As much as it depends on me I’ll lose, I’ll defer, I’ll wait.
Not because I’m weak, even though I am. Not because I’m less than, even though I happily consider you greater. Not because I’m not able, not willing, not right. But because I want to walk with you through the night. Through the light. Through the hard days and long days and everyday normal days.
As much as it depends on me I’ll look for ways to bridge a connection between you and me and the everlasting.
As much as it depends on me I’ll make a home, a good pot of soup, a place to relax and laugh and hold each other. Not because I’m stuck here. Not because it’s home. But because I want you to know that home is a place you’ve only felt a little of here.
As much as it depends on me, I’ll keep walking with you. I’ll slow down, even stop, even wait, even ache, even bear the pain of all the shame that comes with forgiving. Not because I can’t escape. Not because there is no other way. Not because you are my only way to feel whole. But because I’ve already found the way.
I’m already promised Shalom. I’m already alive and free and no one can take that from me. I lay it down willingly.
This year I watched the world burn with anger and lies I watched my sons wallow in the mire and I prayed.
This year I watched my friends build theories about conspiracies and I watched my neighbors wave their flags high.
This year I heard cries for justice from the least of us among us and felt strange disdain from those who I thought would claim the fame of Jesus and gladly refrain from blaming
…but they didn’t.
This year I heard a woman say, “I can’t bear the grief anymore,” while one side of her body tried to dragged her to the floor and I stood close and propped her up and helped her see the ones she loves through the window on the third floor.
This year I cried for deliverance “How long,” can I keep asking you to grant repentance?
This year I felt overwhelmed by the throngs of elders left alone to let someone else find them shelter
and we stood by.
This year I sat next to Job and decided to shut my mouth and hold his hand.
This year I opened my mouth and said, “Follow Jesus with me!” to the friend who cried not knowing what she could possibly do with her falling apart life.
This year I realized I couldn’t see past the thorn in my side and the plank in my eye and almost decided to give up.
But what? What is there to let go of except the delusion and illusion that this coming year or another person would bring Shalom.
This year made me long more for home and King and the ones he’s redeemed.
I “teach” a preschool class at my church a couple times a month. It’s not really teaching, it’s an effort in preventing total rebellion amongst 4 year olds for 1 hour. This poem was sparked by how God always uses those kids to teach me what it’s like to be part of his family. When I sit down, on their level, pull out some food, and read them a story about Jesus… their rebellion stops and they listen. It’s a testimony to me. I wrote this for a writing contest at Fathom Mag, and although I wasn’t a selected winner for the contest, I loved trying to condense my feelings about God’s work through 4 year olds into appropriate words.
Condescend to crisscross thighs
Offer of gummy fruit
Brings instant mute
Rebellion invaded with feast
Snack and story
One came to our waring
Offered body, bread and juice
Start with yarn
Begin with listen
Commence to lake
Make a loop
Pull the line
It’s all in the forearm
Just a whip
Now do this
Tall young men
Wise fisher woman
It’s not boring
The breeze slowed
Line now dances
Without folding mid-throw
Fly in the water