October 11

LIVING RICH WHEN FEELING POOR

So what do we do while we are “watching for God” — that is, while we are waiting for the answer to prayer?  Moreover, how do we live in the reality of the abundance Jesus Christ promised when we look all around us and see everything but abundance–poverty of love,  poverty of morality as well as economic poverty?

A few days ago I fell into a funk.  All I could sense was the great need for health and faith and hope and love in our world, our country and in the lives of people I love.  In addition, I have failed to reach some personal goals for myself.  I felt myself slipping down into a very scary place.

Several things helped me.  I had some places I could go and people I had promised to see.  Also, I have books–stories of people who inspire me.  I have poetry and I have the Bible.  I began to read, and slowly I remembered that even when I can’t see how God is going to work in the various lives I pray for (including my own), I am rich in the knowledge that He does love us.  He has not forgotten the world, our nation, my loved ones, or me.  In the meantime, I have books to read and people to see.  I can truly live rich in a world that sometimes looks very poor indeed.

June 12

IT’S NOT DECEMBER YET

You want a poem about December only it’s not winter yet.

Barely autumn, the leaves timidly changing their clothes.

I’ve spent mostly all day watching them out my window

except for a trip to the downtown library where I came out

arms full of books–poems and essays and stories.

Stories of men and women living out the December of life

only winter is supposed to be the end—

the end of growth, a drying up of the sap, falling fruit–

Cold, covered over with snow and ice is what I remember

of winter in Pennsylvania when I was in the spring of life.

Only now approaching winter it would seem that a few

aches and pains notwithstanding (I have a few)

I sense new life, as if the library were the mother and I the

nursing child searching hungrily for what will satiate me.

Who are these people—authors who wrote so eloquently and

why don’t I know them better?  Where have I been?

What have I been doing instead of reading, especially the poets?

It appears that it’s not December yet.

February 16

To a Young Person Contemplating Suicide

A twelve-year old girl was being remembered in the morning news.  She committed suicide last year because some mean girls bullied her.  She killed herself and broke her family’s heart.  Since that day, I have learned in the news of several more suicides of young people.  It distresses me.  We wonder what we could say.  Well, I know what I want to say.  It is one word:  wait!  Waiting is not an absence of thought or activity.  It’s about making a choice to suspend negative thought or action.  There is hope in this kind of waiting.  True, at the present time we can’t see how things will get any better, but waiting says “Maybe there’s something I don’t know; maybe it’s okay to have hope.”  Where there’s hope, there is a chance that something will happen to change either the situation or to change me.  Of course, there comes a time when the waiting is over and we step into a new phase of our life.  We get the job; we fall in love; we get pregnant; the kids graduate; we enter graduate school; we find a friend; we get an idea—the list of ways our circumstances change is endless.  But there’s another way:  the way of the inward change.  We believe.  We believe in God; we believe in our worth; we learn to speak our minds; we cherish solitude; we make friends through books; we become strong.  So wait!   Wait to let this hard time pass.  Wait to see if God is real and if He cares.  (He is and He does.)  Wait!  You can’t see the joys around the corner, but they are there. Please, wait.

August 10

Hello world!

For my first blog, I want to quote a favorite verse from the Bible.  This is not a “Christian” blog exclusively, but I am most definitely a Christian.   I want to give credit to the Source of my very life, not to mention this new life I’m loving as I share poetry with friends.  This particular verse keeps coming back to my attention.  The first time I remember noticing it was in 1998, just weeks after my husband’s death.  He died in England, and there were many loving folks who came from the Isle of Wight to his memorial service on the mainland.  Then, I was obligated to take his ashes back to the States for yet another service.  When it was time to return to England (and my ministry with the British Methodist Church), I was depleted.  How does one face such a challenge?  I walked into a Christian book store somewhere, and on a wall there was the following verse.  It spoke to me then and it speaks to me today:  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)