Awaken the Promise

In hope for the year ahead.
 
God bless.
 
 
“Awaken the Promise”
 
Electric candles in golden chandeliers
coat the ceiling in yellow greetings while evergreens
dance down the edges of the stained glass windows to settle around
soft, looped red bows. Cozy in the crowded pews,
the congregation is audience to song and sermon.
 
Lights above and around them dim
for the last hymn. Sanctuary is invaded by darkness.
 
The people pass one light to each other,
wick to wick, candle to candle, flame to flame.
Arms lift the light high as one, a hundred different
sleeves, skins, and strengths caught in the rise
of the candlelight. In rumbling chorus
they call on the peace of silent night’s song and shake the shadows.
Among them wakens the Christmas promise of change.
 
 
 
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Awaken the Promise by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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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.

 

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

Boundless

The endless reach of God’s love for us and the universe he made always leave me humbled.

“Boundless”

Love has seized my soul with its boundless
tapestries. Every moment it gives to me
transforms me from gray to yellow like
sunrise over autumn’s golden change. As I sit
with Love more often, I see more of its stretching arms.
It is passion with no limit and the energy in creation,
the delicacy of detail and the smooth lines of the universe.
It is hands that lift up, draw close, and unite
all of us various pieces of dust into a single world.
When we look around for that endless warmth,
it finds us and whispers, “I’m not what you thought.”

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

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.
 
“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 Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

In Winter

This one goes out to all the caregivers and the heartbroken trying so hard to be strong for everyone else.

God bless,

“In Winter”

You have been looking for beauty in the winter
and a masterpiece in the shrieking storm.
You are rain-whipped and weary,
but for them, you must be strong.
For them you tell of rainbows and silver.
For them you are the warm hearth in the blizzard.
You keep your eyes open
to never miss a second or a cry.
Passersby say words to you like snowfall that blow cold
and then fall into the blanket of white ashes
where you put up a sign called Reality.
You hide the sign behind your skirts. They must not see.

In this season where you are the single pillar, I can only say:
Pray remember who is your ground.

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In Winter by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

March

Hello everyone – after a lull in activity, I am trying to get back to posting every 2 weeks, on the weekends. Keep an eye out for new poems!

And now, for this week:

This poem is written in support of the March for Life. May God bless the marchers’ courage and open the ears of all people in this discussion so that we may listen to each other and act to protect our country’s children.

God bless.

“March”

bright blood stains classrooms
the hateful lost wield terror
broken hearts march brave
 
 
 
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March by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Broken branches

It is heartbreaking how so many of our parents and grandparents have lost themselves to age. Sometimes we feel that we cannot reach them anymore. Perhaps these are the times we must let the Spirit intervene when our groans are too deep for words (Romans 8:26).

God bless.

“Broken branches”

Beyond the miles of a failing mind
you wait with a sun-tanned hand on the telephone.
On partly-cloudy days
you break through the forecast.
The voice of an oak comes through the line.
You have long, deep roots, but the branches are broken
and the leaves fall into a pile of memories I collect for you
and hold in my library.
When you need your stories I will pull them off the shelves,
leaf through to the right page, and let loose the perfect, musty scent
of knowledge printed long ago.

You were the arms that carried me,
and the burden that I carry.

I have asked God why, but He does not respond.
There is no why. I must ask a new question.
I hear you fall again, another branch lost to the wind.
On my knees gathering wood and leaves, I am beneath
what once sheltered me but the canopy is bare.
You summer life is gone, but mine is golden yet,
and I will pray for you in winter as you prayed for me in spring.

God who listens, God who speaks, hear our pain of tumbling leaves.
Whisper across the gap of time and words between us,
and connect our hearts with Spirit.

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Broken branches by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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