Sunday, February 28, 2016

lenten poem twelve

Ljubljana, Slovenia. 2014.

Carême 12: Stir Up Thy Power

Lord, as I long to
be known, help me remember
to deeply know others

                                                      ----being the first to hold out a hand.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

lenten poem eleven

Pau, France. 2016.

Carême 11: Un jour est comme 1000 ans

"How long, O Lord," souls 
cry. But time is mine not yours,
trust me, says the Lord.

*Translation of French: One day is like a thousand years

Thursday, February 25, 2016

lenten poem ten

Kisaba village on Bukasa Island, Uganda, 2007.
The folks had carpeted this church with soft, sweet-smelling, freshly-cut
grasses. It was lovely--my first experience with grass carpet indoors.
But I also watched its freshness die, while Bible metaphors
echoed through me. Today's metaphor: James 1:9-11.

Carême 10: Pure of Heart

A pigeon couple
On tiled roof across the way
Happy in the rain.

                                                         ----(for they are the Lord's)

("Limitations" from Prayer: 40 Days of Practice by Justin McRoberts & Scott Erickson; The Lent Project - Biola U. Center for Christianity, Culture and the Arts; Psalm 119:33-48; James 1:1-15; Matthew 5:8)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

lenten poem nine

Pau, France, 2016.

Carême 9: Repentance, or Truth + Grace

"Steadfast love surrounds
those who trust in you, O Lord."
God is soft with us.

----Je suis reconnaissante.
Merci, Seigneur.

*Translation of French: I am grateful. Thank you, Lord.

Monday, February 22, 2016

lenten poems: a note

Pau, France, 2016.

An increasingly beautiful aspect of this Lenten poems discipline has been the decision to follow where the Spirit leads in this season. Which means the poems are not always a direct response to Scripture or to some specifically-defined Lenten reading. Sometimes they are instead inspired by a sermon I've heard, by a conversation with a friend, by a shadowed scene that played out for only seconds on the wall across the street from the window I look through while seated at my desk. All of life is the Lord's. Lent is offering a chance to learn to be especially present to the Holy Spirit's whispers in all of life's moments, not just the ones overtly deemed to be spiritual.

I did not expect all of this when I settled on this discipline for this season. But by freeing myself from responding only to my "devotions" (to what I read), the discipline has plunged me more deeply into a posture of listening all throughout the day: What will today's inspiration be? And yet, by interacting deeply with Scripture throughout these days, all of the listening is yet rooted there.

Whisper, Lord, whisper. Let there be life. And may it be good.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

lenten poem eight

Frioul Islands, France, 2015.

Carême 8: La joie

Help me not fear, Lord,
to ask for joy--grande et profonde.
Let the fresh wind blow.

*Translation of French: joy; big and deep

Friday, February 19, 2016

lenten poem seven

Togo, 2014.

Carême 7: Glory

Keep fervent in your love.
        How, Lord?
        I alone am not enough.
Be ready, sois prêt.
        How, Lord?
        Ready for what?
Serve others, as a good steward.
        How, Lord?
        What is my gift?

(Live for the will of God, that God may be glorified.)

*Translation of French: be ready

Thursday, February 18, 2016

lenten poem six

Southwestern France, 2014.

Carême 6: Sur Scène, the Neighbor's Wall

Unseen bird performed
a shadow play near noontime,
flew away. Encore!

(Sometimes life beautiful
 is found in shadows.)

*Translation of French: On Stage

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

lenten poem five

Southeastern France, 2013.

Carême 5: A Sprinkle of Clean Water

Silence frees, c'est ça?
In warm silence, I await
your word, water, breath.

*Translation of French: right? (Silence frees, right?)

Monday, February 15, 2016

lenten poem four

Oudhna (Uthina) Archeological Site, Tunisia, 2015.

Carême 4: Battle Cry

Resist temptation!
     (I will help you.)
C'est quoi la tentation?
     (I will save you.)
Penser à faire ce qui n'appartient pas à Dieu.
     (Be holy, for I am holy.)

     -----And you will be a tree flourishing beside running water.
             (Grace reigns forevermore. My gift to you.)

*Translation of French: What is temptation? Thinking of doing things that do not not belong to God.

lenten poem three

Sarajevo, Bosnia, 2014.

Carême 3: I Go

"Rend hearts not garments,"
says slow-to-anger Lord God.
"get up and go."

------Ok, j'y vais
(même si ce n'est pas logique)

*Translation of French: Ok, I'll go. (Even if it doesn't really make sense.)

Friday, February 12, 2016

lenten poem two

Albania, 2014.

Carême 2: Hard Choices

Two paths before me,
"Avoid suffering," friends urge.
I choose the Cross.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

lenten poem one

Eglise Saint Martin - Pau, France - Mercredi des Cendres

Carême 1: Mercredi des Cendres

Among many I
heard tendresse. I saw your lap
before fire's warm light------

------holding me.

*Translation of French: Lent 1: Ash Wednesday; tenderness

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

carnival: béarnais style!!

Check out my most recent Blue Dot article all about Carnival celebrations in my new town!

Carnival: Béarnais Style

And just because you deserve an extra special gift for visiting my blog, here's a bit of video from the Carnival festivities.