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Other Writings Poetry

Never really alone

 

So in the room called Remember it is possible to find peace – the peace that comes from looking back and remembering to remember that though most of the time we failed to see it, we were never really alone.

Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons, “A Room Called Remember”

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The voice didn’t say
You are utterly alone:
I would have heard the lie for what it was.

No, it said
You will always feel this alone;
You will always be misunderstood;
You will never have what you are longing for.
All is dark and there is no remedy.

And so, I felt that alone,
that misunderstood;
I felt the aching longing,
the hopelessness.
I felt the desolation of that voice.
I felt it as long as I listened,
many years.

“Show us a sign,” the people said.
“What sign shall I give to a people who don’t listen?” he said,
“There are signs all around you.
Wake up, pay attention, and see.
I am at hand, right here with you.”

The children could see –
the mouths of babes proclaimed it,
and still do.

What woke me from the desolating dream?
Grace, I’m sure;
the nearness of children;
the weariness of being weary;
giving up on giving up;
becoming aware the voice was just a voice;

Reaching out to touch the hem of His garment –
if I just touch it, I will be healed.

dw

Copyright © 2019, becomingflame.com

Categories
Other Writings Poetry

Up to its knees in the past

 

Then at last we see what hope is and where it comes from, hope as the driving power and outermost edge of faith. Hope stands up to its knees in the past and keeps its eyes on the future…shall is the verb of hope.

Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons, “A Room Called Remember”

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Sometimes it’s not just the knees.
Sometimes the past is waist deep
or swirling about the neck.
Sometimes hope is desperate,
sucking in great, choking drafts of history,
over it’s head, swept along
in rapids intent on burying it,
knocking it out on some jag of rock.

Hope knows, though;
it knows the past has
to settle out
to a stretch where strokes count,
where there is footing,
where there is a landing,
and a choice to get out
and take a path.

dw

Copyright © 2019, becomingflame.com

Categories
Other Writings

Escape artists

 

We are all such escape artists, you and I. We don’t like to get too serious about things, especially about ourselves. When we are with other people, we are apt to talk about almost anything under the sun except for what really matters to us, except for our own lives, except for what is going on inside our own skins. We pass the time of day. We chatter. We hold each other at bay, keep our distance from each other even when God knows it is precisely each other that we desperately need.

Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons, “A Room Called Remember”

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Escape artist maybe,
But a skill learned reluctantly and painfully
To recover from discovering – too many times –
What mattered to me was no matter at all,
Or an annoyance, or an affront.

Ok, well then, nice weather – right, moving on.

We escape to avoid the shame of experiencing that we aren’t worth attending to.
You know it; I know it; we’ve lived it, too often with each other.

Yes, we desperately need each other,
but in practice I make due with keeping what’s most important between myself and God.

And sometimes this blog.

dw