bare footed on the sand. a poem.

My second novel, Then Sings My Soul, released in stores and online yesterday. The story is about a man at the end of his life and his daughter struggling to care for him, the two of them also struggling to make sense of the pain and shame in their lives. There’s a lot happening over on my Facebook page surrounding the release, including reviews and articles and such. So today, here on my blog, I thought I’d just share a few simple thoughts in a poem about the themes in this story, a story for anyone looking for hope in the midst of hard stuff, as well as wondering where is God in the midst of our stories.

On a related note, you might also want to catch might my new article in MTL Magazine about the plight of the aging and why it matters.

*****

What’s a life
anyway, besides a
skip, a stone smoothed
by the waters until
someone picks it up
IMG_0033
pebbles balanced
precarious on top of time
teetering against the tides that
come in and go out again and
we’re left
DSC_0086
squinting at the sunset wondering
where did the day go
how did evening settle
upon our bones
wearied without warning
DSC_0022
and finally we step bare
footed on the sand and realize we are
each of us
a grain
DSC_0020

thoughts on the sunrise. a poem.

formless and afraid in the navy

night i found my shape once

again as the sun rose and pressed

the darkness from beneath

my skin and the outline of all

things became clear

*****

job

*****

When hard is a place you find yourself.

Hard.

It’s not just an adjective anymore.

Hard is a place.

Maybe you know it…icy stone walls shadowed by unsought shame, the front door locked by defeat, windows draped by misunderstanding and hopelessness.

Too many strain in the hard unaware that even a crack of the window lets in light, air, a current of hope. We long for someone to burst through the front door for us, a sword-wielding Savior to cut back the vines and overgrowth surrounding our foundations, a friend who’ll sit with us until the electricity comes on again and the furnace of truth warms our toes.

Hard is a place, yes.

But hard is also a season.

Like winter, we’re forced to hunker down in the silence and be still while the snow falls white and gentle around us.

And soon, like the Morning Sun, a Savior will come.

But He will knock first.

And spring and the loose, cool earth will be fertile once again.

*****

crushed

*****

Excerpts from 2 Corinthians 4

“Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way, we never give up. We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods … We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this … For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” … And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.

That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”