Tag Archives: life

Spring Leaves in Rain [Poem by Mom]

Mom’s poem this month is too good to miss, even if I’ve left it for the last day of the month. The poem grows from the image of “spring leaves in rain.” So I’ll surround it with photos of life outside our Iowa windows on this rainy spring day.

cowsdeck

“If haply…

cowbackground

they might feel after him,…

cowleaves

and find him,…

playset

though he be not far from every one of us.”
—Acts 17:27 (KJV)


SPRING LEAVES IN RAIN
(
Acts 17:27 KJV, Prov. 11:28 NLT)

Spring leaves in rain nourish me—
More skin than paper
They hang in soft folds
Of translucent baby green—
The colour of hope,
Draped like a lady’s delicate fan
From the old maple’s branches
Waiting to catch the breeze.
Pulsing with the potential
Of butterfly wings emerging
Flawless and limp
The doeskin softness fits with ease,
An almost transparent glove
Over my hand.
I trace the flow of life:
Liquid-sunshine slips
Through yellow-green veins
From stiff stem to tender leaf tips,
Through sturdy midrib lanes
To fragile feathering netted threads,
To waiting capillaries in weathered skin
To the deep veins feeding my hungry heart,
Blending with my warm blood life-red
To visit every cell that craves a reason to live.

Spring leaves in rain comfort me—
The softness is something I can grow into—
The feel of hope,
A kid-leather glove
Hiding my scarred skin
With a layer as vulnerable as love.
I would hold life as a pale young leaf,
As tender and unguarded,
As knowing as they are, as free of grief—
Fearing neither tear nor fall,
Knowing next year’s leaf already waits—
Winter bud of determination,
The Creator’s caring provision
For life’s scars and seasons.
I too can survive and reappear
Soft as a baby’s cheek,
Demanding no reasons;
Feeling after Him,
And finding Him, not far away, but near;
Tracing the abiding flow of life-sap—
The Sonshine in my veins—
From source to need,
As godly as a growing leaf.
             

—Elaine Gingrich, June 10, 2013/ February 2015


roadcorner

“The godly flourish…

wetleaves

like leaves in spring.”
—Proverbs 11:28 (NLT)


For the rest of the poems in this monthly series, see here.

And if you enjoyed this poem, leave a comment here for Mom, or send her an email at MomsEmailAddressImage.php.  Thanks!


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A Traitor Comes to the Table [Poem by Mom]

Someday, we will feast in radiance at the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:6-8)! Until then we often come to the table in clothes that are torn or stained. But we come hungry, nonetheless, needing the nourishment that is offered at the Lord’s Supper.

When we come to the table with stained clothes, and surrounded by others who do not yet shine as they ought, our participation must be an act of repentance and faith. It brings sorrow as well as humble gratitude. These emotions are shared yet deeply personal. My mother expresses some of these emotions in the following poem.

God bless you as you read—and as you eat of Christ’s flesh and drink of his blood. He can wash your garments anew as you partake of his feast (1 John 1:9).


Before Jesus died, He prayed that we who believe in Him might all be one. He left us a memorial service with emblems that typify unity and oneness. But sadly his followers have experienced disunity and division for centuries. How do we approach His table when our local body is not experiencing the communion of heart that we long for or when members have been torn away from fellowship?

I have felt betrayed at times as part of the body of Christ. I have come to the Communion table with a broken heart. But it is good for me to remember the first Lord’s Supper and what happened that night. That was the night that Jesus was betrayed into the hands of sinners—betrayed all the way to the cross. It is His body that is broken again and again when His church on earth does not experience peace. And most personally—it is crucial for me to focus on the humbling truth that it was my sins that sent Jesus to the cross. Even if there had been no other sinners to be saved, my sins were great enough to demand a Calvary, and Jesus’ love was great enough that He would have died for love of me alone.

It is my own heart I examine as I approach the table. It is my own betrayal of Christ that I acknowledge, and my own gratitude for His forgiving sacrifice that I celebrate.

–Elaine Gingrich, November 13, 2015


A TRAITOR COMES TO THE TABLE

The very night He was betrayed
Our Lord took bread and wine–
These earthy emblems, common food,
Embodied the divine.

A perfect body, perfect life
Was given to be broken.
With longing He embraced the cross
Where His love would be spoken.

The hand of him who will betray
Is with me on the table.
He hands the bread to me to eat!
“Oh Lord, I am not able!”

My sins betrayed the Holy One
To sacrificial death.
Forgiveness flowed from wounds and words
Until His dying breath.

A living bread, a bleeding bread.
My flesh gives life to you.
I, the betrayer, take and eat
And find His offer true.

—Elaine Gingrich, November 18, 2007, Communion Sunday


For the rest of the poems in this monthly series, see here.

And if you enjoyed this poem, leave a comment here for Mom, or send her an email at MomsEmailAddressImage.php.  Thanks!


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Life Thirst: L’Chaim [Poem by Mom]

Spring is almost here, bursting with new life and old longings, and I have a poem to match the season. Are you thirsty? Then read on…

(See here for an introduction to this monthly series from Mom.)

I think this poem will sing most powerfully if takes your ears by ambush. So, first the poem, then some reflections from Mom.


LIFE THIRST: L’CHAIM

How thirsty you are in the spring,
Earth with your thousand mouths.
Everywhere orifices open
Gaping for trickle,
Stream and torrent.
“A drink please,” you whisper,
“Please, more water, please.”
Mounds of snow you demolish,
Water that travels for miles to slake your thirst.
Cracked skin softens to mud,
Leaves compost, soil moistens,
Thirsty for more, for the future, for life.
Woodlands and roadsides chorus
With the trickle,
Rush,
Thunder of running water,
Gulping faster,
Gasping for breath,
Eyes closed,
All mouth,
Lifting your glass–“To life! To life!”

How thirsty you are in the spring,
Earth with your millions of mouths,
Recalling a dry, dusty hill
In a sun-scorched Judean town
Where the thirst of a thousand generations
Whispering for water–“Please, a drink.”–
Culminated in one agonizing cry
From One lifted up–“I thirst!”
And the parched world drank
As His blood trickled,
Gushed,
Flowed–
A strange, salty drink to satisfy the thirst of the millennia!
Everywhere you hold high
Crystal goblet, plastic tumbler,
Tin cup,
Gasping for life,
Gulping faster,
All mouth,
Belly overflowing with Living Water.
Lifting your glass to Him who calls–“To life! To life!”

–Elaine Gingrich, March 2004


Life Thirst - Spring Runoff


Reflections from Mom

My husband and I raised our four children in Georgian Bay country in Ontario, where the rocks, lakes and trees cry out God’s grandeur. This poem began with a spring walk, listening to the exuberant sounds of rushing water. I can still see the icy rock cuts with rivulets of water running down into the gurgling ditches on Blue Lake Road. The thirsty earth drinking in new life triggered the image of celebrating Jews in Fiddler on the Roof, thirsty for life and hope, lifting their glasses in the Hebrew toast “L’chaim!”–“To life!” The whole earth is toasting life in springtime. An even deeper thirst draws us to lift our glass to Christ who lifted His voice and then His dying body in the ultimate celebration of life. What a price He paid to give us the water of life! We honour Him today when we drink the cup of communion, remembering His blood that flowed one spring day about 2000 years ago.


If you enjoyed this poem, leave a comment here for Mom, or send her an email at MomsEmailAddressImage.php.  Thanks!


Photo Credit: D-A-O via Compfight cc


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