{the crippled beggar}

I’m linking up to my friend Amy’s “subvert an empire for us: {poetry for lent}” (awesome title, right?) by posting a poem with the rebels today.

(acts 3)
your warped body
begged by day
at a gate called
you were not.
most people at the courts
looked through you,
never at,
for fear, perhaps,
of ruining the Gate’s name.
but they looked –
the disciples of One
to whom “beautiful”
meant more than
straight anklebones.
and then you
and probably cried
at the beauty
of moving
for the
in your life.

{this side of the stars}

dear god:
this may not come as a surprise to you,
i don’t really know
what i’m doing.
i see so many
claiming to understand you perfectly,
to know just exactly what pleases you
and what disgusts you –
they all seem to get it,
to not struggle a bit
with the idea
that they claim to understand
every last detail about
the Creator of a billion galaxies.
but i do –
struggle, that is,
to understand
why and how and that
you love
little old me.
i’m not even a star,
or a planet or moon.
i’m just blip,
one speck of the human race
that in all carnal understanding
is quite dispensable, disposable.
i certainly don’t begin to match
the glory of a galaxy or a fire of a planet
(especially not after i’ve just woken up).
i don’t always obey my Creator
or orbit just as i should
or shine with the magnitude of the sun.
sometimes i just stop,
too afraid or too lazy or too overwhelmed
to continue on.
half the time i don’t even know
which direction i should be going.
i, for one, don’t understand you.
i doubt i ever will this side of the stars.
but then i pause and consider
how you’ve hung the stars in place,
how you’ve drawn the orbits of the planets,
and i find a glimmer of hope
that you might possibly
know what you’re doing,
even if
none of the rest of us do.

{an old love poem}

as i watched them plod slowly up the hill, hand-in-hand
(for steadiness more than romance), i began to see what
so many years of love and tears and laughter and anger
and struggle and joy give to those willing to face it together.
years later, i watched him weep when his steady companion
let go of his hand and took a step forward without him, and
again, i caught a glimpse of the depth of love that years of
walking faithfully side by side grows between two hearts.
their years together leave me with both tears and smiles,
hoping that i, too, will someday have seen just as many
loving and tearful and funny and angry and difficult and
happy moments of that-kind-of-love that lasts for a lifetime.

|of egrets and old souls|


Every evening, they come.
One by one,
the egrets arrive at the river
preparing to roost for the night.
They dance from tree to tree,
congregating on the bridge for evening gossip,
and when dark falls,
they find just the right branch,
tuck their noses under a wing
and dot the trees with their fluffing puffs of cotton.
She loves to watch the egrets, my grandmother-in-law.
Every night, she perches her tenacious 91-year-old self
on the patio to watch them arrive
on the banks of the Mahaweli.
I sit with her one evening and watch them,
captivated both by the mystery of their patterns
and the joy she still finds in simple things.
We chat about how she watches them every day,
and sometimes even wakes up too-early in the morning
to watch them take off.
Silently I remember that
my own grandfather-a-half-a-world-away
loved these gracious birds too.
their many years
have given them an appreciation
for grace,
for gentleness,
for slowing down,
for noticing.
I capture a moment with my lens,
grateful for the wisdom
of the old souls
and the grace
of the egrets.