And we weep:ode to Charleston

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Life is a precious gift, one we often fail to fully appreciate or see it for the wonder that it is.

And when lives seem to be prematurely torn apart, destroyed at the hands of another, then it hurts us all.

We feel the pain.

We ache with grief.

We mourn the loss.

We are connected in our weak and wounded humanity.

We see death steal vitality.

We seek answers and come up empty.

And we turn, as hearts do in their ache and confusion, toward the Author of life Himself.

We cry out.

We rage against the dying of the light.

We feel impotent in the face of injustice.

We weep.

And soon, we sense Him near.

Holding us close.

And weeping just the same…

And He wept

Outside, an ordinary day where wind

whispered a soft summer night breeze

Inside, some folks coughed and others

gently leafed through open Bible

nestled on their knees

Rippling the reverent hush

falling all around, while God’s word

was heard and devoured

And little did they know how

soon all silence would be shattered

when the room reverberated

with bullets…

Meanwhile God, contracted to a span,

incomprehensibly made man, saw

as He had on earth, how vile

humanity’s insanity can be

And He wept…

bitterly for those He loved, for

those He gave His all, who

scattered now like scarlet petals

crumpled to the ground

His heart tore, contracted even more

in sorrow, wept afresh with His

amazing grace

©JoyLenton2015

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We will not forget you, Charleston.

We will join our voices with your own.

We will not rest while unrest sits so deep in human souls.

We will not give up while anger rules and lives are stolen.

We will pray for hearts to be transformed and for the Prince of peace to break down barriers, transform and make lives new, bring hope and healing, forgiveness and faith for the future.

You are not alone.

We stand with you.

All beauty fades

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“Charm is deceptive and beauty soon fades. The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God” ~ Proverbs 31:30 (The Message)

‘All beauty fades’

All beauty fades

Each petal that falls

Each shaking loose

Each uncovering

lets in more shade

Soon there will be

nullifying nakedness

Bare stems remain

as thin reminder

Appeal for mercy

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And even these

droop low to ground

Stoop old, sigh

final breath

Lase last leaves

A turn to grey

Grave mulch and dust

A crumbling ash

from whose ember

new life holds sway

©JoyLenton2015 

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time” ~ 1 Peter 1:3-5

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Full circle

When life is painful and challenging, we are apt to forget its higher meaning and purpose.

Feel weighed down by the heaviness of our situations.

Our existence is intended to be rich and meaningful.

We are born to be in relationship with God, to love Him and love others as we live out our calling.

Each day of life is gift and grace. Each breath a miracle all its own.

A life can be summed up in three parts, with so much left unsaid ~ we are born; we live; we die.

Our lives lived in the dash twixt birth and death. In-between lies the fullness, colour, shades, variety of our days and ways.

Known intimately by the Author of Life Himself, shaped by His loving hands, made for His eternal purposes.

” Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you. The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.” ~ Psalm 139:16 The Message

We face a daily battle to escape darkness and an invitation to embrace Light.

Our choice is to make our days count ~ from now into eternity.

Live purposefully. Live well. Live like we could face God any moment.

Sharing 3 haiku today which symbolise the full circle of our existence.

birth haiku image pin

Life haiku image pin

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Veiling and revealing

Autumn is a season where we begin to experience a shift-change in our natural environment. Leaves take on a brilliant kaleidoscope hue; they glow as invitingly as the open fires we long to huddle over. Its colours warm our eyes and hearts. Its mists breathe out mystery. Its transience lends itself to reflection. For it’s a portent of death and dying with leaves falling and flowers losing their bloom. It lends itself well to poetic ponderings. The poem below arose at such a time.

Veiled

Sweeping across the veils of loneliness and despair

beautiful in its death

Autumn mists cling hopefully to me

a season’s sea-changing tidal broom

But do I rather cling to them

sensing reflections of death ~ my death

as I cling to you with crying need

unheeding the shattered veils

of our past

and the  reborn curtains

cutting across our future

We may rejoice in the untold beauty

that exists

now within a leaf

now within us two

as Autumn eclipses our moods

but decay stands

hoveringly with splendour

a quiet presence but always there

I stand as one amazed

and yet aware

watching this poem falling

into my mind and tumbling

rudely into yours

with no more grace than I possess

Receive it into your heart

for it was written for the deep corners

and already lay

embedded there before

it was begun

©JoyLenton2013

In plant life, dying is a precursor to new life springing forth in time to come. In human life, we can learn to die to selfishness and self-preoccupation as we allow God’s gift of new life in Christ to take root. If we hold on to a life of personal gain and are not prepared to embrace change, then we risk becoming destroyed on the inside – even as we give every appearance of being alive. Embracing the life offered us in Christ means hope, growth, change and potential for today and all the days yet to come.