Friday, February 10, 2012

Jesu Juva

I read recently that Sebastian Bach not only signed each of his scores with the letters S.D.G, Soli Deo Gloria at the end, but he opened them with J.J. Jesus Juva (Jesus help).

Jesus Juva

Jesus, help. Breathe life and beauty into my work.

Jesus, help. I can't do this without you.

Jesus, help. As the Israelites in the desert willed their gaze upon a bronze serpent.

Jesus, help. As I beseech this cup to pass.

Jesus, help. As I pray Your will be done.

Jesus, help. As I take Your yolk upon me.

Jesus, help. As I tend my flock.

Jesus, help. As I run the race, fight the fight, live my faith.

Jesus, help. And haste the day when my faith will be sight!

Jesus, glorified.


There is a Portuguese word that doesn't have a direct translation to English. It's kind of frustrating not to have a suitable word, actually. The word is "saudades" which translates something like "missings". One would say, "I have missings". Doesn't work. I'm forced to choose other words like homesick but that's not it because it's about people. I don't just miss people I am a bit heartsick about it -- not to be overly dramatic. So friendsick, my own made up word. Really, why do we have carsick, homesick, heartsick and not friendsick?

It's hard not having history even if the new people you meet are wonderful. I sense the promise of friendship and trust the Lord with these seedlings. But the sheltering trees, the fortresses that shared experiences have built amongst these towering pillars, a beautiful source of nourishment... these, I miss.

A simple question like, "How many children do you have?" can be a bit angsty. I don't want to be that way. After all, I have dealt with this for a few years now --just not to this degree. And not without softer places to fall, places of understanding. Of knowing.

I'm ok. I just have missings.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Me: I have a surprise for you!
Him: Is it food?
Me: No, it's a poem-- for your birthday
Him: Oh! A poem!

Him: chuckles, "That was such a neanderthal question-- was it FOOD?!!"
Me: Heehee, "And I'm such a girl, "It's a poem (said with a squeak).

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


He cups my face;
Takes my taste to his lips
O self, close your eyes
and see

*"What sacred delight
What infinite wonder
I am precious in your sight
You love me like no other

At sink,
wiping down a days grime
Close your eyes to see
a Man washing dirt
off disciples feet

At table, not overly wise
to laugh, to share
his day and ours
O self, see?

Not eloquent as the world perhaps
Rather, a sight other-worldly

At break of dawn, a man who prays
not proud (or loud) but sure
of heart

I see
His very self,
inscribed with love
for me

*stanza in bold is the chorus to a song by Sunday drive, entitled Sacred Delight

Monday, February 6, 2012

stream of consciousness...

Words gather then scatter to the winds and I wonder what in the world is worth saying.

For a homeschool writing assignment, I will sometimes ready the kids with a prompt, set a timer and "GO!" There's no stopping the pen for ten minutes or so, just write, write, write until the timer dings. My girls usually beg for more time, the rush of words blowing strong so that they don't want to stop. They can lift their eyes brave and proud to read out loud because I don't look, just listen, and hear them, see them, not their mistakes. Later, we will choose which freewrite to revise and edit. At that point, their spelling and grammar will be tackled but by then their ideas have heart. They are invested and much happier to hammer it out.

Anyway, I am assigning myself similarly. My prompt is a real e-mail I received recently with "What not to say" (when a beloved friend is suffering) in the subject line. Specifically, as our mutual friends tred through the minefield of cancer with their teen son, Thomas.

The last line of my response to her follows:

"The truth is, as long as we are motivated by love, I think it is all we can do. And it is enough."

During our family's trials, we have received such an outpouring of love and grace that to mention the few things that might not have been helpful seems downright irrelevant. Not to mention that I have walked away kicking myself more than a few times for my rather obtuse insensitivity to the pain of others over the years. I certainly am no authority on what not to say! More convinced than ever that love overwhelms all things and covers a multitude of thoughtlessness, I believe love redeems the offenses that curiously accompany greater afflictions.

Still, there is something to note in the fact that Job's friends initially did well to sit silently with him in his sorrow. It was when they opened their mouths that they went askew. Miserable comforters they are called. They compounded the pain, multiplied it even, with their opinions too freely shared. It is enough warning to clasp my hand over my mouth and cry, "Please, Lord, have mercy and shut my mouth!"

It is my experience that loss begets loss. In other words, there are ripple loss effects to the heavyweights. Relational casualties are a sad reality. Perhaps if expectations are harnessed, naivety to pain acknowledged, opinions stemmed, maybe, just maybe there will be one less.

Looking back, aside from Steve and our other two children, who were too young to understand, I struggled to manage the expectations or relational needs around me well, once our son started showing signs of bone marrow failure. We prized the days together like pearls in the hand. I would allow little else to distract the eyes of my heart, apart from the battles that waged upon the soil of my soul. In the hospital and at home, I needed to be fully present with my own. However, with a sick child I dared not leave, a man to hold, children twirling, tugging at my legs, there was never enough of me. Time to myself was also scarce but afforded a safe place to fall apart. The Spirit of God soothed and fed me, strengthening me continually. In the seven months that Caleb endured on a bone marrow unit, I was rarely undivided. Grateful that my parents were with our babies, I still found there to be a pulling -- such a tendency to guilt. One of the greatest gifts others could give me was time and space, void of guilt. Having said that, I don’t mean that I did not genuinely need or want anyone around me. I did! The hard truth is, at times I wanted a particular person present, but not others. It wasn’t a reflection on them and I felt it a kindness when my dear friends could be thankful that there was someone that I wanted or needed, a confidant that was a comfort in the situation --even if it wasn’t them.

Does this sound hard? It is. It all is.

Please hear me, sweet friends. Faith, hope and love. The greatest of these is love. It is more than enough.