Riddle

Soft as a lamb but you can’t touch it,

has no eyes but it can weep,

owned by no man

ever moving

over mountains high

and valleys deep.

The kids and I have been enjoying reading The Hobbit aloud. We just did the chapter where Bilbo and Gollum have a riddle guessing contest, and had a ball doing spooky voices for Gollum…till the kids got so creeped out I had to change his part to a cowboy voice to make them laugh! Poor Gollum will never be the same…

I was inspired to write a riddle. Can you guess it? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

Compassion

Let it go, little mamma.

You have deeply entered their pain,

lived it with them,

prayed and suffered.

Their burden is not yours.

You can love

but you cannot hold the whole world

in your heart.

Don’t try to steal God’s job.

Only He, the eternal one,

can bear all the world’s suffering

without breaking to pieces…

Your call now,

is to go dig in your garden

and plant flowers of hope

in the simple brown earth.

Your call is to smile again

and find joy in the little gifts of each day.

Tears have washed you clean.

Now, little mama,

let it go,

trust more,

be silly and laugh again.

Bodies of Water

The trees are so stable,

their moods have such endurance.

They hold on for months

to the bare bitterness of winter,

the silence,

the absence of even a rustling leaf.

Then the trees embrace the sweet joyfulness of spring

in a long coquettish smile,

a blossom-blush lasting months.

Afterwards, the trees sail into the smooth serenity of summer,

wearing their regal wreaths with proud satisfaction.

Even the flaming, flickering colours of fall flash across their faces for months,

the trees, with their moods more stable than mine,

for I am but a tiny body of water

wrapped in skin.

My thinly guarded surface subject to tremors of wind,

the harassment of a sudden hailstorm

or the steady pounding of rain.

I’ve been know to get icicles in my eyelashes

tears of pain frozen before fully released.

Some things are better to let go of quickly.

In all this variable moodiness,

this passionate intensity and depth of feeling,

I am not alone,

for are we not all but small bodies of water

(97% H2O)

wrapped in skin,

the tides in our hearts tugged about by not just the moon,

but by the moods of all the other bodies of water

bumping around us

in this space

that is earth.

Moments of Glory

So many times

life in a large family

is like swimming in the ocean

tossed about by salty waves,

trying to catch your breath between tantrums.

Then there are those moments of glory

when your kids are all getting along

and the baby is sleeping while your eldest girls

do a duet on their ukuleles.

That moment is one of perfect rest,

like you’ve climbed upon a wooden raft,

the waveworn wood smooth against your skin,

the sun’s warm weight on your back.

At that moment you question nothing.

Self-doubt sinks below the waves

and you float there

–happy–

trusting for that moment

that everything is grace.

Insecurity

There is the illusion

that ‘the woman next door’ has everything figured out–

that the insides of her underwear drawer

are as neat as her perfect front lawn–

illusion of insecurity.

There is the nagging feeling

that you should be more like her,

so confident and productive…

It eats you up inside

until your walls crumble and collapse

into emptiness.

Voices of self-doubt echo

in the hollow chamber of your head:

“Are you sure you’re good enough?

Can you really do this?

What gave you that silly idea?”

You’re tempted to crawl under the covers again

but that’s just where the demons are hiding–

alone in your head.

Instead, throw back those blankets and step into the sun,

don’t give up without a fight,

empty rooms are good for being filled with light.

Empty hands are good for holding little hands.

Empty hearts are good for being filled with love.

Empty heads are good for listening.

So, instead of dwelling alone

in the harsh prison of your self-judgement,

reach out,

be open to other people’s stories,

listen to their hopes and cries of pain.

Everyone has their struggle,

and everyone has their blue flame.

Realize you are not alone

in all your broken beauty…

like them you’re just a tiny little human

entrusted by God

with the great task of love.

Beautiful

Yesterday I stumbled across this poem I wrote some time ago for dear friends who had suffered yet another painful miscarriage. As a number of people in our church community have either recently lost young children, or are approaching anniversaries of loss, I decided to share it.

Beautiful the face of a mother,

who suffers and who loves,

endlessly giving her all,

her very self, day and night.

Beautiful the face of a father,

whose word of love has become flesh,

and brought him joy,

and the necessity to serve,

forgetting himself.

Beautiful the hearts of husband and wife,

who give up pieces of themselves,

and let them to walk around outside their bodies,

tugging on their heartstrings

until they break.

Beautiful the sorrow of those who trust in God,

while they ache inside and long for the gift

that was briefly theirs,

but has flown to Heaven.

Beautiful the “Amen’s” that cost us the most,

the letting go,

the giving up what we only loved,

but never owned.

Beautiful the hearts that don’t lose faith,

when all seems cold and incomprehensible.

Beautiful the love that is stronger than death,

that stretches into eternity,

and bursts into God’s light with joyous triumph

on that day of reunion

which is to come.