It was like brewing coffee
with no lid on the carafe below:
an open container no good for dripping into.
Or like a signal with no receiver
sending out flashes in the night,
the station set to another frequency.
With nowhere for this love to be taken in,
empty and fruitless,
you opened up your heart a little wider
and sat beside me.
I have thrown down this spade
and with hands still covered in dirt, circled.
I know these limbs,
the little knobs and crooked angles,
have rested in the empty branches
and let the broken grooves catch my hair.
But for all of my time spent toiling,
pouring forth and tending,
It is You who speak the word of life.
like sandpaper to my soul
this day of days
a return to you
my forehead to the ground
and Your law within my heart
Turn my eyes to see your face
when I have turned away to move on my own
and I don’t know where you are.
Turn my eyes to see yours
so that I can know you just a little bit more
and where you will move.
Turn my face to see your view
and look in my eyes to see where I would run
and hold me there.
Formed out of the clay,
the wet earth from the stream welling up
and watering the thirsty ground,
why should I not conform to your hand
and let you collapse my walls,
pushing down with the heel of your palm
until all I had built
is returned to you and I am
another formless lump
ready to be fashioned anew
into what you have in mind.
Better to be soft and malleable
than broken pieces
that tried to put up a fight.
Again and again
You will reshape my life,
and I will let you.
This is our pact: You will tear down
all that will not last,
and build up what you see in me
that is good.
Yesterday I was driving through the high plains of Western Kansas
when the sun was setting,
the sky a dusty pink and orange.
And every hill brought a slight change in direction
to and away from the sun
until there was a row of little black holes
blinking at me across the horizon
as my eyes strained to recover from the sun’s fierce glow.
It reminded me of one summer
when we missed the chance to say goodbye.
You walked out alone and threw me one brief glance
before stepping out of sight,
a glance so filled with emotion and things unspoken,
that I could only blink at the empty spots
left in your wake.
I don’t think you know that you light up the sky.
You could have chosen anyone
to love the blessed Mother and Jesus,
but you named Joseph
as the one they would need.
No one else could love them
the way he did.
So when I wonder
who you are making me to be
and what it is that you are teaching
I can know
that it is not for nothing,
what You have put into my heart.