Mundane

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This process of
Working, day by day
Steal-faced persistence
To complete the simplest of tasks
A melting into routines
And back pain
And budgets
And dishes
Of realizing that I can no longer
Juggle as many balls
As before
And trying to concentrate
On one ball at a time…

It feels like defeat
Like surrounder
Like death
But it also feels like rest

And rebirth
And perhaps,
If I slow down enough
To look around
And know where I am,
My feet planted firmly,
I will grow my roots yet deeper
And reacher higher than before
These are only
Growing pains

~An original poem by Scarlet Ponder

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Sermon

I have been forgiving you
Since the moment
I learned
But how can I respond
When you ask me for forgiveness now
Long after
I have cried my tears
Long after
I have stitched my heart
And coaxed it
To heal
How can I say
I forgive you
When the forgiveness I extended
For so long
Went unseen
How can you ask
“Forgive me”
When you never acknowledged
Your wrong?

I cannot be the one
To give you a badge
That says you have crossed
From that to this

I cannot be the one
To say,
Yes, now you are doing it right.

I did cry a river.
And then I moved my tent
And planted a new garden
New flowers
In new dirt
And I wait painstakingly
To see what grace will emerge
From my pain.

You hurt me.
Instead of speaking truth
You hid it
And when I found it
You ran away
And never looked back
Leaving me
To clear away the shrapnel,
My ears still ringing.

You slipped away slowly
Then quickly
As I grasped at ways to help
Ways to bring you back to life and love.
An honest parting of ways,
An honest confession that you did not love me
An honest word that,
Our time was good but it was over
Would have been a welcome balm.
I grieved that you did not count it worth your own pain
To tell me it was over,
Instead leaving me bewildered
Left to assume what must be true.

I forgive you and forgave you already,
But how can I be your priest
And absolve you of your wrong?
How can I forgive
What you never confessed?

Do not say to me,
“Forgive me, I have changed.”
Tell me the wrongs
That you now recognize
And tell me that you understand
Even a small bit
Of how I must have felt.
Tell me that at last
You feel a little bit
Of my pain
As I once felt yours
So deeply.
Tell me you are sorry.
You are so, so, sorry.

Sacred

 

Your skin
Pressing comfort
As i feel your weight and warmth
Reminding me
Like a gentle pinch
That I am real
Reminding me
That you are real too
That you see me
And I see you.

Beware,
Those who use others
For their own gain
Stealing their labor
As surely as stealing their house
For the ground on which you stand
Is sacred
And will not forever allow you
To desecrate its gentle soil
With your cruelty.

I do not miss
Ice cream cones or toys
Of childhood.
I do not long to curl
In my mother’s arms
Though I might
Miss that too.
I miss waking every morning
And immediately knowing
That today is sacred.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

– Jelaluddin Rumi,
Translation from The Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks

To my Beloved Christian Family, One Nation, Under God

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My beloved family,
Loved and treasured by God
Apples of His eye
When
Did Christianity become about winning?

When did we begin to say,
Close our doors
Seal our borders
Keep our families snug and secure
In our suburban houses with
Green lawns
And no sidewalks
And security systems

Don’t welcome the foreigners,
The ones who worship under a strange moon
And not a cross
who worship the strange god Allah
The ones who
Wrap their women in too much fabric
Who don’t watch romcoms
Who don’t wear bikinis
Who won’t eat our hickory smoked Barbecue pork

Don’t welcome the small, undernourished children
Eyes eyes as scared and hollow with trauma
As their gut is from hunger

Don’t welcome doctors who come to study in our Universities
To work in our hospitals
To heal our sick

Fly your flags high and proud
One nation under God
And rejoice that the Christians are winning
The good Christian soldiers
Who work nine to five
Who earn overtime pay
Who relax on their weekends off
That were paid for by the sweat and blood
And resistance of immigrant laborers
Their illegal strikes,
Their fight for fair wages
And reasonable hours
And safe working conditions
Their fight to unionize
And end child labor
So you could work
Your white color job
While your own children
Enjoy free education
And new toys
And play dates.

Stand proudly on their backs
And declare your victory in Christ
Declare how good God is
That only by his grace
And your own bootstraps
Do you stand here today
While lazy immigrants
Feed their children with McDonalds.

We won! We won!
God is in the Whitehouse!
Our strong God, our mighty God,
Our God who will not take no for an answer!
Our bright and white and shining God
Who rewards the wealthy
And reprimands the poor for their sloth and impropriety
Who loves the blacks
And will teach them to be smart and civilized
to stop doing drugs and going to jail
Who puts Americans first!
Who will make a way
For oil to flow freely through our land
That we rightfully discovered.

Let us thank our God, our Father,
For the blessings poured out over us
Thank God that we are not godless muslims
Or whining liberals
Thank you for
Our guns and our veterans
Who protect us from the barbarous world outside.

And we will be One Nation under God
No longer forced to endure
The rowdy, rude chants
Of untamed mobs
Who are an affront to our blue lives,
And our color blind eyes.
No longer will these anti-americans
Soil our ears
With their unreasonable demands
For clean water
And healthcare
And a living wage.

Our mighty King Solomon
Adorning our country with glorious towers of Gold
(never mind the heavy taxes
And unpaid labor that builds them
After all if they had studied and
Worked hard they would have
Found a better job)
Making our nation great again
As our pure white crosses
Shine from every hill
For if our Nation is One
Under God,
Who needs liberty and justice
After all?

Slow Down

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Today I was inspired by the India Arie song:

“Slow Down”

So far from where I started out.
So far from where I wanna be.
Listening for answers in the wind,
But can’t find a rock to plant my feet.
Looking for love in all the wrong places.
Down on my knees and now I’m praying for patience.
I know there’s gotta be a better way.
In the back of my mind I hear my momma say

Slow down baby
ya goin to fast.
You got your hands in the air
With your Feet on the gas.
You ’bout to wreck your future,
Run from your past.
You need to slow down before you go down baby.

Thinking the faster that I go
The faster that I will reach my goal
The race is not given to the swift
But to the one who endureth.

I went through a pretty painful breakup about seven months ago. I finally feel like I’ve gotten to a point where I have pretty much healed and accepted it is over. Still, I feel like day to day, I am not living my life in peace. Its kind of like I have a constant panic under the surface, that I am constantly motivated by a fear of being alone. I am determined not to be a victim, so I frantically try to order and arrange my life in such a way that I will have people around me, places to be, and a community to accept me. All this is good, but I am realizing that even now when I have so much support and so many wonderful people in my life, the frantic-ness and the subtle panic still haven’t gone away.

I realize I am at a point, I want to to keep moving, but what I need now more than anything is to stand still.I need to stand still and take note of exactly where I am. I need to reflect and be aware of all the layers of emotions that have been bouncing around in me for months. I need to breathe and recognize all of the good things in my life. I need to slow down and realize, I am okay, and it is well with my soul.

I have been struggling with feeling like I can’t connect with people in a deep way, that I have a hard time feeling a connection to people. I am realizing, I think I need to take a moment (or two, or three, or more…) to be still, and recognize how deep my own soul goes. I need to take a moment to love and appreciate my own soul, and appreciate who God made me to be. I need to be still in my own company and realize that when I’m alone, I’m not alone.

So my goal today is to confront my fear of being alone, and trust that when I stop and sit in quiet, that I won’t come up empty. My goal is to sit and be still and know God is God, and trust that in slowing down and just being, I am complete. I am enough. I have what I need. My goal today is to slow down.

 

Unstoppable

You know when you come across something you wrote years ago and ask yourself, “did I write that?” I just came across this poem that I wrote in April of 2012, before I moved to Houston:

Unstoppable

I am not a woman forsaken
What I lose I will gain back tenfold
I know I’m on a mission
though I don’t know yet  what that mission may hold
The Spirit of the Lord
Speaks through me every day
And though sometimes I feel like crying
His peace is lighting my way
I’m feeding the dream seed
And I’m looking for the thing
Which will never be destroyed—
The unstoppable spring
My soul is made of paper
And my body’s made of clay
But my Spirit’s made of something
That will never waste away
Its made of wind
Its made of fire
It goes wherever
My LORD desires
It sees what my eyes don’t see
And hears what my ears don’t hear
It rises up and moves me forward
When my mind is still tangled in fear