Sunday, April 26, 2015

A psalm and a story

Psalm 46
1 God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
    though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
    God will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
8 Come, behold the works of the Lord,
    how he has brought desolations on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the chariots with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God.
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth!”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selahrefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
    though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
    God will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
8 Come, behold the works of the Lord,
    how he has brought desolations on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the chariots with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God.
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth!”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah


The psalms contain some of the most beautiful poetry ever written.  And this gorgeous psalm is no exception.  because it is the Word of God as well as poetry, it empowers us as we meditate on it: helps us to trust such a God, long for such a river, and still our hearts.

It's been a long week, and as I reflect on it at home this morning (dealing with a virus of some kind, so laying low and not infecting anyone at church) I love thinking on this psalm and its words of comfort and direction.

We began last week in Arizona, helping Ben and Elsa settle into a new apartment and helping Tim and Nikki move into a rental as they wait for their new house to be built.  We arrived home late Tuesday evening, and I had my infusion on Wednesday, taught in the afternoon on Thursday, and headed to Santa Fe to run some needed errands on Friday.  I only had a few scheduled stops left as I loaded a couple of bags of groceries into the back of my car in the Trader Joe's parking lot.

I had the back of our Honda Pilot open, had set my two bags of groceries on the ground behind it, and had set my purse on the back of the open car right next to me.  As I rearranged items in my cooler to make room for my new purchases, I caught movement peripherally to my right.  My purse was moving.

I grabbed for my purse, and realized a small car had pulled up close behind me, and a woman was leaning out the passenger-side window and taking my purse.  I pulled on my end of the purse, began to yell something like, "No!  That's my purse!", and spun around to face the car.  My hand was being pulled inside the car as the woman pulled the purse inside the car, and the car began to pull away.

For a split second, as I watched my strawberries and other groceries lay in bright contrast to the black of the parking lot pavement, I considered holding on to the window; but I knew I would only get hurt, and they would still get away with my purse. My hand slammed into the back of the open window, and I continued to yell and point as the car sped away across the parking lot, "She has my purse!  She took my purse!"

Several sweet strangers, and one acquaintance from Curves in Los Alamos, rallied to write down the make, model and license plate number of the car, call 911, and pick up my strew produce. After talking to the police and getting some shaking under control, I headed for home, sans purse, wallet, all credit cards, check book, tablet, two pair of sunglasses, and a new large container of Crabtree and Evelyn Lavendar Hand Therapy, among other things.

The woman who took my bag looked haggard and worn, and to be so brazen, she must live in a desperate place.  Will you pray for her, Gentle Reader, and the other woman who drove the car?  Pray that they have food and safety, pray that they meet Jesus and find a way out of their desperation.  And pray that they don't use all my information to steal my identity, or sell my purse to someone who will.

And will you pray for me?  Ask the Lord to help me live in the reality of who God is, and be still.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

NPM: Edna St. Vincent Millay

In middle school and high school, one of my favorite poets was Edna St. Vincent Millay.  While my tastes have grown perhaps less maudlin, she was a master wordsmith.

Pity Me Not by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Pity me not because the light of day
At close of day no longer walks the sky;
Pity me not for beauties passed away
From field and thicket as the year goes by;
Pity me not the waning of the moon,
Nor that the ebbing tide goes out to sea,
Nor that a man’s desire is hushed so soon,
And you no longer look with love on me.

This love I have known always: love is no more
Than the wide blossom which the wind assails,
Than the great tide that treads the shifting shore,
Strewing fresh wreckage gathered in the gales.
Pity me that the heart is slow to learn
What the swift mind beholds at every turn.


Friday, April 24, 2015

NPM: Peek a boo (with Ezra)


















Peek-A-Boo by Ella Wheeler Wilcox


The cunningest thing that a baby can do
Is the very first time it plays peek-a-boo;


When it hides its pink little face in its hands,
And crows, and shows that it understands


What nurse, and mamma and papa, too,
Mean when they hide and cry, "Peek-a-boo, peek-a-boo."



Oh, what a wonderful thing it is,
When they find that baby can play like this;


And everyone listens, and thinks it true
That baby's gurgle means "Peek-a-boo, peek-a-boo";


And over and over the changes are rung
On the marvelous infant who talks so young.


I wonder if any one ever knew
A baby that never played peek-a-boo, peek-a-boo.


'Tis old as the hills are. I believe
Cain was taught it by Mother Eve;


For Cain was an innocent baby, too,
And I am sure he played peek-a-boo, peek-a-boo.


And the whole world full of the children of men,
Have all of them played that game since then.


Kings and princes and beggars, too,
Everyone has played peek-a-boo, peek-a-boo.


Thief and robber and ruffian bold,
The crazy tramp and the drunkard old,



All have been babies who laughed and knew
How to hide, and play peek-a-boo, peek-a-boo.







Thursday, April 23, 2015

NPM: George Herbert


[Sonnet (II)]              

Sure Lord, there is enough in thee to dry 
    Oceans of Ink ; for, as the Deluge did 
    Cover the Earth, so doth thy Majesty : 
Each Cloud distills thy praise, and doth forbid 
Poets to turn it to another use. 
    Roses and Lillies speak thee ; and to make 
    A pair of Cheeks of them, is thy abuse. 
Why should I Womens eyes for Chrystal take? 
Such poor invention burns in their low mind,
    Whose fire is wild, and doth not upward go 
    To praise, and on thee Lord, some Ink bestow. 
Open the bones, and you shall nothing find 
    In the best face but filth, when Lord, in thee 
    The beauty lies, in the discovery. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

NPM: Christina Rosetti









The World by Christina Rosetti

By day she wooes me, soft, exceeding fair;
But all night as the moon so changeth she;
Loathsome and foul with hideous leprosy
And subtle serpents gliding in her hair.
By day she wooes me to the outer air,
Ripe fruits, sweet flowers, and full satiety:
But thro' the night, a beast she grins at me,
A very monster void of love and prayer,
By day she stands a lie: by night she stands
In all the naked horror of the truth
With pushing horns and clawed and clutching hands.
Is this a friend indeed; that I should sell
My soul to her, give her my life and youth,
Till my feet, cloven too, take hold on hell?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wednesday without words (except a poem for National poetry Month)











Two Little Feet

Two little feet, ten little toes,
Leave their impressions today.
Soon they will wear two little shoes,
And be running and jumping at play.
Two little feet, too little time,
Before they are walking to school,
Kicking a rock, or skipping a rope,
Wading a puddle or jumping a pool.
Two little feet, One little child,
Will soon go their own way,
But footprints in my mind recall,
They stood here yesterday.

~ Author Unknown ~