Moriah

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They say missing someone isn’t about how long it’s been since you’ve seen them
oh, but it’s been a long time
or the amount of time since you’ve talked
I hung up, what, five minutes ago?
it’s about the moment you find yourself doing something
and wishing they were right by your side

and that moment has come to me so many thousands of times in the past months

so many times I wanted you by my side
as I had countless new experiences and wanted to share them with you
as I met with exciting situations that terrified me but would have invigorated you
as I wanted your help, your support, your enthusiasm, your joy
I missed you

but today I don’t so much want you by my side
as I want to be by your side
you don’t know how I tried to be there…
but I’m here, miles away
missing you

Happy 18th Birthday Moriah!

see you soon…but not soon enough!

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she walked with God, and God took her

I used to wonder what it would be like to know someone like Enoch

A man
who walked so closely with God
that one day
while they were walking
God just took him Home

There is a woman I know named Lindsey

The other day
she was walking with God
in the beauty of His creation
and while they were walking
God took her home

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My memories
of being with Lindsey
involve walking with her
and as she was always walking with God
God always walked with us

I distinctly remember
talking with her of being thankful
for the many gifts we take for granted
as we walked in the mountains of the Sonoran Desert
and I remember being so thankful I could walk at all

She is one of the most peace-filled people I know
Joy-filled too
I wanted to know her secret
and it was simple:
Walk with God

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Daniel

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He was my baby
the little one who taught me how to nurture
when I first met him, he wasn’t mine, but I claimed him anyway
a couple year later he officially joined our family
my little bro

Today
nine years later
(Really? Nine whole years have passed?)
this little guy’s growing up too fast
growing into a man

A man after God’s own heart
A man learning virtue
A man learning grace
A man learning love
A man of God

Keep growing, little man
Grow to be the man God has created you to be

 

joy in the midst of them

I wrote this last year, right after experiencing a Sonoran Desert monsoon…

Dash across yard, dodging scattered raindrops, to the shelter of tree branches. Mist surrounds me and I smile. I close my eyes and feel – really feel – the moment. This moment, one of a thousand gifts.

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Strange cold summer wind takes my breath away. Rain and wind intensify, swallow me up. Me – eyes still shut, experiencing the gift with my whole body. Thinking of the weight of His wind and mercy as water soaks me to the skin.

Dash back across the yard, dodging plentiful raindrops, to the stronger shelter of the porch. Eyes now open, watching buckets and low ground fill with the rain. Thinking of sinking in His grace like an ocean as hair and clothes drip.

A different story plays out nearby.

On the other side of the house, winds push rain onto and into boxed books meant for blessing others. Unusual rain, reaching too far, too fast. People struggle to save anything from destruction.

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Is this rain a blessing or a curse? Is it wrong for me to smile, oblivious to the destruction a few yards away? And what of the distant sirens that scream of emergencies worse than warped pages?

These questions are not just for today. These questions are for tomorrow when I will eat three meals and a child will die of starvation. And for yesterday when I wore Sunday best to church while a woman wore rags in isolation all because she believes God is God.

Is it fair to be thankful for a gift when someone else could have it?

Can a child on his way to eat his one meal of the day rightly laugh while kicking a ball made of garbage bags if a child miles away has neither ball nor food?

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Far from condemning him, we smile at such a one who can find joy in such a place. We admire the woman in a wheelchair who paints with a brush in her teeth. We long to be like the man without hands who writes and speaks hope into fellow men.

Why? Because they have joy. They have joy not because of what they have or don’t have. They have joy not even in spite of what they have or don’t have. They simply have joy, found in the midst of their possessions, relationships, limitations. In their midst, because God is in their midst.

All is vanity without God.

All is joy with Him.

Thanks dad (Mark Newhouse) for the photos!

modern psalm

inspired by reading the Psalms aloud to myself and my God
I recommend trying it for yourself
I made the recording on a beautiful Kansas morning,
sitting on the porch where I wrote the poem

Blessed
are you
Lord our God
King of the universe
from whom comes every good thing

from a summer breeze on a humid morning
to the incredible healing of one close to death

from the kind word of a friend
to the barren woman bearing children

from green grass on bare feet
to the bringing in of the fall harvest

Every good thing

Thank the Lord
The One who does all things well
The One who does all good things
Thank Him
for it is due Him
Thank Him
for when you receive the good thing with thanks
it becomes a blessing

Remember the good things He has done
Recount them
Tell them to your children, your friends, your family

For it is in remembering that you will find hope
It is in looking back to the good things He has done
That you will find joy in looking for the good He will do