Oatmeal, you’re so lovely
With your mushy stare.
Maple syrup and brown sugar
Improves your luscious fare.


My rumbly stomach was empty,
But it’s no longer so.
You’re the cereal of oats,
The captor of my soul.

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I witnessed a calamity today, a big event in a hugely small, meaningless, short life. I volunteer at my church on some Sunday mornings. I run the lights, which I hope add to the beauty of the stage and the emotions that follow the worshipful music. It is a kind of worship for me as well. I give my time in the service of my church and my God, and I reflect on the meaning of the music and the colors that I chose to accentuate it. Now, my church meets in a high school and thus must set up and tear down its equipment every Sunday. Taking part in this ritual is another one of my duties.

But all this is beside the point. The point is in the course of my activities, I maimed a small stinkbug. Unbeknownst to me, I placed several heavy cords upon the creature. When I lifted them up again, I witnessed the small bug attempting to crawl to safety. His movement was much impeded by a new injury. It seems that my actions had injured one of its six legs and rendered it useless. I witnessed this little bug suffer along its way, and I felt a deep pang of guilt. My carelessness greatly hurt another creature. And how can we tell the level of pain it was in? Truly, this creature’s consciousness paled in comparison to our own level of intelligence. Perhaps, it was not even self-aware. Nevertheless, I made it suffer.

Two thoughts emerged in that moment and warred within me. My first thought was to squish the little one and end its suffering forever. After all, its life is so insignificant. My second thought was to let it live, because who am I to decide if it is better to live in pain or to die a sudden death? What authority do I possess to decide which is better? I do not take joy in killing anything, even the smallest pest. Because something inside of me feels that they are not that different from me. Are we not both God’s creatures? And true, I am more valuable than a stinkbug, but God values it enough to create it, to think it into being. And he cares enough to give it life and even to let it live through suffering.

So I let the little one live. And I hope it has found respite either in death or in life. And I learned a lesson today. Because if I felt that way about a little stinkbug, how should I feel about my fellow men who suffer around the world? How should I feel about the children who are maimed in the same way by our carelessness? Shouldn’t someone do something? Shouldn’t I do something?

It was just a stinkbug. It’s okay to squish it. Its life is insignificant. But I do not believe that. Because if some other being besides God Almighty had thought us into existence, a being unlike our God who is not good and not holy, would he say the same thing of us? I’m happy our God chooses love every day. He could squish us to end our suffering, but he chooses redemption instead.

A Psalm

November 9, 2011

I am like a blind man in this world.
I long to feel the summer breeze of your favor.
Remind me that I am your son.
I continuously walk away, and I do not know how to stop.
Oh how merciful you are.
You accept me back with joy
Every time.

Your face always shines when you gaze upon me.
How can you see a speck of light in my twisted heart?
Only because of your sacrifice can you look upon my face.
And it is only because of your love can I even talk to you now.

Show me how to see your open arms in every new flower, each new leaf.
Let me see your nature in each burst and gentle ruffle of wind.
Let each flash of lighting illuminate your face.
And every crack of thunder resemble your strong voice.
Then I will ever turn to you.
Every sight of nature will remind me again.

Then how will I turn to sin?
How can I hide when I know your presence is everywhere?
Always watching and always waiting
To embrace me again in perfect peace.

February

March 2, 2010

I wrote this last winter, and I feel the same way now as I did last year.

Dull, dismal, dreadfully dreary

The winter drags and drips along

My heart has been so weary

Flip, flop, February

Jan gives her final blows

Fighting for her memory

Give me blizzards and give me frost

Or else give me summer days

The skies are unpredictable

The temperature teases, trying my temper

But hope,

For now we’re drenched in the third month

It is a slow March to something new

The third week comes

A lonely tree jumps the gun

In explosions of pink and downy white

And our souls sing.

Friends Around

February 27, 2010

I’m riding in a swivel chair

Across the hall. Let down your hair.

Come to the mall. Watch people sing.

With rosey smoke I breathe some rings.

You know you look so beautiful to me.

We look beautiful with friends to see.

Potsi loves that pretty girl.

But she doesn’t see him anymore.

Across the sea, over the moon,

He feels her breath and hears her tune.

He walks and falls without a friend nearby.

Alone in crowds he breathes a ring and sighs.

There’s always hope in rebels’ eyes

A friendly couch brings friendly tries.

Slowing down, he stops to think

And plays a song, he sees a shrink.

A lovely face lingers with every blink.

Let’s be friends and bathe our swords in ink.

One friend leaves, we’re incomplete.

I suggest a tasty treat.

Friday rolls across our teeth.

We sing a song, Almighty meet.

We’ve all shared our hearts and minds today.

I like these folks here, what else can I say?

We’d love to stay, but what else can we say?

Flashlight

February 18, 2010

This is another post from oneword.com. This is a delightful site that gives you a word and one minute to throw any musings that that word inspires in you. It’s a great writing exercise and it produces some real thought sometimes…

A flashlight is a light in dark places, but it is dependent on another power source.

And if that power source runs down, it is useless and helpless and…frustrating.

I think we all must remember our Power Source, and a soul unplugged is like a flashlight without it’s battery.

A man with a great purpose unable to fulfill it.

Fluorescence

February 16, 2010

In a world of fluorescent light, it’s hard to see.

In a world of fluorescent light, there can be no darkness.

In a world of fluorescent light, there can be no contemplation.

In a world of fluorescent light, there can only be strained eyes and strained mind.

But…

In a world of fluorescent light, there is still a song to be sung.

In a world of fluorescent light, there is still a bell to be rung.

In a world of fluorescent light, there is still a thought to think.

In a world of fluorescent light, there is still a poem to…

In a world of fluorescent light, it’s hard to be elegant and to compose a rhyme.

That is my excuse in this world of fluorescent light.