galena time

Galena, Illinois was “born” in 1826. It is known as the town that time forgot. This beautiful town is filled with shops, candy, lots of chocolate, delicious coffee, great eateries and, apparently, ghosts! This is my bride, and we enjoyed celebrating 39 years together in Galena!

help us dream

so i wonder
dr. king
what you would say
we have done
with your dream
it seems
we got it wrong
and there’s no song
to help us anymore

so i wonder
dr. king
what you would say
as you stroll
on our main streets
sit in our bible studies
and share a meal
at our dinner tables

i wonder
dr. king
if you don’t mind
would you help us
dr. king
we
seem to
have
lost
our
mind

and there’s
a greater loss
dr. king
we don’t love
our neighbor
as we love
ourselves
dr. king
i’m so sorry

but just
one more thing
dr. king
would you
help us dream
dr. king
help us to make
one day
now
dr. king
we are asleep
dr. king
and we have forgotten
how to dream

see

how can we still be
missing so much beauty
our brother
our sister
all the treasures
of the world
right beside you
right beside me

how can we still be
hurting each other
oh can't you see
the glorious ruin
for that is who we are
who we all are
and we cry
for love
just to be loved

oh God
open our eyes
to your presence
image bearers
all around us
and let us
treasure
the treasures we see
and let
this love
start in me

how can we still be
silent
speak
let your words
embrace the sorrow
let your words
heal the pain

speak
be present
embrace
the treasures

oh God
help
me
see

still here we are

For us, January 1st is Happy Anniversary as well as Happy New Year. So, in honor of my bride:

just look at those kids
kneeling in stillness
about to unfold
a story to be told
of their love

just look at those kids
praying and longing
about to discover
the path is so steep
and love will require
more than they know

still here we are
still telling a story
older now
somehow
still here we are

just look at those kids
i do
let’s go
i’m yours

your love is true
through all the hurts
pain and sorrow
you still said yes
through each tomorrow

you love so well
with grace and kindness
staying by my side
oh Ruth
so grateful
you’re by my side

still here we are
still telling a story
older now
somehow
still here we are

just look at those kids
dear God
thank you for the journey
and for taking care
of those kids
and thank you
for the gift of
that high school girl
who so long ago
was kneeling beside me
and still is

and can it be

and can it be
you came for me
a withered soul
so tired so cold

and can it be
surrendered glory
for this heart of pride
all the shame inside

o withered soul
lift up your voice
o withered soul
cry out rejoice
your light has come
your peace is near
Immanuel is here

and can it be
once blind i see
forgiven free
You died for me

and can it be
new life is mine
and for all time
not just a while
i'll sing and shine
i am your child

this withered soul
now your son
your own
and can
it
be

in a little corner of my home

a cup of coffee
in a little corner of my home
lights and shadows
remind me of what lies within me
darkness and light
love and hate
goodness and self-centeredness

the memories descend

life and love
family and friends
grace and peace
laughter and song
so many gifts
undeserved and plentiful

soon the wraith
of dim stories arrives
failures
loss
shame
and the quiet ache
of all things left undone
and of all that i have done
to others and to myself

i choose to surrender
to all the images
that so quickly float
through my mind
as i lift my gaze
in a little corner of my home

three crosses
Calvary
such an ugly place
of death
of pain
of sorrow
of suffering

and it is there
in the midst
of the darkness and light
of my life
it is only there
where the lies i tell
and the lies i believe
are exposed

where my shame is undone
in love and acceptance
where i trade my burden
for hope
mercy
love
and the lightness
of forgiveness

and i realize
He is here
with me
in a little corner
of my home