Graph Paper

A month or two ago I ran out of notebook paper and started using graph paper instead. Graph paper isn’t my favorite alternative, but it was available. Over time, I have come to enjoy the little squares and how nicely they can be used as check boxes or make patterns. This is great for organization, but I started thinking about how we use mental “graph paper” boxes and categories in our own lives and how dangerous that is to our faith and our ability to fully love. If we let ourselves, we might think we have people and places all figured out. Jesus didn’t live like that, though, and neither should we. To love our neighbors as ourselves, check boxes have to go.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
“Graph paper”
 
This is a sheet of graph paper
with perfect crisscrossed lines
and hundreds of useful boxes.
Draw on it and see how neat and tidy everything is.
The world makes sense.
 
A child came and scribbled lopsided circles
and lumpy-looking hearts all over everything in crayon.
He looked up at me and said, Look, I drew God.
 
 
 
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Graph paper by Morgan Waad is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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Quest

Since my parents moved across the country, I have been coming to new understandings of what home is to me. God has come with me in this journey, carrying me through with His love, and in doing so, showing me to my answers. In your quests for home, may He do the same.

God bless,
Morgan
(If you are interested in other reflections on how God has worked in my life during the journey of my family’s move last year, see my 15-poem collection starting here: Wings Will Come: Journey)

“Quest”

home is a question mark
I am chasing with new wings,
seeking to know what it cradles
within its comfort and what hand I have in
shaping it. peace is its quiet sister
in flight beside it, elusive as a gray moth
in morning mist, alighting with a secret
but fading into motion again before I
can scoop it into my palm. a current moves
beneath all of us in the journey, and I know
it is the answer to the question mark and
the resting place for the moth. For me,
it is the push and pull from one understanding
into the next, the beat of my wings
in flight.

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Quest by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Communion of Friends

Communion is a ceremony Christians do to reenact the night Jesus began a new covenant of love and sacrifice with his friends the disciples. At my church we do Communion by Intinction, where the congregation walks up to servers holding a cup of wine and a loaf of bread. The bread server gives you a little piece of bread and says, “The body of Christ, broken for you,” and then the wine server holds the cup for you to dip in your piece of bread, and they say, “The blood of Christ, shed for you.” The servers at our church are lay people from the congregation. As a long-time churchgoer, sometimes the Communion ritual slides into “going through the motions,” but recently I had a wonderful and touching experience when a friend of mine was one of the servers one Sunday morning.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
“Communion of Friends”
 
bread and wine sometimes
water down weak to repeated
ritual when I stand in the line for
our oldest ceremony, but today
I am served by a friend who
has watched me grow, blessed
my days with grace and joy, cried
with me in loss. when she speaks
to me, puts bread in my palm,
tears rush to my eyes in new
understanding of the love
that founded this ritual. Two thousand
years ago so did Christ share love
with his friends, care in his eyes,
compassion in his gift. Today I stand
in the presence of the same Spirit,
speaking silent words to me as I receive
deep blessing.
 
 
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Communion of Friends by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Wings Will Come: Journey – Part 15 “Wings Will Come”

The last poem of my collection about my family’s move to Arizona ends with a poem I have shared before. In my family’s journey is sadness and joy, challenges and blessings. God has been with us through all these things and will continue to transform us as we go forward.
 
This is the end of the 15-poem collection called Wings Will Come: Journey. Thanks for reading along and sharing these moments with me.
 
I am now going to move to posting new poems every 2 weeks. Look for the next one a couple weeks from now!
 
God bless,
Morgan
 

“Wings Will Come”
Reflection
 
it is invasive and clings
    around me, a constant reminder.
trapped: changing and no way
      to chew free of bindings 
            I spun myself with wishes and choices
         that I never knew could lead here.
but in the gauzy darkness i
know the wings
    will come.
 
you have been hoping for your own day
         in the open 
     for even longer than I have.
I cannot see you anymore,
     but somewhere in your own cocoon
  you are growing colors like 
      Arizona sunsets
that are outlined with your bold resolve
     like an inked sketch of
     your future.
 
let’s meet in the air,
you and I.

 
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wings will come by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Wings Will Come: Journey – Part 14 “The house will fill again”

This poem is about the first day my brother and I were alone in the family house, which we would be renting from our parents as they moved to Arizona. It was a surreal day, but we promised ourselves that however empty the house felt now, we would work to fill it with the same love and hospitality that our parents had in their many years there. Sometimes God asks us to stay behind to be the new light.
 
Next week, I conclude the story of my family’s move and God’s goodness in the change in the fifteenth poem of my collection, “Wings Will Come: Journey.”
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
“The house will fill again”
The first day
 
hello, empty house.
we do not want to face you yet
but here we are.
 
we come back from the airport
confused, just waiting
to see Dad at his office desk
working too early already
or Mom bent over her sewing machine.
every hour is another rain shower,
but we push through.
 
we build and move,
and pray and learn.
 
the house will fill again.
 
together, brother to sister,
we promise that we will
keep the invisible spirit of the house
alive: open doors and safe haven,
a legacy of hospitality our family
embedded into the foundation
of our house and our hearts.
 
Come to the nest
where we keep safe
as we learn our wings.
 
 
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The house will fill again by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Wings Will Come: Journey – Part 13 “Traveling Bard”

My mom was the last of my family to move out west to Arizona. As the number of days to her departure dwindled, we spent time together reading, watching, and discussing old favorite stories. My mom has always been a woman of stories, and she instilled that same love in my brother and me. Through books and movies in the last week, we found strength in cherished memories and encouragement in the tales that had shaped our imaginations and philosophies since childhood. In these hours, I believe God helped ground us in familiarity and then gave us the grace to turn to the next chapters.
 
To catch up for the past few weeks, I will be posting several poems of the collection in short succession. Look for the fourteenth poem of my collection, “Wings Will Come: Journey.”
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
 
“Traveling Bard”
To Mom
 
you and I have been reading
a story together while you
flood recipe cards with ink.
we sit amidst boxes, boxes, boxes
and share a tale of hellos and goodbyes.
 
you, my brother, and I have been watching
one of our favorite old films of action, wit,
and adventure while we huddle together
remembering decades of our everyday journeys
that have tested our courage to the quick.
 
you, my brother, your soul-sister, and I have been playing
a trivia game that dredges up details from one of the oldest
stories that unites us: one of a long way forward
to great change. before it is over, we four
crowd in the dark around a TV screen to see a preview
of a new start to another cherished story that we’ll see completed
from different corners of the earth.
 
you have been a storyteller to me
since I had ears to hear.
you are off to be a traveling bard
while I keep by the fireside
until sun comes and I go
to live out the lessons nestled in
your tales.
 
 
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Traveling Bard by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Wings Will Come: Journey – Part 12 “Family Photos”

My PopPop was the next person to move with my parents to Arizona. My dad flew back from the new house to fly him out to the west. For a little while, we were all back together again. We took that time to crowd together in a family photo in our house of boxes and change, remembering what had been and looking ahead together to what will be. God blesses us with moments of memory, and He strengthens us to keep walking into a new present with new possibilities.
 
To catch up for the past few weeks, I will be posting several poems of the collection in short succession. Look for the thirteenth poem of my collection, “Wings Will Come: Journey.”
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
“Family photos”
To all my family
 
the five of us cram together to
fit in the camera lens
one last time before the house
is different and father and grandfather
spread wings to the West.
 
after the flash, we peer at
the tiny digital screen
to make sure we’re all there.
 
what fills the family photo frame
will change.
even as the takeoff still roars
in my ears I see different faces
crowd around me, put hands
on my shoulder, and smile.
some are new and some
are as well known
to me as my innermost bones.
 
I display the new photos and the old
side-by-side in my heart.
Under this sun, they each take
their place and their time:
equal jewels to hold.
 
 
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Family Photos by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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