Poem: Spiritual Discipline

deep blue BW

Spiritual Discipline

Prayer comes hard before the storm.
Too many deaths have washed up on your shore,
too many losses pile up like driftwood at low tide.

Mourning comes easy.
Your disposition sees in the dark
more easily than the light. It is work

to see the morning dew, the flowers that persist
in the times of drought. You are too
like those you love/hate who have left their scars

Scars they say, heal. That is the promise
and the lie.
They almost heal, but they leave their mark, thick and strong.

As the night falls, you feel crippled,
but that too is a lie. Your scars are something different,
runes of survival, ritual tattoos

from those who professed their love
as they slashed your soul.
Better for me a true enemy, than those.

It is hard to pray, but pray you do.
It is hard to dance, but dance you will.
For this is what you have learned:

Love is an act of defiance.
Belief in a God of love is a weapon against those who do not.
It is powerful and once you pry open the smallest opening

for God to enter, he floods you like sunlight in the morning.
You become light, and the truth of your scars becomes evident,
beauty marks of a survivor, war paint of the warrior.

So laugh if you will, at an old man’s dance.
It is prayer of a different sort, unrecognizable
by anyone but God.

Prayer comes hard before the storm.

About this poem.

Fret not those who have come to love me. Despite the tenor of this poem, I am fine. I was feeling flat this morning, and uninspired, so I perused my pictures to find one that struck me, and found the one at the top of the page, and wrote to it.

It was taken at the edge of the North Sea in the Netherlands. And while the picture looks dark, the day was bright and sunny. Prayer came easy that day.

In the past few years, and particularly in the last year, I have recovered my love of music and often find myself dancing in my seat, or in the house. An old thing, a lost part of me, returned with the advent of new love.

I pray every day, Morning and night and often at odd moments of the day. Some days it comes easily. Some days it is hard. That is why they call it a spiritual discipline, I suppose. But you do it anyway, because that’s how God gets in. As Hemmingway once said “We are all broken. That’s how the light gets in.”



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