The Bleeding Christ

A poem for when we feel lost and unheard by God.
God bless,
Morgan
 
“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.
 
 
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The Bleeding Christ by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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Advent #3, Cradle Me

A poem to remind us to not only welcome the gift of grace and love we celebrate in Jesus’s birth, but also to keep celebrating it and taking strength from it year-round.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
“Cradle me”
 
cradle me
new and hopeful I come
fragile and willing I come
cradle me
 
embrace me
tiny and loving I come
brave and graceful I come
embrace me
 
carry me
however old I become
however old you become
carry me
 
 
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Cradle Me by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Advent #2, Winter Whispers

Holidays do not always bring comfort and joy, especially when the past year has held a loss in the family. To those who feel that pain this year, I pray peace for you and that you will be surrounded in love.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
“Winter Whispers”
 
Winter blows in without sound.
Color has dropped into a brown carpet
on the wet roads as we gather, one less,
around meals and traditions and decorations.
Your voice was so much a part
of them that without it I’ve been tossed
into a black and white film where I
read the script on a title card. Tell me
what to say now that I am the voice
to fill mealtimes and give directions.
 
Snowfall buries the world with gray and quiet.
Staring out dark windows I take the time to
remember. Faint but true, you speak into
the moments I feared would stay empty and
raw. Snowfall brushes glass with white,
catches Christmas tree lights, whirls into prisms.
Perhaps in echoes and memory God
brings us closer to the great beyond
you crossed ahead of me.
 
 
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Winter Whispers by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Advent #1, Brush of Winter

The Advent season reminds us of preparations for the birth of Jesus millennia ago and is also a time in which we reflect on welcoming him in the present. Those preparations also can remind us to open our hearts and lives to all God’s children, no matter our divisions and differences. In Jesus, I see hope for this outreach and healing.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
 

“Brush of Winter”
 
I painted my eyes with winter to
      learn to see the song in swirling snow 
    and the heartbeat in the sleeping world 
beneath crystal stars. Anticipation
    places brushes of hope in our fingers and invites
    us to create a home of belonging.
Paint widely, my hand. See far, my eyes.
Here again is the reminder to 
     begin again in grace.

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

Lilac Nation

I am shaken by the events of the past week in America, but I remain encouraged by the many people to whom I’ve spoken who are ready now more than ever to fight for unity and justice in this country. I still choose to believe that we as a people can seek wholeness. We do not have to let the dark and divisive rhetoric of this year be the norm. Instead, let us strive to heal through communication, love, and open hearts.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
“Lilac Nation”
For unity
 
Young one, how fear has grated
your branches into brittle fingers curling
inward, terrified to embrace the wind of todays and
tomorrows. Your leaves are meant
to shade and shelter, your red, white, and blue flowers
to surprise the earth with fruitful promise. Yet in storm’s
wake I see your proud colors crying out
in red pain and blue smoke,
as your trunk parts
down the center, flowerless.
 
Young one, let your leaves return.
Soak in wind and water and courage, and
let your branches bloom anew with all
your colors as one:
a vibrant, lilac nation.
 
 
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Lilac Nation 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.

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.

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