Sweet Welling of Love

Cheryl Anne, who is doing a lovely series of Lenten reflections, has written a beautiful, precious poetic prayer of gratitude for the way God loves and cares for us, remaining our steady, calm and loving Centre when life rocks us sideways. It really spoke to me and I hope and pray it will speak to you too…

Lengthening Light

Sweet Welling of Love
from within
yet beyond
resting upon
holding
moving
loving
in every moment
Conscious or unconscious
in peace or in chaos
in grace or stumbling
at its periphery
flirting with despair
still You are there
You never leave
even when
I grieve Your Sacred Heart
and forget to believe Your Promises
in the fog of my pain
and density of doubt
Still You remain
the Steady Spiraling
Center of my soul
Still You are
the Encircling Presence
of Life, gathered gently about
Purest Light
Aura of Gold
one small word
of Your Love Story
told through this ration
of breath, blood, and bone
Sweet Welling of Love
belonging to All
yet mine alone
~Cheryl Anne

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whiteout: letting your poetic words breathe freely

 

Poetry writing can become a bit stale if we fail to vary our method of execution. Yesterday, I brought an offering of magnetic poetry to the table. Sometimes it’s a haiku or three, maybe other forms of micropoetry or an ode, or sonnet, can be seen.

Today I am joining in with a bit of whiteout poetry where words emerge from shaded darkness whited out, looking to escape their confines and fly like birds, freed from a cage of conformity.

My first attempt has been inspired by a post on my adventurous poet friend, Kat Myrman’s site. The link up is available here if you also fancy some poetic fun, whereby we draw words out from a given poem, creating one of our own in the process. Here’s this week’s poem to work with….

February Elegy by Mary Jo Bang
© Mary Jo Bang

This bald year, frozen now in February.
This cold day winging over the ugly
Imperfect horizon line,

So often a teeth line of ten buildings.
A red flag
flapping
In the wind. An orange curtain is noon.
It all hurts her eyes. This curtain is so bright.
Here is what is noticeably true: sight.
The face that looks back from the side

Of the butter knife.
A torn-bread awkwardness.

The mind makes its daily pilgrimage
Through riff-raff moments. Then,
Back into the caprice case to dream
In a circle, a pony goes round.

The circle’s association: There’s a center
To almost everything but never
Any certainty. Nothing is
More malleable than a moment. We were
Only yesterday breathing in a sea.
Some summer sun
Asked us over and over we went. The sand was hot.

We were only yesterday tender hearted
Waiting. To be something.
A spring. And then someone says, Sit down,
We have a heart for you to forget.
A mind to suffer
With. So, experience. So, the circus tent.
You, over there, you be the girl
In red sequins on the front of a card selling love.
You, over there, you, in black satin.
You be the Maiden’s Mister Death.

*****************************************

Frozen February

Frozen now in February—this cold day

flapping in the wind—it all hurts her eyes

so bright…

Here is what is noticeably true:

the mind makes its daily pilgrimage

through riff-raff moments

There’s a centre to almost everything

but never any certainty

We were only yesterday tender-hearted

waiting to be something:

a spring, a mind to suffer with

You, over there, you be the girl

selling love

You, over there, you…

be the Maiden’s Mister Death

©joylenton2017

ancient: God’s ever-new and ancient ways threading through our days

 

We live, survive and thrive within love’s grasp—the tender canopy holding us gently all our days—and rest in God’s safe, secure  arms. Love is the precursor of our existence, planned since the beginning of time, as Holy Love smiled on our arrival, our life finally unfolding before His very eyes.

God offers us an ancient love walk: a swift slide through seasons and sensations, a slow stroll of learning His ways in the fires of adversity and realms of experience, and a walk of stumbling faith over dusty, wilderness pathways and rocky terrain.

We become birthed into the new of our life’s beginning. We are offered a new birth in Christ as a fresh beginning, a clean slate start for our messed up lives and broken hearts. Because the ancient patterning from Eden still lingers in our DNA.

We are meant for more than this life can offer or convey. Though sin rules and reigns in hearts far from God, His desire is for all of us to return to our pre-Fall state by His goodness and grace, His mercy and forgiveness in Christ. And to get to know His wonderful love, its wise, ever-new and ancient ways threading through our earthly days.

On this, the first day of spring, my magnetic poetry thoughts have taken a walk into the heady days of summer and stretched into our life’s dependence on God…

Ancient love walk

A bee’s intuition is to stroll

insect-gentle and soft over blossom,

like an ancient nature love walk

above beautiful summer flowers; and

behold full, deep, moist spring beneath,

thriving like life’s thick, green river

vine wanders wildly in my soul

©joylenton2017

 

We once walked with God as naturally as we might accompany a good friend—relaxed, happy and chatting easily together. Now we dream hopefully, long to recapture better days, and have a deep soul yearning for our Edenic state, where we lived and walked freely, bathed in Love’s continual light.

Our urge to dream

When we recall our urge to dream,

live in love’s light and elaborate

on life’s bare beauty, let’s sit

together here and whisper of

summer swims and cool sea spray,

beating sweet as music mist

on skin, shining fast like a

thousand tiny water tongues

©joylenton2017

sometimes: making space for grace and compassion in action

 

Sometimes we forget to be grateful, fail to recognise how very blessed we are to sleep in a bed with a roof over our head, a table laden with food, cupboards bulging at the seams and a freezer stuffed full of extra provisions as well.

Sometimes we forget to thank God for daily graces, to see how wonderfully He provides for all our needs and how blessed we truly are in every conceivable way, even to simply wake up and breathe each day.

Sometimes news headlines and the constant media bombardment on our screens wash over us with lethargic indifference, fail to capture our attention or engender a compassionate response within—so inured can we become to a world’s distress, poverty and duress.

Then sometimes we STOP. Stop and put ourselves within another’s shoes, think about the people behind the news events, pause to ponder their predicament, examine their lives via our imagination and wonder what we can do to help them.

If we do, we might just see how much our Saviour loves and aches for them, become caught up with His heart in prayer, in care and compassion, in being living examples of His love and grace in action, and maybe in writing a poem about their plight…

What do we know?

Lord,

What do we know of empty, distended bellies

bereft of sustenance, where choice is an unheard

of word and survival is the name of the game; where life

itself hangs by a slender thread and starvation

haunts each waking moment like a skeletal spectre

rattling its chains and calling your name?

 

What do we know of owning just one set of clothes to drape

across our diminishing frame; one pot in which to cook

a few dry grains, if we’re one of the lucky ones with

something at hand to eat today, instead of foraging,

walking miles with weary tread to gather a handful

of flowers—mere weeds to water our thirsty bodies?

 

What do we know of watching our children shrinking

before our very eyes, becoming wasted, emaciated, aged

way before their time, lying still with barely enough energy

to play or cry, their voices weak and eyes now clouded,

sad, pleading, bleak—breaking our own aching hearts

while we cradle them close, watching them suffer and die?

©joylenton2017

“Then these ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you taking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you? Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me'” ~ Matthew 25: 37-40 The Message

abandon: on surrendering our lives to God

 

Being abandoned, even temporarily, feels devastating. Nothing else quite strikes at the core of who we think we are and what our perceived worth and value might be in another’s eyes.

Many of us feel the sting of shame at being rejected or abandoned by our birth parents, whether at birth , later on by the way we are treated, or as casualties of our parents’ splitting up.

Such things leave scars which can mar us for life, if we let them. I only began to fathom what unconditional, fully accepting, lavish love looked like when I came to faith in Christ in my late teens.

I still marvel over our Heavenly Father adopting me into His family, viewing me as His oh so precious, beloved child. And I am not alone in this, because that’s how He sees you too, my friend, and longs to be in a close, loving, intimate relationship with you.

There are some barriers in the way at first, most of all our sin. Though unbelief and rejection of His love can also be a hindrance to receiving it. Thankfully, Jesus made a way where there seemed to be no way.

His death on the cross and glorious resurrection are the means whereby we become reunited to God. They reveal how we, too, can learn to die to sin, overcome our shame, guilt and pain and rise again in newness of life with Him.

Once we see and believe just how much God loves us, we start to realise we are never as alone or abandoned as we might feel. And we are given daily grace and strength from Him.

Abandon

I want to become a prisoner of

Hope, abandon myself on the altar

of dependence, and rest in God’s

all-sufficiency—because he has given 

us the greatest abandonment of all

nailed fast to a wooden cross

 

Jesus chose to abandon himself

to death, to suffering, to ultimate sacrifice

for our sin, for our sake, for our lives

He chose the path less travelled, seeking

 

to be a servant of all, relinquishing

his kingly crown and throwing down

the gauntlet to the kingdom of darkness

which had us in its thrall

 

Now we, who were orphans of circumstance,

hostage to habit, taunted by temptation,

have become beloved daughters and sons, children

of God instead of life’s lost, unwanted

ones. We’ve received a fresh heritage

 

made rich by faith, given a brand new

start, new heart, clean slate, on which

our Father God can write his eternal glory

story—as we abandon ourselves willingly

to surrender, and close relationship with him

©joylenton2017

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed. but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 (emphasis mine)

Happy to be linking my (rather late), poetic #FMF words in companionship with fellow wordsmiths gathering at Kate Motaung’s site. Just click here to join us there. 

**NOTE** – If you’re seeking solace, you might like to read my poetic memoir journey of discovering grace in life’s hard places. It’s available free today to download here on Amazon Kindle.  🙂

clear: seeking to trust God’s revelation of Himself to us

 

Life and faith are not always clear to us or easily understood. Often, there are more questions than answers, more wondering about the meaning of life and less living in wonder.

Try as we might, we soon realise our finite minds cannot fully comprehend the divine. We feel like blindfolded walkers stumbling through a long, shadowed tunnel, anxiously trying to make out the way ahead. Where is the light and won’t someone remove our blindfold, please? 

What if we put uncertainty aside, allowed God’s word to speak to us in a clear way, to read us as we’re reading it? And if we tried to absorb its truth by soaking in the promises and believing them.

What would it look like to immerse ourselves fully in His story more than in speculation over how it all possibly came to be—to get to the heart of the matter by way of God’s beating heart for us?

Maybe we still wouldn’t have clear, concrete answers to the myriad questions in our minds, but it is possible we would be more easily satisfied to live into the answers to come, to let faith draw us deeper into wonder, rather than leave us wondering what to do with all the unsettled issues.

Because what matters most is relationship, getting to spend quality time in God’s presence, learning His will and ways in a natural, gradual way, relaxing our worries into His hands and learning to trust Him more than we focus on our cares and concerns.

My first poem below suggests God’s overseeing of things, even if they may look dark, blurry or seem invisible to us.

“even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you” ~ Psalm 138: 12 NIV

Clear as day

Night is clear as day

to our Creator-King, Lord

of all living things

©joylenton2017

 

And when we do begin to grasp how God is always revealing Himself to us in the everyday, can we actually turn aside from daily preoccupations and deliberately catch sight of His presence?

“Now Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb (Sinai), the mountain of God. The Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing flame of fire from the midst of a bush… yet it was not consumed. So Moses said, ‘I must turn away [from the flock] and see this great sight—why the bush is not burned up'” ~ Exodus 3:1-3 AMP

Can I turn aside?

Can I turn aside

like Moses—witness my King

burning daylight bright?

©joylenton2017

 

Finally, there will come a Day unlike any other. We will see God as He is, know and be known fully, comprehend what has been deep Mystery beforehand.

“The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”~ Acts 2:20-21

On that Day

On that Day the King

will be revealed in glory

everyone will kneel

©joylenton2017

 

These haiku have been written in response to the prompt of ‘King&Day’, this week’s haiku challenge from our Haiku Master, Ronovon.  If you’d like to read the rich variety of posts being shared and maybe join in, too,  just click here.  🙂

season: finding soul sanctuary in tough times

crocus-season-pj

 

How did we get to March? I seem to have missed the memo. Just like some friends across the pond are still deep in snow, waiting for the melt, for a season of spring to show, I seem to have been hibernating in stillness, a needful slowing down on the inside while taking on extra physical and mental busyness.

I need a soul sanctuary. It’s here—borne on the wings of prayer, coming to me as I wait patiently before God, learn to still my restless heart and find my deepest peace in faith and trust, as I navigate through life’s hard places with His guidance and support,  His energy and strength given whenever it’s needed.

It’s a holy breath, a whispered answer to prayer, a divine call to come aside for a while and rest deeper in Him. Our soul sanctuary is available for any season of the soul or season of life. There is no place where we can fail to meet with God’s grace.

Fresh rain sanctuary

This pure night frost, blanketing winter

tendrils beneath soft moon peace, leaves

deep cloud, cold air we breathe; and a 

thick, moist, fresh rain sanctuary cycles

like wild, sacred water song, murmuring

long summer secrets of our Eden rest

©joylenton2017

magnetic-poetry-fresh-rain-sanctuary-pj

 

While I wait for my husband to be fit enough to leave hospital following his spinal surgery, the clock inches ever closer to a significant birthday for him. I don’t know how, when, where or if we’ll find an opportunity to fully celebrate it, but my hope and prayer is for us to have a season of togetherness, joy and celebration soon, instead of a season of separation, sickness and pain. Hence the poem below…

My wild desire

Coffee is my liquid magic

It’s good to wake and make time

here for remembering my wild desire:

to embrace, be healed, eat cake and 

celebrate this life with champagne kiss

©joylenton2017

magnetic-poetry-my-wild-desire-pj

 

When we take our needs and wild desires to God we can trust Him for the outcome and all He plans to do with them. Things might not look like we expect or hope they will, but it will be the best fit for you and me, because God knows the innermost secrets of our hearts and is able to bless us beyond measure in meeting those needs in a way that also serves His overall plan and purposes.

How is this season speaking to you? I’d love to hear in the comments below. 

*NOTE* ~ My poetic memoir, ‘Seeking Solace’ is free for a few days on Kindle, from March 7th to March 11th inclusive! If you’re seeking solace yourself, or know someone else who is, then my story of discovering God’s grace in life’s hard places may well aid the journey. You can get it here… There’s also a paperback version available if you prefer.  🙂