The Death of a Fallow Prayer Life…

But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” John 4:14

I was cleaning our kitchen yesterday.
With four children this is almost an everyday occurrence. If not, dishes tend to pile up and creates a chaotic leaning tower of Pisa sort of mess. Anyway, I digress…As I was washing off dishes and putting them into our dishwasher, I looked up at the windowsill and noticed our non-thriving plants. They were all dead. We might make excuses about these dead plants. Perhaps we might say that they are simply dormant in the winter. Or maybe they just needed to be pruned back for the season. A few more excuses come to mind, but in reality these plants are simply dead. They were once promising green, thriving plants in pots and sun lamps. Many on the cusp of producing some sort of fruit or vegetable. Yet, due to our travel schedule and our lack of green thumbs, they have shriveled up and were husks of their former living selves.

I am reminded that this is a living parable (pun intended)…for myself. I feel as if the Lord teaches us through the world around us – like my plant pots holding dead things in them. Caskets containing death instead of nourished soil of growth. I am drawn to this life lesson. It is something simplistic and yet stark in its reminder to me. For I am sometimes this casket containing death, when I should be a vessel containing life.

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In my prayer life…
My un-uttered words.

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my parched lips and forgotten promises to God.
My prayer life can look like husks of its former self.
Dried up.
Dehydrated out of lack of spiritual water and nourishment.
Neglected and empty.

How many times have I forgotten to go back to the Living Water?

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How many times have I gotten so busy in the concerns, fears, transitions and schedules of life that I have simply left my conversations to God to go fallow life I harvested fields? And before I know it, the once rich, dark vibrant soil is now cracked and as dry as bones in a desert. From this neglect enters apathy, harsh words spoken out of frustration and shallow roots.

Have you stood on this fallow ground?
Is this you? I know that I have found my shamed identity here.
what are the conversations that you have neglected with God? He desires to nourish your life again.
He longs to shine on the soul-soil and help you grow once more.

For me?
I am convicted here.
I find myself licking my parched, cracked lips in longing for that Living Water once more. I feel the guilt and shame of leaving Him out of my life…and I must seek Him out again. I must return to His living water and replenish my mind, body, soul.

Prayer:
Dear Lord, create in me a clean heart once more.
Renew in my a right spirit again.
Re-hydrate my broken, crumble soil.
I long to find rest and rejuvenation in you anew.
Re-ignite your passion and compassion in me.
Take away the casket of death and flood my heart with life and love.
Here I am, spark in me the joy of your salvation once again.
Lord, bring your Living Waters once more.

Something more to ponder today.
Be Blessed and thrive not just survive!

When Words Fail Us…

Ten…?!
(has it really been that long?)
years ago
words evaporated…
they were ushered
off tattered pages…
where silence,
like a vacuum
filling that space
As if the Lamb,
foretold in Revelation
breaking that
seventh seal
and words failed then too.
Words broken
dared not uttered
too immense the scene,
too deep the stain
of the end of all things…

We do not
dwell here much…
for pain
still resides.
lives here full time
dark residue
tarnished the festive
multi-colored lights
as one of its brightest
was extinguished,
how long will the
shadow be cast
long and mournful?

The words caught
in my throat,
ten years ago…
I choked on them
I couldn’t breathe
as, eyes stinging,
wet with tears
buried the sorrow
deep as the fallen snow.
Words will never
quantify such grief…

words are never enough
they will not
fill that void
that shadow
that empty space
that bright star
now missing,
extinguished way
too soon.

And still
this space
is tender and sore.
The hurt
runs miles deep
where no light can
enter,
no utterances
can reach its depths.
Ah, but memories,
still vivid
brilliant and terrifying
imbues us with its
sorrow here…
where words
still
fail us.

In loving memory of Deb Fiorini…we will always miss you, but in our rememberings you are still here in this space between in our hearts.

Let me down.

Let me down
let my ashes
drift home
tried to love
you
the sun set
too soon.

bones too brittle
smile worn thin
it all comes down
all
broken in.

sun sets
darkness falls
eyelids flutter
broken walls
once so strong
built for years
turned on me
realized fears.

Let me down
let my ashes
drift home
been gone
too long
bones too brittle
hands too weak
heart grows
cold…
let me down.

Psalm 13 Revisited

O Lord, do not continue
this silent treatment for one more moment
for my heart can’t take it any longer.
My soul is a dried up husk of what it
used to be.
I cannot sleep, and when I do
my rest is filled with troubled dreams.

I have been looking,
ever searching for you…
why are you hiding?

I can not take
this hurt of abandonment
any more,
O Lord hear my
gasping,
lung-rattling cries.
I cannot shed anymore
tears, for the well
has dried up.

And my thoughts,
they are running circles
around my broken heart…

I keep second-guessing you,
I keep pleading for this horror to end
How long, O Lord, will you let it fester
and consume me?
I don’t think I can
make it much longer.

But even after all of this…

even if You never answer my cry…

even if I am left alone
on this hill to die on…

I will trust.

I will put all that I have
of my wilting
strength into
your Eternal hands.

But Lord,
wake me up,
Help me see even the
remotest chance
of victory.

Help me see the Light
at the end
of all of this…
even if it comes
in the last moments
in the final dying gasp
of these feeble lungs.

My enemies are already starting to jeer
And they are celebrating my demise
…and yours as well.
They cannot wait for me to fall flat
on my face
in disgrace
and embarrassment.

But even if that happens…
even if I walk this
cold, dark alley alone,
I will trust
in your unfailing,
immeasurable
eternal love…

I know that You will come
You have always
kept your promises
to me.

You have always
been good to me…
even in this dark place…
O Lord, please come.

(As I read this Psalm of David, I could feel the anticipation and fear, perhaps even a little bit of frustration. We have all been to this place, perhaps the circumstances are different than that of David’s, but within these phrases there flows an emotion that we can all relate to. It is within this vein, that I have placed my needle and poked us all…perhaps in the bleeding we might see not only the very real presence of pain and fear, but more importantly – God’s holy and eternal presence…He will never leave us or forsake us.).

-Something more to ponder today.

Living In Boxes

Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.
― Shel Silverstein

I fear we have often times fixated on the impossible and the improbable in our lives so much so that we have been conditioned to dream limited dreams.
We pay more attention to our limits while ignoring the unlimited creativity God has given to us. It is far easier to remain in the “what is known” which is a place of comfort and familiarity, as opposed to taking risks into the “what is unknown”, where our mettle will be truly tested and often times doubts reside.

But…

Isn’t that where God calls us to?

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We cannot always live on the mountain…
for when we stand within the shadows of the valleys – our true persistence, endurance, fortitude and self-realization is put to the test. Rubber – meets road. Theories are naked and vulnerable. Dreams, and half-baked ideas are born, kicking and screaming and we are met with the ‘doing’, the verbs of our adjectives, the dirt under half-bitten-out-of-stress finger nails, the tension of the borderland of what is known and the mystery of the untested, yet-to-be-unleashed, uncertainty of tomorrow “unknown”.

It is in the throws of conflict, labor, action after dream, tumult after tranquility that we find exhilaration in actual living.

Boxes are ripped open…
These four square walls of ruts and routines,
well worn trails of tradition, shoes worn thin in
the same hallways day after day…Is
turned upside down.
toss on its head.
Head-over-tea kettle.

And we breathe deeply fresh, unknown air.
God takes us onto these paths.
Breaks our traditions.
All the while constantly walking alongside us,
whispering His love, and encouragement.


Without the tension – faith is fat and lazy.
without the trials – persistence and endurance is sloth on the couch
eating potato chips.
without the fear of walking – the infant will never grow and develop
into its full potential as an adult.

God leads us out of our boxes…
for a purpose.
So we don’t don the robes of comfortable Pharisees;
content in passing judgement
but never truly risking anything.

God leads us out of our boxes…
so we can truly live.
so we learn to actually walk on our own.
so that we actually think for ourselves
so that this faith…
is our very own.

Are you in a box?
Perhaps it’s time to be served our eviction notices…
so that God, in all of His excellent glory
might lead us into Greater things.

A Hero’s Song (A Poem)

When the light
began
to wan and
the ember glow
of dusk,
casting shadows
Tall, deep
and foreboding…

When I
was a child
my father,
tall and
impossibly
strong,
towered over me
perhaps he wore
a cape
but his cape
were the stories
he would read
to Sherry and me.
perhaps he
could bend
steel
but the steel
he would bend
were the words
of the page
bringing Lazarus
or was it
Charlie,
Mr Wonka
Or Danny the
champion of the world
to life.
I lived there
among those pages
the light ignited
heroes to be grasp
Weaving in between my life
dreams.

now
when the
sun starts to wan
Glowing shadows
linger and groan
arms outstretched
as if to reach toward
those pages…

and I take up
my hero’s cape
crawl into my
children’s bed
and utter the sweet
song of fiction
in the hopes that heroes
will still be born
and ignited
in their hearts.

Talk. (a poem)

There are days that I can’t be lone.
Alone with my own thoughts.
Thoughts that bind.
blind.
rewind my mind
until I find that I am helplessly
reliving regrets from my past.

Like a chain around my throat
the thoughts haunt me.
Thoughts that chill.
See to kill.
Fulfill all my darkest fears
of “i’m not good enough”
and
“I’ll never measure up.”

Talk.


It’s like I’m lost in the darkest cave
no lights to light my way.
I can feel it breathing deep
creeping.
Sleep is a lost cause
until I find rest
But, empty and cold
I am attempting to deafen
its voice.

My choice?
I can’t divorce this
escape this
I confess
I don’t want to be alone
with my thoughts.
So…
Come talk to me.

To Love Lost…

There is this deep, inky black-hole within all of us.
We can pretend,
we can play the charade..
we can place masks upon our faces…
and ignore that it is there…
That everything is “okay”, and yet, when it is late at night
and the sun has set on our false pretenses…
when the T.V. has been switched off and the vacuum of sound descends…
when electronic devices and cellular phones, with their glowing ambient light reflected in our zombified eyes have all been powered down…
it is then that we truly feel its ache within us.
the missing piece.
the black-hole within all of us.

We know that something is innately missing –
that our hearts are not as full as they should be.
That, despite our comforts and daily groanings –
we. are. still. empty. inside.
so we hide it.
we play hide and seek with it.
we bury it deep,
we attempt to just “live with it”…only to dig it back up when the silence is near
and care for it once more.

Could it be that we were meant for more than this?
Could it be that this black-hole is all that we were ever intended to be
and yet we ran from it?
that underneath it all – our prime directive was to fellowship
to walk with
to lean on
to spill our guts to
to share our secrets and dreams and hopes and yearnings with
to confide and love and cherish and soak up the divine in His eyes?
Could it be that this black-hole, this missing piece
IS all the difference
in the world?
Hate into Love
War into Peace
Night into Day
Sin into Holiness

My God,
my God,
why did I
forsake you?
This –
is to love lost…
and found again.

Redemption’s Call (An Easter Poem)

…And then it came to pass
that my heart was rent and broken,
turmoil spilled the spoken word
with nail and sword they killed my Lord. free

The veil was torn
redemption born
the Lamb was made to bleed.
For He stepped in
relieved my sin
and we are free indeed.


As the cost explodes the night
no grave can hold Eternal’s light
For we’ve been bought –
from blind to sight
The God-man, love’s true might.

And here we are – a second chance
from sin’s cold grasp to love’s first glance
the choice is ours, redemption’s call
His blood can cleanse and heal us all.
…His love WILL heal and cleanse us all.

SES
3/24/16


 

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