Meeting someone for the first time-
Shake their hand, they look in my eyes.
Eyebrows wrinkle and their nose crinkles-
Have we met before?
Maybe not specifically me,
But you have met Jesus,
And I am his homie.
Sometimes I look like him,
Sometimes maybe not so much.
But he sent me.
I am sure of this.
I speak to the dead
And they to me.
Voices in my head
From the deceased.
Ashes to ashes
And bones to dust.
Bodies wither and decay,
But memories, words remain.
I talk with the dead-
The lifeless live on.
I fight with myself in extremes-
All or nothing,
In or out,
Good or bad,
Black or white,
Darkness or light.
In a black and white world,
I can never do enough,
I will never reach the top,
I am never enough.
I have to allow myself to live in the grey-
Grey is grace.
Wade through the shallows
To get to clearer water.
Slog through murk- gain depth.
From atop the ancient gnarled oak
An owl looks down on the earth,
Sees people ever running, striving,
Scurrying along the hardened ground.
The pensive bird placidly ponders–
Who are these animals that hurry?
They race, rush, and fret, but why?
When will they open their wings to fly?
The feathered sage rotates his head
To scan the horizon’s circumference.
As the sun sinks ‘neath the skyline,
He sighs, spreads his wings and soars.
Several months ago, last November to be exact, I had an enlightening Friday afternoon. Done with class for the week, I was driving to meet my husband in one of the Dallas mid-cities so we could leave town for the weekend. Following his directions, I found myself lost. Pulling over into a parking lot, I called him and he said to stay there and he would come find me. Already perturbed and a little anxious from being both lost and late, I sat back in my car and waited. I noticed a man standing on the corner asking passing cars for food or money. I had seen him on my way to the parking lot, and I had even paused and given him some granola bars I had in my car. He smiled and expressed thanks, and I smiled back and drove on to find a parking spot and wait for my husband. But as I sat and watched as the man continued to stand on the corner, I began to truly see him and his situation. Occasionally a car would stop and somebody would hand him a few dollars. One lady went and got him a hamburger and came back to deliver it before she drove off. Nobody lingered. Food and money. Food and money were offered freely, but time and heart and listening ears were out of the question. As I sat and watched, I got the urge to get out of my car and go stand on the corner with him and talk to him. I thought of how lonely it must be to stand on a corner for hours and only get a few seconds of interpersonal interaction at a time. For the sake of my semi-protective husband, I waited until I saw his car approach the parking lot, then I got out of my car and walked towards the man. It started to drizzle, and he moved from the street corner to sit beneath a live oak tree to eat the meal he had been given. I walked over slowly, smiled, and called out a greeting, so that he would know I came in peace and not to run him off. Sitting down under the tree, I listened to him tell me his story for the next hour or so. I didn’t have to say much. My presence was all he needed to begin a conversation. He was a middle-aged man who had lost his job and had seen hard times. He told me that he tried to live as best he could each day, and that he knew he wasn’t a perfect man and that he had made mistakes in his life, but that one day at a time by the grace of God was all any of us had. As it grew dark, and he left to catch a bus to the shelter across town, he thanked me again for the granola bars. We shook hands and exchanged “God bless you” before parting. As I was thinking about the incident later, I realized that he thanked me for the food, and that food and money are what most people have to give, but the conversation with a person willing to listen probably fed him for longer than my handful of granola bars. Food can feed your body for a few days, but a conversation and being treated like a fellow human being can feed your soul much longer.