Storms of Life

A storm rolls in with booming pain
Slashes of hope drive me insane
The gales of feeling toss me around
Tug me up, then slam me down
The winds soon cease, but the rain pelts on
Seeming to say, “All your friends are gone.”
Just as I think it will never end
The sun pops out and good times begin
My so-called friends again appear
But fair weather is why they are here
The sun shines bright, the grass is green
I forget that life can ever be mean
But the leaves soon whisper, “The air grow cool,
A storm is brewing. It will be cruel.”
I think to myself, “Not again.”
“I cannot go through this without a friend.”
The wind is screeching, drops begin to fall
My fair-weather friends are gone after all
I stand in a field and scream at the sky
“I cannot go through this! I would rather die!”
Someone appears, umbrella in tow,
Comes over to me and answers: “I know.”
He raises it up, up over my head,
And asks with a smile, “Would you rather be dead?”
I say not now and ask for his name
He replies “It is Jesus and I will never change.”
He sticks right beside me through fair weather and storms
When I’m happy and joyous and when I mourn.


December 2005

These two unfortunately go together and were written on the dates of title…

1 December 2005

A year and a half ago the pain began
Memorial Day made memorable
By a stroke to the sleeping.
The phone calls started,
Trips to the hospital too.
Over a few months the pain sparked anger.
Anger led to hatred and hatred had to be dealt with.
The hatred was calmed and replaced with
Dread of the phone calls.
Dread of the never-ending hospital trips.
Dread of the pain that was constantly worse,
Is constantly worse.
A week ago the end was in sight.
Relief was within reach.
All dread, and the energy wasted on it,
Was transformed into
Uncertain hope, but hope nonetheless.
Two days go the phone calls stopped.
Relief was close enough to taste.
The end of the never-ceasing pain was
Hours away.
Yesterday another trip to the hospital was made.
It lasted eight and a quarter hours.
The waiting was physically, emotionally,
And mentally draining.
Hope was clung to
And supernatural patience was felt.
Last night, at 5:15pm, hope and relief
The pain, dread, and anger came back;
Fueled by frustration, confusion, and disappointment.
The phone calls have started again.
The trips to the hospital are much more frequent.
Anger has faded,
But the pain and dread are stronger than ever.
The end is out of sight.
Today I wish:
That life was a dream and that I could wake up.
That pain and dread were nightmares
And never really felt.
That the phone would stop ringing,
And that hope would come back.
Today the pain isn’t over,
The dread isn’t gone.
The end is still out of sight.
But the end will come,
The pain will stop,
It has to.

15 December 2005

Two weeks ago the pain intensified
I thought things couldn’t get worse,
But they did.
Death to one unexpected
Threw me into confusion.
Pain and loneliness surrounded me
Ten days ago I walked into
A war zone.
Words of hatred flew back and forth in
That house of anger and sadness.
Comfort was desperately needed,
But I didn’t know how to express it!
Nine days ago was the funeral;
And the tension made it so hard
To breathe.
The pain was dealt with in opposite ways.
Some had uncontrollable weeping.
Others looked emotionless.
The feelings were bottled so tightly;
And true emotion was armored so carefully
That almost no comfort could be given.
I was allowed inside one person’s fortress.
The undertow of her grief was
Drowning me.
And drenched in my own endless tears,
All I could do was watch her cry for him,
Love him,
Talk to him,
And try desperately to rub some life back into him.
I couldn’t move; I was
I couldn’t help her.
All I could do was hurt, and watch her hurt.
It was a nauseating pain,
It still is.
Another person was allowed inside her fortress.
That person was able to do what I couldn’t.
That person held her,
Comforted her,
And told her that the one she lost was still alive in her heart.
That is was okay to cry for him,
Her brother,
Her best friend,
The one that she couldn’t wake up.
Three days ago we went our separate ways;
She went to school and I went home,
Supposedly to live normal lives again.
But I can’t get normal.
I can’t focus.
I can’t get rid of my aching pain.
Today I’m numb.
My mind is exhausted,
And when I close my eyes,
I see blood stains
On his bedroom floor.
The scars of suicide.
Constant reminders of that heart-wrenching pain
Felt throughout that war zone.
Today I’m tired.
Tired of hurting.
Tired of crying.
Tired of the pain that seems to only get
Today I’m surviving.
I’ve made it through these last fourteen days.
I’ve lived through the pain,
Through the tears,
Through the heartache,
And through the clouds of depression that smother me every single day.
Today I can hope,
And today I can know that things will get better,
Because they have to.
I can’t imagine them getting worse.

Contradictive Creativity

Every person has pieces of their life that just don’t seem to fit. I’ve been suddenly struck to share mine.

  • Embroidery and Tax.
  • Doodling and Accounting.
  • Salad and Cheeseburgers.
  • French Fries and Chocolate Frosties.
  • Swinging and Reading. (Together. On the front porch.)
  • Darkness and Light.
  • Juice Boxes and Twenty-something.
  • Elevators and Claustrophobia. (BAD combo especially when you add the touch of motion sickness)
  • Desire to travel and need for consistency.
  • Love and the long-distance relationship.

All of the things that make me me only fit when combined in me. It is a mind-blowing thought that no one else could ever be me and that no matter how replaceable I seem to the world, I am irreplaceable. This isn’t to sound selfish or morale boosting or anything else along those lines. It is simply a statement of truth. No matter how convinced I am that I don’t matter, it simply isn’t true. I am created as an irreplaceable person, a unique conglomeration of circumstances, beliefs, capabilities, talents, memories, and personality. And I am not alone. You are an irreplaceable person just like me. Everyone has this in common, but somehow this connection doesn’t make us any less unique. Those facts are a ridiculous display of creativity.

Difficult People

You know those people that drive you crazy? The ones you appreciate more when they aren’t around? The ones that aggravate you to the nth-degree? (I’m sure at least one face has come to mind!)

Now I’m not talking about the normal irritating people that we come across every day. Those are easy to put up with. They come in, you move through, then they’re gone. I am referring to those in our lives that “bless” us with their presence on a regular basis.

I have one in my life right now. (And don’t you dare say “one? you only have one!” and go comparing how much worse your life is than mine. That is not conducive to a friendly reading atmosphere.) This person embodies some of the most irritating things:

  • listener, as in won’t do it
  • conversational, as in one-sided
  • friendly, as in personal space invader
  • leader, as in does it for you
  • helpful, as in won’t show you how

I don’t need to go on. These are five things that could be excellent qualities! Only they aren’t. The trouble with this person doesn’t actually reside in the person themselves. The trouble is me. I am these things too. I embody some of the most irritating things:

  • listener, as in won’t do it
  • conversational, as in one-sided
  • friendly, as in personal space invader
  • leader, as in does it for you
  • helpful, as in won’t show you how

I don’t need to go on. The reason I am so frustrated is because I am dealing with myself. The story changes when I admit that all of the things I despise in another person are the very things I despise in myself.

Today a person that I greatly admire gave me some blunt and useful advice. Well, he told me off first. “The reason you are frustrated is because you are exactly the same.” OUCH. “What you should be focusing on instead of yourself is the [task].” And a little later “Instead of counting and naming all of their failures, look at yourself. Could you have done better? Would you have done better? Is that frustration with something that needs to be fixed in your own life?”

Talk about slammed in the face. There was no behind the back happening in this place. In my face. But I needed to hear it. The question comes down to:

Will I let God change in me what I dislike in others? Will I let Him work His compassion in my heart so that those qualities don’t even exist in my eyes? Will I let Him change me?

So really those were questions, but still. Will I let God work His way?

What are your thoughts?

Washing Dishes

A waterfall hums as it descends into the sink
Rapidly rising, it becomes quite deep
Bathers jump in with their shampoo
Scrubbing and rinsing, becoming like new
A bather got in a fight with a sponge
The latter dived in and made a quick lunge
The bather could not dodge the attack
And was thrown from the pool cleansed of grease and fat-back
The other bathers slowly followed in suit
Scrubbed clean from pizza and some moldy green soup
One by one they were tossed from the lake
So tired from swimming they were barely awake
They were carefully dried and tucked in on the shelf
So exhausted were they, they could do nothing else
The pond slowly, quietly gurgled away
As the waterfall slept waiting for the next day


Never Alone

There is within each person a deep longing to belong, to have a place, to not be alone. Every day we are surrounded by people. Every day we have the opportunity to speak, listen and make a change. It is also true that on some days we feel desperately lonely. It is like we speak and aren’t heard, we listen and aren’t spoken to, we try to change and nothing works. Is any of this true? Probably not. But deep down, does the truth of the question matter? Deep down, what matters in that moment is that we feel alone. We don’t care about the truth when caught in such emotion. I certainly don’t.

And it isn’t really that I don’t know the truth. I know that I am one not alone. It comes down to the fact that my desperate wave of loneliness is a feeling. It is a place that moves me… usually to tears I must admit, but nevertheless it is motion. Motion moves us. I know, what a drastic declaration, revelation, and inspiration. Motion moves us. This changes the question from “Is any of this true?” to “Where are you moving?” Where are you moving? Is the fear of being lonely moving you in circles? Or is this place, this place that moves me, taking me back to the truth? I am I able to release all of the emotional backup (think clogged toilet) that has been blinding me to the truth? Am I able to live the truth again? Yes. I am one not alone. I have the opportunity to speak, listen and make a change. I can shape the future. And I am one not alone.