Let It Burn

Sometimes, we’ve got that thing that hinders holding us back.

Sometimes, we’ve got that thing that makes us pause, and it’s slowing us down.

Sometimes, to get rid of it,

You’re gonna have to let it burn.

Fire purifies. It refines.

Fire cleanses. It redefines.

Let it burn away the dross.

Let it burn away the residue.

You will be brought for as precious silver.

You will come forth as brilliant gold.

I will bring the one-third through the fire,

Will refine them as silver is refined,

And test them as gold is tested.

They will call on My name,

And I will answer them.

I will say, ‘This is My people’;

And each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’ ”

Zechariah 13:9

But who can endure the day of His coming?

And who can stand when He appears?

For He is like a refiner’s fire

And like launderers’ soap.

He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver;

He will purify the sons of Levi,

And purge them as gold and silver,

That they may offer to the Lord

An offering in righteousness.

Malachi 3:2-3

Finding Time to Breathe

Will it ever let up?

Will it ever relent?

Time keeps ticking.

Life keeps moving.

There is no release.

There is no reprieve.

Normal is never returning.

Yet, was it ever here to begin?

What was will never again be.

So, why are you surprised?

Why are you dismayed?

It has always been as it is now.

Sometimes, stronger.

Sometimes, lesser.

But never really much contrast.

Never really much disparity, indeed.

So, why must you fight it?

Why must you rage?

All you can do is open your eyes and let wisdom reside.

All you can do is exhale and find time again to breathe.

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Romans 5:3-5

Remembering

What did you remember?

What did you see?

All those years ago, when my existence wasn’t even a thought.

What did you recollect?

What did you hear?

All those sleepless nights, when the bottle became your friend.

What did you reminisce?

What did you feel?

All those days of overcast, those memories of horror, those years of agony…

What demons did you try to forget?

I wish I could have reached you.

I’m so sorry for your pain.

And I’m eternally grateful for your sacrifice.

Remembering Memorial Day 2022

Penned – MG – 5/30/22

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

John 15:13

How Long Will You Remember?

We cry in agony as we hear the mother scream for her baby who is no more.

A senseless shooting.

So many innocent lives taken too soon.

We cry in anguish as we watch the news, another life, another home, another country destroyed.

A senseless invasion.

So many blameless lives violated and abused.

We cry in aggression as we listen to a story, a race, a city, devastated once again.

A senseless bloodshed.

So many harmless lives stolen and discarded.

Yet, what about those before?

What about last year?

What about last decade, last century, last generation?

This isn’t the first. It won’t be the last.

The truth never diminishes the value.

It only recognizes the void.

It only reveals the distraction.

It proves the distance from crisis to comfort.

It exposes the distance from tragedy to hope.

How quickly you forget.

Your days move forward.

But when do theirs?

How long will you remember?

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.

Psalm 34:18

My flesh and my heart fail; butGod is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 73:26

Grief: An Endless Process

When someone dies, it can feel like a tornado hit your heart, and the earth is upside down.

When the funeral comes, it can feel like a relentless brain freeze on a hot summer’s day.

When the gravesite is on the horizon, it can feel like a gut punch, and you wonder why the referee disappeared.

Grief is an endless process.

When the holiday rolls in, it can feel like the time bomb restarted.

When the birthday pops up, it can feel like the helium was stolen too soon.

When the anniversary shows up, it can feel like the promises are shattered and forgotten.

Grief is a wretched thief.

Never sparing. Never resting. Never pausing.

Yet, grief has a process, inviting all to enter.

The invitation stands for reason, for recollection and for redirection.

Grief never heals, but through grief comes healing.

Find it. Accept it. Live through it.

The process will bring completion.

The process will always bring reality to light.

Penned – MG – 5/27/22

Blessed are those who mourn,

For they shall be comforted.

Matthew 5:4

Evil Is In The Heart

Let’s be clear.

Evil may be manifested through weapons of all kinds.

In guns, in knives, canes and even rocks, evil may be displayed.

But only the purging of the root will ever bring about change.

This truth has been revealed since the beginning of time.

Cain had a rock.

Herod had a law.

Romans had a nail.

Nero had a torch.

This one had a knife.

That one had a gun.

The next may have a bomb.

Evil in the heart will always produce evil. Violence is the fruit. Evil is the root.

Let’s purge the heart and return to truth.

It will change the world.

Penned – MG – 5/25/22

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Luke 6:45

Grief: It Keeps Rolling Just as the World

Grief comes in like a freight train, but it leaves like heat on a summer day.

It just keeps rolling in as the earth keeps turning.

It keeps changing like the wind in a hurricane.

It keeps piling like a logger in a sawmill.

It never stops for me or for you, no matter the title, no matter the story.

Grief is like a bully on the playground, coming in full force, but never relenting or growing shy.

It just keeps plowing like a farmer with a new field.

It keeps twisting like a mountain road on a new journey.

It keeps trodding forward like a stallion set free from a war.

It never halts for you or me, no matter the status, no matter the history.

Grief just simply must be received and processed, even analyzed and yes, sometimes, scrutinized.

Once it’s embraced, it can be positioned in the right place, but if rejected, it never truly releases.

The world moves on and so does grief.

So, let us move with it, or we will never learn to breathe again.

My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 73:26

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.

Psalm 34:18

Grief: It Comes Unannounced

I wake up for the day, and you are there.

I lay my head on the pillow to sleep, and you are there.

I am consumed with my thoughts, and you are still there.

It seems I can’t escape you; your presence is always with me.

I walk along the trail with the trees looming, and you are there.

I wade along the shore with the shells shining, and you are there.

I sit among the people with the chatter boxes, and you are there.

It seems I can’t hide from you; your presence is ever with me.

You remind me of a lifelong friend, but I am not sure you are such a companion.

I’d like to be rid of you instead of making you a home.

I rise with the sun, and You are there.

I rest my eyes with the moon, and You are there.

I sort through my feelings and my thinking, and You are still there.

It seems I can’t evade You; Your presence is thick as billowed smoke.

I walk along the streets with the children playing, and You are there.

I hike to the mountaintops with silence deafening, and You are there.

I plunge into the darkness with the fears looming, and You are still there.

It seems I can’t elude You; Your presence is encircled as a cloak.

You remind me that You are a friend, and I am grateful you stick closer than a brother.

I’d like to welcome you for eternity, for Your presence shadows all the pain.

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

John 14:16-18

Grief: It Comes In Waves

There’s no limit to grief.

There’s no timeframe, no confines, no box in which to place it.

It just is. Grief.

The loss can be a spouse, a child, a parent, a grand, or even a friend.

There’s no hinderance of relation that changes it.

It just is. Grief.

And it can come in waves just like the ocean.

It can be quite peaceful, making you look twice to see if it’s still there.

It can roll in unexpectedly, with riptide and tumultuous waves.

It can swirl around like a hurricane, seemingly with no end and no beginning.

It is just what it is. Grief.

Just as the tide recedes but always returns, so it is with grief and the pain of the loss.

Just as the ocean never stops, but it has its peace and its rage, so it is with grief.

As expanse as the ocean, the emotions of grief.

And sometimes, to cope best is to grab a board and surf the waves.

For only from atop can you clearly view and find the shore.

Penned – MG – 5/11/22

Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

Colossians 3:2

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Grieving Heart

Oh, Grieving heart

I know you’re broken.

I know you’re shattered.

I know you feel it deep beyond the bone.

Don’t think you have to smile.

Don’t assume you have to sing.

Don’t believe you have to laugh.

Only look up.

Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.

Luke 21:28