For What is Faith?

The prompt for PAD Day 24 was “faith” . The day before I had just posted the following quote while hashtagging on twitter

 

“…you don’t have to understand things for them to be.” – from A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

faith

September, 2016

 

For What is Faith?

I find myself questioning without doubting
Not understanding but believing
For what is faith?

The substance of things hoped for
Even when my mind is perplexed
My heart is pierced with truth

The evidence of things not seen but sure
Indications and manifestations to hold me
To keep me on the way

Hope, that thing with feathers
Faith fluttering as a breeze
Mystifying yet dependable

Inside the Object

PAD Day 21 was to write about an object. So many of us confuse the church building with the one true church. I didn’t give this poem a title (yet), but I was think of the building that houses the church.

church-mountain-church-landscape-nature-158043

photo- pexels.com

 

This building with its multicolored panes
That tell the stories of the saints of old
The highly polished wooden pews that creak
These pews that hold the sheep within the fold

This structure built upon a little hill
Though humble brick, within a message bold
Is spoken there for all who come to hear
The sweetest story that has e’er been told

This house of worship gathers saints who sing
Clear voices lifted up, God is extolled
Melodious and reverent the refrain
Amazing grace abounds in this stronghold

Somewhere

w1

April-2014 Jacksonville, Florida

Somewhere
Is this system of minutes and hours
In the pattern of vacuuming
And the stacking of dishes
Help me to find my way

Somewhere in this system of work and play
May I not just see the alignment of bricks
And the traffic outside my window
But sad eyes that need a smile
Slumped shoulders that need a touch

Somewhere
In this system of sharps and flats,
Sweet notes and sorrowful,
May I find melody note by note
And harmony day by day

 

The PAD prompt for today was _____ System.

Guilty

 

Today’s PAD Challenge was to write a poem around the theme “guilty”. This is what came to mind…

 

gu

Some guilt reaps visible consequences
Time-outs, losses, jail
Some guilt suffers unseen in hearts and minds
Tears fall in darkest nights
Sobs are silenced in pillows
Some guilt is justified
By wrongs that need righting
Some guilt is self-inflicted
False, unwarranted, and hidden
How do you shed the guilt
That should not be there in the first place?

God’s Love

20160914_182321

Railroad Park – Bham

 

Today’s PAD prompt is ______ love. So simple. And yet…

 

God’s Love

My love

is not like God’s love

mine is on a sliding scale

of emotions

I think I’m constant

but I waver

like a playground seesaw

I am glad

God’s love

is not like my love

His love

is immutable

 

I also stumbled on a  PAD Day 3 post from 2013. 

midday

Wait for the Midday

Early morning sun

flickers through the trees

like an irregular heartbeat

light and shadows start the day

in my eyes and in my soul

makes me squint

makes me wonder

do I stay or do I go?

wait, my soul

wait for the midday

wait for the warmth

illumination will come

just wait

to see, to know

wait for the midday

 

 

Guilt and Going On

sunset kw

Key West – 2008

…my faith is so frail and flawed that I fall away over and over again from my God. There are times I feel that He has withdrawn from me, and I have often given Him cause…

So I struggle with my theology of failure and the Noes of God.

from The Irrational Season by Madeleine L’Engle

These words resonate with me. But, I have to think that it isn’t that God has withdrawn from me but that I have withdrawn from Him. That’s not to say He doesn’t have reason to withdraw and leave me in the dust. There is no reason to keep pouring into me. But He does. He gives me more grace. And sometimes I don’t even realize it.

Grace comes to us at different stages in our spiritual pilgrimage, and it accomplishes different effects and evokes different responses. But it is all grace. – Steve Harper

I not only struggle with failure but with guilt and doubt. I long to know confidence. That No from God, His holding back of my confidence, must be for my good. I need to use that No to stay humble, but not to doubt. To draw near and to go on.

Life and Death

 

gull

I wrote some thoughts on death a few weeks ago, and I wanted this to go hand-in-hand with that post.

We all come into existence as a single cell, smaller than a speck of dust. Much smaller. Divide. Multiply. Add and subtract. Matter changes hands, atoms flow in and out, molecules pivot, proteins stitch together, mitochondria send out their oxidative dictates; we begin as microscopic swarm, the lungs the brain the heart. Forty weeks late, six trillion cells get crushed in the vise of our mother’s birth canal and we howl. Then the world starts in on us. -from All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

I love this description of the beginning of life. Job knew all about life and death. Oh to be like Job; to learn how to accept when the Lord gives and the Lord takes away.

And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.”            Job 1:21

We always think there’s enough time to do things with other people. Time to say things to them. And then something happens and then we stand there holding on to words like “if.”

But we are always optimists when it comes to time: we think there will be time to do things with other people. And time to say things to them.

We fear it (death), yet most of us fear more than anything that it may take someone other than ourselves. For the greatest fear of death is always that it will pass us by. And leave us there alone.” – from A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

That last quote about fearing that death will take someone else is so true. I know I will die one day, and I don’t want it to be anytime soon. But, I also don’t like the thought of outliving all my loved ones. I have watched my mother lately as she has lost several longtime friends. I guess when you get to be 80 that is bound to happen. But, it still doesn’t make it any easier. In fact, it probably makes you think about death just a little too much.

 

John (the author’s husband) shrugs his shoulders… “Farmers, we think we control so much, do so much right to make a crop…You control so little. Really. It’s God who decides it all. Not us. It’s all good.” – from One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp