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May 2009

Make me human, Lord.
Gentle and soft to the touch,
Quick to find joy in the
Everyday and the commonplace.

Make me human, Lord.
Teach me how to be hurt
So I may heal and forgive
Those hurting humans around me.

Make me human, Lord.
Let those who see me see You
In your humanity—
Weak yet strong,
Humble and wise,
Patient and kind.

You made Yourself human,
Imperviousness taking on vulnerability,
Infinity becoming visible, palpable.
Then You came to live in me.
Make me human, Lord.
Let me so dwell in You
Who lives in me
That I know I’m safe,
Safe to be me,
Safe to be real.
Human.
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May 2009

I’m going to go back to
Not being human;
The more human you are
The more easily hurt:
Complexities misunderstood,
Comments misinterpreted,
Soft heart opened up
And then stepped on by
Eager expecting feet—
Some of them your own.

I’m going to go back to
Not being human;
The more human you are
The more easily you hurt:
Slow reflexes miss immediate needs,
Selfishness sucks life from others,
Clumsiness mis-times comments
That tread on others
Creating confusion rather than
Infusing peace.

I’ll build myself a shell
Impervious to the elements,
The same in fair weather
And foul.
I’ll cover my too-
Readable face with hardness
So no stray expression
Will play me or you
False.
I’ll eradicate my needs—
My hunger, my weariness—to
Enable endless service,
Mathematically rule out
Painful Imprecision.
I’ll be the perfect servant.

I’m going to go back to
Not being human.
The more human you are
The less trustworthy.
No more mistakes,
No need to be forgiven.
Finally existing for the
Good of others only:
Utterly useful—
Painlessly disposable.

This song was just what I needed to hear today. And with the approaching anniversary of September 11 approaching, it seems to be appropriate for the time, too.

Beholding glory
Comfort, trust, sufficiency
God raises the dead
2-8-2011

This last portion of the poem deals with the one word that seems to be impossible–hope. Because that is the message of the Resurrection. Hope. Hope for new life that springs from the inside and changes us for eternity. Hope because the One who knew no sin became sin for us so that WE MAY BE MADE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM. That’s hope. And not the wishful-thinking kind. It’s the hang-your-hat-on kind. The lay-your-every-waking-moment-on-the-line kind of hope. Expectation.

I’m standing at the tomb
His tomb
My tomb
Your tomb
Dare I hope to see an angel
Announcing over empty grave-clothes
The Impossible has happened?
Where does my heart,
My death-wounded heart go
to find Your Resurrection?
Like Martha, I believe
You are Who You Are—
God, the Son of God,
The Resurrection and the Life.
Can this belief become
the spice I bring to mourn the dead?
Here is where we dwell:
We dwell with Death—
death of loved-ones, hopes, and dreams
Should I really be
Surprised that You should die?
It’s not ok
But I’m used
To it, to death
There’s always one more tomb.

But Yours is empty
Empty, hollow, vacant—
Incomprehensibly absent
Is the corpse I came to find.
“Because I live, ye shall live also”
Was Your promise,
A promise just as impossible,
Just as improbable—
Teach me to believe!
For now, just help me trust
In You, the One I’ve come to know.
I know You’ll read my message
When I send to You saying,
“Lord, the one You love is sick, is dead.”
You’ll come, e’en though he’s dead,
Because You love him, too.
I’m waiting for the glory of God
Promised by You,
Incomprehensibly impossible.
Hoping, waiting, believing
That You defeated Death.

Jesus, I need
Your arms and blessing
Enfolding and securing me
So I can remember
What it is
To be a little child

Where is my discomfort in your love?
What am I afraid of?
Falling.

these thoughts came from reading an Elisabeth Elliot piece called “Dwell in Christ, Dwell in Love” from her devotional book The Music of His Promises

What is unsettling
Me? Why am
I not “serene and whole”
And at home in
Your love? Is it because of
Remodeling?
Redecorating?
Some building project
Restructuring
The fabric of
My heart? Is it that
I have run away from home–
Camped out?
Taken up
Temporary residence
Elsewhere?
Or is it something else
Altogether different yet
Not so dissimilar?

Don’t give it to me if it’s not mine to keep.
Don’t offer what isn’t my due.
Those terms and conditions that nobody reads?
Not “Nobody” reads them–I do!
If terms and conditions attach to your gift,
Show them to me, and I’ll sign,
So I won’t be surprised when it’s taken away–
I’ll remember it never was mine.

Don’t give it to me if it’s not mine to keep.
Don’t offer what you plan to use.
Or give me some signal to hold in reserve
Those things you don’t want me to choose.
I took what you said at face value and then
Discovered too late what you meant.
I sometimes forget that you’re still merely human–
No matter how kind the intent.

Life, like the Sea,
Is fickle, unpredictable.
Some things, like tides and waves,
Can be anticipated; myriads
Of factors influence the rest.
Total preparation is impossible.

(found this in perusing old journals today, Aug 24, 2010 . . . was both amused and encouraged!)

Tuesday, January 27, 2004
written after reading MEN OF IRON by Howard Pyle

Lord and Master,
how weary I be in “well-doing” Thou wottest all to well of. Yet, peradventure I be not doing even half so well as Thou wouldest desire and dost deserve.

Arm me within to the challenges I must face ere my race be run–be they challenges glamorous or tedious, be they adventures dreadful or monotonous. Strengthen my resolve by Thine omnipotent right arm.

Champion I would be, yet have I the heart of a child and the will of a peasant. My champion Thou must be else my defeat is certain.

Nerve me to face whatever may be my lot. I know not whether I be fitted for greatness and victory or no. Thou knowest. Frame me and fashion me to play the part Thy wisdom hath written for me.

One boon I would ask of Thee: preserve this manly faith within my heart. Cause Thou my soul to trust in Thee through continued glimpses into Thy loving heart and superior wisdom. Let me know mine own foolishness that I may know Thy magnanimity. Burnish my shield of faith.

Every time I lay me down to sleep,
I give myself to You, O Lord, to keep;
Your arm my shield while I rest, unaware;
I place into your keeping all my care.

Oh, God of dust and rainbows, help us see That without dust the rainbow would not be. ~ Langston Hughes

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