PNEUMA

 

 

 

By Lisa Huddleston

 

Lying on the space of rubber mat

Feet to the left and to the right

Both hands open at my sides

 

I breathe in His name

Keeper of my soul

Hold and absorb

He is the keeper of my soul

He does not need my help

 

Breathing out in prayer

I exhale

Help me to let go

 

Filling the the mercy seat between my cherubim hands and feet

 

Keeper of my soul

Help me to let go

Keeper of my soul

Help me to let go

 

Breathing in the physics of his name

Exhaling the disease of my lies

Treatments given by the Great Physician

 

Clear pneuma, no monia

Healthy breath, spirit, and soul

 

Namaste

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TALK ABOUT SUFFERING HERE BELOW …

By Lisa Huddleston

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. (1 Peter 5:10)

Relationships can be hard. Truth.

And it can be especially hard when a relationship has trouble, and you find yourself with the inability to do anything about what’s causing the difficulty. At a time like this, I am thankful to have a Heavenly Father who knows my heart, sees my tears, and responds to my hurt with encouragement and good promises on which I can rest my weary head.

As you know, Chuck and I live on a fifth-generation family farm in Middle Tennessee with our mothers, cattle, cats, dogs, goats, ducks, and chickens. Besides our moms, other human family is often here as well, and we all benefit from the lessons that surround us in this nurturing place.

In the past few weeks, we have introduced 2 new goats and 4 new chickens to the menagerie. And although you often hear that “birds of a feather flock together,” it can take time for peace to be restored when newbies arrive. The lil’ girls are still running to hide from the mean old biddies who are used to ruling the roost, and the lil’ fellas in the goat field are taking a lot of pushing around from the bossy older guy they are now living with. Relationships can be rough.

Naturally, Chuck and I do our best to smooth the ruffled feathers when we are there, but the truth is that all we and the newbies can do is give it time and let the pecking order fall into place. As we know from bringing in others in the past, cats and dogs will find their own ways, and the same is true for new chickens and new goats. Time will do its good work. We can only wait.

I don’t know about you, but I find waiting to be one of the hardest things to do (or NOT do). I want to fix relationships that are broken. I holler at Blaise when he head butts the boys, and I run to rescue the lil’ girls when I hear squawking and see feathers fly. Do Blaise and the big girls care what I do? Heck no!

And the same is sometimes true for humans. When I see difficulties for others or especially when I feel that I am on the business side of a head butt, it is nearly impossible for me to sit down and wait for God to do his work. But He is reminding me that He is on the job, and I can trust Him even with the most heartrending relationship struggles. He will work all things together for good. He does hear my cries and see my tears. He will restore,  confirm, strengthen, and establish me. I have not been forgotten nor do I need to defend myself. At the proper time, He will exalt me from this humbling, and I can safely and confidently cast my cares on Him.

Thank you, Father, for squawking hens, for pushy goats, for words that salve a broken heart, and for your never-ending faithfulness.

So shall it be. Amen.

OF ALL BUT LOVE

Gripping tightly to invisible ropes leaves burns on sweating palms when all is finally let go

And by all I foolishly pretend to know the pain of such slippery surrender

But I have not lost a husband

I have not lost a home

I have not lost a faith

I have lost neither hope nor love

 

Yes there are days and weeks and months which feel as though I may

Grown children scatter making ways into unknown worlds

And because the bonds of love are strong they come

To remember grandfathers

To visit grandmothers

To share the burdens of graying parents and to help rearrange the furniture one more time

To eat the favorite foods, to walk the family farm,  and to sleep in familiar beds

 

But in time all will be released

Mothers and fathers

Husbands and wives

Children and children’s children

Some sooner and some later

Some with understanding and others through reasons never to be known

Our hands will let go, our grips will fail

 

And these three will remain:

Faith, Hope, and Love

And the greatest will always be Love

 

CORPORATE PRAYER

By Lisa Huddleston

For burning fires, for drowning floods
For washing sins away in blood
For sicknesses and hope for health
For joblessness and enough wealth
For aching sadness, for despair
For brokenness and for repair
For all these hopes and
All these things …

“Now let us stand and
Continue to sing”

 

(This idea popped into my head Sunday morning, October 15, 2017,  as both our curate and our worship leader used the same phrase following our time of congregational prayer: “Now let us stand and continue to sing.”  I thought of how difficult it is to sing in times of trouble, but how miraculous it is that as believers we can still do it! “By the rivers of Babylon … how shall we sing the Lord’s songs in a strange land?”)

 

TWO DEATHS AND DEGREES OF SEPARATION

By Lisa Huddleston

 

I held his hand for hours the day my father-in-law died

Not continuously but anytime others left that spot on the side of the bed empty

I jumped up to fill it

I hated for him to open his eyes and not see two eyes looking back

Understanding and showing compassion, giving honor to his final day of hard work

They said he wasn’t aware, but when I said, “I love you,”

He patted my hand

Releasing his still-strong calloused grip long enough to pat, pat, pat

He heard me and

He knew

 

 

When my father died I was not there

He lived two states away and the distance between us was great

When I did visit we made bawdy jokes and laughed with wide-open mouths and teary eyes, coughing and gasping and spitting out our love, trying to breathe

But in the end I could not talk on the phone

Not understanding his mumbled words, not knowing what to say, or how to bridge the gap

So when she begged me to call I didn’t

I wrote instead sending my final words by email for her to read to him in another voice

I could not go, I could not call, and I would not be there when he died

I hope he knew

SEPTEMBER MORNING

By Lisa Huddleston

September brings glorious, chilly mornings, the hint of color to come and already present in the trees, full fields ready to harvest, and the promise of change. Either a promise or a threat. I’m not sure how I feel about it, but I know change is coming.

Before I couldn’t wait for change. I measured my age in half years, and anxiously anticipated every change in my own children: eating solid food, walking, potty training, learning to read, getting their driver’s licenses, going to college, getting married … each step leading them further away. But there was joy in the change.

Now change feels like fear. We have lost half our parents. The other half ages before our eyes. And I watch their faces, my mirror, and the news with anxious eyes and ears, and I want to stop the clock. Crazy men with bombs speak of fire and fury with threats that could kill us all, could stop the comforting change of the seasons that have always before promised to return. This harvest could be the last. Could always have been I suppose, and I am forced to chuckle at my dire response to beauty.

So on this early morning, I sit alone on my screened-in porch, breathing under heavy blankets and reading the morning words. God sees and knows and speaks: “The Most High God rules the kingdoms of the world and appoints anyone he desires to rule over them” (Daniel 5:21). And I breathe and know what he says is true, before and now and still to come. And I hope to be caught up in the harvest. To be judged as fruit and not as chaff. To abide in him and with him through seasons, and changing times, and end of time.

And September mornings are glorious still.

TAKE THIS CUP AWAY

By Lisa Huddleston

Verse 1

There now are wars
And rumors of wars

Take this cup away

But who knows what
We’re fighting for

Take this cup away

When all sides think that
Might makes right

Take this cup away

Gotta walk by faith
And not by sight

Take this cup away

Take this cup away, Lord
Take this cup away
Take this cup away

Verse 2

There’s a man in the north
Who’s reaching forth

Take this cup away

And a man in the west
Who thinks he’s best

Take this cup away

Big men who seek to
Settle scores

Take this cup away

Both think they’re right
To break down doors

Take this cup away

Take this cup away, Lord
Take this cup away
Take this cup away

Verse 3

Gotta turn our eyes
To the eastern skies

Take this cup away

Just the fear of the Lord
Will make us wise

Take this cup away

When that bright star comes
Then all will see

Take this cup away

He’ll break our chains
Set all men free

Take this cup away

Take this cup away, Lord
Take this cup away
Take this cup away

Verse 4

Until that day
Gotta see it through

Take this cup away

Their bombs may
Blow this world in two

Take this cup away

Until then grace
Around us pours

Take this cup away

Still time to learn
Not mine but yours

Take this cup away

Take this cup away, Lord
Take this cup away
Take this cup away, Lord
Take this cup away
Take this cup away