Breath

It comes rushing in
Like a rushing wind
Like a deep inhale
Filling these lungs
That once gasped for breath

It’s a joy that overtakes
A love that overcomes
A grace that breaks free
A faith holding steadfastly
A mercy that bends rules without breaking them

This freedom rings
A sound resounding
Heard miles off
It cannot be hidden
But why would we want to hide it in the first place?

Hearts are healed
Sickness is destroyed
Promises fulfilled
Forgiveness freely given
The price has already been paid

A life laid down
So simply put
Perfection lived out
Stains removed
Poured into wounds unimaginable

We can focus on the pain
Or we can focus on the gift
Neither is more real
Neither can be returned
But we can be clothed in acceptance

So why not be thankful?
Why not find joy?
What have we got to lose?
It is finished
It has already been done

In the end, nothing else matters
But you never ceased to matter
Every step
Every breath
They’re all worth taking

Arms are open wide
Pulling you in
You can resist
Or let go
Because he’s not letting go of you

He breathes life
Into you
Patiently he’s waited
And patiently he’ll wait
For you to inhale

He’ll come rushing in
Like a rushing wind
With a deep inhale
Filling your lungs
That once gasped for breath

Body, Mind, and Soul

We are told to love ourselves.  We are told to stay healthy and eat right.  We are told to exercise.  We are told to go to church and to find a good community.  Because all of these things are important.

But I think we get too focused and forget the main point.  Love yourself.

I set a New Year resolution to go running and do yoga four times a week.  And I’ve done great.  My mileage is up, and I am stronger.  I look better.  I feel better.  But I’ve also been opening at work almost everyday and not sleeping the best.  So some afternoons I’m just tired.  And the last two or three weeks I’ve felt almost under the weather, but not quite, so I’ve napped, and then not felt good enough to go out on a run.  My boyfriend tells me it’s fine, and that it’s good to give myself a rest, but instead I beat myself up over it.  It depresses me that I’m so tired, and I’m so tired because I’m depressed.  I keep feeling like if I miss a day of exercise, I will be fat.  I’m terrified to lose my routine again.  It’s like I forget why I’m doing it in the first place.

I want to be healthy.  And it’s so easy to just focus on one realm of health.  It’s so easy to focus on clean eating and an exercise routine, but then forget to nourish your mind and your soul.  It’s easy to get caught up in a mantra of a having a healthy mind, but neglect your spirit and body.  It’s easy to beat yourself up if you miss church, so you focus only on that, but forget that your body is a temple and your mind a control center.

I am one, whole person.  I have a mind, a body, and a soul.  (Some would say I am a soul, but that’s beside the point.)  I’m not going to get fat if I occasionally skip a run because I’m exhausted.  My happiness is just as important as my appearance.  And no one hates me, especially not God, if I want to stay home and sleep in on the occasional Sunday morning.  Church is for community, not salvation, anyway.

Love yourself.  Body.  Mind.  Soul.

Christmas (A Poem)

Christmas.
Family.
When the air is filled with cheer
A time you want your loved ones near

Christmas.
A time we’re prone to forget
Wrapped up in the mess of present wrapping
Though its reason is all about the presence

Christmas.
A time for remembering
A God most powerful, became so humble
A child in a stable, came to save mankind

Christmas.
Unwrap new beginnings
It doesn’t matter what your tree looks like
There wasn’t even a tree at the original

Christmas.
Wisemen, shepherds, nativity.
So much more, though our small minds might make it less
King, creator, Lord of our hearts

Christmas.
A time to be found
Don’t get lost in this
Find time to be merry

Christmas.
Let your heart be warmed
No matter how cold it may or may not be outside
It was never about the weather anyway

Christmas.
Remember.
Be humbled and bring praise
Its every reason is so you could be saved

Christmas.

“Save Me”

“Save me”
Crying out
“Save me”
Clawing at the edges
“Save me”
Can’t pull yourself up

“I can’t do this on my own
Not anymore”
You yell this in his face
As he gently beckons
Just let go

Afraid of heights
Pulling yourself to the top of the pit
Will not look back at what you’re climbing from
Begging
“Save me”
Just let go

Beneath you
Right beneath you
Are arms poised and ready
Waiting for you to just let go
So they can catch you

“Save me”
Crying out
As you pull away from salvation
Not realizing you are saved
If you’d just let go

No longer waiting
No longer striving in fear
“Save me”
Words that are only memories to your lips
Just let go
You are safe

Fully Compromised

Blue and red shimmers
Empire state building weddings
East coast overheard
Drunken conversations

This is not me
Though maybe it’s more myself
Than I have ever been
Tipping the scales of my broken heart
Never go home alone

No one wants to be on their own
Not tonight
Searching for something
That hearts can hold onto
As they break all over again

I can’t hear you anymore
And I feel as though I have nothing to say
I want to feel you
As I am carried through this
Kicking and screaming
Who will I be on the other side?

The heart wants what it wants
As the soul bends under the pressure
Tainted and stained
Can you still find me?
I just want to be wanted

Somewhere back there
The path disappeared
Following a rabbit trail
That leads to only the wrong places
Can you feel the love?

Wondering how far a person can go
Before they’re changed forever
Am I changed forever?
Do you even recognize me?

As though a rescuing needs to happen
Already saved
Maybe secure
With nothing left to hold onto

I think I used to be holding onto you
Until I let someone else hold me
Impure
Wash me clean

Inside of lies
Wondering where the truth is
As I fall on my knees
Sucked dry of everything
Begging for stillness
Except asking for nothing

Not even sure what I want anymore
Trapped inside a mess of confusion
No one can get me out
Only myself
Only I won’t

Refusing to remember who I was
Was I even happy then?
Fully compromised

Rules and Silence

I don’t want to speak anymore
I want to be still
To dwell in my silence
Become like Ariel, losing my voice
But not waiting for some true love to break this spell

I’m not under a spell
With my soul, it is well
Even when it’s not.

I want to break the rules
Make it so they don’t even exist anymore
Because I feel they’re holding me back from achieving something
Maybe they’re keeping me from some new brokenness

I don’t even feel overwhelmed by the darkness anymore
I’ve made my home in it.
I wrap it around me like a blanket in the winter
Yet I still find myself so cold

I’m freezing here
Like my fire burns cold
Like these are ashes, not coals

Is it so bold of me to say that there might be something missing?
I think we take so literally the vague commands
That we build up walls around the things that could save us
While we’re staying afloat, keeping our heads above the water
We forget to throw a life ring to those who actually need salvation

But maybe I’m wrong
I wouldn’t put it past myself
So I’m not going to speak anymore
Let me dwell in my silence

Witnessing to Witnesses

Have you ever had something happen and wish you had said something or reacted quicker moments after it was too late?  I think most people have.
That happened to me yesterday.  I was sitting in the park by myself because I had a bit of time before I had to be at work.  A man started to approach me and I instantly felt uncomfortable, because meeting strangers usually gives me anxiety if I’m unprepared.  He was about 15 feet away when he says, “Do you want life?  You need to accept the blood of Jesus.”
I looked up at him managed to stammer out, “Um… I already have.  I actually have my degree in–”
He cut me off saying, “Don’t take it personal!” While walking away from me quickly.
I wish that I had asked him to stop and come back to have a conversation.  I have to admit that I was offended that he immediately assumed I was some sort of a heathen when he had only seen me from a distance.  I was also put off by his approach.  We could have actually had a conversation that brings life, and maybe we could have learned from each other.  Instead he made a snap judgment about me while I allowed him to have it.

All of this makes me think how often we make snap judgments about people.  But his snap judgment was more than just that, as he had no information about me to judge.  He just saw a stranger and assumed I was “unsaved” and that he was better than me due to this.  The more I have had these thoughts though, I realized that I often do the same thing, albeit on a different level.  When I make friends from work or meet someone in any place that isn’t some sort of Christian affiliated format, I assume they are not Christian.  However, I do not try to “get them saved.”  No, I am much worse.  I just don’t talk to them about my beliefs unless it comes up in conversation.  It doesn’t even occur to me to ask someone what they think about God or life or death or heaven or hell.  I just let them be and wait for them to ask a question.

So what’s worse?  Assuming someone is a heathen and witnessing to a witness?  Or assuming someone doesn’t care and keeping your beliefs to yourself?