Sifting

Sun rays filtered by foliage
Light bouncing off new green
I sit and stare

I think how like the sun
You find your way through the dense thicket
Of my heart
Lies and lives and misconceptions
Misrepresentations
Your love and presence
Cannot be denied

I keep sifting

Through perfect pics
And politics
Through projected perfection
And pretense

I keep sifting

Through religious talk
And empty proclamations of love
Through traditions and routines
And harsh realities

I keep sifting

For you

To hear what you say to me
To see what you show to me
To let go of what you’ve taken from me
To never get to know why and still trust you

I keep sifting

So I might be in your presence
Kneel at your feet
My heavy head on your lap
Your gentle hand
On my head
Hearing your voice
You speak a blessing
A promise
Reassurance

There is nothing that can separate you from my love
I will never leave you, never forsake you

So I keep sifting

Through disappointment
And blame
Through expectations
And zeal
Through days and months
And years

I keep sifting

Alert for genuine encounters with you

I recognize your Love
I recognize the gift of your presence
I recognize this chance
Transparent, to be with you

You are far more than a label, a creed, a tradition or a moral code
You are far more than my politics, my worldview, my passion or my need to be right

You are so much more than all of the words I could ever string together
I want to really see you
Except sometimes it’s hard to find you
Inside all the noise

You are more than we could ever package, reproduce or legislate
You are a beautiful surprise and not so complicated, after all

I simply cannot make you fit into my pocket
You gently decline to be led by my agenda
I cannot find you in the places I want to go

Because there you still are

With the woman at the well
Feeding the thousands
Raising the dead
Walking on water
Healing the blind
Cleansing the lepers
Around the table with outcasts
Reclining, embracing, speaking truth
Bleeding out my freedom

So I just keep sifting
Through it all
For you

Trespasser

Accidentally found you
(Found by you)
Not the places or ways
I was directed
Instructed
Time, time, time again

Hidden
I could not see you
Stumbling about
A trespasser, really

Not my place
Not my harvest
I never could produce a thing
Exhausted, lost
Hungry for the truth

Give myself away
To have you
(Be had by you)
Hidden treasure
Found by a mere trespasser

Say the right words
Direct all the people
This way and that
Yes
I know how it’s done

Still stumbling, still lost
Heart empty
Back aching
Carrying the burden my proof

This place of plenty
Bright lights
Promises
Don’t fill my need
Crumbs offered as a feast

Accidentally I found you
So far from where I started
Roaming trespasser
In a place I did not know

Raise my hands!
Raise my heart!
Raise everything I own!

Cast into the winds
Give it all away
Surrender everything I am
If it means that I can stay

Accidentally I found you
Hidden for so long
Far from where I started
It is here I make my home

I could not breathe without you
And yet I didn’t even know
In all my striving, desperate trying
I simply dug myself a hole
No well read script or duty
Ever brought me proof
It was in my stumbling
–A Trespasser–
I found treasure knowing you

“God’s kingdom is like a treasure hidden in a field for years and then accidentally found by a trespasser. The finder is ecstatic — what a find! — and proceeds to sell everything he owns to raise money and buy that field.” –Matthew 13:44, the message

“There is far more at stake here than religion.” –Matthew 12:6, the message

Into The Sky

Up.
Up..
Up…
Into the sky,
Daughters

Into the winds and rain
Into the gray cold
Into the unknown
And the hard

I could promise the Sun
Warming your bones
Burning your eyes
And I might have wished it

Except easy flight
Makes a timid bird
And so it is, you must

Spread your wings!  Fly!

Into the storms
Into the winds and rain
Into the unknown
And the hard

Peace, your compass
Courage, your light

Soar, daughters
Into the sky

Brilliant comet
Enchanting moon
Vivid constellation

Soar, Little Birds
Be Unstoppable

Ruby Red

Against blowing wind
Ruby Red’s blaze
Hurting my eyes
     can’t look away

Crumble to earth
Crunching under my feet
Bits to nothing now
     once beautiful

Golden Orange, Battered Brown
Falling together now with the Rubies
Once green and thriving
     now rest withered

Explosion of death
Amazing mix of decay
Splendor spilled, ruined
     hope cold

Soil of earth needy
Winter malnourished
Ruby Red’s destruction
     makes Spring grow

For Andy & Liz

Perfect Imperfection

Love came calling
And so I prepared to run
Not ready, not ready
Still so much left to learn

But the moon was full
As the tide rolled in
And the pull of her current
Finally did me in

Not ready, not ready
Skyward still I whispered
Do You hear me?
Do You see me?
I need for You to listen

I don’t know how
Don’t know if I can
Love is so demanding
And I am just a man

What if she needs more
Than all I have to give
What if time and circumstance
Make authentic love hard to live

What if we disappoint each other
Make a wrong choice
What if raging, unmet need
Speaks with the loudest voice

What if we stumble
Bloody our hands and knees
What if pain and imperfection
Become all that we can see

Head bowed low
Beneath the shimmer of the stars
I listened for an answer
From this God who seemed so far

Just when I was giving up
Compassion caught my chin
My heart heard, Listen Son
This is where it all begins

The journey winds long
Especially alone
So this woman is a gift
She’ll make your heart her home

Imperfection is no beast
No need to fear or grapple
My eyes see the entire picture
And you will always be its’ apple

Marriage is the great classroom
This is My design
For often there you find perfection
But hear this son, it’s Mine

Perfect love comes to bare
When life stretches you
From here to there
You cannot learn
What you don’t know
Without the choice
To stay or go

So today I, your Father and Friend
Make a promise and an offer
For this thing that you begin

I’ll take your imperfection
And gladly give you grace
Not a moment in this life will come
When I ever turn away

Today I see your hearts
I am smiling and at rest
For loving imperfection
Is the thing that I do best

So Love her now and tomorrow
And way on down the road
See your marriage as a catalyst
A place you both will grow

Reduce Me

Reduce Me

Big Bird bibs and big blue eyes
Giggles and dancing
Can we play outside?
Rough and tumble; chaos abounds
Homework, field trips, dinner is ready
This is my life and these are the sounds
Jesus, reduce me to gratitude…

Stay up late, get up early
Bills to be paid, dreams deferred
What I say, What He says
So much talking
And yet what have we heard?
Running on empty
Stretched far too thin
Grace and Forgiveness
Please Lord Jesus, reduce us again…

Heart full of hopes
Soul full of dreams
All that I am and all that I seem
Nothing is hidden, I cannot deny
Cracked open, spilled out
At least I’ve quit asking why
All I knew of myself swirls
In a fine cloud of dust
Jesus, only You can reduce me to trust…

When everything I constructed
On all that I knew
Comes crashing down
Still, I find there is You

Chains slowly buckle
Under pressure so heavy
Of understanding, forecasting
Plans this side of Heaven
Redeemed and Reduced
Fragile, yet strong
I was so right, perhaps I was wrong

Today all I know is all I don’t know
But blue eyes and girl giggles
Move me along
Grace and Forgiveness
Taught chords that connect
Family intact
You’re not done with me yet

Reduce me, reduce me
Till there’s only You
Lopsided and tilted
Love comes into view
I know what I’m like
Oh the glory in my fall
Is that You take me, remake me
In spite of it all

Reduce me
Reduce me
Till there’s only You
Lopsided and tilted
Your Love comes into view

Sweet Days

Grass finally green
Windows open
Springtime breeze
Little girls running and playing
Neighbor friends laughing
Library books
Front porch sweet tea
“Babe” should be home soon
My little Leighton, 6 months old
Chubby hands grasping my face
Pulling me close and planting sweet wet lips
On my cheek

What my life is all about…

Lead the Way

Broken, so broken
Without You near
Striving, trying
Motivated by fear

Hushing me, loving me
Gentle hand on my heart
Soothing, Promising
Never depart

Heart hardened, bruised
Ready to bleed
Calling out, crying out
See the need

Each step, each day
Taken one at a time
Your pace, Your grace
Adopted as mine

Weary, weakened
Struggle to stand
Captured, overcoming
By the blood of the Lamb

Tune deaf, Word ready
Enemy’s defeat
Father, protector
Never retreat

Deep sigh, deep hope
Yesterday is gone
Alive in me, speaking to me
So I hold on

Your Name, Your fame
I remember and sing
Creator and friend
My sweet Savior-King

Valleys, Peaks
You map out my days
I love You, trust You
Jesus, lead the way