Chasing a Smile

A poem written for a friend.

Clouds in a dark sky

Seeking a smile
A smile that fled with innocence
With the discoveries that came
When I opened my eyes
I saw a rainbow
I saw beauty in droplets of rain
Each reflecting the light from where he fell
Each assigned his place among others
Each being, part of a whole
In my place, I reveled
I frolicked

But then, I looked around

I understood

You didn’t see the whole
You saw the differences
Differences between you and I
Differences in reflection, that become
Differences in complexion
The whiter, the brighter
(The better, you thought—then you said)

My place in the rainbow was lesser
My smile faltered
Slipped on the raindrops
Fled into the clouds

Following my smile, into the clouds
I fled too. I have decided.
I’ll make my own place
I’ll reflect my own light
I’ll show everyone
That I am ME.
I’m different.
I’m unique.
I’m not meant to occupy that spot
That I woke up in.
I can be
Whatever, whomever I want to be

So I shut my eyes tight
To block out the light
I cover my ears
Shout as loudly as I can
From the center of the clouds
Tell them to LOOK!
See what I’ve become!
See what I’ve made myself into—
See ME!
HEAR me!
But it seems that no one cares
No one hears
No one sees or understands
Except a precious few who followed me into the clouds

The problem is, I still
Can’t find my smile
My smile is not visible
Without the light of the Sun

God With Us (a Christmas poem)

entrusted to our care
the Breath of Life
drew his first breath
heaven’s earthly heir

Creator become creation
God’s Word in human form
the Breath of Life
in human flesh
God With Us
He is born

in the dark
a shining light
a solitary voice
announced his coming
to blind and deaf
a precious few rejoiced

Peace on Earth

the royal retinue
ripped through heaven’s seams
proclaiming glory
shouting praise
“This One should be esteemed!”

Creator become creation
God’s Word in human form
the Breath of Life
in human flesh
God With Us
He is born

years later
in our arrogance
we broke that baby’s trust
sin pierced his flesh
the curtain tore
and blew in Breath’s last gust

entrusted to His care
the Breath of Life
expelled to make us
heaven’s earthly heirs

Creator become creation
God’s Word in human form
the Breath of Life
returned to flesh
God With Us
we are reborn

Thoughts & Prayers

Thoughts & Prayers!
so they have been called
mindless hate
bitter fights
senseless online debates

Thoughts & Prayers!
murmured thoughtlessly?
or sent to the all-powerful God
with heartfelt sincerity?

Thoughts & Prayers!
two seconds to type
and then forget
and go on with your life
I’m thinking of you
I’m sorry that happened

(but it makes for sensational shares)
I’m sending good vibes to the universe for you
Typing & Posting to be seen and heard here too

(how else will anyone know I care?)

Thoughts & Prayers!
a sincere heart
seeks an audience before the King
bows before the throne
and to her redeemer brings
it is for those whose needs she sees
that she intervenes
and to that intervention
her Savior adds his own
this the same Savior who sits upon the throne
Your kingdom come, Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven

A bible with someone kneeling and hands laid across it as they pray

Thoughts & Prayers!
hollow? worthless?
that’s what many have become:
lies that serve to mask the truth
and keep us from the throne
lies that seek to hide the power in Jesus’ name
lies that deny that he is Creator
maker and Lord of all
lies that deny that he is the Conqueror
Savior and Redeemer for all
lies that try to tell us
he’s not God’s one and only Son

Thoughts & Prayers!
the truth?
the one who conquered death for us
who came so we could live
will move a mountain if you ask
it’s a precious gift to give
a mustard seed of faith
a request in Jesus’ name—
keep offering up these thoughts and prayers
offer them without shame
offer them if it costs you
if and when you’re ridiculed
offer them when you see a need
go to God and intervene
through Him
prayers are invaluable
thoughts are full of life
and every one offered up
can help break through the lies

I have to give credit where credit is due—one of my friends posted online the other day about people using the response “thoughts and prayers” to tragedy, calling this response “hollow and worthless.” He then said, “they should just shorten it to ‘T+P’ (which also stands for Typing and Posting those meaningless Ts + Ps).” I didn’t reply to his comment online—didn’t feel the need to get into a debate with his other friends who don’t know me—but I was bothered. Because in so many cases, in the majority of cases, he was right.

But in a few cases, he was wrong. Dead wrong.

I honestly believe that the phrase has become, in many cases, a weapon of the enemy (yes, I mean Satan) to keep people from turning to God in prayer. The canned response is seen as hollow and worthless because many times it is: there is no real thought, no earnest prayer behind those words.

But our God is powerful. Our God asks us to pray. Our God says that when we believe and ask in his name he will move mountains. And when there is actual prayer to our God behind those “Ts + Ps,” that prayer is invaluable.

More and more lately, I am being convicted to respond online not with T+P, but with prayer. I believe God is calling his people to do the same. Let’s make the sentiment worth something. As followers of Jesus Christ, let’s get down on our knees and offer those thoughts and prayers to God.

(And if you happen to read this, thanks for the inspiration, Larry. 😊)