Posts Tagged With: grow

Which Way

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There are those

Who spread fear

Just as black ink

Splatters thick

across the paper

 

Then there are those

Doing the slow work

Of love

Meticulously erasing

The stain

One person at a time

And filling the space

With glorious colors

Where beauty can take shape

And life can grow again

 

Here is a suggestion

Instead of standing against

The “Other”

Come along side

Listen to their story

Sorrow and pain

Love and joy

Understand

They too are human

Just like you

 

How did this happen?

The bridges slowly built

With care and love

Years of hard work

Dynamited in seconds

Rubble of hate and fear

Left behind

An enemy came

And spread seeds of destruction

Instead of kernels of peace

Fingers stop pointing

Look instead to the heart

Am I a good neighbor?

Am I my brother’s keeper?

 

© 2016 Julie Clark

The Path to the Garden

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Categories: beauty, Faith, growth, Hope, Life, Love, Paths, Peace and Reconciliation, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Family Gatherings

Our 1,750 square foot home did not feel very big when we gathered as a small clan for an extended time in mid wet winter.  There were a few days when 9 of us were together.  I am grateful for dear friends who let us use their “cabin”, which was bigger than our house, for those few days. Mix in a small dog with a toddler to liven things up and you can imagine the chaos at times. On the whole the 1,750 square feet were big enough, everyone had a bed or at least a mattress, enough bathrooms to share and room to cook in the kitchen to keep all of the above fed.

Compared to some parts of the world where we have traversed, our square footage is enormous. Many families in Hong Kong live in very small flats where gathering as a clan takes creativity. When we lived there, hospitality was often shared in a favorite restaurant. We were grateful for the rare opportunities to visit friends in their homes.  The refugees (boat people), who were our students, had one tier of a double sized bunk bed to call home. Yet, they still practiced hospitality and invited us to sit on low plastic stools to share a meal. Our Central Asian friends don’t worry about tables and chairs, they sit on colorful mats on the floor with a tablecloth spread out on the carpet for piles of food to share.  That way more people can squeeze into a room. Later they spread those same mats and more for sleeping.

I have been thinking this morning about how good it was to gather as a growing family.  It’s good to move our stuff and make room for each other. Our bonds were strengthened with each other. Our grandson will not remember the details of this visit in his long-term memory, but I believe he bonded with each of us in a special way that will continue through his life.  I’m smiling as I think of him singing “Teo, Teo, Teo”, (Uncle in Spanish) as he headed upstairs looking for his very fun Uncle. Or the report from his Mama that he woke up saying “Nana” a morning or two while he was here.

Another way it was good, was to see where love still needs to grow.  We don’t always know unless we are in a situation where it is challenged.  Say, tired and in need of a shower and both of the showers are in use.  Or, not quite enough of that fresh french pressed coffee to go around.  Or, whose on the dish duty, not me again? Or just trying to figure out what to do together. Things like that can help us see where our attitudes need adjusting.  If we live isolated lives we never really know where we need to grow. When the children were young and we all lived together,  there were daily lessons to be learned by all of us. Now I need my family to keep showing up for visits to keep that process going in my life. It’s not just knowing where I need to grow that is important, but also turning those needs into prayers and inviting the help of Heaven to bring about change on earth, in me.

I am tired and need to put my house back together again.  I need to get back into my regular schedule of writing and meeting with people, but above all I am so grateful for the sacrifices my kids and their spouses made to come home, travel from far away for the holidays.

Categories: Hospitality, Life, Love, Marriage and Family, Parenting, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Path of Love

The path of love

Gets tangled at times

With weeds of

Irritations and frustrations.

Addressing the under brush

Clears the way

For the real

Choices to grow

In love again

 

This garden does not grow

Without my attention.

Planting new seeds

Watering, weeding

And plenty of sunshine

Of course.

What does love need

To grow again

Today?

I must ask myself.

I love how

Love grows love

When I love

My beloved.

 

Categories: beauty, Faith, Life, Love, Paths, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blind Spots

It is painful when I trip

Over my blind spots

They show up this way

In the dark

It is only through

The pain

That they get

My attention

Now I know

It is time to grow

Again

 

© 2013 Julie Clark

Categories: Faith, Life, Poetry | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The Farmer’s Life

 

The farmer’s life is one of great patience.

Sowing seeds does not result in instantaneous miracles.

Although, when the first seeds sprout and break through the ground

It certainly feels like one, (which of course it is).

We just do not get to see what has been going on,

Microscopically, beneath the surface of the earth.

 

Sow people!  Beloved ones!

What do you want to see more of in your lives?

Don’t be surprised at the fiery ordeals that come your way.

They expose the unwanted seeds of destruction.

Instead, cooperate with the fire and let it burn away

Focus on the good seed at hand:

Love, joy, peace, kindness, wisdom, patience and

All the good things you see and desire.

It’s one act or response at a time.

 

Living is becoming.

Life does not stay stagnant,

We move forward in one direction or the other.

We get to choose by our sowing

Which way we want to grow.

 

© 2013 Julie Clark

 

Categories: Faith, God, Life, Love, Paths, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Half a Good Deed

It started with a morning prayer: “Teach me Your Ways.” Unexpectedly on the way to church an elderly woman crossed the road.  The temperatures were below freezing.  We turned around and gave her a lift to the grocery store a quarter of a mile away. She needed some essentials that her group home didn’t offer.  I felt uneasy leaving here even though she assured us she wasn’t far from home.  So we left for church where we had other duties, and frankly we love joining in worship with our small, informal, fun community.  This was the Sunday many in our area struggled over the Seahawks game at 10:00 or church.  Some went to church and some stayed home to watch the game. For us this wasn’t a huge issue, although we do like to watch football sometimes, but we had made a commitment to go, so off we went thinking that was our personal test.  No, the real test was were we going to care for an elderly woman out in the sub freezing weather.  Of all people, I who am trying so hard to not be a religious person, but a loving person missed it.  Well, to be fair I got half of it, but how much better would it have been to wait for her to do her shopping and take her home.  I am grateful my prayer was answered even though it was painful to see where I still need to grow.  So I will keep praying to learn and practice the ways of Jesus and hope I do better next time.  A sweet ending to the story for us was that after we left the church building we wandered down the Ave. with our son looking for a place to eat and perhaps catch the last few minutes of the game.  Sure enough we heard hooting and hollering from a pub.  We walked in, found a spot and were able to catch the last minutes of a very exciting game, albeit disappointing for Seahawks fans.  That’s what I love about walking with Jesus: it’s grace upon grace, no condemnation, just a steep learning curve to be like Him.

Categories: Faith, Life, Love, Paths | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Conflict

Time to grow again

Head for the woods for a walk

Look for the log

That fills my eye

Coming from my heart

It distorts my vision

Of the other

Puts them in the worst light

And me in the best

Help me, Father

Take this log

So that I may turn and love my brother

© 2012 Julie Clark

Categories: Faith, Life, Love, Peace and Reconciliation, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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