Categories
Brokenness Despair Fasting Grief Poetry

The Keeper

bird-feather-2505306_1920

 

History was written on His face – not old – but ancient,

The lines told a tale older than time,

He was the Keeper.

 

Entering the room, lined with shelves that were stacked with volumes of books,

His calloused and beautiful hands gently caressed the bindings of those stories,

Eyes passing gently over each one, He knew them in detail.

He then stopped and I heard Him say, “Now, it’s time for you.”

Reaching a hand into a pocket on the front of His coat right next to His heart

He took out a book and in it

Was the story of me.

 

Pulling out a chair, He sat down

And rested this poorly written piece on a table and then opened to chapter one.

His attention was fixed on the pages as He started to turn

The book was worn and old, pages stained and sad.

“Who will read such a sad tale?” I called from the back of the room

“No one has wanted it, no one has cared.”

 

“I’m reading,” said the Keeper, “Come, let’s read together,

Take time to see what your book says.”

I sat with Him and we flipped through the pages one by one,

I felt ashamed He would read the words that were written there.

His tears began to flow freely and fell on the pages as we read –

But a smile crossed His face each time

My name was written there.

 

The print was faded, the letters had smeared

But He understood each word.

Lifting His head, His tears mingling with His smile,

The same beautiful hand that had touched

Those wonderfully written books on the shelf

Reached to wipe from my face

Tears from the hurts of lost time.

 

As the pages came to an end, there was no happy ending

No fairy tale magic or magic rescue,

There was only sadness and loss.

I dared to turn toward Him and asked,

“Why take all this time for me?

There’s no way to rewrite history!”

 

Eyes that read far deeper than times past

Reached into the darkness of my story and saw beyond my pain,

He drew me to His words as He spoke and said,

“But you are wrong dear one,” His voice as gentle as the morning sun,

“I am the Keeper and I’ve kept something for you.”

 

He then opened a drawer in his table and pulled from there

A new pen and inkwell –

And began again at chapter one.

On those pages of my book He wrote words fresh and new

The volume came to life on pages written in my heart.

 

Dipping His pen in red ink each time He wrote a phrase

The blood of the Keeper’s Son would never fade!

And as He wrote, He said “Without doubt,

I am the Author and I’m changing your story

I have a new plot in mind.

Won’t you stay here with Me a while?”

 

The stained pages blew away with one stroke of the pen

And when He was done I said,

“How wonderful! Will my story be together

With all those marvelous books on Your shelf?”

 

“No, My child,” said the Keeper, “This story is special – I will keep it with Me.”

And He returned the book to the front pocket in His coat

Close to His heart and said,

“Yours is My favorite to read,

Won’t you let it stay with Me?”

 

In the volumes of Your book, it is written of me.

 

Psalm 40:7,8

Hebrews 10:5-7

 

6 February 2013

 

 

 

 

Categories
Brokenness Poetry

Born From Brokenness

abandoned-1846195_1920.jpg

Shattered dreams

Where once was hope

Scattered around me

Broken before its time

Sharp and painful edges

Reminders of brokenness

How I am undone.

———-

Picking up the shards

Examining what’s left

Of lost dreams

It just wasn’t to be

In the brokenness

The future lost to me.

———-

Nothing of use is left

What seems lost time will see

Seeds planted in times past

Though burned by fire

Through the ashes

Grow the greatest of trees.

———-

From what remains

A beautiful work of art

Made by broken Hands

So that we would be whole

A miracle I now see

Born from brokenness.

_________________________________________

Categories
Poetry

Lost to Time

 

 

0520peters034_2

It slips through my fingers like water

I can’t catch it

I can’t find it

No refunds

No do-overs – the moments I’ve lost to time.

———-

She’s older every day

I can’t catch up with her yesterday

I can’t find the moments lost

There’s no refunding the days

No doing over of mistakes – they are lost to time.

———-

Time past has gone

Time present I live now

Finding every moment wrapped as a gift

Refunding what was seemingly lost

Present mistakes corrected – that I lost to time.

———-

Tomorrow has yet to be lived

Planning the minutes to the full

Looking for gifts hidden in time

Tomorrow refunds yesterday’s loss

Never mistake new moments – else they also be lost to time.

 

Categories
Birthday Family Missions Poetry

I Baked a Cake Today

amanda1990

I woke up today thinking of my daughter, Mandy, who is a grown woman now. Married to a great guy, her life is blessed! But today, as I prayed for her my mind was drawn to something I wrote for her back in 2009 when the “handwriting was on the wall,” I realised she was growing up.

Her birthday is coming soon; she lives in the USA and I live in Malawi. How I wish I were the one baking her cake, leading in singing a cheesy “Happy Birthday” song. How I wish I were the one to clean up after a party.

But there is grace to somehow handle all those emotions. I only have to look back to 1987 when I first came out as a missionary and remember: we had no phones, no email, no post – once we went a full year without knowing what was in our bank account. So, while we are separated we have FaceTime, Skype, Facebook, and other ways of communicating that we didn’t have all those years ago.

Yet, I still long to be with her. My baby girl. Happy early birthday honey. Love, Mom

________________________________________________________________

I baked a cake for my baby today

Her friends came over and everyone was set to play

Barbies, baby dolls, and gifts all around

Balloons were popping and children were singing

Her daddy turned to me and said

“This was a good day.”

———-

I baked a cake for my girl today

She had friends over for the night

They had a talent show and sang for us

More gifts and little girl things

I hugged her tight as she climbed the stairs and she said,

“Thanks Mommy for this fun day!”

———-

I baked a cake for my daughter today

Her friends came to “hang around”

Barbies and toys gave way to music and dance

No more little girl things on this day

She forgot to hug me running to the room with her friends

Thank you God for another birthday!

———-

I baked a cake for Mandy today

Chocolate and peanut butter are the flavors of choice

Gifts for the baby grown tall

Bittersweet feelings surround us all

Hug me baby as you go on your way

For God’s gift to me was you – on your birthday.

———-

18 April 2009

To Mandy from Mom

 

Categories
Poetry

Remember Me

finnish-1559641_1280

I am a first generation American, born to Finnish parents who came to the USA in the 1960s. In 2002 I visited Finland and thought that I was well prepared for the emotions that I would encounter on my visit. I’m a career missionary and am accustomed to moving between different cultures, and I was raised by Finnish parents, how hard could it be? I learned that I was sorely mistaken.


 

I remembered you

The first time we met

You became familiar to me

When we said,

“Hello, how have you been?”

I didn’t remember you

Until today

My family,

My friend.


I remember your faces

And names

I take you with me

Familiar places unknown

Carried inside me

I will remember

You

My family,

My friend.


Remember me

Although we may not meet again

Remember my name

Remember Africa

Where serving the Lord I have been

Please remember me

Your family

Your friend.

Categories
Poetry

The Keeper

History was written on His face – not old – but ancient,

The lines on His face told a tale older than time,

He was the Keeper.

 

Entering the room, lined with shelves that were stacked with volumes of books,

His calloused and beautiful hands gently caressed the bindings of those stories,

Eyes passing gently over each one, He knew them in detail.

He then stopped and I heard Him say, “Now, it’s time for you.”

Reaching a hand into a pocket on the front of His coat right next to His heart

He took out a book and in it

Was the story of me.

 

Pulling out a chair, He sat down

And rested this poorly written piece on a table and then opened to chapter one.

His attention was fixed on the pages as He started to turn

The book was worn and old, pages stained and sad.

“Who will read such a sad tale?” I called from the back of the room

“No one has wanted it, no one has cared.”

 

“I’m reading,” said the Keeper, “Come, let’s read together,

Take time to see what your book says.”

I sat with Him and we flipped through the pages one by one,

I felt ashamed He would read the words that were written there.

His tears began to flow freely and fell on the pages as we read –

But a smile crossed His face each time

My name was written there.

 

The print was faded, the letters had smeared

But He understood each word.

Lifting His head, His tears mingling with His smile,

The same beautiful hand that had touched

Those wonderfully written books on the shelf

Reached to wipe from my face

Tears from the hurts of lost time.

 

As the pages came to an end, there was no happy ending

No fairy tale magic or magic rescue,

There was only sadness and loss.

I dared to turn toward Him and asked,

“Why take all this time for me?

There’s no way to rewrite history!”

 

Eyes that read into the depths of my soul

Reached into the darkness of my story and saw beyond my pain,

He drew me to His words as He spoke and said,

“But you are wrong dear one,” His voice as gentle as the morning sun,

“I am the Keeper and I’ve kept something for you.”

 

He then opened a drawer in his table and pulled from there

A new pen and inkwell –

And began again at chapter one.

On those pages of my book He wrote words fresh and new

The volume came to life on pages inscribed in my heart.

 

Dipping His pen in red ink each time He wrote a phrase

The blood of the Keeper’s Son would never fade!

And as He wrote, He said “Without doubt,

I am the Author and I’m changing your story

I have a new plot in mind.

Won’t you stay here with Me a while?”

 

The stained pages blew away with one stroke of the pen

And when He was done I said,

“How wonderful! Will my story be together

With all those marvelous books on Your shelf?”

 

“No, My child,” said the Keeper, “This story is special – I will keep it with Me.”

And He returned the book to the front pocket in His coat

Close to His heart and said,

“Yours is My favorite to read,

Won’t you let it stay with Me?”

 

In the volumes of Your book, it is written of me.

 

Psalm 40:7,8

Hebrews 10:5-7

6 February 2013

Categories
Poetry

One More Time

One More Time

It hasn’t been long

Since I last heard your crying to be fed in the night

And I held you close, rocking you til you slept

Holding you for hours in my arms

Seems it was only last night.

Only a short time ago

Holding your hand tightly in mine

We went to school one cold winter day

Worried as I left you

Praying for you all the day.

Weren’t we together today

I watched you play football in the sun

“Throw it again, Daddy!” in earnest you called

“Can’t you play just one more time?”

How did those days pass me by?

Did we forget to hold you

Or tell you we cared?

Did we neglect to help you

Or hold you when you were scared?

Did we seem too busy to hear you

Or listen to you when you cried?

Can’t I just hold you close to my heart just one more time?

When did yesterday turn into today?

And the night turn into morning?

How have we watched you grow

And not seen a new day dawning?

Today, yesterday’s baby

Has grown into a young man

But I still long to see him

Tommy, can’t you play just one more time?

Psalm 127:3 “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord. The fruit of the womb is a reward.”

Written for Tom, our firstborn, in 2003 as he graduated high school and left Africa to continue studies Stateside.

Categories
Poetry

Answers

“God will do nothing except in answer to prayer.” John Wesley

His Answer

He lives outside of time in a place where only He can be

Entering in and out of galaxies and space

The universe struggles to contain His breath

The vast expanse of heaven cannot maintain all of Who He is

And it is this One, who is beyond description or contrast,

This One Who heard the prayers

Of those long past

Of those He loved

And who loved His name

He remembered them and offered heaven’s answer

He sent His answer and His answer was you.

He answered them

When you left and embraced the unknown

He answered them

When you struggled to do what was right

He answered them

When you were misunderstood and scorned

He answered them

When the tide began to turn and darkness turned to morn

He answered them each time

When He sent you.

 

He still lives in the unexplained span of space

Where He is, angels and heavenly beings dare not look on His face

Mankind in his pride peeks through telescopes seeking to explain

The vast expanses of His incredible domain

The natural world collapses under the weight of all of Who He is

And earthly kingdoms dissolve with a wave of His hand

And once again it is this One, beyond description or contrast

This One Who has heard your prayers

For others to know Him just as He had planned

Long before your time has passed

For you, His loved one and delight

He is answering your prayers

For those now standing in the field to work

He is answering your prayers

For struggles yet to take place

He is answering your prayers

For the trials and sufferings waiting in the wings

He is answering your prayers

For new strength to arise, fresh like the spring

He is answering your prayers

For generations yet to be born

And for those who remain even in their wake

He is answering your prayers

Because you have loved His name.

 

January 23, 2014