Love

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

Fruit Trees

The fruit trees

Have put on their new attire

Traded in the bare naked look

From buds to shawls of fragile blooms

Now with sturdy green working clothes

These garments will take them through the heat of summer

Their job, with branches stretching far into the sky

Collect all the glorious light coming their way

Transform the energy to feed the world

Fruit their goal, their hope, their song

No fruit, no life ahead

These trees will bear fruit

The leaves will do their job

And begin the cycle again

After the fruit is picked

Ripe and juicy

The old tired leaves will give

Their last hurrah

Decked out in the best of their colors

Gold, reds, oranges and yellows

The grand goodbye after all their labors

Before they fall to the ground

In storms of rain and wind

Will we like leaves

Live our lives

Dressed for the occasions

Of each stage of our being?

What are our goals, our passions?

Will they feed the lives coming after us?

How will we weather our storms and troubles?

Will we leave in a glorious hurrah

Having done all we can

To leave a rich inheritance

Of a life fully lived and a heart full of love

To the next generations?

© 2020 Julie Clark

Categories: beauty, growth, Hope, Life, Love, Poetry, Seasons, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Am I Hoarding Jesus?

 

When I was a young person coming back to faith in Jesus in the mid 70’s I was taught I had the answers to the questions of life. My experience as I traversed different parts of the world and met different kinds of people that this was not all together true. Yes, my young life had changed as I made following and learning about Jesus a priority, but I had a lot to learn from the people I met. Yes, I could offer prayers and encouragement from my perspective and I did see people encouraged, and even recovered from sickness. Yet, I learned to be quick to listen, slow to speak. Well, I had to be, because I was learning a new language! One of the many gifts of learning a new language. I also was learning and seeing beautiful things in the culture and people around me that I had not learned in my own culture. I learned to look for what good things God was already doing in a person’s life and in their culture. I learned to affirm those good things. Of course every culture has it’s light side and dark side, including my own. Now as I look back on those early years I think it was arrogant and naive to believe I had all the answers. Is it possible that Christians are hoarding Jesus? Saying and teaching that the way I interpret his life and teaching is the only way seems a bit narrow and exclusive.  As if I know all the mysteries of Christ who died for the sin of the world, the very same who is reconciling all things, all people, all creation to himself. I do believe those points. I just don’t pretend to know what they mean exactly or how it will happen.

Here in the form of a poem are some reflections from Mark 9:38 – 41 John said to Him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, we tried to prevent him because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me…”

Here, the path is wide

The door flung open

Us and them dismantled 

Here, we celebrate 

Our commonality – our humanity

See the goodness in each other 

Here, the hoarding of Jesus

Is not allowed

Trust the outcome 

To the one true judge

Of all motives, all character

Here we love and respect

We build up and affirm

The God given love

In one another

© Julie Clark 2020

Categories: borderlands, Faith, God, growth, Love, Paths, Poetry, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blooms and Thorns

Blooms and thorns

Outside my window

Growing on the same branch

Wheat and weeds

Outside my door

Seeds blowing on the same wind

Which will I choose to focus my attention

Who do I want to be

Do I want to be kind and loving

Or indifferent and uncaring

All this growing together

In our hearts

In our world

Intertwined

The world turns

Seasons change

What will we see

In the next season

After this pandemic

It seems we get a restart

Will we be a better world

Will we be better people

Or doom ourselves

Once again

I have read

Love triumphs evil

Light pushes out the darkness

Good wins over injustice

Shall we join

This hard work

Turn the soil and plant

The good seeds

Turn our weapons

Into plows

Our despair

Into faith and good deeds

Julie Clark

Categories: Faith, Lent, Love, Paths, Poetry, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Watching and Waiting

Sorrow follows close

To shroud me

When my gaze 

On love wavers

The impossibilities

Of hope

Too much to hold onto

At times

When justice and peace

Slip away

In a mudslide


What I cannot see

Calls me 

To look closer


Do you see the courageous ones 

who faced

Down their fear

The generous ones who share

What once they hoarded

Do you see

The peacemakers plowing fields

 with what once

were weapons

The trusting ones letting go 

Of all they thought

They needed to control


Change is happening

In incremental steps

Think of what happens

With seeds

Or yeast

Explosion of life

About to happen 

All around us

Keep doing good

And growing 

Into the person

You are and truly want to be

© Julie Clark 2019

Categories: Faith, growth, Hope, Life, Love, Poetry | 2 Comments

Questions I Have

What is this division you bring?

What about peace on earth, goodwill towards all?

Is it about our choice?

To love and serve

Or horde and kill?

Do you come to us at our borders in T-shirts and flip flops

Or camped out in our city parks?

One more opportunity to choose

As you ask, “Who will you serve?

Me or mammon?”

Ok, I choose you.

Now I have enemies.

What did you say about enemies?

I have to love them too?

Now that is hard to do.

Oh, you did that.

I see.  Is that how this works?

Love changes everything.

Love is the force that brings peace

Far and near and finally

Everywhere.

How long?

“Until all is changed and all submit

To love

Singing praises!”

Your ways are better

Your ways are higher

Than ours.

What is impossible for humans

Is possible for you.

Now we must 

Get up on the highway

Of your ways

Watch and see

What you can do with love-

The strongest force there is

Moving mountains and

Raising valleys.

May we make the choice

To love

Rather than continue

This madness.

© 2019 Julie Clark

Categories: Faith, God, Life, Love, mountains, Paths, Peace and Reconciliation, Poetry, Prayer | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

It’s Complicated”

Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com


I have been hearing this phrase more and more lately.  It’s a handy little phrase. I’ve used it myself many times when I am struggling to understood an issue or a situation.  It is true that life is complicated, human beings are complicated, but I feel like this phrase can be used now as an excuse, a way of not getting involved.  It is a way of distancing oneself from a messy perhaps dangerous situation. There are numerous situations going on around the world that are both messy and dangerous. 

I wonder in a revised version of the Good Samaritan story if one of the religious leaders who crossed the street away from the poor guy beaten and left for dead may have mumbled to himself as he hurried away – “It’s complicated…maybe he deserved what he got or maybe he has a contagious disease, or worse if I stop and help maybe someone will get me next!”

Last night I attended a vigil, calling for an end of the inhumane detention of immigrants in our country. I was heartened to see the church where the vigil was hosted packed out. More and more people are outraged at the news that is coming out and wanting to get involved or at least learn about what is happening.  It was helpful to hear from women who themselves endured the indignity of being locked up and treated as a criminal. (No it is not illegal to seek asylum.) Both women mentioned how terrible it was to witness the way children were treated. One saw the the agents tearing children away from their parents. 

There are numerous things we can do to help. We can raise our voices for the voiceless. We can contact our representatives both federally and locally. We can volunteer, we can donate, we can educate ourselves and help others understand.  We each can do something.  

Let faith have wings that lift us to pray

Let hope have eyes that look for solutions

Let love have feet that move us to action

May we take a risk to love our neighbors who are in great need rather than turn our backs on them because “it’s complicated”. 

I do not know what the answers are to good immigration reform. I need to learn. I do know inhumane treatment of immigrants is not one them. Another phrase I am hearing that I like much better is “This is not a political issue it is a moral issue.”

Categories: children, Faith, God, Hope, Love | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

True Self Knows

abstract art awareness branches

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

We all suffer

When one suffers

Like ripples on the water

Tracing it back

To the original stone

Shattering the calm

 

It all makes sense

Our connections

All fractured

All hearts broken

 

Let us go easy

Be gentle

Let the drops bead up

With Holy Oil

And roll

 

Rather then

Added to the burden

Of offences

We all carry

 

True self takes no prisoners

And knows

We will be welcomed home

With love

 

© 2019 Julie Clark

 

Categories: Faith, growth, Life, Love, pain, Poetry | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

The Mysteries

birds flying over body of water during golden hour

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

The mysteries

Of all we do not know

They are more than

The riches some heap

While others go without

They are more than

The wars against body and soul

The what ifs and the whys

The pit of sorrows we fall into

The crushing weight of grief

 

The mysteries

Of all we do not know

The greatest is love

That holds us when all is gone

That leads us to treasure

At the end of a dark tunnel

It runs through us and to us

Lifting us and helping us

To breathe and to live

And one day hope again

 

© 2019 Julie Clark

 

Categories: grief and death, Hope, Love, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Signs and Wonders

Signs and Wonders

 

Hidden away

For me to find

To discover

Secret treasures

Or surprises

Early spring buds and flowers

The haron circling me

Then landing on the beach below

The sea lion

Lifting head from the water

Barking greetings to all

The fog laying down

On the water

Surrounding the island

Like a blanket

Majestic Volcano

Radiant in white

All call me to pay attention

To notice the beauty

Of Creator

Signs of love

Wonders to ponder

 

© 2019 Julie Clark

 

Categories: beauty, God, Love, Photography, Poetry, Seasons | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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