Thursday, December 29, 2011

Roller Skating

I met a little girl tonight
When she I first did spy, her face was oh so blue
Tears I saw, brimming her eyes
For she'd come up against something that was quite hard for her to do.

My hand I tried to offer
But it was turned away
Though alone, I didn't want to leave her
I could tell more discomfort would arise if I'd stay.

At her insistence I kept on moving
Yet I could only think,
Of the look in her eyes that was so distressing, 
As I continued to roll, along with the others in that rink.

Every now and again I'd pass her
And try to give an encouraging smile,
Her discouragement seemed to increase and fester
And face saddened with the utter disappointment of a child.

Finally, I could bare it no longer
Over I rolled and beside her I sat.
Quiet in nature she seemed, yet most children will converse with someone owning a good ear.
And so I asked her tell me of herself, and we began to chat.

She spoke of horses, books, younger siblings;
Of all things young, innocent girls should know.
How beautiful it was to see her face lightening
As she spoke, forgetting her challenge with those 6-wheeled shoes.

She continued her bubbly talking as I continued to listen,
Her confidence seeming to grow with each sentence.
I then thought it best to try again.
So I gave her my hand, and she bravely grasped it, with some pretence.

Out we strode, her hand in mine.
And as the evening wore on
She grew to have a wonderful time.

Now I wonder
How often is that I ought
To simply sit and listen
When someone has no one with whom to share there thoughts?

How much better and happier
Would this world be
If we considered it a crucial matter
To think of and care for you, before I think of me?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Glorious Victory

What glorious victory! What happiness divine!
To live your life lovingly and honorably die.
The kindness and mercy and grace you were shown,
Directed the path you travelled on; the path that led you home.

You entered this world with nothing save one tiny cry
And that protective, loving look you saw in your parents' eyes.
Though so small you knew your safety lay,
In the assurance of your parents being there to great you, at the dawning of each day.

Yet all too soon you grew to learn
More of this corrupted world into which you were born;
That it's not all just LollyPops, Candy Canes, and butterflies
Happy people who always smile, and and lips that never tell lies.

You grow older and soon realize, your parents can't save you from the calamities that happen.
After searching in vain you reach out in one last attempt and are caught by a firm yet gentle hand.
Since that day these hands have been your only guide and map.
Though at times you've strayed they are continually open as He readily welcomes you back.

You've tried to stay the course, to lead a life well lived
And looking back wonder, did you willingly offer in every chance you had to give?
The kindness and mercy and grace that you hope you've shown,
You pray will direct the paths of others; that they may find their way home.

Now you feel that your time to sleep has come.
A peace fills your heart as you watch the setting of the evening sun.
In this still quiet moment you think back upon your race
And a look of comfort and satisfaction lightens up your face.

What glorious victory! What happiness divine!
You've lived your life lovingly and now dearly loved you'll die.
Yet you know, as you breath your last breathe, that in death you are truly free.
You'll soar to the heavens, enter those gates as trumpets sound, and n'er again worry nor cry.

For you've commensed to live forever
In the awesome presence of Lord Jesus Christ
And now you hear, standing before the throne of light,
"Welcome Dear Child, well done!"

Monday, December 19, 2011

He Came

You came.

You brought, healing in the midst of pain.

Light to a world engulfed by utter darkness.

Hope when despair had surrounded.

Love whilst hate reigned.

Forgiveness where bitterness controlled.

The fresh breath of peace where turmoil and trembling suffocated.

Deliverance from the stronghold of sin.

Beauty from ashes.

Life out of death and decay.

You brought freedom.

Jesus, you came.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Peering Through the Kaleidoscope

I know that Thanksgiving is almost a month behind us already but the other day I found myself needing the challenge of thinking of what I was thankful for.  Oddly enough the first thing that popped into my head was sickness.  It surprised me and I had to wonder "now where in the world did that one come from."  As I wondered about it I was reminded of how true that really is, I am thankful for sickness.
I guess you could say that rather I'm grateful for the lessons I've learned as a result of sickness. Weird?  Yes, I guess.  But let me try to help you understand my reasoning:
  I've had my share of chronic illnesses, not as many as others for sure, and, thank God, I've not yet experienced an illness with serious, long-term, side-affects.  It was hard but I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything.  They have played a crucial part in the making and molding process that has shaped the person that I am so far.
 Think about it.  Without sickness and illnesses there is so much we'd be missing out on.  We'd never feel the need to be grateful for good health.  Or the drive to stay in good health.  It builds and strengthens relationships.  Without it we wouldn't know how to relate to others who may be going through the same or a similar illness.  We'd have one less reminder of just how short and precious life really is.  It humbles us.  When you're sick, often, you have to depend on or have the help of some one else, because you're just too weak to do it all on your own.  It brings a new perspective into daily life.  Each moment of strength and good health is a moment to be celebrated!  Those moments, though maybe few and far between, are however the brightest moments during this trial.
 You learn to find joy in every little thing.  How bright the sun is one day.  How comforting the sound of the rain the next.  The melodious sound of laughter.  The warming smile brought on by a heart-felt word from a caring friend.  It truly is the little things in life that bring us the greatest joy, in the face of tribulation.          
  For example last winter as I was going through a difficult time with my health God, quite often, used something rather small to readjust my view on things.  It was a kaleidoscope that had been given to me by a friend as a birthday present, some years ago.  Weekly, sometimes even daily, when I began to feel discouraged and I'd feel the need to readjust my outlook on things, I'd spend several moments just looking through that kaleidoscope.  It was just one of those little things that reminded me to keep up hope and to continue living with joy.  It's easy to become discouraged in such a time but if you turn it around and look at it through "Joys' Kaleidoscope" you can see how you might gain so much more through this trial than you ever would've if you'd remained completely healthy.

If you know someone who is going through a difficult time with their health think of the small meaningful things you could do for them.

If you are the one experiencing an illness,
remember, to take a look through the kaleidoscope.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ending or Beginning?

The page is turned, a story has concluded.
You sit wondering, stunned and even amazed at the ending.
Unsure how to respond you tell yourself that you must simply continue on as if "it"
had never happened.
You know that you must let go for healing to begin it's work and so you can
live and feel again.  However what you know, is not what you want to do.
So instead of opening up, you stuff all those feelings of hurt and confusion into the deepest, darkest corner you can find.  Then you turn around with your most convincing smile pasted on your face.
You go on.  You're fine, or so you say.  You keep on telling that to everyone who cares to ask "I'm fine" and lie even more by pasting that false display of joy on your face.
After a while you've even convinced yourself that you're "okay" and that you've gotten over "it."
But then that "something" happens.  The words of a song, a memory replayed, etc.
It all comes back and hits you right where you thought it no longer hurt.
And you come just a little bit closer to breaking.
But you're stronger than this you tell yourself and try all the harder to forget.
So you put up another wall.
As you sink deeper into yourself, furthering yourself from those who care, from God, from love.

A page has turned.  A story has ended.
Has it? Or is it only the beginning?

Monday, November 21, 2011

White & Fading Colors

Yesterday I walked through a building that I've known oh so well for 11 years of my life. As I walked through the old familiar parts of this building the memories came back in a flood.  I went through each room as one would walk through the years. And as I stepped into each I'd stop, stand and let the memories play.
The laughs and giggles.  The fun and games.  The tears that were shed, the caring words that were said and the prayers that were prayed.  The friendships that were made, that have continued through the trials and through the years.  The innocent secrets that were shared in the corner of this room.  The funny stories that were told in that room.

As I walk I think of how this one building, and all that has gone on inside and outside of it for these 11 years, has played such a crucial part in the person I am today.  The good times when we were overwhelmed with joy and a love for each other.  The bad times that challenged and strengthened my faith.  The sad times when I learned that Jesus is the only one and only thing I can hold onto and count on, when everything else is shaking and upside-down.
They began building a new addition on it this year.  My walking brings me to this new part of the building.  The walls have just been painted.  White.   I haven't gone through the new addition in a while so I decide to do a little exploring.   As I stroll through these new rooms I can't help but notice the whiteness of the walls.   As of yet there are no marks on them.  Just blank.  Just white.
My exploring finished I head back to my favorite room in the building: the sanctuary. Many a time I've spent in here; sitting, thinking and praying.   Enjoying the still quiet and the peace in the semi-darkness.
I sit in this quiet, dark, solitude and think of all that I've just observed.
It strikes me that this building is more or less a picture of my life.
The old rooms filled with all of the memories are the years gone by.  We can look back at them, remember the joys we had and the lessons we've learned.  They can be our "glasses" to look through at the choices of today and (hopefully) make wise decisions.
Then there's the new addition.  So white, so blank.  Nothing has been written on those walls yet.  These are the days, weeks, months, and years ahead.  Now they seem more blank and blurry than ever.   What stories will be written on these walls?   Will they be of love, caring, selflessness, forgiveness, unity?   Or will they be of heartache, children growing up hurt and confused, back-stabbing, unwilling to forgive?
Where will I be next week?  What new decisions will I have to face?
No answers.  Just a white canvass waiting to be painted.

It's a time for new beginnings.  Of white and fading colors.

Jeremiah 29:11