imposter syndrome

you know how sometimes the moon looks too big
like it’s crashing into Earth maybe
and then sometimes it looks too small or
you can’t find it at all, some nights

do you know how sometimes the sun looks like
it’s about to swallow the Earth maybe
and the scientists were wrong, but
sometimes the clouds block all of its rays

do you know the feeling when your shoes are too tight
and leave blisters on your feet
but sometimes they’re too big
and fall off when you walk upstairs

and sometimes I feel too big for my world
suffocated by my position in life
and sometimes (most times)
I feel so, so small.

 

Advertisements

wet cement

I saw two names written in wet cement, with a heart and a date at the bottom.
It made me wonder,
how much confidence does it take to write your name in wet (drying) cement?
Knowing it will be there for years, and
it’s written somewhere you have to see every day, or week, or just on vacations even.
If things end. You’ll have a constant legacy of what was lost.
Maybe that’s the draw of it, though,
a tiny sliver of the Universe dedicated to something that’s
so
much
bigger.
That’s what love will do to you, I guess.

I would write your name in wet cement.
Maybe because (of course) I’m certain I’ll always be yours.
Maybe because I want to
need to
Remember how much bigger it was than just me.
Just you.
It was (is) (always will be) as big as the Universe.

 

holy, holy, holy

it’s quiet but it’s painful
it’s rainy but the birds are singing
it’s okay but,
it’s starting to feel like more than I can bear

sometimes, anyways, it is.
I am waiting, have been waiting, always waiting.
you are…
you are?
you are.

grace upon grace upon grace.

give me holy communion
in my brokenness let me take of yours
on my bad days
on the dark days
you are.

help us lord.

 

 

high contrast

I am buying a Christmas tree and my brother is lying in a hospital bed.

I talk to the girl in line at Kroger and she complains about the wait, and I want to tell her everything and at the same time I just wish she’d stop talking to me. She asks, “Could this be any worse?”

I can think of a few ways.

There are 14 unread text messages on my phone asking questions I don’t know how to answer, or maybe don’t want to answer, or maybe somewhere in between. Meanwhile I am praying no one at work asks how my weekend was or how I’m doing today or what my Christmas plans are.

I only just bought the tree.

I thought maybe it’d get me in the Christmas spirit but I don’t even want to go home. Somehow it’s easier to breathe when I’m alone and far away. Inhala, exhala. 

Breathing is easier but it never leaves my mind.

And so, the dark gets darker still and the light gets lighter still (at least that’s how it’s supposed to work, but I am squinting and I still can’t see that light).

And so, I’m looking for something else to replace the hope that’s vacated my heart and mind and soul.

And so. I bought a Christmas tree.

It’s small. And broken. But good, yeah, still good. (- Stitch, Lilo and Stitch).

 

God our River

wrote this in the middle of the night trying to process new images of God. like a river, even when it seems like God is changing – God changes not. 

IMG_8744.JPG

I walk by the river each morning
as the water passes by
I, a mere observer of the river, close my eyes and wait
the river, you see, is changing
ebbing and flowing and growing
I, you see, am changing too.

each morning there is a new river
the water has come from somewhere far away and the fish have gone downstream the rocks are more smooth
and the grass is more green
and the water keeps passing through

and yet, the river is still Water
this is still Earth
and we are all One

God’s mercies are new every morning
I walk with God, close my eyes and wait
it seems like God is changing
ebbing and flowing and growing
but God is still God
and I will ever rest in God’s waters
I, you see, am changing too

context excluded

“for just a moment, I was a person too”

he said those words to me last week, in between laughs, fingers laced with mine.

every day he applies for another grad school, med school, or job. every day the ever uncertain future weighs a little bit heavier. there are more questions than ever I’m afraid to even ask.

oh but he is full of grace, holds me as I cry over worries he will have to face alone.

there are no words to explain, only that I have thought of this eventuality every day since

november

january

forever ago.

oh but He is full of grace.

 

A Christmas for the Confused

It has been quite the year.

For some of us, we find ourselves leaving 2016 behind with a lot more questions than when it first began. We are more skeptical now, more cautious, and a lot more confused.

Things that used to make sense are now murkier and messier than we ever dreamed they could be.

Issues we had made up our minds on long ago are now a jumbled mess of emotions and propositions and, well, confusion.

We are the many, the proud: the confused.

Last night, at a Christmas Eve service, I heard a pastor inform the congregation that they must only accept Jesus and all their questions would be answered, all their confusion settled, and all their anxieties silenced.

Now, I know parts of that are true, and I’ve experienced it myself. But I think there is ample space within this particular Christmas (and all Christmases for that matter) for those of us who have more questions than answers.

I think there is plenty of room within the goodness of Jesus and the fullness of his divinity for my questions, and yours too. I like to think that if Jesus were here in our midst today, he would sit down with us in our questioning. He would nod his head and keep his mouth shut as we implored him to give us our answers, with tears in our eyes. I think he might cry with us, dine with us, and let us sit in our questions even when they remained unanswered. Especially then.

At least, I hope he would.

This one goes out to you, my confused, questioning friends.

And for us, let us not become cynics. Let us remember that the God we celebrate today was yet a baby born among us. So maybe, just maybe, let us take today and sit at his feet. Let us listen to him cry, and watch him sleep. And instead of looking for answers, let us remember: there is no question big enough for our God, and at his feet all questions fall short.

Even though it hurts sometimes, I think we can be humble enough in our questioning to present them as our own offerings this Christmas in front of a manger.

So for you wanderers — it is okay to wonder at the feet of our Savior.

 

Merry Christmas.

a confession.

a few weeks ago, I was driving through rural georgia when I noticed a new addition to the skyline of billboards. it read:

“TRUMP – pray for our country, take back our nation”

and so my heart broke.

not because of my political leanings, or for any personal opinions I hold. but mainly because of what that very same billboard used to read. not too long ago, when someone drove past that lit-up advertisement in the sky, they would have seen the name of a different man. back then, it read, simply:

“JESUS”.

same font, same colors, same placement.

an entirely different name.

the more I look at my country, and it’s complex and confusing characterization of Christianity — the more my heart breaks.

and the more I find myself wondering, and praying, “Oh my God, is this really what you intended?”

I won’t allow myself to become yet another voice trying to interpret what Jesus might have to say this election season. mostly because in this brokenness I too find myself asking of God, “Where are you in all of this?”

oh Lord, where are you?

as this fantastic entry on the She Reads Truth website puts it –

“Where was God? He was where He had always been. He was on the throne, where He remains today—sovereign and good and evermore at work.

He is, and always will be, with us.

though, are we with Him?

my confession is this: I wonder how I can feel so close to God, and so far from Christianity. I wonder what to do when I feel my heart breaking when I see the twisting and distorting of Christianity occurring right before my eyes.

I wonder how to live in a world where my Christian friends are adamantly, passionately against abortion and premarital sex and drunkenness and yet — yet. they say nothing in the face of casual racism, sexism, and homophobia. they are wary of immigrants and refugees. they want nothing to do with social welfare. and they have misplaced their hopes, giving them entirely over to an outspoken, unrepentant political candidate.

I wonder why certain evils make you a bad Christian, and others we allow to be brushed under the rug.

I wonder why I feel my heart breaking so often.

I don’t mean this as a political commentary, although many may take the opportunity to read it as such.

I just wonder.

oh Lord, where are you?

 

night vision.

years ago, on a wednesday night, something happened that I’d never done before, and I’ve never done since.

skipping church with my best friend, we watched the sunset as my grief finally, at long last spilled out. it rested in my chest for a while, forming a blister on my lungs every time I took a breath. then, burning my throat on its way up, I crumbled in front of her.

I didn’t need to explain. the words I couldn’t tell her, because they were not mine to speak aloud, she already knew. and I watched the sunset, and I wept.

before that, I sat with you late at night in a Wal-Mart parking lot. I held my breath like a piece of fine china, waiting.

and so you told me.

and so we cried together.

just as much as I knew it didn’t matter to me, I also knew that the situation necessitated a response.

but just for that moment, I knew that the only thing I could do was to break beside you. to pick up the pieces, and forget about trying to put them back together. to let you feel all the things you’d been tucking away for your whole life.

even if I cut myself on the shards, I would get down on my hands and knees to pick up the pieces of you that broke in front of me.

that night, I took it upon myself to learn more. and so I did. and so I decided.

we’ve been melodramatic and we’ve been mellow waters. we’ve been chaotic and peaceful. we’ve broken up and we’ve gotten back together.

yet, despite the growing pains of our relationship, I have always known this: I know the best and the worst of what might happen next. and I choose you anyways.

you are reckless, passionate, just, kind, hilarious, and wonderful.

I choose you. whatever it looks like, whatever comes next.