sixth sense

Every day in October, I’m sharing poetry-writing inspiration, exercises, and prompts on jordanelisheva.com for the #31poems challenge. This is the poem I wrote in response to today’s prompt:

listen!
secretive, mysterious
approaching, murmuring, speaking
only wind in leaves?
no…

look!
usual, mundane
strolling, wandering, exercising
just a normal walk?
hesitate…

feel!
moist, breezy
misting, breathing, caressing
something here I missed?
yes…

smell!
wet, fresh
rejuvenating, growing, living
may I have it?
perhaps…

taste!
pleasant, enticing
taking, consuming, digesting
absorbing the given missive!
ponder…

“…you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.” 1 Peter 2:3

For a behind-the-scenes look at the making of this poem, visit today’s #31poems post.

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The Case for Hope {book review}

I didn’t expect a book by a legal editor to be so beautiful
Lee Strobel may have spent the first part of his career chasing newsworthy stories,
but his focus now is sharing ugly-beautiful stories of redemption

  

From the first page, the hope the author knows
was evident and inviting
The experience only became better as I continued to read

Strobel weaves together sayings and stories
to craft a precious gift of encouragement
that will touch the heart of the reader

He takes true stories of utter darkness
and combines them with scripture
allowing the light of hope to overcome the dark

The physical elements of the book – cover, typography, etc. –
package the contents in such a way
that it truly makes a wonderful gift

A precious gift of encouragement for a believer,
grounding him in the “hope that does not disappoint,”
as well as for the unbeliever, presenting hope as a gift he may have too

I have meditated long and hard on the subject of hope
– it was my “word for the year” in 2013 –
and I must say, Strobel did the topic justice

Note:
I received this book free from the publisher through BookLook
I was not required to write a positive review
The opinions I have expressed are my own

what are stories made of?

What are stories made of?

Sugar and spice and everything nice

Is that what stories are made of?
Not stories worth the telling.

Intrigue, battles, misunderstandings, suffering, darkness, accusations…

These are the makings of a good story.
Think of the greatest stories – books we are reading decades or centuries after their creators are in the grave. What makes us read and reread them?
Conflict. Hardship.

And the ultimate triumph over them.
Think of the Greatest Story – a Book written over decades and centuries by our Creator. What makes people across cultures and generations turn to it again and again?
Conflict. Hardship.

And the Ultimate Triumph over them.
Each of us has a story.

Will yours be worth the telling?

Walking Away

KUshadingeyes2

photo courtesy of Justice For All

Sometimes when I’m surrounded by hundreds of college students at a JFA outreach, it’s too easy to abandon a conversation in search of a “better” one. Take my conversation with Charlie for example. As Charlie walked by the poll table, I invited him to consider our question…

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love’s casket

love?
I shuddered when he said the word
I used to know love
back when I knew pain

I tried love then
and love served me well
for a time
until I let love carry me away

then love
right when I felt highest
let me fall
and I broke

love stayed with me
claiming to nurse my wounds
rubbing on ointments
that felt like salt

I pushed love away
and without my feeding love
or encouraging love
love died

I laid love to rest
buried love
in a casket
under the ground

“so you see”
I told him
“I no longer know love
love is dead to me”

dead to you is different from simply dead
he said
“perhaps love is only waiting
to be awakened”

could it be
that love had been buried alive
and that it might
still live?

I was afraid
who wants to dig up a casket
in hopes of finding a living soul
only to discover a corpse?

he left me alone
he couldn’t dig it up for me
this was my task
my choice

I sat at the graveside
as I watched the sun set
and before leaving
peeled back some of the turf near the headstone

the next morning I returned
with a shovel
and began to dig
trying not to wonder what I would uncover

as the sun rose
my sweat and tears
turned me into a muddy mess
I stopped digging at noon

my shovel scraped wood
and my whole being throbbed
I could not go on
so I sat and stared at love’s casket

until it began to rain
and the water from above
rinsed me clean
of all the grime of the work

I watched it pool on the exposed wood
mesmerized by the concentric ripples
running into each other
and off the edge

the water finished the job
I had begun
and love’s casket
lay fully exposed

I took it up
still afraid to open it alone
and took it to him
a gift

a sad gift
perhaps nothing
but a moldy box
full of rotted memories

I couldn’t watch
as he pried open the lid
but as it gave way
I couldn’t take my eyes off him

and when his love met mine
my love began to revive
like mouth to mouth CPR
simultaneously intimate and dangerous

it hurt
but after knowing
the paralysis of self-protection
I found that the pain of living is unparalleled