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Hidden Majesty

Alas, winter chill,
you cold-hearted soul;
you interrupt my
intake of reverie.

In sweet, sweet sorrow 
I clip the last blooms of fall --
wildflowers glowing in
fuchsia, crimson, burgundy and linen.

This daybreak, just past the first frost,
the browning of burn now
presses their edges.
alas, valiance on display until the very last, 
but for one.


One set of glowing petals peeks from below,
having crept around and under;
its parent stem bent and broken to the ground,
yet, this one has found its way to shine upward.

… diminutive, brilliant, petite and perfect.

Why am I surprised this vine has bloomed so,
has outlasted its fellows 
there in its poverty and low estate?

In its meekness
Its humility
Its hardship
Its fortitude
All of these and beauty, too.

Why, did I presuppose?
its offering would be less,
its contribution trivial,

Look beyond!
the bridal bouquet awaits 
its day at the altar,
its fulfillment in the one
counted out,
now counted upon. 


Making it Plain in the Paint

Life is a struggle some days and it seems like it shouldn’t be. I mean, look at the resources I have at my disposal. Still, I am wrestling, really grappling with difficulties. But what are they? Where are they? Am I just making this up? I don’t see any opponents. It’s just me here, being thrown to the ground. Getting back to my feet only to be knocked back again.

Who are you? Who is there?

“The battle is the Lord’s,” young David said of Goliath and the Philistines. But David still had to wage it. Arm himself. Load his stones in his sling. Hurl them accurately and with force. He used his smarts and his capability to defeat a much larger, stronger opponent that he saw as defeated already.

When I give the battle to God, he lets me see my enemy. It’s as if God stands above my struggle (or perhaps to the side to avoid the slosh and rough and tumble) and pours from a bucket of paint all over my invisible opponent. And he takes shape. As the paint drips down, the form of the other appears. The outline, the bulk, the whole self. He is real. But now that I can see him, I can see him for what he is, and there is no contest.

This battle is the Lord’s, and I am a more than able competitor. Thanks be to God.

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