Wednesday, July 8, 2015

To My Daughter.

I pray that you would always:

Learn to look for the people in the corner-
for ones with stories in their eyes.
When you walk into a room, don't sink into the masses.
Rather, seek out the overlooked few.
And let your eyes continually turn toward the hurting,
to the ones with heavy burdens.

Learn to look for the people in the corner-
for the ones with timid movements.
When you are away from home, don't find the head of a table or the middle of a spotlight.
Rather be drawn to those hiding in shadows of loneliness.
And let your hands be forever quick to extend a greeting,
to the ones who shy away.

Learn to look for the people in the corner-
for the ones who have been labeled "different".
When you pass them on the street, don't turn away your face.
Rather, look directly into theirs.
And let your ears be constantly tuned to what they have to say,
to the ones that are so often silenced.

Learn to look for the people in the corner-
for the ones who were told they didn't matter.
When you are in the middle of your afternoon, don't browse for "new" or "wow".
Rather let your heart be pulled closest to the quiet heroes,
to the ones who have never received fame for their days.

Daily I ask, daily I hope,
that as you grow,
you will learn to look for the people in the corner.

Because when you do,
you'll find that you've been turning your eyes, your hands, your ears, your heart...
to The One who was in the corner all along.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015



Looking down from our hotel perch the cranes seem to have stretched their heads to the horizon and lifted the sun on a hook. Their steel necks are bathed in gold as they hover above the channel. These poised, mechanical dinosaurs color the city in an almost prehistoric light, as though at any moment they could come to life and wade through glittering waters. Instead they turn only back and forth, back and forth. Picking up and dropping down. Is this industrial rhythm what calls the city to wake? I see the bus, the storefront clerks, children in the schoolyard, all trickle out to work or play. From this height one would think us removed from the tempo of their routine. But there is something about this place that leaves us restless and at ease in a single breath. Before we know it, our packs are on and we begin our descent- each footstep into the landscape propels us further into her mystery.


We wait on a bench for the ferry with our bikes perched next to us. Everyone else is standing with their own, holding them as if extensions of their limbs. The ferry steadily makes her way back to the loading dock as she has done the past several hours. She carries with her young and old, suits and skirts. When she docks, kickstands go up in one fluid motion, almost choreographed, and the line proceeds forward. We follow clumsily behind, trying to bring our own bikes into order. Without any ceremony or announcement we are crossing the channel and moving beneath the towering crane-guardians. Today is Monday but there is nothing apparently manic about it here. There are no blaring horns at lunch hour, or sterile coffee houses. It is the same steady pace of beauty and work that was present yesterday. The streets are filled and the clock hands turn and the bike wheels propel, but the city isn’t all gears and go. There are hats and umbrellas and lace and linen. I cannot say for certain but I wonder if there is perhaps an unspoken regard on the importance of being beautiful and excellent? The ferry has docked. We get ready to exit and wheel our bikes onto land. A stranger hands me a Mikan. It is cool on my sweating palms and the most brilliant color green. In this gesture something remarkable takes place but I know not what. A white cat sits on the beach below and smiles with her eyes. We push our bikes and venture to see where our feet will take us now. As I step off the dock and place the Mikan in my pack, I can’t shake the feeling that I am stepping out of church.


The crane-giants are sleeping and the ferry is still. It is the fishing boats that have my attention now. They are long and wooden and full of shadows. Their helms are empty…but are we sure? The waves cause them to thrash and bob like the very fish on their lines earlier that day. Nets hang draped off the boughs like giant, sea-soaked cobwebs. We look over the edge of the rock wall on which we sit and I feel as though I have glimpsed yet another hidden dimension. Was that the lights from the dock? Or a face? I am glad for this perch above such inky waters. A large wave crashes on the rocks below. The spray leaps up and grabs at my ankles. Even now the city secrets beckon traveling feet to venture deeper. The call is so strong that I might have slipped and journeyed even more were it not for the moon rising, drawing with it a silver curtain across the entire scene. It is time to rest.

I lay in bed and sleep covers my body like a blanket-first pulling over my toes, then my stomach and to my neck. Each weary muscle from our travel sinks into the mattress. Through the open window, the only sound I hear is the breeze rustling through bamboo forests. In the second before sleep takes over, the thought crosses my mind that maybe Onomichi is not a puzzle to be solved, but rather a fairytale to be lived-a sort of dream come to life in which I was lucky enough to journey through.

Either way, dream or reality, the cranes are hovering at their post and waiting for tomorrow’s dawn. Waiting once more, to pull up the sun.

Friday, May 15, 2015


A piece I've been working on for the past few months.
Exploring various thoughts and emotions similar to Psalms of Lament.
I am not sad, depressed, etc.
Just an exploration into keeping our faith fresh and alive.

*Disclaimer for my disclaimer...
A true writer should never really have to write an "explanation" before their thoughts...
but there it is and there you go.
I'm not a true writer yet ;)


Once there was a time when I heard music. Each song held notes and overtures from a different age. Single chords soothed and revived in waves. They told of adventure and distant beauty with an artistry composed of more than theory. It held secrets and spoke of places listeners had never traveled to, but had already come from.

Although that symphony has long since played in these ears, I know its’ magic well enough to feel the void, for I am deaf now. There is no melody to these droning hours and I mourn the loss of such a heavenly orchestra. Will I drown in this continual concert of silence?

Once there was a time when I held flowers and they held me. I walked a cut path of floating lilies-velvet and pure. They carried the promise of dawn after a dark night within each bloom. Pictures and paintings could not capture their elegance. One could only gaze upon their glory and be swept up.

That is a garden I have not seen in ages, for my sight is gone and these floral visions are mere memory. Every petal has been swallowed up in inky shadows. Is this blindness to be my world? I fear I will never again behold such ceremonial splendor.

Once there was a time I danced through each day. I would soar over boundless, ballroom floors of the earths’ surface- barefoot and free. Whether moss, marble, or sand, there was always a place or occasion for movement and rejoicing. I was quick and agile and could fly.

So what is to become of these dry bones now? They say the slightest movement could cause a break. All freedom has gone and only frailty and weakness remain. I am spineless and cannot lift my weary head, let alone lift up these legs to carry me away.

Once there was a time when I dined in a great banquet hall. The foods and wine were unparalleled in taste and matchless in quality. Meat, fruits, and breads were piled on golden platters. The candles never dimmed and the linens never dirtied. For all the bounty offered, no morsel fostered gluttony or greed. One only walked away nourished and content.

Oh to be a guest at that table again! I long for its’ plenty. For now, my tongue is dry and my stomach hollow. I eat and drink all day but am never full. What cruel trickery is this, that I have lost my appetite for anything other than dust?

Once there was a time when I was clothed in white. The vision is shrouded and far off, but the make of such an outfit I shall never forget. The purest of white linen- it was weightless and brighter than the sun. Every line was tailored to mine alone. It lit up something within the wearer that was beyond outer appearance. Clothed in such finery, I was more than just a royal. I entered into part of an entire Kingdom itself.

The loss of that garment causes me to weep. Only tattered and dirty burlap encompasses me now. I am suffocating and cannot be rid of this new uniform. In spite of every effort, each fiber is somehow embedded to my paper-thin skin. Will I ever make it back to that wardrobe? I used to be clothed in riches. Now I am rotting in rags.

Once there was a time when I had a love-a reason for each hour and hope to any darkness. It was the kind of love that made romance and infatuation seem childlike and clumsy. It stemmed from sacrifice and service. The more I drank of it, the more I realized how undeserving I was to receive it. Walking towards this love was walking into life. Everything stopped and started in a single, earth-shattering moment. This love did not make my heart skip, but rather made my heart beat for the first time.

Of all the gold and shining images that play before me in my mind this is the one that will not let me rest: the wholeness that existed in having a heart that was loved and purpose-filled…and the painstaking awareness that…

Once, I was not like this.

How gracious you are to sit and hear me grieve.

Silent and Great Physician! Examine me and see the depths of this loss!
For only You know my history.

Once there was a time you brought me back from the dead.
But I wandered far from your rescue and celebration and climbed back into this festering hospital ward.

Tell me there is still hope!
Will you lift up a cripple who left you at the alter?
Do You offer Your holy medicine to leprous traitors?

I have nothing left, no payment which to give You. All I own are broken apologies for broken covenants...

Skilled surgeon! Can You do Your waking work on the walking dead?
Will you carry me from a funeral to a wedding?

Say it can be done and I shall gladly give up this shell of a life!
Upon your Word I will breathe my last,
so that my Once, can begin again,

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Winter Haiku

See how golden dog
pours over white washed winter
for black bearded man.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

At times.

In the recesses of the mind
there are places I travel
that are sometimes heavy and blue-grey.

It is not for lack of joy or contentment.
I have no hidden darkness or
mourning heart.

Only ever so often it comes in like a fog,
making it difficult to remember the sun.

I am not speaking of the bleakness of depression
or unending nights of hopelessness.
These are real battles and not to be treated lightly by anyone.

I refer simply to that weight that comes from seeking...
from being a glimpse catcher.
Whether it's words or notes or paint strokes,
the discipline of artistry has many price tags.

One of them being a melancholy mist every now and again.

We are taught from childhood to continuously fight the elements.
Put on a coat.
Wear a hat.
Bring an umbrella.

But these times of weary weather have their outcomes.
So I find it best to just let it pass. Wear a sweater.
And bring a pen.

Friday, January 16, 2015


What strange, beauty is this?
That the promise of you, mere inches from my eyes
can turn my gaze ages forward,
so that an entire lifetime
sits hovering above my lap.

There lies one thousand joys and defeats,
all floating in a golden, misty haze.
They are blurred, but they are there.

I do not regard myself a prophet in any sense of the term,
but I cannot deny this skyline of visions.

So if I speak any future truth about our souls, know this.
That you held this heart
long before these arms ever held you.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Shiny Thoughts on Leadership.

My husband is so flipping smart.
I adore him.
His love for the Lord is so evident in what he does.
One area I have really seen God mold him through his job and schooling, is in the area of leadership.
Tonight kicked off the high school monthly series on the topic, and these were the main points that I found myself challenged and encouraged by. The structure and some of the words of the lesson looked a little different from this, but here is what his word-loving wife took from it.

"It doesn't take an ounce of talent to be a critic.
Anyone can point a finger or find a flaw."
The true leaders are the learners. The ones who know how little they actually know.

Conversely, the masses are masters of everything.
while simultaneously never experiencing anything.

They never suffer loss, because they never take a risk.
And they think that's what makes them great.
But a perfect track record isn't what people are looking for.

What makes a leader different from the crowd?
The leap. The unknown.
It's always the risk itself that builds respect.

Far better is it to stumble through life a bold and inquiring student,
than to be a self-proclaimed expert
with nothing but a portfolio of other people's shortcomings and failed attempts.

Don't forget that the majority of people want to be led. They want to be taken on a journey or be a part of great change...even if they never openly admit it.

But if you're never humble enough to seek counsel, (Proverbs 9:10-12)
never empathetic enough to understand the view of another, (1 Peter 3:8-9)
and never filled with enough integrity to gain respect, (1 Timothy 3:1-2)
then you'll never have a leg to stand on.

And if you don't have a leg to stand on,
you certainly won't be leading anyone to anywhere epic at anytime soon.