Variations on Masefield and Lamentations

We had to go down to the sea again

to inhale the tide and sky.

And all we asked was for a bit of rest

And to watch our dreams sail by.

Dawn breaks in as routines fade,

Gray thoughts sharpen and shine.

We had to go down to the sea again

Where God whispers audible:

You.

Are.

Mine.

I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,

the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.

I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—

the feeling of hitting the bottom.

But there’s one other thing I remember,

and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:

God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,

his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.

They’re created new every morning.

How great your faithfulness!

I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).

He’s all I’ve got left.

God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,

to the woman who diligently seeks.

It’s a good thing to quietly hope,

quietly hope for help from God.

It’s a good thing when you’re young

to stick it out through the hard times.

Lamentations 3:19-26 (MSG)

deeply and ever known

We roamed the beaches of western Michigan this weekend.

Sky, brilliant azure.

Sand, warm and soft between our toes.

Breeze, clearing our lungs and minds from the stressors of daily life.

Homes along the coast empty.

Shoreline, barren of other people.

Accustomed to crowded spring break beaches of southern Alabama, we loved having the shore all to ourselves.

At the same time, I wondered how residents of the lakeside town kept themselves from skipping stones and traipsing along the beaches every chance they had.

Then I realized–even as I unwound and re-discovered the deep places of my children’s hearts shamefully and too-long neglected–much of life becomes an afterthought.

None of us intends for this to happen.

The daily grind whittles us down to flesh and bones moving in reaction to surviving the stressors which weigh upon us.

Like a room greying in evening’s fading light, life loses color and hope and before we know it, we’re stumbling around in the dark. All things bright and beautiful are hidden, swallowed up by darkness.

Until somehow, light shines in and we can see again.

Perspective brings newness.

Afterthoughts become present gifts.

And we realize, even dull flat stones on the Michigan shoreline have a story . . . a tale of beveled edges softened by the tossing tides . . . a story of sand caressing away hard corners . . .a parable of the Master bringing us back to Him.

Oh, praises–none of us are afterthoughts to Jesus Christ.

Praises–we never become too daily or too commonplace for Him.

Praises–He dances along the shores of our sorrow, joy and essence all the days of our lives.

You have searched me, LORD,

and you know me.

You know when I sit and when I rise;

you perceive my thoughts from afar.

You discern my going out and my lying down;

you are familiar with all my ways.

Before a word is on my tongue

you, LORD, know it completely.

You hem me in behind and before,

and you lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?

Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

if I settle on the far side of the sea,

even there your hand will guide me,

your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me

and the light become night around me,”

even the darkness will not be dark to you;

the night will shine like the day,

for darkness is as light to you.

For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you

when I was made in the secret place,

when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed body;

all the days ordained for me were written in your book

before one of them came to be.

~Psalm 139~

This blog post is part of the One Word at a Time blog carnival on “afterthought.” Visit their site to see more great posts on this topic. 

Reach and remember

Macabre, monstrous beasts, the trees stretched into the azure sky, nature’s choir yearning toward the heavens. I dreamed beneath them, leaned upward with them, careened forward amidst them.

Until I looked down.

And around.

My feet disappeared, blanketed in kisses of pink sorrel, reminding me its not the redwoods that matter so much. It’s not who sees me, but what I see.

What I take time to notice.

Who I remember to be.

Which is nothing more and nothing less than who God made me to be.

Ever reaching heavenward.

Ever remembering it is God whom I follow and not man.

It is the Holy Spirit whisper I crane to hear–not the clash and crash of the manufactured world around me.

Listen.

Do you hear it?

Look at the flowers around your feet.

Lest we forget.

We must remember.

Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. (Galatians 5:25 MSG)

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