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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Lighthouse Path

This is a poem to those who are grieving, and the many who surround and support them. Together, we will walk our way to God’s peace.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 

“Lighthouse Path”
 
You tuck your pain behind brave smiles
      like a shattered window behind a curtain.
I’ve been looking, but I haven’t found words for you.
      I stand nearby feeling like a lighthouse
with a broken lamp. Meanwhile, you’re
         out in the black bay where I can’t reach.
You will make it to shore in time, and I will
         meet you on the sand. I still won’t have words,
but I saw the path through the wilderness from up
          in the lighthouse, and I can walk
beside you on the way home.

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

Reminders

This is a poem for my mom, who taught me so much about what love is. This was written for Mother’s Day the year she moved to Arizona.
God bless,
Morgan
 
“Reminders”
 
as you step onto the desert way,
you leave lessons
like painted handmade beads
I string into deepest memory.
 
They are reminders:
to love all the people around me,
no matter what they look like
or who they are,
to keep an open home,
dig deep roots of faith,
fear no doubts,
always ask questions
and know where
to look up the answers,
to ask forgiveness
and to give it,
find good stories
and live them,
be myself,
strive for my dreams,
seek adventure,
keep learning, and
to stand up,
stand strong.
 
The spun threads through each
reminder gleam timeless silver:
your pride in me
your welcoming arms
your overflowing love
 
 
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Reminders by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Love

A poem of reflection and hope for God at work in my life.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
“Love”
 
In the past, I found it in a circle of arms
of a changing family,
in clasped hands
of frightened sisters,
in silent standing
with the grieving,
in lung-bursting laughter
with the joyful,
in whispered prayer
in the hurricane hours.
 
Now, I keep finding it
in unbreakable words and
unshakable truths,
when I open my eyes to
storms or sunrises,
in the firm, steady presence
of soul-bound friends and kin.
 
Tomorrow, I will find it
in my days, years, breaths, and tears,
in sky and in flight.
 
 
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Love by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

River Rising

This poem was written a few months ago when I was doing mission work in the neighborhood where the 2015 Baltimore riots took place. This was the funeral of a young man who had been the 300th murder in that year. I lift this poem up as a call for peace and change in our times of pain and bloodshed.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 

“River Rising”
 
I come to an anonymous funeral
     by invitation.
I am a worker in the church,
        and do not know the dead.
the speaker in the pulpit is 
       a mighty boom of passion, pain, and sorrow
       with a resounding voice that rises in hope and volume at once
       in a declaration that shakes our hearts
into running waters where
         they fall and flow with the river 
         of gathered memories.
Together, black and white, we pray for rivers to run
        into seas of change where knives and guns
        do not fill our caskets with the young.
I did not know the dead,
        but I hear his cry.

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

Offer of Prayer

May we embody prayer lives not only of saying words and requests to God, but also of action. This poem is dedicated to the amazing woman who has taught me what that looks like.
 
“Offer of Prayer”
 
She sees pain gnawing your heart
like a starving dog on a bone
without blood to give, just marrow
trying to hide from the teeth.
 
She offers you prayer
and you know she’s offered her heart.
She will spend moments saying words
to God for you but she will spend
as many and more holding your weeping
head in her arms, listening to your sorrow,
and speaking to you the poetry that is her wisdom.
 
She is the breath in the prayer,
living the words in a slow dance of love circling
around you in an embrace.
 
 
Creative Commons License
Offer of Prayer by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

The field

A prayer for unity and forgiveness.
God bless,
Morgan
 

“The field”
 
God, forgive us for the walls.
Forgive us for
     the bricks we’ve been laying.
We carry tension like marble
    backpacks as we bend over
to add new layers
to our masterpiece with
    no gates but many turrets.
Help us pull the bricks down
and reopen the field where
against all odds, the lamb and the lion
      could come to meet.

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

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