Marriage Road


Tomorrow you step onto
Marriage Road.
Tonight you hold hands,
And wonder what it holds.

Brother Trotter will present you as
Man and Wife
And your first step forward
Is a different life.
Not just two roads becoming one,
Though they do,
But more, one road that is
Brand new,
Through grassy sweeps and
Thickets deep
Where no road yet has
Thought to be.

This world will tell you
I exaggerate,
That you’re both still yourselves;
No need to overstate.
That the route to joy is in
Holding back,
‘Leave space between’
Is the common hack.
You’ll seek, yourself, to
Make this true,
Because giving all is
Hard to do.

But when does Grace
With this world agree?
Never,
Not in marriage, certainly.
Grace came down and opened wide
His arms, His heart,
His blood, His life.
He married us, for better or worse,
And took the sting from
The thorny curse.

In ten and twenty years
You’ll still need His grace.
And you’ll relearn this lesson
Every day.
But oh He makes it the
Sweetest lesson in school.
Because Grace gives more
Than my own self-rule.

And if I haven’t convinced you yet,
Ask Annie, Cynthia, Zelma, Bertha, and Paulette.
Saints and pilgrims ahead of you,
They walk by faith and know it’s true.

Tomorrow you step onto Marriage Road.
Give freely,
And know you can always come home.
~
For Colin and Eliza on the eve of their wedding, August 10, 2018.

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Gentle Handsmith

 

Photo by Abigail Grey

In the making,
Bent, intent,
Joyfully toward
Communion
You loved us into being
With Your hands.

In the breathing, did You
Hold us gently,
Tip our heads back,
And impart Your
Waking grace of life enough
For us to see You and
Love you back?
For why else do we breathe?

In the molding, are Your
Father-hands fixed firm as
Unshakable mountains? Are they
Givers of thorn and rock, of
Steep and lonely crawls
Through tangled brakes?

And are they, too, the hands that
Part the twisted limbs and
Mark the arrowed way, and
Point the summit’s glory?
And do they, the very hands that
Created mine,
Now take tender hold so we can
Climb together?

In the saving,
Your hands are marked with
Justice and Mercy,
And I am twice Yours,
Made and remade
By the gentlest of
Handsmiths.

~
Psalm 119: 73 – 80

I Love To Say I Love You

photo cred: Amy Newsome

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was made to say
I love you
As I walk.

I love to say
I love you
With my hands.

I am filled to say
I love you
In colors and cloth.

I receive and say
I love you
In the table.

Pouring out, I say
I love you
In embrace.

Rising up, I say
I love you
On my knees.

Drinking deep, I say
I love you
Arm in arm.

And, oh, I love to say
I love you
As I walk.

~
Psalm 119: 57 – 64

New York, Day Four: Bigger Things

Ichabod’s woods are indeed
Haunted.
He was right, though ridiculous,
To jump at every eddy.
Haints and witches abandon a
Gorse-grown stoney field
And melt back in to old, old
Woods,
To titter at our cluelessness.
On a wet stone we stand,
Once a top step.
Who stood on that stone,
Home and
Relieved at road’s end?
The almost-home stone.
The Woman’s respite stone,
Work half done, her eyes
Drank in the pond downhill,
Thistles and thorns and damp.
She saw the bigger things.

Back Porch Devotions in September

Wing-whir and squeak
Of the resident hummingbird.
Mr. with a band of white at neck and tail –
A collar and tennies. His four-spouted feeder,
He says,
Is three spouts too many.
Scritter and crunch of two squirrels.
Brothers. Frenemies.
Chasing each other for
Possession of one pecan among ten
Thousand, in figure eights around trunk
And limb-split. Siblings obviously.
Dove whoo. Shell pieces dead-fall
Onto the tin porch roof
As the siblings truce to tap open and eat
Pecan meat.
Silent things add their inhalations and
Exhalations to the glory chorus;
Butterflies catch the early sun-slant on orange
Wing and light on a taller zinnia.
Chipmunks hug the ground, never looking up,
Intent on the earth.
Silent, too, are birds in flight, a feather ruffle on landing.
But from their tree-y houses, though lip-less,
They opine with
Consonants and vowels:
Chee-chee
Screet-screet-screet
Kack-kack
Kitter-kitter-kitter
Caaaaw,
Answering one another
Impatiently, mothers with a work day ahead.
Cicadas trill on a sleepier key than they will
This evening. It’s early yet.
~

Song To Keep On Walking This Side Of Heaven

Your statutes have been my songs

in the house of my sojourning.” Psalm 119:54

Yes, Lord, that your word would be my song, 

That I would sing your word as I quarter in this house, 

That your word would last longer in me than even I do,

That you, your name, would receive bright glory 

As your words are sung in notes over the reaches of the earth.

That those who grieve with tears today

Would find those very tears turn to healing ointment,

Filled with You.

That doubts would be exposed as the enemy’s 

Faulty weapons, dulled and off-mark.

And may your words be my songs

In the house of my sojourning.