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.

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Wings Will Come: Journey – Part 1 “Where did you go?”

I remember sitting across from a friend at a familiar pub, trying to explain the past few months to her. How my dad had taken a new job across the country in Arizona; how he, my mom, and my grandfather would all be moving out there; and how my little brother and I would be staying behind and renting the family home with some friends. Besides that framework, to my regret, I poured out all the bad stories. The stressors, the annoyances, the worst moments, and the conflicts. I hardly mentioned the good things, and I am pretty sure I didn’t mention God at all.

I needed perspective.

Though the change was still raw, I wanted to tackle my tangle of emotions and memories and go deeper. God was constantly at work in my life during this time, stitching blessings into a transforming tapestry. I recognized it, but I hadn’t claimed it as the greater truth yet. Sometimes we have to look backwards with a critical eye to see around the turmoil. My venue for this was poetry.

Every week for the next few months, I will be posting poems from the resulting collection, called Wings Will Come: Journey. In this collection, I tried to narrate the events and emotions of my closest family moving far away and to seek to see where God was working. I move (more or less) chronologically through the story, culminating with a poem that is a prayer of hope for continued growth, love, and peace for both myself and my family out there in the Wild West.

God bless,
Morgan

“Where did you go?”
The beginning

where did you go,
old days? better days,
rosy days, good days?
new days, stale days,
gray and cluttered days
pushed you away.
late at night I hear only
tension in your voice:
a strain of loss as you
buckle further under
the more, more, more.
as you stand sad and lonely
at the divide between
you and now.
those nights I prayed for
the joy that drove the beginning
to rise up again anew.
I prayed it for a long time:
save what is good here
before it is ash and
empty silver years.
God answered when
I wasn’t yet ready.

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Where did you go? by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Grief prayer

For the many people I know who have recently lost loved ones and for the many in mourning who I do not know.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 

“Grief prayer”
 
Today, for you who grieve a passing
       or a passing soon to come,
I pray that the comfort of God
    be with you, nestled around your aching heart:
        an embrace and a whisper that beckons memory
     of joys, lessons, wisdom,
         bright eyes, loud laughter, and precious time.
 
May these final moments be richly filled with 
      hands held, tears shed,
         and songs sung.
  May there be arms around
      your shaking shoulders.
 
I pray you will speak, hear, and cherish
   both the vulnerable words and the brave words,
        trembling and true: 
        heart-spoken.
 
At this passing of life, stand still. Feel
      the wings of a beloved soul
           brush you on its way by.

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

A God Moment

Hi everyone,
 
Many times we get caught up in looking for a certain “feeling” in our spiritual lives—the same experiences of the Holy Spirit that our fellows have when they’re in tune with God, like a wave of emotion in a church service. Sometimes we feel as if we’re not “getting it” like everybody else.
 
At times like these, we’re unconsciously putting a mental limit on the ways in which we think God can interact with us. Our God created diversity, and so I believe He speaks to us in just as many ways. Maybe you feel close to God when you’re singing in church, or maybe you feel close to God on your morning run. Each one is valid and should be celebrated.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 

“A God Moment”
For Debbie and Duncan
 
we post it like a clipped newspaper ad
   on our hearts:  looking for a God Moment—
a flash in time when we are connected
    to the Majesty of the universe
        and feel that Someone bigger
     is speaking to us.
each note is written in 
      billions of uniquely formed letters, 
    characters, and symbols that ask 
              without knowing what the answer
        will be like.
 
Replies come to us 
    unique as the notes we scrawled 
at midnight in the lonely hour
       of the wondering and lost:
 
In the air trembling
   from the deep strike of African drums
in a medley of passionate 
    gospel choirs
in triumphant organs 
     playing nineteenth century hymns and  
in bass guitars and shaking speakers
      in the whirling energy of a concert
in soft creek water running beneath
      canopies of sunny green leaves
in the whisper
    of a brushstroke over canvas
in the joyful bliss of giving
     and the crashing chorus of construction
in the spring of sneakers running over
    pavement or turf
in that click in the mind
     when all the logic of the puzzle lines up
in words brimming with stories
      and in the curling waves of ocean surf
in first and last breaths
       and the wonder of wide open eyes.
 
across the globe 
     to each reply
  our smiles broaden the same way
     at fresh encounters with joy.

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

Joy song

Hi everyone,
 
My poem today is about joy in difficult times. In Bible study we are reading the book of Philippians, which Apostle Paul wrote from a prison cell. The opening is about how Paul feels joy for his fellow Christians even though he isn’t in a good spot, himself.
 
Paul reached out to grasp joy, seeking other blessings beyond himself to be thankful for. He had a different attitude compared to other prisoners because of his faith in Christ. Likewise, when we are prisoners of depression, grief, illness, or doubt, let us also have a different attitude. Just as Paul did, we can be attuned to the good things going on around us and rejoice, no matter the bars around us.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 

“Joy Song”
 
          —joy song
from the rocky gray walls of my
prison cell
I hear it.
it lilts like a whispering harp, cradling me 
in soft, careful sound, but
the prison cell invades and leaves
oozing gashes of anxiety,
impossibility, hopelessness… 
 
          —joy song
from the corner of my cell 
I hear it again.
it sings confidently this time,
now a choir standing strong as 
each member’s voice soars to the sky, 
mouth wide with glorious, free sound.
 
          —joy song 
through these bars and gloom
I hear it,
but it does not touch me
until I draw it in, learn the tune,
and sing it back,
letting it echo down the claustrophobic hallway out
the door and into the sunrise, 
letting it rise and then
settle back into a pleasant hum.
 
—joy song
from the chilly gray walls of your
prison cell
you hear it.

 
 
Acknowledgment to my awesome and thoughtful Bible Study group
 
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Joy song by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Eternity

Hi everyone,
 
This poem was inspired by the endless, looping patterns of Celtic knots and the hope for unity that we celebrate on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It is also a poem about the uplifting joy God’s presence brings to our lives, carrying us out of our closed, dim world into a place of vast and eternal grace.
 
It was also partly inspired by Ron DiCianni’s painting “Simeon’s Moment,” (2011) which appears as the cover art for the January/February 2014 issue of Upper Room, and his commentary on it inside the issue (page 2).
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
 

“Eternity”

     I soar on wings, 
     eagle-like, to my destination:
an open door of wide landscapes and
                          mountains wrapping around
                   lush meadows like
             cupped hands
                      carefully guarding 
                                         my safe haven 
      sitting in the shadow of bigger wings
      than mine, where 
             I find cool air to breathe and
             the constant, rhythmic beat
             of assurance— 
             the universe’s heart
             so close to my own, 
             giving it joy:
                 joy that soars high over expanding horizons to
open doors of wide landscapes and
       mountains singing of towering grace 
             beyond sight and sound and imagination,
                         off into galaxies and spinning around us
                    like a circle of dancers on fresh earth,
              moving fast as hummingbird wings
        as their hearts soar up and out to an
open door of wide landscapes and
         endless paths linked in a 
              mosaic spiral glittering with brilliant people
          from a billion places and perspectives
              standing together to lift songs, gifts, and praises
                    that pave streets of gold through 
an open door…

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