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There is a knock at the door

The hour is late

The house is quiet inside

A bare bulb lights the room

I am not expecting anyone

Who could it be at this hour

I carefully approach the door

Peer through the peep hole

I can only see darkness

I immediately know who it is

A familiar visitor from my past

I reluctantly touch the door knob

Clench my teeth, close my eyes

“No!” I whisper. “I can’t.”

I’ve come too far without it

Come too far to let it return

There’s another knock at the door

The pounding is harder

Memories and emotions resurface

Darkness wants to return

It seeks to immobilize me

Filling my life with sorrow

I release my hand from the knob

Step away from the door

The knocking persists, then stops

Silence returns to the house

Yet I know they will return

Old acquaintances testing me

I’m learning not to let them in

Learning how to deal

With the familiar knocks

Learning when to answer

And when not to answer the door

© 2019 CGThelen

I fight the words from within

Feelings that make me weep

Whispering, “You’ll never win.”

Memories I don’t want to keep

Struggling to control thought

Trauma replays in my mind

Emotions make me distraught

I seek relief I cannot find

“Lift yourself up,” others say

Yet inner strength does fail me

While trials linger on each day

From this pain I long to be free

My weary eyes gaze skyward

I pray God will lend a hand

Doing it myself is truly absurd

Trapped in this troubled land

Step by step I learn to walk

With faith in God as my guide

Being self sufficient is all talk

Since now in Christ I do abide

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5

© 2019 CGThelen

Sorrow fills me

Tears well up inside

Flowing down my cheeks

Pooling on the floor

Jesus wept

Death returns once more

Grief fills my soul

So much living remained

Cut short by the grave

Jesus wept

Deep hurt inflicted

The memories return

Sadness overtakes me

The pain, too much to bear

Jesus wept

Memories haunt me

Violent outbursts

Directed at me

Muscles tense, I recoil

Jesus wept

Hope has vanished

Stricken from this place

Emotions overwhelm me

All seems so pointless

Jesus wept

I see him weeping

I see his love for him

I see his love for me

He knows my pain

Jesus wept

He weeps with me

Tears pool on the floor

But his are tinged with red

Love for me so deep

Jesus wept

There is life after pain

There is life after hurt

There is hope in sorrow

There is life after death

Jesus rose

His love abounds

He wipes away my tears

His grace is sufficient

His hope eternal

Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” – John 11:35-36 (NIV)

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” – John 11:25-26

© 2019 CGThelen

Shattered

Broken pieces

Scattered all around

Void of any shape

A broken vessel

Unable to hold

Fragile clay pot

Smashed against

A cold, hard floor

So many pieces

Yet God’s hand

Patiently shows

Porous clay edges

Now exposed

Readily absorb

His love and grace

One by one

His compassion

Glues pieces together

Little by little*

He rebuilds

Restoring this vessel

To serve him

Until one day

It is complete

A vessel worthy

To hold his love

Filled with hope

Cracks still visible

Brokenness still evident

But held together

By God’s love and grace

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” – 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (NIV)

© 2019 CGThelen

*Thanks to Jennifer Arimborgo and her post http://feedingonjesus.com/2019/08/27/little-by-little-2/ for inspiring this poem.

I can still feel your hand

A weak squeeze

Dry skin against mine

Still hear the machine

Pulsating in the background

Providing you oxygen

Still feel the humid breeze

Blowing through the window

Ruffling strands of hair

Still feel the oppressive heat

From a late summer day

Permeating the room

Still feel the furrowed brow

As my fingertips moved

Across your gray hair

Still sense the sadness

As life slowly slipped away

With each passing breath

Each strained breath

I sat with you that day

Next to your bed

Next to your frail body

A raspy word, barely audible

Emerged from your lips

“Water.”

I imagined what it felt like

As I raised moistened sponge

To your parched mouth

Brief refreshment

A soothing moment

Amidst the pain

I hope my presence

Did the same

A moment of peace

Soothing peace

For your parched soul

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. – John 6:35 (NIV)

© 2019 CGThelen

My heart races

In the tall grass

I make my way

Eyes wide open

Alert for sounds

I hear growling

A twig snaps

I am pursued

By my adversary

Once he held me

Tightly bound

With heavy chains

And a steel cage

Until my savior

Told me the truth

That I had the key

To set myself free

Once unlocked

I fled his evil grip

Feeling freedom

My heart overflowed

With pure joy

Yet his anger stirred

He came after me

Angry I was free

No longer a prisoner

Chained to his lies

He keeps pursuing me

Not wanting to let go

Hunting me in the dark

With flaming arrows

Shouting out lies

Hiding somewhere

In the tall grass

Waiting to pounce

But I press on

With the truth

Close by my side

With the key

Firmly in my hand

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” – 1 Peter 5:8-9 (NIV)

© 2019 CGThelen

The windmill vanes

Turn to the wind

Desperately grasping

Trying in vain

To capture the wind

The wind blows past

Spinning the windmill

Gears creak and turn

The pump rises and falls

Water emerges and flows

The wind passes through

We cannot see it

Yet we know it’s there

Building windmills

To capture its power

God’s presence is evident

His Spirit blows through

May we turn to face him

Let him turn our life

To let living water flow

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:5-8 (NIV)

© 2019 CGThelen

In the deepest, darkest pit

You were there

When all abandoned me

You knew my grief

When I was struck

You felt the pain

When fear paralyzed me

You were beside me

When others heckled me

Your words soothed me

When rejected, cast aside

You pulled me near

When tears engulfed me

You wiped them away

When I felt no love from others

Your love remained true

You never abandoned me

Always by my side

Dear God you’re always there

Always faithful to me

You’ve blessed me

When when I felt no blessing

Filled me up

When I felt depleted

You are the one true God

The everlasting father

Your love and grace endures

Through all that life gives

Your are the eternal

In a temporal world

“Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.” — Psalm 146:13-14 (NIV)

© 2019 CGThelen

Tiny saplings reaching up

Toward sky so blue above

Young faith taking root

With new found faith in God

Growing up in shadows

Of God’s faithful high above

Towering trees rising up

Above tiny saplings below

Deep roots holding strong

Against many storms of life

Canopy of green leaves

Glowing in light above

Branches skim the heavens

Leaves quiver in the breeze

The Spirit of God is evident

To faithful saplings below

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. – Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV)

© 2019 CGThelen

The pain is deep

It eats at my soul

My heart stiffens

I ache for relief

My body tightens

Muscles tense

Tendons strain

I can’t move

My brain swells

Turbulence within

Emotions swirl

A whirlwind inside

Tears well up

Eyes close

Salt water streams

Touch my lips

Body crumples

Folding in half

Whimpers break

The silent room

Darkened window

Broken shade

Beam of light

Upon the floor

Tear drops glisten

Reflecting light

Sparkles of hope

Deep in my soul

“I am worn out from my groaning. All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears.” – Psalm 6:6

“Why, my soul, are you downcast?Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” – Psalm 42:5

© 2019 CGThelen

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