Beneath the flames

“Again he said, ‘What shall we say the kingdom of God is like […]? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground.  Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.” – Mark 4:31-32

“Beneath the flames”

Despair is the flames parading over our
streets with crackling fanfare
and only silence to answer it

An old woman is watching this with
red, weary eyes.  She holds a golden locket
with a seed.

Confusion is the hammer madly pounding.
Denial is the darkness past the flame,
where it is getting hard to see.

An old woman on the sidewalk takes the seed
from the locket and gives the locket to a boy
at her knee.  It fills his hands with gold.

Terror is the dryness in the air
and the wind that carries the spectacle
Pain is the thousand, thousand hands ready
with water but no leader for the brigade.

An old woman kneels in an overgrown lot
and plants the seed into the earth. It is small
like the boy with the locket.

Love is the seeds deeper than fire
and smaller than notice.
Hope is planting mustard beside a boy
with a golden reminder.

Courage is an old woman who knows her odds
and never stops acting.

Listen in the streets. There is a boy singing golden hymns.


Creative Commons License
Beneath the flames by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


You are Hiding

I dedicate this poem to my fellow women, with hope. Never forget that the light of the world dwells in us and we can use it to challenge the darkness.
God bless
“You are Hiding”
You are hiding.
I know this because when you were a girl
you were a blossom of creativity, a lively brook of dreams.
You spun worlds out of color and endless ideas.
Your path to your full potential
did not last.
You listened to fear’s senseless whisper, you dropped your flame.
Though your talent bleeds like sunrise through your skin
you covered yourself in cloaks and learned to shuffle in gray shoes.
You are hiding.
I watch you at arm’s length, unsure what I could say
to help you throw off the muted world you wear.
The best I come to is this:
Do not fear what you could be.
Fight for it. Love it. Love yourself.
Loving yourself is a risk, for all love is dangerous,
but all love comes from God and therefore it can look deeper,
touch our tender bones, and bring out the joy that birthed creation.
We are bearers of future.
Do not hide.
I am waiting.
You know this because I stand nearby
never ready to give up my hope,
sister, mother, daughter, woman.
Creative Commons License
You are Hiding by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

The Bleeding Christ

A poem for when we feel lost and unheard by God.
God bless
“In his [Jesus’s] anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Luke 22:44 NRSV)
“The Bleeding Christ”
I follow the bleeding Christ
who did not get the deliverance He prayed for in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Stepping away from His last free moment,
He met the stab of betrayal.
He took the wound freely
and bled loss, despair, questions, pain, and humanity.
Hanging on the cross alone, He did not get His answers, and they say
the sun turned black.
I think I know what that looks like.
“What is resurrection?” I ask atop Golgotha.
Answers do not live on Golgotha but in the hard path forward.
On my way, I have found stubborn, fighting, compassionate, longing love
bursting from darkness to the clarity of life.
Passing on the passion, Christ rose from defeat into eternity in us.
I follow the bleeding Christ.
He carried on when He did not get answers, and so will I.
I follow because resurrection is the other side of my grave of pain.
Resurrection will be change. I will not be made again as I was before,
but I will be whole.
Creative Commons License
The Bleeding Christ by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Fortify Me

Hi everyone,
Sometimes we can feel under attack from fear, doubt, difficult situations, loss, and pain. We feel like we’ve lost our spiritual footing. In these times, we need to not live by our limits, but by God’s possibilities and power. He can fortify us to withstand storms and then lead us into a faith we can live strong every day. The first step is to call out to Him.
God bless
“Fortify Me”
Fortify me.
I am quaking inside
and feel shaken by questions,
tossed about by endless fears.
I need protection, inside and out.
So fortify me, God.
Strengthen me.
I want to stand in the hurricanes
and trust to the Rock beneath my feet.
I never want to leave Your side.
So strengthen me, God.
Lead me.
I want to follow,
I want to believe,
I want to run in freedom
and never, ever look back.
So lead me, God.
Creative Commons License
Fortify Me by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


Hi everyone!
This poem was inspired by Max Lucado’s book Fearless and the story of Peter walking on water to meet Jesus (Matthew 14:22-34). Peter dares the stormy waters to go to Jesus, even though he becomes afraid and nearly sinks. I think one of the first steps to facing fear is to try – to step out and reach for Jesus to get you through your hardest times. If it becomes too much, He will catch you. Guaranteed.
God bless!


fear sits, black tar in my stomach
restlessly oozing side-to-side
looking for a way to spread

i sit, chilled and hollow
sleepless, shaking, scared
looking for a way to trust

You sit, quiet and sure
courageous, strong, patient
waiting for me to trust

I ask, voice small as fine-ground seashells
what happens now? what happens?
holding my breath for the answer

You say, voice big as rolling pastures
have faith, dear one, have faith
holding out Your hand

I say, voice rattling like glass chimes
I am still afraid, God, I’m afraid
sitting on my hands

You say, voice calm as snowy mornings
Reach out, step forward, try
holding out Your hand

I stare, like Peter on the stormy sea
caught, boat behind me, Christ before me
fighting tar-black waters

You smile, closing the distance
swift, simple, strong
catching my shaking hand

Now we sit, chilly on the shoreline
resting, calm, peaceful
watching the storm blow out
Creative Commons License
Sitting by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.