At Bay

There was a time when I felt so much shame about myself that I did a lot of isolating, long before it became mandatory due to Covid 19. I simply did not want people to know the truth about me, my failures, my many shortcomings. (At one point I remember my face being sore from a constant attempt to look cheerful.) A counsellor suggested I attend Alanon and over a period of several years I did some hard work examining the beliefs and ideas that had shaped me. This poem is about that process.

At Bay

You can see through glass.
You can see in and out.
You can hear through glass.
You can live almost normally.

No one  knows it is there,
until they try to draw near
and  are rudely deflected.
by its cold hard touch.

Everything is safe -
just one  quick wipe
with Windex once a week.

Then He ambled by
with love so tangible 
I flung one window wide.
Love has to touch you.

Heart Surgery

John 15. 1-5

I have kept a journal, where I can safely  express the deep longings and raw struggles of my heart for decades. It is Lois 1.0 where I pour out my  soul to God. Unedited. He can handle it.

But writing poetry is different. For me, at least, that is a process of elimination, purification and distillation. Each  word must serve the vision. No freeloaders allowed. This process is both painstaking and painful as it often involves some serious soul searching.

This poem was born of a difficult experience that exposed some not very lovely parts of my character. How often it’s those soul crushing events that reveal our true motivations and idols. I’m overwhelmingly grateful that God sees, cares and knows how to deal with my sometimes stubborn heart.

Yes, Lord, is protocol. 
 My howling, "No!' shatters the stratosphere. 
Shock waves reverberate.
 You are not moved.
Lord presumes sovereign.
I assume benevolent,
 kindly, like Santa, 
a lamb not a lion.
Now you come at me with pruning shears,
 like a gardener bent on bonsai,
 now a surgeon with a scalpel, 
 now a soldier with a sword. 

But that first yes was substance, 
and every howling no  rings hollow. 
Your various blades work to one sure purpose: 
carving out a space for love in the jungle  of my heart. 

After, lo, these many decades, I can honestly say He has yet to make an unnecessary cut.

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