Breathless

In a single moment of faith I step,
Tossing both fear and doubt to the wind.
My eyes are locked shut,
Tighter than ever before,
As I fall.

But open wide is my soul,
Stripped bare by the rushing of air,
Which consumes me in a mist of both fright
And delight.

My first foray from above,
From that net of safety,
That nest,
Where before I, in security, slept,
Though not just in the night.

Whether haven or prison
I know not,
But that I have left,
Or escaped,
Loosed on the world with not just fear
But freedom.

I fall and I plummet,
I twist and I writhe,
I flail and I flap,
Yet as I stare death straight in the eyes,
I know I’m alive.

I care not that I flounder,
Nor that I am scared,
For as the jaws of death close over me,
I breathe for the first time.

Determined, I expand,
Breaking both the vice-grip of fear
And the devil’s mandible,
For death will not taste of me,
Yet.

Inches from crashing,
From losing my life,
I have found the very thing I’ve been searching for,
Yearning for.

Death is my first friend, for without him,
I would not have come upon this…

My limbs have never stretched so far,
My bones never felt so vast,
As I climb,
And climb,
And climb.

Never before have I felt this feeling,
To soar,
To regally spread over all the earth,
To fear, to feel, and to fly.

Toward the scent of life I make way,
Wings and soul filled the same,
By the wind.

Over wet cliffs and
Rocky crags I scream,
Filling the river valley with a breath,
With majesty.

To the falls I soar,
Banking sharply at their breast,
Glistening,
Marveling,
In their mist.

Drawn in by their waters,
Lured by the refreshing breath
They breathe,
I descend.

But as I fall into rhythm
With these falls,
I find, once again,
That I’m falling, too.

Enshrouded by their mist, I fall,
And it’s as if time has slowed,
Just for me,
To allow me this moment of extended breath,
Before again I find myself
Breathless.

Sinner & Savior

I once was unwanted, I once was afraid,
I once measured men by their accolades.
Fear was a weakness, insecurity the worst,
When throwing stones, I stood in line first.
Hypocrite, liar, coward, and fraud,
Gallivanting prodigal, fleeing from God.
I was haughty and uppity, on my high horse,
There was no hint of rue or remorse.
I was unrelenting and unforgiving,
I cared not for dying, but only for living.
In search of the fountain for eternal youth
I sought not a single grain of truth.
I was reckless and rampant and foolishly bold
All in the face of the words I’d been told.

I was never unwanted, but just misdirected,
I was fighting for favor among the infected.
My weakness was ignorance, and also pride,
I ignored the emptiness that burrowed inside.
Idiot, moron, weasel, and fool,
I wanted to be king, and to make my own rules.
I took what I wanted, granted no grace,
Whatever I hated, I sought to deface.
I was unwilling to listen or change,
I left those I cared for, self-estranged.
Sadly I never paid heed to the signs,
I failed to succeed, and loved to malign.
I was hopeless and lonely, but never alone,
He was waiting for me to kneel at His throne.

He was forgiving, He was always nearby,
He loved me so much He was willing to die.
He wanted my heart, He wanted my all,
He held out His hand every time I would fall.
Scarred on His hands were those humble holes
From that day when He died, for to save every soul.
He was gentle and gracious, He glowed from inside,
And He wanted my all, not just the good side.
He wants the ugly, the dirty, the rotten,
He counts every sin forgiven, forgotten.
To Him we’re beautiful, He’s made us clean,
He resurrected, and we are redeemed.
He’s our Saving Grace, He’s the Humblest King,
He is our reason to love and to sing.

Bowlers, Balloons & Globes

Slightly aloof but gregarious and warm,

A belly-born laugh that takes you by storm.

Thick suspenders with a skinny black tie,

Beneath his brim he winks a blue eye.

His handshake is firm while his hands are rough,

Of that southern drawl you can’t get enough.

This slow-flowin’ fellow is no high roller,

He’s just a chap with a pipe and a bowler.

Up in the sky, above the clouds,

The wind is whispering wonders aloud.

Earth below so green, and sky so blue,

Sunbeams are bursting, pouring through.

Aloft and drifting, ever away,

The breeze is the pilot leading the way.

Not jet nor zephyr, not blimp nor moon,

But a colorful, cheerful hot-air balloon.

Spinning around, slow but steady,

Waiting for no one to set or ready.

Splattered with jungles, both exotic and lush,

And even some concrete with late-hour rush.

Peoples and cultures, phrases and foods,

Those tropics among the latitudes.

Exploring the canvas, a worldwide probe:

The bowler, by balloon, floats the globe.

The Ship Called Resurrection

Ominous the seas of life that ravenously roll,

Fragile is the vessel, vulnerable the soul.

Treacherous the waters that ceaselessly will storm,

Feeble is the captain, hopelessly forlorn.

Menacing the squalls that breach our meager hull,

Empty are the voices, yet the echoes seem so full.

Pressing is the darkness that heavily surrounds,

Daunting is the chaos that rampantly abounds.

Eager is the soul to conquer every wave,

But this demands a stouted heart, adamant and brave.

Promising the man that needs no compass for direction,

Hopeful is the sailor that believes in Resurrection.

Luminous the voyage that returns us to the shore,

Glorious the grace; glory, glory evermore.

In the Wind

There is no way, we cannot choose,
to watch God move,
            in the wind.
We move in patterns, on tracks, in grooves,
unlike God,
            in the wind.

From afar we’re seen, from miles away,
unlike God,
            in the wind.
We are predictable, as night and day,
unlike God,
            in the wind.

We’ll never dictate or comprehend
how God moves,
            in the wind.
Not where he starts, nor where he ends,
because God moves,
            in the wind.

We sit in place, we loll, we idle,
unlike God,
            in the wind.
We dance in steps, like a child’s recital,
unlike God,
            in the wind.

Like no other, swift and strong,
is how God moves,
            in the wind.
Over his earth, bounding along,
is how God moves,
            in the wind.

We can’t outrun, we can’t ignore,
the way God moves,
            in the wind.
We best be ready, I implore,
for our God moves,
            in the wind.

A Purposeful Conversation

Excerpt from a conversation in my head:

“Anybody who believes in anything must wonder about life… why we’re here, what we’re here for, where we’re gonna end up. I guess that means the most important questions surround the end game.”

So then I asked myself: “What’s the end game of Christianity?” And I realized, the end game of Christianity… is love.

“The end game of Christianity is to love anyone and everyone. To love your neighbor more than yourself, and to love your enemy more than your neighbor. The righteous commission of every God-fearing believer is to share the good news about Christ with every soul we come into contact with. The fact that in Christ, we’re no longer sinners but saints.”

I learned an important lesson lately, one that checks both guilt and pride simultaneously: “Nothing we do can ever change our standing with God.”

“No matter the good, no matter the bad, nothing changes the overwhelming amount that he loves us. No good deed can earn God’s love; it’s a gift given out of pure grace. And regardless of any evil deed, any impure thought, any deplorable act, Jesus has forgiven us.”

How?

“He took every sin we ever committed, and every one we’ve yet to commit, and he took them upon his shoulders to the grave. God willingly gave his Son, as much as it hurt him. Jesus willingly confronted death, as much as it pained him. And he died in our stead.”

But he died…

“He did. But death couldn’t hold him. After three days, Christ burst forth, with freedom in hand. Freedom from sin, from old laws, and most importantly, from death! And when the time comes for him to return, all who call on his name will be wiped clean, and blessed by spending eternity with him in heaven.”

And Christianity, unlike other religions, wants to see every soul saved. Jesus loves every single person… enough to forgive them, enough to die for them, and enough to invite them into his everlasting kingdom.

“But it’s our own choice whether to accept his gifts: Mercy. Redemption. Life. Love.”

That’s where we circle back. That’s why we have a purpose. To share this message, this good news, this gospel, with the world. Every soul needs and deserves to know that God loves them, and desperately wants to forgive them.

“It’s nice to be reminded that I have a purpose.”

:]

 

The Kite String

Released from tender hands, like being born for the first time.

Caught by the wind and carried to unimaginable heights.

Filled with spirit and with life.

Exhilarated by both sights and sky.

High above the ground, flight has never seemed so sweet.

Freedom has never been so alluring.

Tossed and pulled by gusts, unafraid of where they lead.

Given in to the enticing idea of release.

Desiring to be unleashed on the world.

Sensing and tasting free flight, but still held back, somehow.

Clung to by the liberator, yet tethered to him.

Tied down to the giver of flight, and wanting to be let go.

Struggling and writhing to break free.

Fighting for freedom from the one who set us free…

Snap.

In an instant, released.

In a moment, unleashed.

Set free from the string of limitation.

Unbound from the chain of repression.

Invigorated by that moment of untethered flight.

An ecstasy of complete freefall…

Panic.

Unable to catch the wind.

Unable to steer, to soar.

Falling and failing.

Gasping and flailing.

Jerked and tossed.

Incapable and lost.

Desiring once again those tender hands.

Longing to be caught, but not…

Crash.

Wrecked and ragged, strewn on the rocks.

Alone and stranded, powerless.

Ruefully regretting that snip, aware of the ties that were cut.

Missing that feeling of flight, craving some second chance.

But none is deserved.

Flight was given, life was given.

And both were taken for granted.

Helplessness and hopelessness overwhelm…

Grace.

Softly scooped up by those tender hands.

Cared for and mended, healed and forgiven.

For some reason, still loved.

Out of pure mercy, restrung.

Nestled in the crook of loving arms.

Cherished despite the shortcomings.

A redeeming word, and prepared to take wing again…

Rebirth.

Back into the sky, fearful but brave.

Fully aware of the string, and grateful for it.

A bond not of confinement but of empowerment.

Not a chain or a tether, but a lifeline.

A literal line of life, created by love.

Amazed by flight again.

Astounded even more by the pilot.

Oh to fly again.

Oh to be flown again!

Life…