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Monday, January 27, 2014

What Is Bugging Me

Just what
Is bugging me
Today
A question
I ask myself
A lot

Today
What is bugging me
Is the lack
Of acknowledgement
Of the journey
I am on
And the places
I’ve been
Along the way

Two things
That have been 
Acknowledged well
Are that
Suffering happens
And that
God will use the suffering

But everything else
All that occurs
Between “suffering happens”
And “God will use it”
Is ignored

And that
Just really
Bugs me

The assumption that
Because God will use it
The suffering is worth it

The insistence that
What I believe
About suffering
Cannot deviate
From what other people
Who love God
But have suffered differently or less
Believe about suffering
 
I have suffered
God may use it
The suffering
Is not worth
Whatever God
Might do with it

And rather than
Hate God
For my suffering
I changed my beliefs about God
And about suffering
It was the only choice
 
Suffering
Has changed
Everything I believe
And for that
I am thankful

But I won’t
Downplay 
My suffering

And won’t accept those
Who downplay it
On my behalf
So they don’t have to
Look deeper
See suffering for what it is 
And rethink
Their own beliefs
As I have mine

Monday, January 20, 2014

Not Going To

I’m not going to judge
The people
I share
This planet with

I’m not going to pin
The demise of the world
On one person
Or group of people
Because they lead lives
Different than mine
And believe in ways
Different than me

I’m probably not ever
Going to stand
Outside anywhere
Holding a sign
Of protest

I’m not going to
Smile to someone’s face
And grumble insults under my breath
Feed the separation or
Fuel the hatred

I’m not going to
Encourage fear

It’s not my place
Or my interest
To deal in such things

And if a person around me does this
Or a church around me leans towards this
I’m not going to engage it

I’m not going to stand
On the side of the church
Whatever that means
Or on the side of the world
Whatever that means
 
I’m not going to stand at all
 
If you need me
I’ll be the one
In motion

Distancing myself
From those bent on
Protecting God
From his creation
(Did God even ask us to do that?)

Moving closer
Towards a life
Content to recognize
All we have in common
 
And all we can do
To help each other
Through our days

Monday, January 13, 2014

Why

I don’t wonder anymore
How this happened to my life
Or why this happened
To me

Why did my husband go blind
Why did he break
Why the delusion
Why the trauma
Why the police
Why the assault
Why the restraints
Why the destroyed sense of safety
Why the hospitals that failed him
Why medications that were toxic to him
Why the unskilled providers
Why the heartless insurance companies
Why thoughts of suicide
Why four hospitalizations
Why post traumatic stress
Why so much unbearable pain

I don’t wonder why anymore

But honestly
I do wonder 
Why others think
This happened

Because what they decide
About why this happened
To me, to us

Reveals everything
About why
They think
Anything
Happens to
Anyone

So if asked I would say
Go ahead and decide why
But don’t be lazy
With the conclusions

If you are sure
This was God’s plan
Trace this plan of God’s
Back to its purpose
To its benefit
To how it worked for good
 
If you do find the good
Dare to ask yourself
Was the good
So good
That it justified the bad

Don’t downplay my horror
Let it sit side by side
With your beliefs
 
Let this pain of mine
Help you revisit
What you believe about
The kind of people
Bad things happen to
 
Decide for yourself
Just don’t decide
Without thinking

Like I did
For too many years

Taking the path of least resistance
Drawing convenient conclusions

That didn’t hold up
When life let me down

That left me empty
When I needed
To know why

Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Year

There was a time
Not so long ago
When the thought
Of looking
Even one day ahead
Overwhelmed me
With dread

When the thought
Of a new year
365 whole days
Of black unknown
Was too painful
To consider

But not this year

This year
It doesn’t matter

The year
Whatever comes to me
Is not
In control
Of me

I am no longer afraid
Of what might be lost

This year
Can’t rob me of
My peace of mind
My hope
My faith
My friendships
My marriage
My financial security
 
I have already lost
Or entertained the loss
Of all these things

Other than my life
Which I wouldn’t
Be around
To miss anyway
Should it be taken
This year
There is not much
To lose
 
This year
Can’t hurt me

This year
All that’s left
Of me
Is me

And I am
Made up of
More than everything around me
More than life’s comforts

My life is broken
But I am whole

Whole
In a way
That nothing
Taken from me
Can touch

So New Year
Do what you will
Take from me if you must
Or be kind if you’d like

I will be here
I will walk through you
Broken or blessed
But whole

Arm's Length

We start out walking
Side by side
Talking about life
Sharing our theories
About blessings and pain
Theories
Not yet realities
So made safe
By the distance

Then true pain strikes
Interrupts our walk
And as one falls down
The arm of the other
Extends
Not to offer help
But to keep the other
Really the pain of the other
At arms length

The voice at arm’s end
Offers many opinions
About why pain is happening
About how it should be received

Offers many opinions
And very little comfort

And on the very day
That the pain stops
(And there is a chance it might not)
The voice at the end of the arm
Is the first to say
See how it worked for good
See how God cares for his own
See how weak was your faith
 
Only with pain
Safely over
Does the extended arm lower
And the person attached
Become eager again
To move closer
Resuming the conversation
Right where it was
Before pain cut it off  
Ignoring all
That has happened since

Confusion then
That with pain ended
It is the arm
Of the one
No longer in pain
That extends
Intentionally
Creates distance
And keeps anyone
Who would continue on
As if nothing has changed
At arms length