Faith

Ramadan in Memory and Imagination

Photo by Naim Benjelloun on Pexels.com

In Memory 

I call a few friends

Who used to live in China 

To ask about Ramadan

What foods they shared

For Iftar

And what it meant

It was nutritious and delicious

Huge meals of soup, 

rich and meaty main dishes and

Fresh and dried fruits and nuts

It meant

Love and connection

Solidarity 

With family, friends and neighbors

I find it painful to ask

And painful for them to remember

Since they have left their homeland

Since the lockdown

Since the genocide of their people

They haven’t heard news

Of their families

For too long

They have not heard 

Their voices or their laughter

Or words of hope

That this will end

And life could be normal

And they could celebrate

Ramadan again

With love and connection

Solidarity

With family, friends and neighbors

Photo by Rachel Claire on Pexels.com

In Imagination

(When I lived in a city called Gulja, I remember hearing mothers calling their children to come home. They would sing their names out the doorways or open windows. The children would start making their way home when they heard their names.)

If only I could hear her voice again. She called me from the window, singing my name down the street. The sun had set. I knew it was time to come home and eat the delicious meal she prepared every night for us. I would skip home throwing open the door to find her in her apron serving the food to my father and brother.  She would nudge me to the sink to wash my hands. My father would tussle my hair, my brother would give me a playful punch. We would eat our meal together, savoring the flavors and the love we had for each other. 

In my dreams I hear her calling, singing my name down the street.  I can never find my way home. There is always an ocean to cross or a gate I can’t get through or soldiers blocking my way.

Categories: borderlands, Faith, Hospitality, lament, Love, pain, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Blessing for Open Eyes

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Open our eyes to see

What is happening in our world

To see with eyes that care

About the suffering of others

To see the connections

And understand

Why these things are happening today

Give us insight

And vision 

To see solutions beginning

Small and thin

That lengthen and thicken

Into strong ropes

Strong arms

To lift 

To carry 

To free

© 2021 Julie Clark

Categories: Faith, God, Hope, Lent, Life, Love, Poetry, Prayer | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Jesus Flag

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For all those

Waving a Jesus flag

Big shoes to fill

Big steps to follow

Better get started

Developing love

Self-sacrificing love

Takes a lifetime

Posers will be revealed

Examine our hearts

Whose path am I on?

No idols here

No judgements either

Fruit will reveal

Better than a flag

Who I serve

Who I truly love

© 2021 Julie Clark

Photo by ATC Comm Photo on Pexels.com
Categories: Faith, God, Love, Paths, Peace and Reconciliation, Poetry | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Thoughts on Change

Let us

Search for the light

Like wise persons

Follow it

Come out of the blinding

Darkness

Shake it off

Shake ourselves awake

And free

Let love

Come down

Melt the hardness

In our hearts

Let the tears

Flow

Do their work

Break us open

Just as the rain

Finds a way

Through the earth’s 

Hardened crust

Look up

Rise up 

Follow the light

Our paths

Need examining

Need pondering

Where am I headed?

Who am I?

Who am I becoming?

Is this who I want to be?

Is this path leading to life?

Leading to light?

Leading to love?

If not

Step off

We can change our course

We can grow

We can choose

We still have breath

We are still alive

© 2021 Julie Clark

Categories: Faith, growth, Hope, Life, Love, Paths, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good-bye 2020

Photo by Julia Volk on Pexels.com

May this new year

Show the fruit of what we have learned

from the troubles and sorrows of the passing year

How we need each other

Always have, but somehow

Lost sight of our connection

To each other

To our earth home

To our heaven coming down home

May the fire 

The flood

The hurricane force winds

The pandemic

Be used 

To strengthen and straighten the bent and broken

Places in our hearts 

To repair and renew 

The moral compass

of all, including

The powers that rule

The powers that have crushed

The powers arising

Replacing the old

Bringing the new

Until, until

“The kingdom of this world 

becomes the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ” *

How long 

How long

How we long for that day

© 2020 Julie Clark

(*Revelations 11:15)

Categories: Faith, growth, Hope, Life, pandemic, Poetry, Prayer | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Counting

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(This was a prayer/thought I had Saturday morning before we heard the results of our recent presidential election.)

Are you counting?

Like the votes are being counted 

One by one, day after day?

Are you counting

My every thought

Every move

Every deed

Weighing on scales?

No, not counting

Loving

Pouring it out

Day after day

The love that covers

Every mistake

Wayward thought

Angry word

Unkind action

Hateful look

The self-pity

Self focus

The pride

All of it

Again and again

Until it is covered

Until I learn mercy

And do the same

© 2020 Julie Clark

Categories: Autumn Poems, Faith, God, growth, Hope, Love, Poetry, Prayer | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Take Beauty Personally Today

A friend of mine asked me, yesterday, if I had a word for these anxious times, this election day. Here is what came to me first:

In this time of uncertainty, anxiety, and stress I would suggest spending some time in nature. It might be taking a walk in the neighborhood, a hike in the woods or on a trail or it might be looking out your window or sitting on your balcony or back porch. I have a phrase I have used in my poetry a couple of different times. It is “take beauty personally”. Slow down, take some deep breaths and pay attention. What is calling you to notice. It may be a flower, a tree, a bird song, the sound of water from the sea or a fountain. Whatever it is, take it to heart, a message from God, the earth, or the universe that you are beloved. Find a way to let go of what is troubling you and receive the peace and love that you need. 

Categories: beauty, Birds, Faith, Seasons, Trees | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

The Raven

Photo by Tom Swinnen on Pexels.com

Flew to the tip of the garage

Standing there now

In front of us

Outside our window

Your message from the One who loves:

I am here

Standing guard

Leading you

In this work

In this way

Pay attention

Step by step

Look for me

You will find me

When you search

With all your heart

I am for you

I am renewing the earth

And it’s peoples

Don’t be afraid

I am with you

I see you

Even when you

Cannot see me

Look for me

Pay attention

Categories: Birds, Faith, God, Hope, Love, Poetry, Prayer | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Who is Waiting for Who

(I came to faith in the 1970’s with the Jesus People, we were sure Jesus was coming back – soon!)

I moan

I groan

I lament

Waiting for you to come

Hoping for you to intervene

To silence evil

To stop oppression

To hear the cry of the poor and needy

When will you 

Remove the evil rulers

When will you come in the clouds

Set things right 

Set up your throne

I long for that day

I long to see your face

In the silence

I hear your invitation

Your call 

To join your work

To speak for the voiceless

To speak and live truth

To feed the hungry

To listen to the oppressed

To push back

Evil, oppression, racism, greed, violence

In my prayers, in my words, in my actions

I realize

I am not the only one waiting

You are waiting for us

© 2020 Julie Clark

Categories: borderlands, Faith, God, Hope, lament, Life, Poetry, Prayer | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Even in a Pandemic

Even in a pandemic

You can be kind

You can listen

You can learn

You can watch as the sun sets

Changing the colors of the sky

The light changing in the tree tops

Beauty can still take your breath away

Even in a pandemic

You can remember

You can give thanks

You can listen to the bird song

And wonder at the many voices

You can pray

You can vote

You can change

© Julie Clark 2020

Categories: beauty, Birds, Faith, growth, Poetry, Prayer, Trees | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

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