Malachi


Hear Me.

I’ve loved you

I chose you for my own

I rebuilt your torn down city

But you chose for me

Half-dead wondering sacrifice

Your priests built for me

Temples made of useless wealth

Made of violated wisdom

I’ve become your burden

I’ve taken the place of oppression

Tied tightly to your backs

You sniff at me like dogs

But even dogs bring their masters gifts

Shut my doors so I won’t smell your lies

You come to appease me

With your limping animals

With your mercilessly kept laws

I’ve not changed

I

Have

Loved

You

Yet you rob me —

Bleed me dry

And you ask how;

What have we done?

And then turn to the other gods you’ve wed

You walk with them in faith

You walk clothed in violence

But come

Walk clothed in My essence

Stop asking where I’ve gone

As you walk away from Me

Hear Me

I’ve loved you

You are Mine

My promises are coming

They will refine you in fire

I will rebuild you from ashes

And My name will be great

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To know and be known.


One time when I was a child,

I met a man named Broken

He showed me scars, scabs, and holes

He introduced me to scratches and stings

I’d not known these before

They came from far away

A country my mother would have called Foreign

I’d known bunnies, cats, and teddies

Carrots, bread, and chocolate

Pennywhistles, autoharps, and guitars

But Broken told me his name was mine

That I shared a birthday with his brother Shame

And I had the voice of his sisters Destruction and Approval

They moved into my house

Told me they were family

They shared my vision

They were life

So I communed with them

Though I reviled the way they became myself

So I folded myself up tight

I dug deep under my bed

I found an old shoebox and tucked myself in

To be sure no one would see the deepest reaches

And I lined it with sharp edges so it couldn’t be opened

~

We had both met a man named Healing

Healing had been wounded when He was alive

The ones He loves had stripped Him of His skin

Disrobed Him to His bones

And pinned Him up to dry

He gave us meals of bread and grapes

He built us a new house

With tools to evict the dysfunction

To file down things that pierce

To rid ourselves of our boxing walls

And to go and do the same on our walk

~

I met a boy called Descendent

I told him my name was Broken

That I was sister to Shame, Destruction, and Approval

He showed me ducks, cats, and trucks

Toast, chocolate, and almonds

Autoharps, guitars, and shaped notes

He told me to climb out of my box

Peeled back the razor edges

Took my hand and helped me out

Asked for help with his own box

And a bowl of something hearty and warm

Together we knock down walls

Holding hands, we help build houses

Intertwined, we know and we are known

Zephaniah


You’ve put on the clothes of two kingdoms

You put on My garment

To say you’ve adorned yourself in peace

But you layer on the garb of your oppressors

To keep you warm at night

You stand on the threshold of Dagon and Zion

You serve gods I’ve already put to shame

Holding loosely to me like a talisman—

A lover on a string

Calling me the likeness of a wooden pole

But haven’t I shown you?

Do you still not understand?

Haven’t I proven my greatness since Egypt?

Or have you again forgotten?

Wood will rot and rock will crumble

But you still lust after their abusive thrills

While telling Me you love Me

You’ve walked into your own fire

You’ve let your hands seek their own right and wrong

If only you would turn to see Me

If only you would let Me be yours

I am compassionate

Even Ninevah knows that

I’ll gather you in My arms

Lean into Me

Let Me sing you to sleep

Because I take joy in saving you

Give Me your burdens

I’ll restore you and add to you

Oh, beautiful daughter of Zion

I will be your King

Waking up to humanity.


Today, I woke up tired, and for some reason, acutely aware of my humanity and how much I have that I don’t deserve. I opened my eyes and spent the next several minutes horizontal, kicking myself for keeping my boyfriend up too late last night, feeling stupid because I’m not as “spiritual” as I think I ought to be, and I don’t always know what I think I should. I beat myself up for being so messed up. +I asked God why in the world He would choose me to be an ambassador of His grace and love when I so often fail to trust in it, when I so often believe that my own failures have an effect on the fullness of Himself in me. Why would He choose to use someone as screwed up as me? Why would He spend so much time transforming me, working on me and tearing down the lies I believe about myself? Aren’t there better people to work with? I became angry with myself about the coffee I’d failed to make at church this morning because I couldn’t find my key, and frustrated that I’d decided to go back to sleep instead, even though exhaustion told me I needed it. I grumbled at myself and yelled at God for loving me. I put on some music and showered. “Only by grace can we enter” the speaker on my iPod spat out these words in tinny notes. “Not by our human endeavor, but by the blood of the Lamb.” I felt my spirit begin to thaw and soften. All the crap melted. It wasn’t magical or instantaneous or anything, I could just feel the process beginning: the being reminded to let God love me because His love is bigger than me and I have no control over it; the opening myself up to that which I do not feel I deserve – mercy, joy, hope, purpose – because the One Who created me wants to pour these things into me, and leak them through the cracks humanity has chiseled in me. He wants to fill me so abundantly that it breaks open the reservoirs filled with the murky waters of insecurity and upside down pride.

I am allowed to let myself be loved. I am allowed to let my walls come down and walk out onto that which bridges the gap of the vast expanse ahead of me. The Creator of the freaking universe wants me to experience His beautiful nature, wants me to be drenched in the complete love He created me for, wants me to know how far He’ll go for me when I walk away and forget. He doesn’t keep His love a secret. He holds it out for us to receive. In actively choosing to receive, we are transformed, taught to trust, and made whole.

Autoharpist.


Happy birthday, dear friend.

Auto-harpist

Dear Auto-harpist,

The melodies fly free from your strings

And the metal on your finger tips

The harmonies swell in your throat

Deep and pure: the bottom line

You wrap yourself in music

You wrap your arms around me

Now I can feel the music in me

And I’m proud to carry it

~

Dear Star Gazer,

Your questions baffle me

Your very soul thirsts for your Father

Hungers to pursue the likeness of a carpenter

Yearns to move in love

You inspire me to walk in grace

And live in joyful prayers

Holding firmly to my Savior

Finding confidence in my steps

~

My dear friend,

You’ve caught my tears and held them

You’ve walked with me through hell

You’ve seen the rawest core of me

And still pick up my bags at the station

And laying under creation

Say there’s beauty yet to unpack

In asking questions, spewing laughter

And seeing that love is the end

Experiences.


We walk together
Joined at digits
Trudging and hiking
Braving the slopes
Bracing against the wind
Courageously stepping
From stone to stone
In the muddied rapids
Stirred up by miles
Blown about by distance
But we won’t get too cold
Our bones won’t freeze
Because we walk on
But we walk wrapped up
We walk wrapped up in love
And swaddled warm
By our Father who is Love

Avalanche


My thoughts are racing

Throttling at 110 miles per hour

My thumbs are smoking from friction

From punching out my doubts

Transferring my insecurities

From my brain

To little grey buttons

To little clouds

To the place where they started

My words form

Like an avalanche on my tongue

Because I hold a loaded gun

When the shot rings out across the valley

When the noise washes over the mountains

It all comes crashing

Rushing

Speeding

Burying

At 110 mph

Just like the thoughts that pinball

And try to cut corners around my reason

Please forgive this avalanche mind

It only wants to find love

It only wants to live

On Laying Under the Stars.


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Walking to the beat of her guitar

Walking hand in hand

We marched to goddess worship

Eyes closed

Hands raised

Standing in wonder of it all

Each hello was bittersweet,

Each goodbye sweetly bitter

Surrounded by the river

Whose rapids ebb and flow

Enveloped by the sounds of Scotsmen and youth

Caught up in the taste of coffee and sandwiches

Snowed in by the smell of word and book and days

Heated by the work of feeding others

We traipsed amongst laughter

Tempting our insecurities out to play

As we danced to four part harmonies

Under the stars of a Tennessee sky

The river otters waltzed with ducks

To the beat of the same drum as us

While we put pens to papers

To expose the words of doctors and saints

To draw mountains made for climbing

To map a journey of uncertainty

All the while I saw faith in your eyes

Not the kind that was certain of the path ahead,

But the kind that was sure of risky walking

The kind that was resolved to linger on my eyes

On my heart

The kind that knew I’d do the same

Edom.


My name is Edom

I’ve lifted myself up

I’m a robber in a fortress

A bird thirsty for wars –

A predator exalted in my nest

My brother has fallen

So, laughter meets me on my mountain

I watch his destruction from my tower

And I lie in wait to show him his trouble

I abuse him for my wealth

Since he is weak and lame and empty

And his very heart has been pillaged

I’ll make him my target

Then go back to my mountain

And count up the silver

That makes way for tomorrow’s schemes

 ~

Edom, you are indebted

Your wealth is a sham

Your city gleams red

Built not on rubies

But on the blood of your brother

It glimmers not of gold, but of tears

You will pay your debt

You will fill the hole the same way you dug it

Your fortress will fall

Your haughty abode will catch fire

And thieves will plunder your lust

Your mountain stands no more

In its place stands another

A mountain called deliverance

A mountain called holy

“And the Kingdom will be the Lord’s”

Jeremiah


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My heart is combustion

My bones ache

Comfort me

Understand me

Find patience for me

Remind yourself of me

For, I took your name

I ate up your words

And made them my oasis

In the den of my solitude

Your passion became my own

I watered myself with you

But now my skin cracks and bleeds

My tongue is thick for lack of quenching

But I don’t lack the taunts of those I love for you

I squabble with my brothers for a living

Oh, protector!

I’m broken shards because of you

How long will I be torn apart?

How much longer will these gashes stay open?

Come along

Speak My piece

Walking with Me

They’ll fight

I’ll fortify

We’ll keep walking

They won’t win

I will loose the binds

I’ll unshackle

I am Salvation

Walk with Me