Alive

You and I, we are so alike,
With similar flaws inside our minds we think many of the same thoughts;
Our actions are influenced by motives like emotions and beliefs
And our messy lives that somehow wiggle into everything.

You and I, we have the same look in our eyes;
I know you have memories spiraling deep inside,
A thousand regrets and a thousand things
You would do over again if you could
And believe me, I would too.

You and I, we have traveled the same road,
A road we were afraid to follow but I guess we really had no choice,
Because we were born with blood in our veins and steady, beating hearts
Which meant we were alive,

Only not just alive but alive as humans,
Born with open, reaching hands
And blinking eyes exploding with color,
Skin so soft and clear,
Mouths with which we make so many sounds
Like laughter
And weeping
And speaking.

See how far you have traveled since then?

I know you have
Hands sporting calluses and sun-kissed arms,
Hair stiff at the tips and circles under your eyes,
Scars and bruises and
Broken fingernails, freckles,
Maybe wrinkles when your face creases into a smile,
Gray strands in the folds of your hair;
Every mark on your skin hides a memory behind it,
And all of these things are signs that

You have lived.

You have lived
And you are living
And so am I, dear,
Because you and I,

We are human.

We are beautiful, beautiful beings
Created in the image of a beautiful Creator
With beautiful eyes and faces and hands,
And though in the midst of it we are so broken,
Though our skin is patterned with cracks that run deep,
Though we are stained with red streaks of all our mistakes,
We are loved by a Savior who renews us each day
At the hour we fall to our knees and lift our broken hearts
–With all those shameful cracks–
To Him.

You and I,
We are alike
In so many ways.

You and I,
We are human.

You and I,
We have lived.

We are not done living yet.

And so we stand together as we paint this beautiful messy canvas called life,
Because our fight is not finished and the war is not over,
But you and I, we will make it through.

We will finish the race.

At the end we will stand with our God and raise our voices in praise,
And you and I, we will be able to say,

“I have fought the good fight.
I have finished the race.
Here is my story,
For I have lived.

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Still

i saw her there one morning.

she leaned against the window,
elbows propped on the sill,
breath clouding the glass,
absent gray eyes searching.

what she was searching for
i didn’t know.

the house was quiet, but her mind was not.
inside there were a thousand questions.
i could almost see them swirling in her head,
pounding at her skull,
infecting her mind,
demanding for answers.

answers to what
i didn’t know,

but probably a thousand different things.

suddenly her hand snuck to the glass,
to a fogged circle,
created by her breath,
where her finger made contact
and then swirls were drawn there,
a maze of shaped lines,
a smile.

until she erased it and there was only glass.

i promptly saw her that afternoon.

she was in a window-seat, i think,
her knees pulled to her chest,
her head titled slightly to the side,
and there i saw her breath gathered upon the glass again.

not just her breath but steam from a mug;
the coffee swirled as her finger had in the fog the day before,
but these are only little things she noticed in her churning mind.

i look again now and see her reflection staring back.
questions are still pounding but they dissipate when i close my eyes,
for i am a daughter of the King of kings and i give him my doubt.

he gives me peace in exchange.

in the glass i see a reflection of the girl i’ve always known,
the girl i am.
the girl who thinks too much.
the girl who’s learning to be still.

Lord, i want to be

still.

I d e n t i t y

I really
don’t know
who I am.

I don’t quite know
if I prefer which color to which
or night to day
or rain to shine.

and even if I did
I can’t seem to find any
value in these vessels,
vessels that never
fill up or
fill me up.

I search relentlessly
for my identity,
an identity that is my own,
an identity that paints me in color
so I don’t have to be gray.

an identity that clothes me in truth,
an identity that points to what is real,
an identity that makes me solid because you see,
I am fading. I am becoming something false.

I search in people
for my identity
but I just can’t find myself
in them.

I search in
myself
but I don’t know if this is really me because
my hands keep returning
empty.

well,
I guess I like this
and I guess I like that
so maybe I can find myself in doing that,
and maybe I can be that.

but no.
even then,
there is still this hole
and I can’t
hold on
to the edges.

I keep trying to hold onto things
but everything is slipping from my grasp.
why can’t my hands hold tighter?
why can’t my lungs breathe better?
why can’t my mind think clearer?
why, why, why?

I remember something I read once
about how this world won’t satisfy the hole
we each have
in our hearts.

I thought I was the only one here
feeling this way
and I came to the conclusion that there was
no cure.

I wandered a graveyard of identities
searching for my own.
I was sure it had to be dead
but I couldn’t find it in all of those.

so now where do I go?

I stop here.

my hands tremble as I turn
thin transparent pages
with black lettering
I can lean close
and read as words.

It’s talking about setting my mind on things
above
and not on earthly things…
that I died
and my life is hidden
with Christ in God?

searching, searching,
pages are turning.
heart pounding,
life abounding.

everywhere in this guide I see
fingerprints so much greater than I
and whispers of
finding myself
in a loving God
who died for me…

that my identity is nowhere here,
nowhere on this place called
earth…

that I need to seek
what is above
and so I pray:

God
please
fill
me.

rapidly turning pages,
verses leaping before my eyes,
spirit lifting,
unexplainable joy floods my soul.

peace unfolds,
grace wins,
mercy flows….

and oh look.
I’ve found my
identity.


“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” ~Colossians 3:1-4~

Sometimes

sometimes i have trouble breathing.
sometimes i forget to breathe.
sometimes i lose my balance
on this thin walking beam.

sometimes i forget you’re there.
sometimes i forget to pray.
sometimes i’m afraid to call out;
will you even hear me today?

but you see, all this forgetfulness
is really just my ignorance
and maybe some is my pride.

i don’t like to need,
and i don’t like to think
that Someone is greater than me
so i hide.

i am not perfect.
i have so many flaws.

but in the midst of my remise,
upon the crashing waves of surrender,
you pick me up and hold me close
and breathe into me
l i f e .

you stir all these broken pieces
in my pool of shame
and tears
and regrets
and you. mend. me.

and i, i,
i can only accept your embrace,
and spin away to awash from a sea of grace
where you are waiting in all your glory
to hold me.

sometimes, sometimes….

sometimes i crack.
sometimes i break.
sometimes i fall.

but my God is always
there
to catch me.

always. not sometimes.

My Friend, the Blue Jay

It was an overcast evening
when you chose to flit past my window
like a bursting streak of blue against
mundane layers of gray wood.

You made your home near my windowsill
one rainy morning, nestled in branches
that glistened with raindrops
of a newborn tree I had planted yesterday.

You were a friend when the lonely days came,
when the wind swept by and chilled me to the bone,
when the leaves had fallen and long since disappeared
and even your tree was bare.

I remember leaning against the glass pane
and tracing swirls in the fog of my breath
while watching you dance lightly atop the straw
and feed your young family.

It was entertaining to watch them all grow up,
to watch you glide weightlessly through the air,
to watch the days fade away
behind your azure feathers.

But that was the past
and now you are gone
and I wait by the windowsill
for next year.