What Do I Think Heaven Will Be Like?

What do I think Heaven will be like?

I’m not worthy even to make answer.

“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me.”

Words fail. That said, let me paint an image.

The city is soaked in a slow, cold rain.

I am driving to work. Distracted. Disconnected.

Passing the interaction of 3rd and Riverside,

I briefly notice a light in the single upstairs window

of a green paneled house, itself in disrepair.

Barely taking note, I continue my mindless drive.

Meanwhile, behind that window, a little girl

with a withered leg lies in bed, crying softly,

while her brother, barely a year older than she,

enters the room, turning on the light.

She is frightened, having seen and heard

in her life pains no child should ever have known.

Brother brings her a blanket, telling her

all will be well. He says he knows this

because he dreamed last night that God,

up in Heaven, had heard her crying,

and reached down with a warm robe

and wrapped her inside it. And he sang to her

and told her he would protect and comfort her

all her live-long life because he loves her so.

And is proud of her because she is His child.

He tells her that he knows her faults and fears,

and he has sent a slow, cold rain to wash them away

so that he can hold her more warmly in the robe and blanket.

Then brother sat beside her and dried her tears

with the blanket and sang her a song he knew she loved.

And there, as raindrops streaked the window

of the tiny upstairs room, by the soft glow of lamplight

a little girl and her brother held each other

safely, completely, lovingly…and the little girl said

“God sent you to make me feel better.”

And brother said, “You make me feel better, too.

And I’ll be here for you forever because that’s

what God promised He would do. Just then,

God smiled and turned down the covers

in the mansion’s upstairs bedroom

and tucked the two children safely to sleep.

What do I think Heaven will be like?

I think it may be, in small ways, something like that.

On the Road to Somewhere

On the road to somewhere she’d forgotten,
step by step on fragments made of leaf,
paths unmarked by gains she thought she’d gotten
going back and forth from grief to grief,
she began to make the earth her music
and to sing of falling, love and loss,
weaving from the wind a shroud or tunic,
fixing there her talisman: a cross.
Venturing alone to find her calling,
she became, but slowly, what she sought,
looking for the Face in every falling,
storing in the soul each glimpse she caught.
Deep into the ages she would wander,
hoping, ever urgently, to find
treasure troves impossible to squander,
leaving death and vanity behind.
Yet, she knew the Earth would be her homeland,
beautiful when viewed from points above,
wishing she had known such truth beforehand,
grateful for the beckon call of Love.

The Sound

The sound sweeps over me.
Washingly, the waves. The tide.
Dark heart of water without eyes.
Feeling its way to opacity of land.
Spreading. Divining. Knowing.
Sensing the flow beneath.
Molecules seeking to meld.
And I, lying between them.
Porous as the sand.

A Certain Kind

There’s a certain late December kind of pain.
If you don’t know what I’m saying, I’ll explain:
Love lies dying like an ember
from the fires of September
as the snow from Christmas morning turns to rain.

There’s a certain January kind of grace
that comes gently, like an old familiar face,
when you feel you can remember
from some faraway November
those who gathered for the last time in this place.

There’s a certain kind of gratitude and peace
that descends upon the soul who can release
stubborn sins that need forgiving
and the lies you’re tired of living
to the One whose love and mercy never cease.

He Gave Me His Coat

I was standing in a forgotten alleyway,
spiritually dead in destitution, cold
and hopeless, without the will or
the capability to warm myself.

He saw me, came to me, and gave me His coat.

A coat of righteousness, more beautiful
than a mountain’s face at sunrise,
more costly than the lives all those
who have loved me. More priceless
than the gold of any heart of hearts.

The warmest garment imaginable.

He delighted in me, that day,
out in the cold.

And He gave me His coat.

Story-Bearers

We are part of each other’s stories. Our stories are incomplete without those who love us, about whom we care.

Times may come when we forget parts of our stories, or when we write chapters we’d rather have discarded. Those who love us, who care about us can help us make sense of those chapters.

If we become unable to tell our stories through illness, death, or other circumstances, those who love us can be our story-bearers within their very lives.

You and I who remain can help to complete the stories of those who have gone on to another realm; to continue the good work, and carry the torch of their personhood so that they live on in the light of our lives.

What a privilege to do so.

He Makes Me

“He makes me lie down in green pastures…”

He makes me, though sometimes I don’t want to.
He knows how much I need it. He knows I often don’t
choose to, thinking he wants me to prove myself
through my performance. To show I can continue
to run with my tongue hanging out. To honor my
duty by being selfless and strong. To make up for
all my wanderings away and fence-breaching.
Sometimes, He lets me tire and fall so I’ll see Him
there, His feet in front of me, His face above me,
His hands reaching to help me up. And I’m always
amazed to behold the verdant velvet grasses
and smell the sweet Spring dewdrops and rooty
earth, and finally know, face down, how much I needed
to be pastured beside the still waters of His Love.

Silent as a Song

Silent as a song hidden in the ground
waiting for the voice it had never found,
lonely like a tree from a barren field
spared as hateful hands counted what they’d killed,
wounded like a bird with a broken wing
when the flock had flown on the winds of Spring,
he suffused the air of his vacant room
when the Spirit came, Self to disentomb.

To Be A Witness

I desire to be a witness for Christ because of His love and what He has done for me. And I pray that He will embolden this witness and help me to overcome my feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness to share the message.

In other words, I struggle with feelings that I am unworthy even to tell it.

But the holy spirit tells me otherwise, and gives me the conviction and strength to share the good news of Christ’s redeeming love for us. Because the message is not about me. But perhaps my voice will help someone else to believe, have hope, and be comforted and inspired.

Christ saved my life. He understands our weakness. His mercy is the model we can strive for. He lives to love you and me into wholeness, to love us back home.

Marooned

Marooned

Marooned am I upon the land
by forces I don’t understand
some distance from the blissful bay,
a lighthouse built on shifting sand.
I hear the calling wings of gulls
and deep enthralling sunken hulls
of those who set horizon eyes
to sail the seas inside their skulls.
Across the bow, I seem to see
the captain’s face inside of me
before a fog rolls in to blur
such visions of eternity.
Then bids a silent setting sky
the wounded water bird to fly
beyond all empty words and pray
within my taciturn reply.
Toward the sun’s own burning gaze
I weep to wash away the haze
with tears upwelling from this earth
like sap of live oaks by their bays.
Alas, comes an epiphany,
a bright seraphic symphony:
the sunset, dying, starts to sing
the soul’s immortal melody.
Thus freed, I loose the land, and soar
toward the blue forevermore,
yet, some essential part of me
stands like a lighthouse on the shore.

(Artwork by Lester E. Potts, Jr., an artist who had Alzheimer’s)