Thursday, 15 March 2018

Blackout Poetry

I tried my hand at blackout poetry for the first time last night, along with a couple friends. We each started with the same page of text, and it was interesting to see how different each of our finished poems were, both visually and in the words we chose to use.

I've included a photo of my completed poem. If you find it hard to read it in the photo, here is the text:

I remember
Pass between
The sadness and the silence
Into the freedom beyond
The moonlight.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

A Love Letter to 14-Year-Old Leane

14-year-old Leane,
I know you're really lonely.
You thought you had friends, but then they forgot about you.
They left you behind.
And that really hurts.
It will keep hurting, for a very long time.
I'm sorry.
And the friends that you still have, you don't trust them anymore.
You don't trust that they really like you.
You wonder when they will leave too.

14-year-old Leane,
Don't stop trying to make friends.
There are people out there that will like you and appreciate you.
You will find them someday.
I promise.

14-year-old Leane,
I know you want to be an actor,
But you're scared, and self-conscious,
And you don't think you can do it.
And no one else thinks you can do it.
No one is pushing you to try, to fail, and to keep trying until you succeed.
When you fail, I think they're secretly glad, because they want to save you from it.
I wish I could be there
And tell you to try
Because trying doesn't get any easier as you get older
And dreams don't go away just because you give up on them.

14-year-old Leane,
You just wrote a script, and you're really excited about it.
But nobody else seems to be excited.
It's nothing special to them.
Your friends even made fun of it.
But don't stop being excited!
You are going to direct that play, and it is going to open up a whole new world to you—
A passion that will carry you right through your high school years and beyond,
That will create a community and build friendships,
And it will all be because of you.
It will show you the kind of impact that you can have
By just being yourself and doing what you love.

14-year-old Leane,
Things will get better.
And then they will get worse again, and then better again.
Because life is like that.
Don't let the pain stop you from living.
You are smart.
You are kind, and considerate, and gentle.
You are significant.

14-year-old Leane,
I remember you well.
You are still a part of me.
Deep inside, I am you—
A shy, insecure, lonely dreamer.

14-year-old Leane,
Keep dreaming.
I love you.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

El Roi: The God Who Sees Me

For Lent this year, our church put together a devotional focused on different names of Jesus. The members of our church were invited to submit a devotional, poem, art piece, or other original work to be a part of it. I wrote a devotional, and I thought I would share it here as well.

El Roi: The God Who Sees Me

Genesis 16 tells the story of how Hagar became pregnant with Ishmael, was mistreated by Sarai, and ran away into the wilderness. The angel of the Lord met her there and gave her a promise about her child. At the end of that encounter Hagar gave God the name, "The God who sees me". We might not expect God to see a rejected, runaway slave girl, but he did.

When we look at the life of Jesus, we see a beautiful picture of what it looks like when "the God who sees" walks on the earth. He sees the Samaritan woman (John 4), he sees the bleeding woman (Luke 8), he sees Zacchaeus (Luke 19), and the list could go on and on. Jesus saw and reached out to the outcasts, the unclean, the sinners, and all those who were rejected by society.

Today, our God is still the God who sees. He is the God who sees the marginalized, the oppressed, the forgotten. He is the God who sees everyone. He is the God who sees us. We all go through times and seasons when we feel very alone. Maybe it is because of a loss or traumatic event. Maybe it is because of mental or physical illness. Maybe it is from being a parent of young children or the caretaker for someone with special needs. Maybe it is something else. We may feel invisible, overlooked, ignored, forgotten. But God sees us. He reaches out to us in our wilderness, even as he reached out to Hagar so long ago.

As Jesus-followers, we are also called to be people who see. Seeing is hard. It means slowing down, looking away from the things that engross our attention and fill our busy lives, and instead starting to notice those who go unnoticed. Being like Jesus means seeing the homeless, the refugees, the victims of racism, abuse, and colonialism, the troubled youth on the street corner and the elderly person in palliative care, and all those in between who are rejected and forgotten by the world.

But seeing is not just about looking. True seeing leads to meaningful action. God provided for Hagar. Jesus stopped, and talked, and touched. If we are going to be like our Father Who Sees, then we need to be ready to do something about what we see.

Personal Reflection:
When was a time that you knew beyond a doubt that God sees you? What makes you feel seen?

A Challenge:
Today, try to "see". Slow down and notice the people you wouldn't usually notice. Then do something about what you see. Give a smile, a hug, a helping hand.

Father, thank you that you are the God who sees us. Thank you for being with us, even in the dark and challenging times when we feel alone and forgotten. Help us to be people who see and who show your love to a broken and hurting world. Amen.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018


There is only one star tonight.
Clouds cover the sky
Heavy and dark
Affording only the smallest glimpses
Into the starlit sky beyond
And then
The pollution of a hundred thousand
Man-made lights
Floods the darkness with an unnatural glow
A haze of obscurity
Bringing neither clarity nor comfort
Drowning out
Any companion that may be found.
There is a second star
Peering through the haze
And there, another
Or perhaps the clouds
Just a little.
There are three stars tonight.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Mommy Moments: Compliments

3-year-old: Mommy, you're coot.

Me: Do you mean cute?

3-year-old: No, coot.

Me: What does coot mean?

3-year-old: Coot means coot.

Me: ...

3-year-old: You're coot like the leafs.

Me: ... Thanks?

Monday, 26 February 2018


Childhood winter days—
I remember when glistening snow
Turned everything into a magical world.
I walked through the woods
With wide eyes and baited breath
To see Tumnus waiting for me
Just beyond the light of the lamppost.

But now the snow cannot muffle
The blaring horns and thrumming engines,
The clattering of machinery that encroaches.
My Narnia is shrinking.

And I—I have changed too—
My feet sink deeper in the snow
My gaze moves downward
As my mind carries the worries of the day.
I fight
To lift my eyes
To the snow-laden branches.
The magic, the peace and beauty
Cannot touch the heaviness of my heart.

Where has my wonder gone?
I am tied to the earth—tired—
Afraid I will hear Aslan say
I'm too old to go back to Narnia.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018