Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Cry For Mercy

Words lie heavy beneath an ocean.
Water weight in tears.
And the deciding not to shed them.
Swallowing them down your sore throat and...
Putting on your big girl pants.
Pulling up on your boot straps.

Pain just leaking out everywhere anyhow and...
Not enough fingers to plug all the holes.

So you plunge your heart down into HIS.
Submerge yourself in the flow of His love, a...
Blood transfusion.
Cling hard to His promises.
Touch His robe.
Rub your cheek on His hem.
And cry the only cry you've ever really known.

"Jesus!  Son of David, have mercy on me!"

Have Mercy,


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

When You Love Your Body

She calls with her heart so full of pain that I can almost see it dragging out the bottom of her soul.  She cries and blames herself, and I rush in just so I can get my hands under her.  Aaron lifting Moses.  We've got emergency heart surgery on our hands 'cause satan's trying to take her out, and I won't stand it.

If God doesn't speak to her?  Well then aren't we all toast?

Pain is blinding.

I get to be the eyes in the Body of Christ.  Easy for me when her beauty hits my heart so hard that sometimes I've got to close them.  Too much Jesus in her face and that's not always easy now is it?  Just the way her love is hard to take, and the way it always makes me cry.  To be known.  To be accepted despite the phone junk and the fear and the humor hiding that lump of hurt swept under.

I reach for her hands.  Hold tight.  'Cause she said to me once, "I'm not just going to stand here and let you die." She threw me a life line.  Basically hauled me in.

This is the beauty of the Body.  Oh, God.  You are brilliant in Your design.

How we take these giant leaps out into the wide open knowing that we are going to fall and be impaled on the lives of others.  Because that is what our experience has taught us...really, really well.  But in the arms of the Body, the everlasting arms of the Body of Christ, we fall safe into compassion and grace.  We are held, and friends, it makes no sense to the broken heart that falls expecting to be hurt, humiliated, ignored, left, lied to, devalued, dehumanized, and...


When it turns out that we are caught and suspended and nurtured and held and...


The heart quickens and there is this great hope that begins to close the gaping hole left by the world.  The world of men.

So whether you are an eye or a thigh, a chin or a shin, be the best you can be for Christ's sake.

You never know when you might shine the light for a fellow traveller walking the dark night of the soul.

You just never do know.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

I Would

If I could have you back my baby boy, I would.
If I could hold you close and kiss your warm head, I would.
If I could have your chubby hand in mine once more, I would.
If I could travel the world singing silly songs with you again, I would.
If I could read you The Animals of Farmer Jones  one more time, I would.
If I could still sing you lullabies, I would.
If I could hear the sound of your little boy voice again, I so would.
If I could dance the floor with you laughing and riding on my hip, I would.
If I could push you through the house in a laundry basket again, I would.
If I could watch you fall into good sleep, Boy, you know I would.

You come home a combat soldier and nothing left in you that speaks of that little boy.
I am proud of you.
But I am the weak fool, Son.
Because I am a writer.
Whose words get stuck in the swallowed tears damming her throat.
When thoughts are full of you.
While my heart works at letting you fly.
Out into the wide world and...
Away from me.

If I could become your friend, I would.
If I could know your heart, I would.
If I could bear  your burdens, I would.
If I could be the ears that hear, I would.
If could carry your name to our Father, I would.
If I could help you carry the load, I would.
If I could lay down my life for you, Son,  I would.

I would.


Friday, August 10, 2012


Romans 5:8

"But God showed His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

While we were there, I lay in bed with tears leaking all over the pressed pillow case because I am ungrateful for my salvation.  I take it for granted.  I judge those who aren't, and I make myself sick.  How can I belong to a loving God when I am...unloving?

I don't know how to do it.  I don't know how to love when I am hated.  I only know that that's exactly what Jesus did for me.  He DIED for me when I hated Him, and OH GOD, how can I look like You?  How do I show compassion to the tormented soul and the darkened mind?

 The way You did for me?

We leave as a wounded family, driving silently away.  No sound in the car but intermittent deep sighs until we reach the interstate then we all break into prayer and praise.  What power do we have but these?  Thanksgiving?

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.  Praise Him for the gift of precious salvation.  Praise Him for the very Blood of Christ which was abundantly spilled.  Do you get that?

Praise Him that JESUS SAID.

"It is finished."

It.  Is.  Finished.

Praise God for suffering.  Praise God for persecution.  Praise God that you are hated.  Praise God that you are a stench to this dying world.  Praise God that His Holy Spirit dwells inside you, giving you the heads up.  Praise God for His love and His divine sacrifice and for those things like grace and mercy.  Praise God that He rules over the angels, and that He commands them to help you.  Praise God for the good stuff.  They're ALL His.  Freedom and Justice and Righteousness.  His.  Praise God that He holds all things in His hands.  Praise God that He chose to write your name on those hands: the ones with the holes that your life made.

I made the holes in Jesus' hands.

He died for me.

How in all the world can I love like that?


Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Sarah and I hurl down the highway.
Breaking the sound barrier with our singing.
Our souls being washed clean from the dark place we've been.
Where everything on the earth strives to cover your light.
Because Freedom does not hold hands with Slavery.
And the bound reach out with their chains.
Try to hang you with shame and the poison that is the darkened mind.

Sarah and I clap and head bob to the beat making the guy at the red light laugh.
Beating out all that is sorrow and sadness for the lost.
So lost.
While our hearts fill with compassion.
With songs about Jesus, the cross and His blood.
Freedom songs.

Sarah and I fist bump in the car.
Next song and let it rip, Girl.
Joy becomes our companion as we travel this dusty road.
Easing the load.

Sarah and me,


Friday, August 3, 2012

On The Twenty-First Year

And what did I know of you, really, but for your nickname in high school, "Body Botz," and how physics class was just about the end of me because you were so near?  So close, and yet so far.

And what did we really know of each other as we took that long drive to Indiana after marriage vows and a loaded UHAUL into the unknown?

And how did God get us this far, really, when all we are is a jumbled mess of sin?

And how does love grow through the trial and the storm?  The fire, the shrapnel, the fallout?  And how does a man love a woman broken until she heals enough to bloom a bit?

Your shade has sheltered me from the blistering heat of the world, and your shoulders have carried the whole weight of this blue/green globe providing for our family.  The way you sacrifice your life is carved deep into your flesh, the entire book of Romans, etched across the back of your shoulders.  Blood and Tears.  Prayers. Love.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ.

An anniversary, and a thank you.

For opening up the Word as we sit around the table, the living room, the lake.
For growing and nurturing us.
For opening our home so often and to so many.
For loving our children well.
For loving all children.
For being a witness.
For being kind.
For loving us.
For your generous heart.
For reading aloud.
For being able to fix anything under the sun.
For the sanctuary of your arms.
For seeing me the way nobody else can.
For commitment.
For laughing at my dumb jokes.
For pursuing a life after the heart of Christ.
For the comfort you give in being a man of God.
For trusting Jesus.
For helping me to work things through.
For holding my hand.
My heart.

Happy Anniversary to my Shoulders and my strength, and to God be the glory.

Yes and Amen,


Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Love Letter

Dear Jesus,

You fill my heart with songs of deep gratitude as You take my hand and draw me deeper still.  Through rings of fire and pits of woe.  Through anguish and trouble.  Through fear and the terror of night.  Through the shame that descends upon my heart like a heavy cloud.  Through the guilt that I have most often purchased for myself.  Through the panic and pain of iron sharpening iron.  Your hand is warm and strong.  Your rod and your staff are a comfort, Lord.

You groom me for wings and for freedom and for flight, and all that is within looks to the sky.  Waiting for You to ride in on that great white horse cloud.  My Hero.  My Rescuer.  My Prince.  Oh, Peace.  You are the Rock of my Salvation.  My Fortress.  My God in Whom I trust.  You are the very Lover of my soul, and my greatest joy is found in You.  You.  Alone.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

My soul waits,


Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Just when I thought maybe I'd lost my words, here they are this morning in full force.  I wondered how I would be.  WHO WOULD I BE WITH OUT WORDS?  Because, even though I'm not much of a conversationalist, writing has been the means I have had over the years to stay alive in there.  When you've been "blessed" with a well deep heart, you've got to be able to get to the bottom and scrape out the gunk: keep your water clean.  Flowing.  Thirst quenching.  Otherwise, all becomes stale and stinky.  Yuck.

I've had titles for this blog space.  Short captions.  Headlines.  But no story.  No words to fill the story in and no voice to tell it.

A whole life time has passed since I have felt any connection here, it seems.  We grow old fast these days, do we not, and I find myself contemplating two words:  Lost and Found.

I see one of my red mittens in the lost and found box outside the kindergarten classroom at the community center.  I was five.  I wore orange tennis shoes two sizes too big and still on the wrong foot.  I always had a snotty nose, and my hair was cut boy short.  I remember an angry pair of scissors flying across the room and sticking into a classmate's head, and I still remember the dead sound it made when it struck; the strange way it looked sticking straight out of his crew cut as if it were floating.

First grade and learning to read.  Paradise.

Second grade mouth and friends that wouldn't stop moving away.

The boy who ate glue.  The boy who threw up so silently that nobody knew, and how silently he sat staring.  Pale and shaken.  I remember my third grade year.  Making homemade peanut butter, candles, learning my math facts, and doing a science experiment about gravity with a bucket of water outside on the playground on a warm Montana day in the fall.   That same year, I remember my handsome brother.  Winsome in all his ways.  Athletic and good with people.  Liked by all and loved by friends.  He never met an enemy...until me, I think, and we muddled through school in the same grade more like strangers than siblings.  Still muddling.

I remember throwing a book at my fourth grade teacher for wrongly accusing me of talking in class.  Even then trying hard to be the good girl was growing frustrating and futile, and what I wanted to do was fight the world.

Uh-Oh.  Fifth grade grammar and words, oh words, oh words!!!

There was volleyball and a bra and a male teacher in the sixth grade.  The one who told me I was too serious.  The one who awakened in me this feeling of not quite fitting.  Into the game, the bra, the class.  I remember the brutal teasing and the hate notes I got from my best friend telling me I had a big butt and that I was the teacher's pet.  I remember feeling lost.

I remember junior high when all the world fell dark.

And the blur and heartbreak of high school.  Becoming afraid of everything.   The disappointment.  The humiliation.  The shame.  The guilt.  The grief that consumed my whole heart, and it all riding so hard on my soul that I had only one word.  "OUT."  Making the decision to rebel.

College.  Trying desperately to find my place and to fit.  Starting fights in bars with men.  Drowning the fear in alcohol.  Words finding their way to paper my only friends.  Finding out that rebellion was a lie, and wondering what in all the world I would do when living like the world wasn't working.

Marriage and children and a whole lot of years in the ditch, and yet...  all the suffering drawing my heart.  Drawing me.   Whooing me.  Jesus, the patient lover of souls.

Surrendering.  ALL THINGS.  Letting go.  ALL THINGS.  Laying back on the everlasting arms and into the very center of Christ.  Finding Life in Him, Truth in Him, Justice and Mercy and Grace, and why didn't anyone ever tell me?  That it is only in His will that we are ever free?  That He is not religion?  That we don't have to perform to be loved?  We don't even have to be good?

The way He takes our suffering and holds us all close and dear.  The way He waits for His people to call on Him.  He may be a jealous God, but He does not force us to love Him.  The way His kindness, and all that He accomplished on the cross leads us to repentance and a life that wants to honor Him.  Just...the entire book of Romans and Ephesians, and all the Gospels together.  The love story He writes so we can know Him and follow Him hard.  This intimate Jesus and those eternal arms...

Where I belong,