Good

It’s not that we don’t believe You’re good because we know You are.
It’s not that we don’t believe You can heal because we know You can.
It’s just that we ask ourselves if You have her best in mind, 
And by association, our best.
Not doubt exactly, but frozen waiting for Your next move
Even while begging You to take this cup from her.
Can we yield to the nevertheless-not-our-will
And trust Your goodness without knowing Your plan?
Because it’s not our understanding of her good, 
But Yours, O Restorer, Redeemer, that’s tucked into Your promise.

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

The Hammer Holds

May you have a blessed Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday.

Even though we live on the Spanish coast, this year we don’t plan to watch the sunrise on the beach… perhaps because we have approximately one morning person on our team (and it’s not me). We still plan to celebrate Christ’s resurrection for most of the day through worship, fellowship, and food. What are your plans?

This week, I have been buried in research and I’m not taking time to write anything original. Still, I wanted to share a piece of the song “The Hammer Holds” from Bebo Norman, a deep, poetic work that tells the story of a piece of steel as it is shaped into a nail to be driven into the Savior’s hand. You can listen to the full song here.

The hammer pounds again, but flames I do not feel. 
This force that drives me, helplessly, through flesh, and wood reveals 
A burn that burns much deeper, it's more than I can stand: 
The reason for my life was to take the life of a guiltless man. 
So dream a little, dream for me in hopes that I'll remain, 
And cry a little, cry for me so I can bear the pain. 
And hurt a little, hurt for me, my future is so bold, 
But my dreams are not the issue here, for they, the hammer holds. 
This task before me may seem unclear 
But it, my Maker holds

from Ten Thousand Days 1999, Watershed Records.


Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash

It’s quiet here

It’s quiet here.
Above, the sun comes and goes
More going than coming
Behind stubborn clouds.
Below is small but grinding
With a today of
Abuse and addiction
Suffering and slavery
In our own town, in our own people.

But it’s quiet here,
Here in my heart:
A mountain reaching up from a dark sea
To that sun swallowed by haze.

In a world gone mad
We long
We laugh
But we live following.
Because behind a cloud
The sun is quiet like the moon,
Searchable, findable.

Photo by Timothy Dykes on Unsplash

Mr. Rochester

I don’t know his name
But just suppose it’s Mr. Rochester
Who
Doesn’t hide his melancholy from the world.

I meet his appraising gaze
Over the cash register.
“Aren’t you going to seat me?”
Grunt.
Thump.
His cane hits the counter.

I smile unnecessarily
For the brightness of my countenance is lost
On its wretched observer.
“Right away, sir.”
Normal seat at booth five
Where he has the restaurant under surveillance.

“Coffee!”
I help remove his sweater and tuck away his cane.
“Coffee!”
As if I have forgotten.
I flee his scathing presence but return
To serve the coffee.
“Where’s my cream and sugar?”
“In front of you, sir.” Then, “As always.”
I add the last
Not to spite him,
But to pacify my own irritation.

(I wrote this narrative free verse years ago while working at a restaurant. I stumbled across it the other day and started to laugh. I think there was more than one Mr. Rochester during my years in the restaurant industry!)


Photo by Colin Maynard on Unsplash

Sunday people

I like Sunday people.
They walk slower, walk happier.
Like they are going nowhere
and everywhere and who really cares?
The market heart pounds with euro produce
and rebajas and greasy churro air.
Shouts and laughter as fathers play with children
And mothers look less worn.
Men with their canes on park benches
under the winking sun
talk about days gone by and passersby.
Church bells echo with every hour mass.
Men in ties are proud beside
the clippity-clop of high heels and scrubbed children
trying to stay clean for mother's sake.
Muslim children walk to class at the mosque,
little girls with covered hair
looking and knowing they are young.
All across town, there is a breeze
of one big Sunday sigh.

“He’s dying,” she says

"He's dying," she says,
As life seeps away
In voiceless submission
Of what it was taught,
Where death is unknown
And forever beckons
The judgment throne
Of a whimsical god.

The family huddles
To weep and recite
Then sit back and sigh,
"Alhamdulillah."

In the still kitchen
My face in my hands,
I plead for mercy
And hope big enough.

In the stillness is
Just the ticking clock:
Tock. Tock. Tock.