31 Days of Poetry{day 29} Seen

i’ve seen god walk in

upon the tail winds

of a hurricane.

felt the wind

pull on what tethers me

to this earth, this life,

watched everything

bend to him.

but sometimes–

god arrives, silent and slow,

on the back of my housecat

(wanderlust overtook him)

after i’ve given up hope.

Signs of the Weary

Weariness marks its territory all over my desk.

Paper piled up, a few stray candy wrappers, a soda half-consumed. This is weary, my weary. Long work days and nights squeezed out the life force, the vibrance. Also, the will to clean. Spread out all over the corner desk, I leaf through school work, junk mail fliers, coupons to spend at stores I don’t shop. Behind my eyes, my head aches, but I continue plodding along. Stiff muscles and hands throb reminding me of my long work day tomorrow too.  Over and over, my mind races through my schedule and where I need to be and when every one else in this family needs something or go somewhere. As if a giant calendar lived inside my mind, I berate myself with all the must do’s, the needs, the events.

Weary, no longer abstract, looks like me.

I try to write, but even then, weary creeps in and becomes my muse. Sitting at my desk, I type out words and conversations for my novel only to get my word count up for #NaNoWrimo. But weary isn’t the kind of muse I want. It sits on my shoulder and reiterates how the words I am writing break every rule touted by established writers. More importantly, writer published with books lining shelves. My muse weary points out my plot flaws, dialogue errors while whispering how my idea isn’t original or even that creative. Why not quit? Weary suggests. No one will ever read this anyways, and the muse goes on to delineate how difficult the publishing industry can be. Ruthless and hard, I should just go read someone’s else words.

Weary doesn’t show us much grace.

Some days, I buy into the lies whispered my weariness. Those graceless thoughts fester inside my head, and I allow it. Doubts follow, and soon, I sit in front of my computer about to delete all of my words–novel, blogs, all of them. Who wants to read this? But even in these moments, weary doesn’t have the loudest voice. My other muse, grace calls over weary’s brazen words. Grace doesn’t gloss over the difficulties of my craft, the industry, but Grace gives hope.

Hope replaces our weary.

Some days, I cling to hope despite weary. But I must work. To spend my time honing the craft, to write words no one will ever see, to push against all of my feelings of inadequacy–I choose which muse I will listen to. Even on those weary days, I choose to hope that tomorrow’s writing will be inspired. I choose to believe Grace’s words that I have worth, that I have a voice to speak.

Which muse are you listening to today?

 

On Being Left Out

Life: Unmasked

Some days, we all are left out.

Someone forgets to invite us. Another friend stops calling. The hurt doesn’t just evaporate once the tears dry, nor does it pack it bags and head west. It stays. We stuff deep down and move on to the next event, the next friend, only for the cycle to repeat. In grade school, we cried to our parents or our other friends to comfort us. A glass of milk or an arm around our shoulders fixed all hurt feelings. Too often, our parents told us our being left out wasn’t intentional. Maybe, they were right, but often it was a ploy to stop the tears.

High school, we gossiped about the other person. Pigeon-holed into groups of friends, we stuck together because everyone else was foreign. But adulthood, we can’t simply yell and cry to be included. We simmer our hurt feelings until they bubble over on the nearest person–a spouse, a friend.

Some days, we are left out.

I’ve been there. The quiet, introvert listens, but I’m forgotten in the landscape of extroverts. Yes, it hurts. Perhaps, this is how social media damages friendships. We can now see what we missed–the parties, the frantic tweets about emails when our inbox collects spam. Again, I have read the blog posts about not being jealous on being left out, but they don’t ring true when I stand on the outskirts.

Being left out doesn’t simply extend to our human relationships. Sometimes, I think God leave me out too. Unemployment, heart ache built up imprinted on a heart who still questions God’s love. The pain can be unbearable. Cliched Christian answers build walls against others and suffocate myself.

Some days, we are left with grace.

Grace looks like emails and phone calls. Grace looks like blog comments and encouraging tweets. But grace also looks like the forgiveness we grant ourselves when we are hurt and hurtful. It lays down a soothing balm for us to practice grace towards others. And in our daily grace, what if we included others? Those souls who don’t always get our undivided attention.

How can we show grace to those outside our sphere? Who could you email, tweet, or encourage today?

This was written for Life:Unmasked, a blog carnival at Joy in this Journey.

Hope

First Advent and first candle is litphoto © 2007 Per Ola Wiberg | more info (via: Wylio)

Hope…

Yesterday began the season of Advent. We celebrated like so many other churches the gift of hope. Hope in the promised Messiah, hope in the future of the church, hope for new beginnings, HOPE.

I don’t always understand hope.

I can begin to grasp faith and love, putting these two abstract concepts into very real applications. But hope, I am not sure how it can escape its abstract nature. Sometimes, hope feels more like something we cling to when life becomes too harsh–almost an escape mechanism for reality.

Yet in some ways, hope binds faith and love together. The only practical application of hope must be through faith and love. Maybe, when we see the interconnectedness of these three advent gifts do we gain a small glimpse into the divine. That gives us a reason to hope.

Question: How do you understand hope?