a prayer: honest poetry

my Father,

somehow I know tonight that you work in me,

even as I moan, weary of my sin disease.

I hate my flesh that loves all that is in the world;

the twin lusts and the exalting pride destroy me.

though a child of my own Father, I feel a bastard

and see the sickening resemblance of heart and mind

to the dark master in my past. I am weakness.

am I an invalid in the house of my Father?

why is victory wrung, and defeat commonplace?

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in which my art teacher scares me to death

Today after one of our art finals, the teacher gave us what he called “his speech.” Basically, he told us that we had to have enough of a passion for art to really, really work at it, because it wouldn’t be easy. We had to know what we wanted and be good at it, or, in his words, “the art world will chew you up and spit you out.” He rather scolded some of us for not giving our best or working at a college level. After he said “have a good summer” and we left, some of the students were happy that they wouldn’t have to see that teacher for three months… I think we were all intimidated and a little scared that we wouldn’t make it through the rest of our college career. Maybe some of them will change their major to business admin or humanities. Me? I am scared to death and have added a bunch of things to my “to do in order to be a professional artist” list. I do know, however, that God has made me an artist. I know how it feels to be so overwhelmed by beauty, that it results in a sort of sickness- a throbbing pain in the heart. I know the pressure of pent up self-expression and also the impatience of putting it all aside. I will not give up… I will give it my best!

the eagle: on flying high

“On a day in the autumn, I saw a prairie eagle mortally wounded by a rifle shot. His eye still gleamed like a circle of light. Then he slowly turned his head, and gave one more searching and longing look at the sky. He had often swept those starry spaces with his wonderful wings. The beautiful sky was the home of his heart. It was the eagle’s domain. A thousand times he had exploited there his splendid strength. In those far away heights be had played with the lightnings, and raced with the winds, and now, so far away from home, the eagle lay dying, done to the death, because for once he forgot and flew too low. The soul is that eagle. This is not its home. It must not lose the skyward look. We must keep faith, we must keep hope, we must keep courage, we must keep Christ. We would better creep away from the battlefield at once if we are not going to be brave. There is no time for the soul to stampede. Keep the skyward look, my soul; keep the skyward look!”

-Streams in the Desert

losing big money & trusting the Giver

This morning I found out that out of sheer stupidity, I lost a scholarship. Misunderstandings & missed deadlines removed the possibility of a very much needed payment on my tuition bill. It made me so mad I cried… I walked along to my dorm and said, “Why do  I have to fight so hard to do your will, God? You know, I could do something easier.” Both my parents and I have been working for years to make college possible, and it hurts me to see how much they are sacrificing for plane tickets, laundry, care packages, clothes… etc. I am paying for tuition with my own blood, sweat, and tears, and I just lost half of what I would make all summer long.

Then I read the Psalm that was open on my browser. “Our fathers, when they were in Egypt, did not consider your wondrous works; they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love, but rebelled… they soon forgot his works; they did not wait for his counsel.” I’m not going to pretend that everything is fine now, but I do know that God has brought me to my third year of college with no debt- He will certainly be faithful for the last two and a half years. Through the fire & the storm, I pray that I will still be able to look up and praise Him for His goodness and His wonderful works in my life. “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! And let all the people say, ‘Amen!’ Praise the LORD!” [Ps. 106:48]

 

love & the Great Commission… vs. me

Yesterday God gave me one of those revealing, uncomfortable experiences of showing me who I really am. He sent it by my accountability partner: “How do you think God wants you to fulfill your part of the Great Commission?” I wasn’t sure exactly, but knew I hadn’t been doing it.

And in the tossing that followed in my bunk in the dorm, God showed me that my entire life had been a quest for solitude and entertainment. Selfishness vs. love… comfort vs. the Great Commission … and always I end up on the wrong side. Is this how I give service to my Master? I have been trampling underfoot one of His two great commandments.

Where do I go from here? I know that I can’t wait until I magically start loving people. This love is not an emotion, but a choice to love as God loved when He let His hands and feet be driven through with spikes. It’s radical and sacrificial and comes from a heart fully surrendered to God… dear God, only You can do this in me.

“untouchable” – a poem

every day they spit at me, a sinner and a whore

they hold their robes aside and shrink from me,

the untouchable, with unspoken curses and disgust

yet, I know their whitewashed secrets, and I laugh

to see their haughty shame, avoiding my calls

pretending with urgency that they are clean.

today  I met a man who met my eyes clearly

no haunted lust, just purest knowing of me

and I, the untouchable,  met  true love.

news in town said He was with those  rabbis

the ones that hate women such as me.

never have I entered there, for I am untouchable

but I took my only wealth and poured it on Him

He, the first worthy man in my lonely life

I sobbed as He gazed, loving my untouchable touch

my views on dating…

Tonight I found out that I don’t even want to date. My roommates threatened to “set me up” with a premed major named Phil who “is really nice.” My excuse for refusing? I didn’t give one- just said I didn’t want to, thank you very much. Later I realized how deep my convictions had become without me knowing it. Because I believe that God has promised me that He will clearly show me the right man, I have decided to just wait. What’s wrong with dating? Nothing… but I know that God has a different plan for me. I know most people my age would consider me warped. [“How are you ever going to get married if you won’t date?”] etc. etc. You know what? This isn’t a gamble. My future marriage is in God’s hands just like my future career is and everything else about my life… and I am committed to leaving it there.

so love at 1st sight happens after all…

and I walked in the door with old friends,

but there stood a new one & he was polite

and we shook hands all around,

but when I got to him I waited for his hand first

because I didn’t want to be bold…

then he pretended to be hurt, and I said sorry

and in the laughing awkwardness I felt his grasp.

none of this cold fish business, but strong

and warm and willing. and dear Father,

he has the cutest grin. please, make him like me

and when I think of him, is it okay to want him

if I just pray instead of wishing? because

last night I fell asleep with his eyes in my heart

praying for him, and only him…

and I think I have never prayed so fervently

my future in semesters

Certain people in my life keep reminding me that the next semester is bearing down on me like a tornado. I wonder… when will I stop counting out my life in semesters? Right now my future looks exactly like this: semester, summer work, semester, winter work, semester, summer work, semester, winter work, semester. After that fateful last semester, all is question marks and hope and dreams. I get a kick out of people who ask me what I’m going to do with my studio art major, because I don’t know either. All I know is that God wants me to be an artist. I also know that He has my life all mapped out, down to the last destination. No worries.