Monday, October 27, 2014

street sweeper

i walked tonight
72 degrees
clouds with peeks of sun
i walked
because i like to
but also because
i needed God to do what only He can
to fix my stupid attitude.
i had nothing to say
just steps.
i noticed things
first the crushed pieces of orange brown yellow
under feet and car tires
then the thought of a street sweeper
that brushes through all of the streets in grand rapids
and cleans our streets so that we don't drive
on the wet slimy slippery sludge
that would come with the first few snows.
then i saw l's new home
so close to mine still
and she, such a treasure to me.
i remembered the conversation that she had
just yesterday
with those 3 entrusted to her,
conversation about death and life
and that beautiful hope
because of that Father of ours.
then i thought of dreams that i've had
fully awake dreams
plans that i've made with Him
those hopes and joys and the things that
in the back of my mind
wait, still,
in the steps ahead of me
then i remembered those words written
that changed me, i think
those lines on the pages
that talked endlessly about awareness and gratitude.
and how it changes a person
always and absolutely
and how i have moved away from that habit
i let go of the awareness gratitude thankfulness
and took up instead
anxiety fear impatience cynicism judgment
and pride. so. much. pride.
an impossible-to-bear yoke
and so
i remember who my God is
and i tell Him with all the words i can
i remember who i am
i tell Him with as few words as i can
and i lay my requests there
maybe even with no words
and i wait

and i wait.

Psalm 130 (NIV)

A song of ascents.

1 Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
2 Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.
3 If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
5 I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
6 I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
7 Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
8 He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


j uses this word a lot
and she's probably taught me more about it than anyone else i know
the gentle reprimand
drawing my attention to the state of my heart
when i speak those words
out of self-preservation
and it is a gift to me
more than anything that i could accept into my hands
is the value of that kind of friendship
and she, among others,
with the soft call back to smallness
the recognition of my actual state before
the throne of Jesus.
and words, treasures, like these
cycle between my ears all weekend
it becomes apparent
that every inclination of my heart is only evil all the time
okay, maybe not quite so bad
needy nonetheless
very much
and those professors remind
every week
that the goal
is not critical spirits
but critical minds

and this song
on repeat
reminds and reminds and reminds
deuteronomy 8
that He alone is worthy of greatness
and the smallness, mine
that gift
and i am in the place for which i was designed
and this is the best place.