Without Words

Cans

 

Presumptions were made on my part 

as you approached me, I noticed

your gold colored t-shirt that was worn backwards;

dirt stains splattered across your pants and the back side of your shirt

led me to think that your daily walk was street-held.

 

I stood at the cash register, 

as you came in the wooden double doors

Your approach towards the counter brought a look of hesitation, 

a reluctance encompassed your walk filled pace.

“Do you have a black marker I can borrow?

I have some words to write on a box.” 

 

It is not unusual to see one, maybe two, maybe three

pairs of hands on nearby street corners with a cardboard sign

each pleading for coins to get through the day, the week, the month, 

marker-ed scribbling

voice the words that the hands and heart need.

 

I hadn’t seen you on the corners before

Your dirt stained hand stretched out to mine

A black marker was left, help you did find.

“Please make sure you bring it back.”

 

Through a pane of glass I watched…a world away,

as you decided what words you needed to say. 

Your hand moved from corner to corner 

leaving lettering that I couldn’t read.

 

Back through the doors you came, 

A different walk, not the same. 

A smile and assurance written on your face

A young man on a mission, a young man knowing his place.

 

Handing me the marker, with an outstretched hand,

You voiced a “Thank you.”  and turned and continued 

to attend to what your heart did demand 

 

Hours passed, my shift ended

The marker request, not forgotten, but put aside 

until I saw that gold t-shirt across the way,

in the middle of a lot where cars park 

in the middle of the day.

No window pane, no worlds distant and far away.

 

I drove closer,  to see where your box might be,

it wasn’t there. 

Did you change your mind about what others should hear and see?

As I inched closer, you bent down 

picking discarded candy wrappers and plastic cellophane  up off the ground.

White plastic bag, in your hand, the contents was clear to see

As the weight of your bag showed your work, your mission, 

Your heart called that day …your current destiny

 

I started to go and wondered if you were hungry

or why it might be that you chose to clean  a parking lot of its debris.

Was someone paying you?

Wouldn’t standing at the corner with your scribbled words

be easier on such a hot day?

I rolled down my window and asked

“Where’s your box, the one where you needed to write upon,

did it not work, is it gone?”

 

With that reassured smile you stated,

 “Oh yes, it works just fine, 

it’s over there on the corner

where those who feel the need,

 can drop cans in it and keep the streets litter free.

Isn’t it sad, how careless people can be? 

I put some rocks inside the box, so it wouldn’t blow away…please know I’ll take the rocks out, 

when I pick the box up at the end of the day. ”

 

A lump in my throat, tears welled up inside

As I listened to you, while you stood there in those dirt stained clothes

with only your heart to display and confide.

 

I asked, “Are you hungry, are you doing ok?”

You hesitated with reluctance and a smile, 

“I’m ok for now, for a little while.”

 

I reached into my change holder and and pulled the few dollars that were there

I took them out and handed them to you, 

wanted you to know that someone noticed and cared. 

“Well, thank you for cleaning up the parking lot, when others are careless and don’t think about what they do.

Here’s a little something to perhaps take a break and get a drink for you.”

 

You stretched out your hand,

A little dirtier than before

Your face lit up and your words took me by surprise,

“If it’s ok, I’d like to go buy another box

to put on this other side. 

People need  a place to put their trash so they don’t 

clutter up the outside.”

 

We talked for a few minutes more, 

I left you to your work,

I realized…you were fed with God’s heart given chore. 

I drove away, feeling somewhat ashamed

Of presumptions made,  and not doing enough

asking myself, what I could do, 

what more?

 

The wheels of my car turned as I crossed the parking lot, 

past a man who stood at the corner with cardboard in his hand,

tears fell, 

as I knew what my heart did command.

 

I pulled over and looked for my wallet

did I have any more cash that I could give,

Do I give it to the man with cardboard in his hand 

Or the young man with a heart command. 

 

It was then, I saw the gold colored t-shirt, 

walking up to Walmart with his debris filled sack.

Depositing his bag into the can left outside the doors, 

He disappeared….went inside…perhaps a box…a drink  to buy.

I will  wait until he comes back to finish his chores. 

 

While I waited, I drove over to the  place where a cardboard box had been placed,

I read the words scribbled from corner to corner. “Cans”

I  got out and looked inside and there were rocks strewn about and a few crushed cans that didn’t hide.

What more could I do, my heart prayed…fill his box on this day.

 

I went back to the place where I work,

to the blue recycle bin  that held aluminium cans 

Tied the bag together and 

left with what God’s heart called and did demand. 

 

Not really knowing if this was the right thing to do

but I took the bag and placed it in your box.

I smiled through tear filled eyes…oh what a surprise. 

No more words to say, 

the “more” was done on this given moment, this given day.

 

You taught me to do more than I set out to do that day

You followed a command and scribbled some words on a box

and on a woman’s heart in your own special way. 

Purpose-filled Restoration

Isaiah

Of all the books in the Bible, I find myself in Isaiah, more times than not,  rereading and studying the words written long ago about individuals and groups of people who followed God’s law and those who didn’t.   I reflect on and study God’s part in individuals lives;  I reflect on and study God’s part in groups of people;  I reflect on and study in order to perhaps find answers for myself. 

A long time ago, I started writing in my Bible…notes, dates, comments, questions.  Some people disagree with writing in a Bible, but I find the study of “myself” in my notes….I find the growth of myself in my notes.  There are times when I can read a verse and it will be just words on a page and other times,  I will be taken to tears when the words are exactly what I needed to hear.

Isaiah 49:16

See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;   your walls are ever before me.

The verse Isaiah 49:16 is one that brings me comfort in times of need.  Knowing that there is a “higher power” who is at the wall before I even get there is comforting.  I have at times come to this verse and thought, “Who am I, that You would want me “on the palm of Your hands?”  I have come to express gratitude and thanksgiving for placing me on the palm of His hands.

Isaiah 50:4 

The Lord God has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned…..

The verse 50:4 has given definition to “my purpose” throughout life.  Close to thirty years ago, I chose to become a school teacher.  One of my goals was to ensure that every child in the classroom had a voice.  There are students who stand out in class, they speak up, they act out, they make their presence known.  It’s the quiet ones, the struggling ones that I wanted to make sure they knew someone saw them.  As I near my last week of teaching in a public school setting, I can look back and know that I reached that goal many times over.  Names and faces appear in a flash and tears form as I realize how many children and parents God brought to me over the years.

Leaving the classroom doesn’t take away my purpose, it will just be in other places, still with faces that need to hear the words that will be sent them.

Isaiah 51:16

And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people.

Isaiah 51:16 isn’t one I have marked as many times as some, but today touches me in a realization of knowing that there have been those whose paths I’ve crossed that are laying their own foundations and plants because of the interaction arranged by God between me and them.  I simply carried a message.

Isaiah 51:9

Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old.

While there are days that I am tired, I am so grateful for the strength and purpose given for each day.  There is so much more to be done.

Never

Where the sky meets the sea and breaks free

Your love remains constant,

never leaving,

never silent,

always the same no matter what winds blow.

 

Where the sky meets the mountain top

You are at the peak, waiting

never in a hurry,

never scolding,

always gently providing a color filled horizon.

 

Where the sky meets the rocky path

You clear the way

never doubting,

never disappointing,

always gently providing a secure footstep.

 

 

 

 

Never leaving, never silent.

Gingham Apron

How many times have we thrown our apron over our head

wanting to escape a world of chaos and dread

Hidden beneath a cloth that keeps all the world at bay

so many things our heart needs to cry out and say

Take time to rest and be strong

as each trial and tribulation comes along

“See that your clock doesn’t run down”

Exchange your weakness for the strength in His robe and crown.

 

https://lakeshoremosaics.blog

 

 

 

 

Eternal Friend

Barbed wire friendship
mature hearts don’t understand

Secret mission
don’t dare travel into tainted land

Thunder rolls and storm approaches
kindred spirits, smile coaches

Herded like cattle, pushed and shoved
human hearts, yet unloved

Stripped and showered, no more pain
How could it be so insane?

Hand held to the end
barbed wire friendship

Eternal friend

Three Woven Circles

The Basket

Sun and water drenched reeds take time

to become

functional for a carrying basket

 

A circular pattern centers the basket  

in a way

that brings clarity and organization to the woven pieces

 

Color and design enhance the meaning and purpose

in such a way

that time is preserved and a story is told

 

The Man or Woman

Victorious and defeat drenched moments take time

to become

usable for a wisdom filled man or woman

 

A circular pattern centers the heart

in a way

that brings clarity and organization to the journey through life

 

Love and hate enhance the meaning and purpose

in such a way

that time is preserved and a story is told

 

The Bible

Heart captured word moments take time

to become

guidance and laws for many

 

A circular pattern centers the Word

in a way

that brings clarity and organization to a chaotic life

 

Life and death enhances the sacrifice

in such a way

that time is preserved in eternity

 

The Basket, The Man or Woman, and The Bible

Carried moments are protected through time

to become

a cherished story to be shared with others

 

The circular patterns bring all things together

in a way

that is hard to distinguish beginning and end

 

Weaving the three together

to become

complete becomes enough to hold on to all that can and will be.

 

Between the Lines

I reached out and You touched my cheek
there amongst the mortar and ground rattled explosions.
Fear and darkness threatened my heart longed vision.
Chaos ensued as I tried to cover my face,
needing protection from mine filled steps.
The odor of what was, lay all around me.
Death filled fragments of those who walked beside me,
intimidated my existence, shadows lingered.

I reached out and You took my heart
there amongst the smoke filled air.
It was hard to breathe; I struggled to inhale fresh beginnings.
Gasping brought an anxiousness that filled me until I was numb
and consumed with a need to survive.
Threads intertwined and began to wrap and weave
themselves around each of my chamber’s veins
in such a way that the rhythmic pounding replaced fear with peace.

I reached out and You took my hand
dragging me out of the black hole that held light captive.
Clinching and clawing my way through the tunnel of grief and sorrow
You brought me to a place where
an enlightened knowledge provision told me I was not alone.
Courage found freedom surviving within the shadows.
Your hands graven with my name, released me
into chainless beams that climbed mountains, never to be forsaken.

I reach out and You are there.

Thin
Complication

Faith Filled Promise

Hate, betrayal, deceit
Love, compassion, forgiveness,

Interpretation of dreams given,
guided and directed amongst familiarity
Honor in colors, motivation driven.

A promise to fulfill
Brothers seeking superiority and security
Seek their own will.

Held in a pit of jealousy and fear
Where’s the eldest?
Never alone, God is near.

A connected life, chained and sold
A father who weeps
A heart grows old.

Overturn of brothers brought
Deceit and lies
Never hidden from God, son not forgot.

Prison release, time and protection
Empowered with dreams told
Walked amongst other’s inspection.

Guidance given in thirteen years
Learning to serve
Through hard work, heartache and tears.

Time didn’t erase a brotherly death deed
God remembered sin
Cautioned and warned with heed

No revenge directly sought
For a brother’s life given for another
God’s merciful preservation brought.

Brother’s evil intentions didn’t protect
but God found a way
to preserve descendants and family connect

A promise kept
Forgiveness given
Grace found in colors wept.

 

Genesis 41-47

Fruition

Did You know that I would choose a path filled with chaos and confusion?
Many dark days and nights filled with anxiety, fear and delusion.

A need for control, only my way,
not stopping long enough to know what You would say.

At a table, meant for two and You,
One seated, seeking and needing to pursue.

Clouds of selfish want, hung overhead,
as I opened the pages and listened in silence with shame-filled dread.

Stories of people who wondered about, doing things their own way,
blaming you, pointing a finger on a trial-filled day.

All alone, confused and lost
Anxious and fearful, no presence, their cost.

Unfaithful and distrust shown in so many ways
Looking back now, it was known in the words they prayed.

Grace given, and yet not seen
In fields of promises, ripened green.

Did You know they would chose a path filled with chaos and confusion
Dark days and nights filled with anxiety, fear and delusion.

All alone confused and lost
Anxious and fearful, no presence, my cost.

Unfaithful and distrust shown in so many ways,
Looking back now, it was shown in the words I prayed.

Grace given, and now I see
The fields of promises are meant for me.

Webster Definition

Rube definition according to Webster: awkward unsophisticated person
Unsophisticated definition according to Webster: unchanged, uncorrupted

I used to be an awkward unsophisticated person
Life seen through rose colored glasses
Each fragment a part of a whole
Each whole a part of more than I could ever imagine
Always a daisy type of life
You know the one where
each petal grows from a circular and centered beginning
Love regardless of hate would always win
Renewal regardless of destruction grew despite the odds
Hope in the unseen carried always by faith
A purpose filled passing to others
to never give in to change that tarnishes and discolors the vision seen.

Yet today….I feel changed and corrupted…
Struggling to remain unchanged and uncorrupted enough
To still see hope filled daisys through rose colored glasses

I weep for our children who have the right to grow
and be an awkward unsophisticated person.

Rube