Trail of Tears

They tell me it was named
The Trail of Tears, that road
they were made to walk.
I also have traveled, weary.
I also have cried
tears that mark their salty path
from the Smoky Mountains to a dust bowl
that holds no compassion
for my loss.
This is my trail
that I have journeyed many days
never knowing - always wondering
when will I return home.

A Prayer

God, be a shelter for my runaway heart.
God, be my belief and help my unbelief.
Father, be my trust when all else has betrayed me.
Healer, be my healing, and bring beauty from these shards.
Abba, be a Father to my orphan soul.
Lord, be my home in this world that cannot be my home.
Savior, be an unfailing shelter in my time of storm.

My Child

Hey God -  it’s me.
I dunno if You’re listening, 
if You care, or - 
I am closer than your heartbeat
and yet you wonder
if I care.
I surround you like the air you breathe
and yet you still doubt 
My presence.
You wander, not knowing where
or for what - but I am waiting for you.
I am the way home
from nothing and nowhere.
You run - heart pounding, lungs heaving,
your body craving oxygen, but
it is not just air
that you are hungry for -
My fearful, doubting child  
whom I love.


You pound me, fall on me, drench my broken soul
with the tears I cannot cry.
The self-accusations that devour my mind
are swallowed up in your thunder.
They have a voice now, but not of words.
My shame you scatter with a single bolt of lightning
and I dare ask you, what name shall I give
to the wreckage?
Others run for cover but I do not run, I walk
in the weeping of a single soul’s anguish
across the heavens above me.
No matter that I am wet.
No matter that I am cold,
you are the manifestation of that story
which I do not yet have the courage
to reveal.

Get Up

Get up, get up, get up out of bed -
it’s time to start walking this road up ahead.
I know you cannot see anything,
But I have a candle for you.

Night Before an Exam

Please tell me this isn’t me,
this is not real.
Normal people don’t act like this, don’t
use their friends for shrinks and parents, don’t
pretend that the inevitable will be prevented by
ignoring it.
It cannot be me, who is sitting here now,
facing a firing squad of my own creation.
God what have I done and why?
I have no answer.
I do not want to die, but
why I choose to ride through hell
on a stretcher - now that
is a good question.
“You ok?”

“Yep.” What other answer can I give?
I cannot constrict years of wreckage into
the allotted 2.5 minutes, that is a miracle
I refuse to wish for.
I cannot wish –
wishes have hope of fulfillment.
Or maybe not – in that case,
I wish not to wish.


I have a dream that someday
I will not always be
as I am now.
I have a dream that someday
the stories of my mistakes
will no longer be lyrics to
the song that never ends.
I have a dream that someday
I will not see my tomorrows
prophesied by today;
that today need not be dictated
by my yesterdays.
This dream demands to be flesh,
to be alive and breathing.
It infiltrates my blood, pounding
incessantly through my heart, saying
“Let me live!
Give me a chance - please…”
It is agony to be held captive by a dream -
to wish for something so close
and yet so far.
To hold a treasure that sifts through my fingers
like sand − but the dust remains.
I am covered in dust.
There remains a hope that will not die,
in spite of me.
And so I continue to dream
that one day,
this will no longer be a dream −
but reality.
That one day, “Someday,”
will be today.

Remembering Freedom

Someday you will want to remember this – but not today. One day you will be able to look back on your journey so far, and be amazed at the great distance you have come – but not now. Not here, in this time of your life, this dark back alley of your heart. From this pit you have dug, the near constant defeat of your ragtag joke of a soul’s army, you think, there can be nothing worth saving. Nothing that could possibly belong in that mythical fairy tale land they call Freedom.

I know. I remember. And someday you will want to remember too. Not today, of course, but that’s ok. Really, it’s ok. But when you finally do arrive home, your best and most precious memory will be of someone named Jesus, who taught you that Freedom is no fairy tale.


Why are you afraid of the rain?
“Gets me wet,” you say.
“Can’t do anything fun.”
Well, for being prejudiced against getting wet,
you’re an exceptional wet blanket.
(I’ll give you that much.)
“Sunny days are best,” you claim.
“Those are the days for dancing.”
Well… pardon me, but the sun
never wept in frustration
or cried tears of joy.
Give the rain a little slack.
‘cause goodness child −
this is the stuff that makes you grow!


Words, give me
words, because I have no
words, for this hurt.
I write these words of a life
that is my story.
Should be Your story, too.
But my words are all wrong.
I have no words to capture myself.
No words to capture You.
Hands, give me
Your hands, because
my hands
cannot hold this life.
These hands are so small,
busy grabbing trinkets
while they could be embraced
by Yours, full −
of abundant life.
O you wandering soul!
Your hands that write
words, coming from
a heart looking for
Something, searching
through many books until
you find that from the beginning,
there was the Word.