Tuesday, April 10, 2012

When You Want To Wear Redemption On Your Sleeve


I slip into
the favorite sweater
with all those
stripes of color
radiating light--
the one I've loved
for long years



I remember how I
used to wear it
to cover up the sadness
and distract all the eyes
from this broken-souled
girl beneath



But I've changed, grown,
healed in ways I
can't even articulate,
and somehow this sweater's
become a silent covenant
between a woman
and her God



Because I wear it now
to remind of what I know--
that life is beautiful
and full of Him,
even on the hardest,
darkest days




And there's
no more need
to cover up
anything at all,
except in the shelter
of Redemptive Grace


{I penned this poem a few weeks ago and it seemed fitting to share it here in this week following the celebration of the Resurrected Christ, our source of Redemptive Grace}




Giving thanks this week for these gifts from His Hand...

1418.  Cutting off the curls again, not afraid to change
1419.  Everyone noticing the cutting
1420.  Surprise envelop in the mail from my kindred spirit in Texas
1421.  That tiny, beautiful handwriting of hers, speaking love and hope right into my soul
1422.  Tea bags tucked inside, friendship across the miles
1423.  And that verse-engraved bookmark, lyrics for a life
1424.  The way she knows my heart , even when we've never met
1425.  Saturday afternoon full of cats on leashes and books read in the sun
1426.  Easter morning dawning with clear skies
1427.  Roast in the oven, happy smells filling the house
1428.  Me making deviled eggs while still in pajamas
1429.  Us all sitting down to dinner, too much good food on the table
1430.  White chocolate bunny that hops into my brother's shopping basket, finds its way to me
1431.  Cat wandering the house with bunny ears perched on her back
1432.  Feeling the joy of Him way down deep on this Resurrection Day
1433.  The Resurrected Christ.  Yes.  Always Him.
1434.  Long talk with the doctor who's leading
1435.  Me finally saying what needs to be said, asking the hard questions
1436.  Making sense of this long road and choosing to walk it still
1437.  Fourth day of sun in a row
1438.  Driving with the sun roof open and the windows down and, yes, the music loud
1439.  The way this day feels more like summer than spring
1440.  Whole afternoon of sitting outside beside the sister of my heart
1441.  Chai frappaccino in hand, joy in a cup
1442.  April sun leaving its mark on my skin
1443.  Me laughing sheepish when I see it in the mirror
1444.  Looking back over a week that's been hard and finding there's too much joy to count
1445.  God Who pours out Grace, pours out Himself when the heart needs filling
1446.  Hope.  Yes.  This.

10 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing Courtney. I find that I'm beginning to write poems myself and the Lord is helping me to say what He wants said in these thoughts too. Maybe the Lord will let me share them with the world someday too.

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    1. @Daniel: So wonderful to find your words here, Friend! Oh, how glad it makes me to know that you are writing poetry, too. And I do hope that "someday" is sooner rather than later--I'd love to read your words, hear your heart. Somehow the poetry has been easier to write these days, demanding less of me than my other writing. I'm grateful to know there are so many of us thinking, learning, living in poems these days. Grace to you, Friend!

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  2. Your writing makes me cry and cry out that I am finally, FINALLY, not alone anymore. Just reading your words brings such comfort to this heart here, and helps me to keep running my race. To win, Courtney! To win!

    Bernadette...with a big cyber hug for you tonight.

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    1. @Bernadette: I am so humbled to have been given this privilege to walk with you, to be the one who lets you know you are not alone. Yes! To win! Let's run together. Always.

      Letting your hug wrap right around me...

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  3. Lovely list! Just stopping over from Ann's site. Is it really possible to have cats walking on a leash? I don't think my Chewy would be very happy about a leash, but he would probably be happy about being outside since he is an inside cat. I love the poem and the colorful sweater.

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    1. @Lynn Pottenger: Hello, New Friend! So grateful you came by to read my scratched-out words here. Yes, it really is possible (for the most part) to put a cat on a leash! It takes them a while to get used to it and stop slinking around--but eventually they are just so happy to be out in the yard, sniffing the breeze and eating the grass, they stop caring so much about the leash. Our cats are inside cats and we live on a super busy road--so the leash gives them a taste of outdoors and gives us a bit of entertainment in the process :o). Grace to you (and Chewy)!

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  4. Aww, you bless me by including me on your list. I'm glad, grateful, and humbled that you received the offering in the spirit in which it was sent.

    So much joy in your hard! (Hooray for cozy hiding places, yarny and otherwise.) Your gratitude is a sweet aroma to the Lord. He knows the hard and bears it with you. You are doing a great job. Don't lose heart!

    The last stanza of your poem is my favorite, and I copied into my journal. It's like trading the fig leaves of our naked shame for the skin of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

    May the Lord keep clarifying your health road and blessing your collaboration with the new doctor. Love to you, dear heart!

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    1. @tinuviel: Oh! You have captured my thoughts so perfectly--trading the fig leaf of shame for the skin of Lamb. Yes, yes, yes. Thank you for expressing this idea so eloquently--and finding my words here worth recording. You have blessed me so much over the months--it's only fitting to find you carved into my gratitude list, again and again. Yes, don't lose heart! Let's walk the hard road arm in arm. Love and Grace and all God's Goodness back to you, Dear One!

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  5. Love this, I totally identify with you, and hope to grow beautifully too, like you, but, so far no much growing, not much progress, but, you inspire me to persevere and hope, you are a beautiful lady! you don't need to disguise your true beauty with a garment. You are doing a great job!!!!

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    1. @tibisay: Dear Friend...you *are* growing, even when it doesn't feel that way. Most of the time we feel like we're getting no where--until one day we look back and realize God really was changing us, growing us into His image. And your desire to persevere in the midst of such hardship? That's how I know you are growing. Keep fighting, my friend--it's worth it.

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