  I can take it all in my broken strides and my limping gate to an Easter cross where the Savoir arises from the dead and the broken body is made whole.

There is so much glory in the broken.

And I am learning to seek understanding as I  wait for the re-creation of broken to whole.

As I look upon that wondrous cross…

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I see beauty and my heart cries out for Him.

He is making everything Easter new. That news is worthy of loud praises, shouts of Alleluia and twirling and dancing like a child, a child of God. Write it down, in the dirt of the earth. Write it down and remember.

Finally,  I am learning again and again  to see through a lens of His amazing Grace, the beautiful in the broken.

With and through the eyes of a child.
wrecked house boat

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Joining Michelle and Jennifer

Learning To Live As A Child

spencer with butterfly on handI sat in the middle of a field of clover yesterday, cold spring wind chilling my bones while my insides were warmed by discovery.
I sat in the middle of a playground yesterday, not as a mother or grandmother, but as a new friend to small children.

And I walked through the backdoor of childhood and saw the world through the portal of wonder. It was as if I were a little Alice for an hour or two. But you don’t get there in the blink or the nod or the snap you might think.

No it is a slower dance than even I thought it would be.

Re-entering the world of little ones. You walk gently into sacred territory with respect and eyes wide open to wonder.

And it looks like  preparing for a make believe wedding with clover bridesmaids bouquets. And it smells like dirt balls thrown high to the sky. They are snow or dirt or sand. You speak it and they are changed.It feels like ice-cold metal chain. You hold the chain while you push the swing and if its March and Spring is late, the metal is cold as blocks of ice on your trembling flesh.

When I pulled the white down comforter up over my memories of the day and tucked myself into bed I remembered. I remembered what I learned from being a child, the stirring of emotions my backdoor entrance into childhood kept me awake. I longed to hold on to the day that I knew could not be repeated. Not one of them can.
I can still smell the clover, sweet and fresh. I lifted the flower to my noise over and over this day trying to recall if I remembered this fragrance.

But it smelled new to me. As so much of the day felt new. How had I forgotten the smell of clover or had I never recorded it in my youth.

Had I let my self grow so far away from the mystery and wonder of seeing the world as an Alice?

I asked my new friend who is five or so to see if she could find a four leaf clover. And then I waited for her return. Sweet excitement in her face, she brought back a hand filled with new discovery. That a four leaf clover can be a three leaf clover plus one borrowed leaf from another. That life can be viewed and seen in so many different ways. We limit ourselves as adults. I looked down at the three leaf clover plus the ripped piece from another, sacrificed to total four. Amazed by her creativity, I long to see the world with saucer-shaped eyes. To see it slant in all its mysteries.

At her invitation into child’s play, I entered into a game of hide and seek and found so much more than my friend hiding behind a tree trunk. I re-discovered play and release of the bondage of adult sensibilities, if just for a few minutes. Life is full through the eyes of a child. We watched dogs race and return a thrown ball to their human. And we found squirrels’ nests nestled in the bare tree limbs. And in these frozen moments on a cold spring day, I stared at a squirrel scratch an itch behind his ear. And helped my friend see two messy nests. Where have I been looking if not up. How have I missed so much.

And in throwing a baseball back and forth with her three year little brother, I observed meekness, gentleness, and forgiveness when the ball hit hard on her back. I learned in an afternoon in the park what I needed to tuck into my soul for a refresher course. I needed remediation on play.

I needed to count and run and watch a made up disco dance. And say good job. My soul was hungry for looking at art drawn in the sand with a stick. My soul needed  to watch a paper plate soar as a frisbee on a windy day. My imagination lay dormant more than I knew. Until it was cracked open a bit at the hand of a wildly creative girl and her brother.

Discovery came through the eyes of a child, on a cold day, in a park in Charleston. When the world of an adult was frozen, thankfully in time. And a dormant imagination began to  wake up to the new world that waits all around.

I was Alice for a day because of  friendship and a playdate. One boy and one girl helped me see the world through the eyes of a child. And I am learning to live as a child again.

spencer gets a shot from the top

Joining Jen and Heather.

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