Teens

Caught between two worlds
childhood and maturity
striving to be independent
needing to be nurtured
confused and belligerent
a cocktail of emotions

Feeling small and insignificant
sometimes too big for one’s britches
knowing everything
understanding little

Peers become the lifeline
belonging the driving force
behind decisions
wrong turns have consequences
life becomes real

Terrified but eager
Driven by the instinctual need
to leave the nest
teens fling themselves out
into the universe
parents pray they have wings

Some soar
Some tumble
Some teeter on the edge
Some come home again
Some find themselves
Some are lost souls

Forces too strong to comprehend
Winds that scoop up
and thrust down
Impatient to be an adult
Fledgelings in need of guidance
Too proud to ask

A listening ear
affirmation and encouragement
reminders of strengths
cheerleaders not critics
go a long way
to support
these fragile new beginnings

Birth

A newborn
conceived and brought into this world
the result of a myriad of circumstances
utterly dependent and exposed
vulnerable
defenseless

a half blank slate
written on by genetics
born out of God’s own heart
slipped into a world
that will write this child’s history

eyes that will see
ears that will hear
skin that will be touched
a mind to be filled
a heart ready
a soul to be fed

a newborn
placed in our care
sacred responsibility
worthy of our best
open to our worst
trusting
trusting

Awaken

Wake up!
Wake up!
Open your eyes!
Do you see?
Do you see?

There is beauty
in the ordinary;
the plain gives birth
to the magnificent.
Inside everything
is a diamond,
a pearl
ready to burst forth.

Not readily seen,
you must wait.
Patient as the sunrise,
wait for the beauty,
trusting it will emerge.

Your reward
will be gladness
that you were there
to see the splendor,
the presence of God.

Forgiveness

Anger, hurt, fear
burns like a red hot coal
or smoldering ember
in the belly.
Unease pervades the
peace within;
restlessness ruins
sleep.
No longer living
in the moment,
thoughts turn
over and over
to the wrong done.
Like a slow leak,
energy for living
is drained.

The grace of
forgiveness
is the healing path,
a return to wholeness,
given to us by God.
Found deep in our souls,
birthed by prayer,
held like an infant
in distress,
forgiveness is often
a struggle, a
self-revelation
unwanted,
rejected.
When embraced
and celebrated,
peace is restored.

Serve

Something cracks open in me
when I give to you.
My heart feels larger,
my hands gentler,
my eyes softer.
I no longer think of my own pain;
my attention is riveted on you:
your needs,
your feelings,
your world.

I am transformed by this giving.
I am Christ’s hands ministering to His children.
I am Christ’s feet moving among His people.
I am Christ’s heart loving His beloved.
I am who God meant me to be.

The door flings open
between God and me.
No barriers, no walls, no excuses.
Only the desire to serve –
to give what I have,
to give who I am
to you.

Welcoming

Welcoming
Demands an open heart
Suspension of fear
Striping away of the protective barrier
Commitment to vulnerability

Welcoming
Encourages kindness
Generosity
Unencumbered motivation
Visions of potential

Welcoming
Embraces all that I am
All that you are
All that we can be
Together

Journey

Life is a path,
not right or wrong,
just a path
given to each of us.

We are born to a
mother and father,
neither of them chosen.
Raised in an imperfect family,
we carry the burdens and
blessings of the past
that shape the present
and the future.

Decisions and events
created by us and thrust upon us
make the journey beautifully wild…
and scary.

Our path zigs and zags, weaving through
mountains of wondrous joy
and deserts of bleakness and pain,
gardens of bright colors and
forests of confusion and fear.

Loneliness envelopes us
broken only by moments of realization
that God walks with us
and our hearts sing.

We are indeed a lump of clay
fashioned into a life.