Location, Location, Location

Where we are born
is not who we are
But it shapes
who we become.
Whether we embrace
or attempt to escape -
there is no undoing
the circumstance
of birth.
We are plopped on this earth,
exactly where 
we are supposed to land -
in order for us to become,
who we are meant to be.
The reality of location
and the fantasy of aspiration. 

The Very Last Piece

What will you give Him?
What is the thing
you love most in this world?
What is the object, the person, 
the corporation, the "thing?" 
That thing, that MacGuffin, 
that is the last thing 
you have to lay down.

It should be the first, but,
it is usually the last.
Why that thing, you ask?
Because it is the last,
the very last barrier
between your heart and His.

What has He ever given you, 
you ask? 
He has given you Everything -
He has given you Jesus.
He has given you Himself. 

The least we can do in return -
the very least, is give Him
all of us....every last morsel. 
Even that bit we've been 
holding back, saying - 
"Yes - you can have it all...
except "This.""

"This"... is exactly the last
of the currency.
But fear not, for the rate 
of exchange is priceless.

You give Him 
the very last piece 
of your human heart,
and He gives you Eternity.  

Why Do We Write?

Why do take up our 
proverbial pen and write?
Why do we take the time
and make the effort 
to share our thoughts
and feelings and lessons learned?

Perhaps for the same reasons 
that generations before us did.
We are compelled. 

Words spill out of us 
and onto the page, 
liquid puddles of letters
that become words 
that turn into sentences 
that form complex thoughts
and emotions,
that leap from the page
and into the mind of our reader
who is perhaps contemporary,
perhaps generations ahead of us,
but who all say, 
"I understand what you mean." 

Writing is a form of time travel. 
A message from one kindred spirit
to another. 
Between the lines we say,
"I've been here before, 
just as you are here now. 
I survived, and so shall you." 

And our recipient, who may 
not yet even be born, 
closes their eyes and sighs, 
reassured that life will go on.

And that, I think, is why we write.

A Work of Truth

Acting has been called a liar's profession - 
But I would disagree.
If done well, if done right, 
it is a work of truth, of honesty, 
and of empathy. 

Actors are evangelist of story, 
they bring people, and places, 
and feelings back to life - 
or create life. 

They break through bricks 
of stagnant emotion,
shining a light from their beacon of truth 
into whatever cracks and crevices 
need to be exposed. 

Acting, good acting,
shows the best and worst of us,
and illuminates the path to change. 

February 9th

What does it really mean
to live by the verse,
"All things work together for good"? 

It means on certain days,
days like today - 
you turn on the projector of your life, 
and you allow it to run - 
clipping along with images of
past people, conversations, & events. 

You relive choices you made,  
paths you didn't take,
for reasons of logic, or fear, or cowardice.
And you reflect. 
You get down in the mire and think
as the projector whirs along,
inanimate & efficient. 

You review it all - the good and the bad.
Your eyes never close, and your head never turns. 
Then the whap, whap, whap
of the last reel let's you know
that you've caught up to "now." 

And you understand. Truly understand.
The mistakes, the victories, the heartbreak, the hope -
all have led you to right here, and right now. 
They have created the essence of you.
The "sadder, but wiser" yet simultaneously,
the "blessed and highly favored" 
version of you. 

You also see the hand of God at work.
The guidance, the gentle nudging,
the course correcting, and protecting.
You have true hindsight, and realize 
you are seeing your past the way 
God sees your entire lifeline. 

We are the sum of our choices,
but God sees where each choice will lead,
and how He can orchestrate it for our good. 
However, like the benevolent parent He is,
good does not always equate happy.
It just means for our benefit. 

And knowing His sovereignty, 
no matter how you muddle the circumstance,
is the best way I've found to live by the verse,
"All things work together for good." 

All Well & Good

It is all well & good to have faith
when the sun shines. 
It's effortless to believe in God's promises 
when Life is your friend. 

But at some point - there will be darkness,
we know not when or how. 
But when it does arrive, for it always arrives, 
that is where faith is truly stretched & tested.

It will be an inaudible whisper, 
tugging at the back of your mind...
"Did God reallllly say...."
The first lie, the oldest lie,
uttered in staggering confidence
by the original gaslighter.

That kind of Darkness loves nothing more
than the company of your mind. 
Your doubts are sweeter than any flower's nectar,
fueling his very life force. 

I am here to remind you, and also me, 
yes, He really did say.

And so, when the voice comes - 
an enchanting whisper in the Darkness, 
Steady your shaky hands, strengthen your resolve.  
Then answer with a bold & self-assured voice: 
 
"It may be Dark right now, but Light is coming.
It is all well & good."

And it is.  




Sunrise/Sunset

If a sunrise is a whisper,
a gentle promise
of the day that will be - 
Then sunsets are
a Jubilation! 
of the promise that was kept. 

Each morning, 
the inky darkness
is slowly invaded 
by pale yellow and pink
and just a hint of orange. 

They appear together, 
breathless and ready 
to relieve the darkness. 
A fresh, clean slate
firmly in hand.

If you look close enough,
you can just make out the writing
on the edge of the slate:
"Today can be whatever
you decide it will be."

And then we go on,
living our lives, 
making choices -
some good, 
some bad,
but none
insignificant. 

Because at the end of the day,
the bold streaks of orange
and red, and magenta
burst across the horizon,
shouting in nature's language,
"We have done it!"
Another day is complete. 

And then, 
the darkness arrives,
and the Sunset prepares,
by handing the slate over
to be cleaned once again. 

Sunrises promise to appear,
and Sunsets promise to celebrate -
it is up to us what we do
with the in-between. 

Writer’s Block

Writer's Block 
feels like standing
in the middle of a wood,
where a thousand paths
diverge all around. 

You can't see past
the initial idea,
and if you choose one,
you may turn yourself around,
and end up down another - 
the beginning & the end 
making a strange 
chimera of ideas. 

I suppose the point is,
I have much to say,
but not the words 
to complete them.
Maybe another day.

The important thing
is that I showed up 
to the woods today,
and entered in. 




“Eh!”

I have a cat, 
he's a very sweet cat
Henry is his name.
He never causes trouble, 
he never even meows.
Just a teeny, tiny "Eh!" 
is all he ever says. 

That is, 
unless he's on his way to the vet,
and then the yowling 
comes deep from his soul,
and cuts through my heart.

But, this is not about his yowl,
this is about his teeny, tiny "Eh!" 
When caught in an everyday
moment of distress. 

I have another cat,
he's a very...different cat
Rooney is his name.
He was found outdoors, 
malnourished and alone.

We took him in 
but,
he's not used to cats.
He doesn't know how 
to BE a cat. 
He's learning to play,
and even to cuddle,
but he just doesn't GET
that other cats are his friends.
Especially Henry.

Henry loves everyone. 
But Rooney does not love everyone. 
Nearly every day, Rooney chases Henry,
and not in the fun way,
and then Rooney gets in trouble. 
I say his name, and he looks sheepish,
"I've done it again." 

This last time, 
I was fixing dinner,
and I heard that teeny, tiny, "Eh!"
and I spun around.
Rooney was ready to pounce. 
I said his name 
(with LOTS of authority)
and he ran off.
Henry looked at me,
grateful. 

Then I realized, 
Henry hadn't shouted,
he hadn't yowled,
or panicked,
he just quietly said, "Eh!"
and trusted that I would hear him,
and fix the problem.
And I did. 

And then I realized - 
This applies to me, too. 

It doesn't take shouting,
it doesn't take panic, 
It just takes trusting 
that the One who can 
solve my problems is 
always, ALWAYS, listening. 

May we all have the faith of Henry. 

The Pain Game

When I'm in pain,
the physical kind of pain,
the "Sweet Lord Jesus deliver me"
kind of pain
I like to play a game. 

It's not really a game, 
it's just a way 
to occupy my brain
in the depths of that pain.
Perspective, if you will. 

I ask myself, "Would you rather?"
as in,
"Would you rather be in THIS
kind of pain?"
and I focus...

OR 

and then I think 
of a comparable pain 
I've clearly lived through,
and say 
"Or THAT kind of pain?" 
and then I remember...

And then I decide 
which pain I prefer. 
That's the end of the game,
but while I'm busy deciding,
the pain is subsiding.

And that's what I'm thinking of today. 


(P.S. I'm really okay. I've been having my foot worked on and today was a treatment. The most pain is during treatment. I've lived through it before, and Ibuprofen is a gift from the Lord)