Hosanna

They took palm branches and went out to meet Him, shouting,
“Hosanna!”
“Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”
-John 12:13

 

What did the people think, as they saw You heading towards the Jewel City? What did they believe they would see? The survival of Your people? The placement of a new King? They had waited for Your arrival for millennia, and now You appeared, shifting Your weight on the seat of a donkey’s foal. How their eyes must have lit up, sparked to life by the glimpse of their Savior. How the whispers glided from mouth to mouth: “He is here! He has come! To free us from our chains of burden!”

Branches snapped away from trees, laying as pavement on the dusty road ahead.

“Hosanna!” They shouted, dirt-specked faces full of hope.

“Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”

Sandaled feet slapped the ground as the crowd ran beside You, arms and palm branches swaying in the air as You continued Your entrance into Jerusalem. How excited they grew. How expectant they were of Your reign.

You saw them coming from a distance. Felt their eagerness in Your heart. To fulfill Your Father’s words, the final stretch was spent on the back of a placid mule. The chanting reached Your ears.

“Hosanna!”

“Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”

Sandaled feet slapped the ground as the crowd ran beside You, arms and palm branches swaying in the air as You continued Your entrance into Jerusalem. How excited they grew. How expectant they were of Your reign.

You saw them coming from a distance. Felt their eagerness in Your heart. To fulfill Your Father’s words, the final stretch was spent on the back of a placid mule. The chanting reached Your ears.

“Hosanna!”

“Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”

A bittersweet smile crossed Your lips. You had come to diminish darkness, but not from the seat of a throne. Rather, You would rule from the ruins of a tree, splayed in shame, broken for our burden. You would fight for Your people, without words, without lifting an arm in attack.

You knew what lay ahead, You knew what You would suffer. And You knew that the crowds welcoming You in with happy faces would turn sour and be among the first to seek to slay You.

Steadily You rode on, following the trail of palms and entering the city which waited to close in on You. To take You and beat You, drag You out and hoist You on a cross atop a hill.

Hosanna. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.

 

 

You took the fall for me. You knew what was in store for You and You rode on, into the grasp of darkness to turn it into light. Blessed be the One who comes in the name of the Lord. Amen.

 

 

 

Resurrection Within

“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”
-John 11:25-26

 

Resurrection never proved so daring.

My dead heart, and how I search for any sign of life within.

But You are in the business of miracles. Of new creation, restoration, calling forth what once was waste now into wonder.

How to hope? How to hold my dreams in my hand? How to believe You see all of me and yearn to breathe fresh feeling into my bones? For so long I’ve been stale of heart, glossed it over, shrunk it away. This life has burned its flesh, scarred my soul and terrified me to try living with my heart again.

To know no emotion is to know nothing at all.

For so long I have merely existed, no nod to beauty that You bring before me, no allowance of lips spread in smile, or true joy full in the springs of my soul.

It is torment to trust You with my most delicate pieces. I am so afraid that You will learn my secret desires and struggles, coax me from my fear, and shatter me again. And so I sit and watch the world go by, each sight seen without eyes, each sense felt with no touch. Scar tissue grows on me like climbing ivy. If I do not allow You to intervene, soon it will wrap around the throat of my heart and choke me. I ask to live; I don’t want to fall asleep breathing toxins of indifference into my lungs.

You say to trust You with all my heart. Its frailty, its hurt, the past that has stung and the future that has not yet touched me. Faith fixed on You, imploring me to bare open in nakedness once more.

I do not know how to live without detaching head from heart, how to stop myself and listen for the quiet beats, its voice stirred alive by the promise of who You are. How to gently stroke its sleeping form and whisper, “Awake, my heart.” Pull back the curtain on a new day that dawns with whatever You choose to share with me, hand in Yours, steady breath, willing to bleed and break and build back up because You offer soothing balm.

Let me listen. May I not forget my heart in the madness that is life. May I remember to let it lead the way, the route that finds its journey with You.

The wind stirs soft beneath my breast. To feel is to face the true grit of grace. Here I plunge from the ledge, leap into the abyss. Hand over my heart, fall onto You to carry every pound of my weight. And as I slip with no ground beneath me, I pry the lock from my stone heart and give permission to venture forth with feeling. To encounter it all, to be known by You in the marrow of this risk. It is a daring faith to let You lead. But I am ready. I am willing. It is time. It is time long overdue.

Come, awake, my heart. Speak your mind. Tell me what I dream to hear. Wander free. Raise in me a greater depth to share the ebb and flow of God’s pulse along my currents. Come awake so I may live, and live in full.

 

 

My heart has been on standby for a long time. Stuck in autopilot, keeping quiet for fear of being hurt and broken again. So much disappointment, disbanded dreams, pain and surprises. My fragile heart longs to lift in hope. Lift my heart, Lord. Open it to listen, to hear Your gentle voice full of truth and grace. I long to place my full weight of trust on You once more. Amen.

With Me

You are with me.

I am in silence, in a silky black realm of reality that reaches with needy fingers for my soul. A heaviness presses against my chest, squeezing out my air of expectancy. Who am I to fight this battle, to strike out with soft palms and slap at translucent taunts that laugh when I come up empty?

I squint my eyes to see movement, any sign that I am not alone with this confusion, but my vision is muddied and outlines carve my sight. In the blur, I am begging for breakthrough.

With faltering feet, I wander deeper into my shaded hope and uncertainty prickles my skin. I am surrounded by a ripping feeling that something stirs beneath the earth.

You tell me that You are here with me, tightly tucked to my side. My hand moves to feel You but I grasp at air. Just a fistful of particles that slip between the slivers of my nails. The sky gives no light, no assurance that when I place one foot in front of the other, I will walk with stable support beneath me. You see me standing, see me claw my way through the caverns of this mystery I have tied myself to. I am looking for answers and instead find silence. I reach my voice across the slipping sounds of night, praying they do not tangle with the pleas and prayers of every other enchantment inhabiting this blue space beyond my rational mind.

You are the One who first told me to open my eyes, to dream wide awake and decipher the stars. You brushed my heart with belief and curved my course to Your sails. Walk with Me, You whispered into my ear. Talk with Me and let Me teach you how to come alive.

So I soared into starlight, colored the cosmos with Your hues and floated in fantasy. I walked through waterfalls and slept in beds of beauty untouched by mere mortal magic. You spun me golden blankets of grace; I slept peacefully in their warmth and woke with Your breath in my lungs. Somewhere along my revelry I slipped from Your strength and weakened my will with a course of my own.

Navigate me. I am directionless in this circle of solitude. You say You are here with me, have always been beneath my heart, the key to my unsteady compass. Show me. Inhabit the wind and whisper the way to my craving soul so I will feel the brush of Your mouth on my face, ruby ribbons rushing through this damp and diminishing maze of my mind.

You are with me. Deliberately cupping my heart and leading it to the dawn of dreams once again. My hands may not be able to touch You, but my soul speaks in upturned secrets that spill out from the overwhelming presence of Your map unfolding in my memory.

 

Anguish

It is a crushing pressure,
to hang the weight of the world
upon one’s shoulders.

An overwhelming anguish
that snakes its way
along the spine and
coils around the heart.

When sweat becomes
drops of blood that pour
down your skin,
you know it’s serious.

But surrender is sacrifice,
bend of knee and will.
He broke bones and flesh
to burst forth
new beginning
for us all.

Heartbeat

A heartbeat.

One thump.

One drum.

Heavy hitting against my lungs. Vibrating lungs into the ribcage. The voice of my soul, echoing in the damp, slick cavern two thousand miles beneath my skin.

Another beat.

Another thump.

Another drum, opening up taut hopes that have only reverberated once before, when I was a child with an innocent gleam of light between my veins, caught up around my fingers.

Collapsing
Again. Again.

My heart pumps a time dictated by eternity not marked on earth. I listen to its breathing, sure and sacred and miraculous.

There is something deeper than I can claim. I am transparent in the glow and guided by the beat.

A heartbeat.

Mine.

Pulsing beneath the soft silk of skin.

Thrumming boldly.

Speaking to discover.

Remember When It Rained

 

Remember shadows lining your floor
from the city lights outside your window.
Remember waking worlds,
shallow breaths,
the beginning of a stirring so soft
and subtle you held your heartbeat in
to hear its murmur.
Remember rain swirling against the panes,
scent of a summer storm’s heightened fragrance
in ebony early morning hours.
Remember the melancholy beauty
of drops that draped your soul,
slipping through your skin and into
fingers dripping with words,
dark and strong and loud.
They reached across the night
as you shook them from silence
and released your songs
to dance along airwaves
until delivered to my door,
bursting with all you bottled
between their lines.