And then I see

This poem is about a beautiful sunset I saw while out visiting the Southwest this holiday season.
God bless,
Morgan
*P.S. I have updated the last stanza per my grandparents’ feedback.

“And then I see”
 
Stepping outside, I frown at the overcast 
lying across the clear blue heavens
I’d seen mere hours ago.
I climb in the car to drive away. My heart 
sinks sadly down, and
my eyes trail regretfully over
patches of blue still left
between streaks of charcoal.
 
And then I see the sunset:
molten yellow opens bright as a child’s eyes on
Christmas, peering into the darkness to find 
all the gifts of the world. I am 
dazzled and silenced by 
rose reds blooming over mountaintops.
Rippling orange and violet tapestries drape
over the horizon. Every ray of light is a
brushstroke to pull out the cool shadows of the
desert, tracing every mountain ridge. Like soft gray canvas, 
the dreary clouds now hold color in every fiber. 
 
I hear my grandmother, one seat ahead of 
me, tell a story about her brother when 
he was little: “Not long after my father died,
my brother was out on the porch, and he
pointed to the sunset and said: 
God made the sky so pretty so that Daddy 
wouldn’t want to come home.”
 
I gaze in speechless wonder and agree. 
How can anyone come back
from this?

 

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And then I see by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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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.

Summer Night Prayer

Hi everyone,
 
This poem is a reflection I wrote a couple years ago. God listens to our prayers no matter our stages of life and ability, and His Words back to us help us grow as His children.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 

“Summer Night Prayer”
 
deep in summer dreams buzzing
       with cicadas and lawnmowers
              i murmur midnight prayers. what
amazes me and confounds me
      is the listening ear i find taking in
             each long list of worries, questions,
                            requests, and hopes. what makes 
me lie still as leaves hanging in humid
       noon sunshine is that silent reassurance
            that i’ve been heard and that since 
        my first wailing breath i’ve 
    been cherished close by family
here around me and up above. in clouds
        drifting over the moon, You’re up there
               cupping Your great ear
                  to hear my little voice.
 
back when i only knew words in patterns
        and rhymes, You listened. now, with my
              rambling prayers You
still listen, offer a guiding hand and a
        gentle voice in reply, a voice i hear
tonight amidst the buzzing of summer. it’s 
        delicate but deep with life and love
             and power beyond vast starry skies and imagination.
 
it says simple things to me, for a child’s ears,
        but simple things are wise and change souls.
                   if i set aside doubt for a minute, set aside
          scientific rationale and if onlys and what ifs,
i can feel a seed in my heart split open
         to sprout a shoot of faith. if i listen, rain falls
                      gently on me and the shoot grows leaves 
and branches. branches are beautiful because
              they reach—over and down and up in all
                     directions. Your Word is 
air around me, a fine cool mist, and nourishing
       sunlight for the faith
                   growing in me.

 
 
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Summer Night Prayer by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Listening

Hi everyone,
 
Everybody at some point wonders: Is there a God? I know I have. The answers I’ve found to that question are often simple—and one of them that strikes me again and again is the incredibly intricacy of nature itself. From the stars to the mystery of the human body, there’s a clear mark of thoughtful purpose behind it all. I see God’s love in how complex we are and how amazing our world is. It’s a silent message to us that He is there, and He loves what He made deeply.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 

“Listening”
 
sometimes when I stumble
      it is Your creation that speaks the loudest
   to bring me back.
maybe the rocks don’t cry out,
           but they sing in the sunset 
                 over the mountains, and stars by the millions 
        peer down at me from an inky sky. summer leaves 
  with dazzling shades of green stretch for the clouds,
          and outside my window tiny brown birds fly on delicate wings—
  all too wonderful to be nothing 
                                                 but chance.
and then humanity,
          complex down to our DNA, with lungs full of songs
    and minds spilling over with stories, questions and dreams, 
             all too wonderful to be nothing
                                                 but chance.
these are the simple silent messages
          I admire the most, 
  Your world that speaks these words from You:
            “I made this with Love,
                  from the faraway star
            to your own hands
                        reaching out in wonder.
              My little one in this vast, vast world,
          know that I am reaching back
                in just as much wonder
          for you.” 

 
 
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Listening by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Seed

Hi everyone,
 
This is a poem inspired by Jesus’ teaching to his disciples that even a little faith can do great things. Matthew 17:20 (NIV) says, “…I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
 
It’s easy to feel like we don’t have enough faith to face trials or even believe in something, but Jesus tells us that we don’t need much faith to do what seems impossible. Maybe he used the metaphor of the seed because seeds change and grow, and so does our faith and understanding.
 
God bless!
–Morgan
 

“Seed”
 
i am a
     seed of faith.
i am small
    and get blown in the wind.
i am hard to pick up
     and easy to drop,
but i am here
     and i am strong.
i am not strong because
     i am big
but because in my core
    is a Spirit
who nurtures and grows
     and makes me more
          through its power.
 
i am a seed
     of faith
          and i have been planted.
through summer storms
     and winter cold
          i hold on.
i spread and i change,
     i break free
         of the surface
into the air.
     my roots, branches, leaves
reach
      out.
 
we were not meant
     to stay seeds forever.
the joy of a seed
     is that it grows.

 
 
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Seed by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

For the girl who was told she couldn’t pray in a forest

Sorry it’s been a while, everyone. This is a poem I wrote a while back and have shared before. This poem came about from talking to a friend of mine once. She had been told she couldn’t pray in a forest, only inside in a place like a church. I don’t think God limits Himself to buildings, not when the Bible tells us how He created us in a garden and met Moses and His own Son on mountaintops. This is a three part poem for people who have trouble feeling like they’re being heard by God and need to know He wants to and does indeed listen.
 
God bless!
–Morgan
(P.s. I refer to Romans 8:38-39 in this poem (the letter) – (NIV) “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels not demons, neither the present nor the future, not any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
 
 


"For the girl who was told she couldn’t pray in a forest"
 
I.
this is for the girl who was told
            she couldn’t pray in a forest.
in simple words in a letter a long time ago
a man wrote a great truth that
nothing in the world, nothing in our imaginations,
            can take us away from God.
we are connected by His love
linked forever to His grace,
            a lifeline that cannot be broken.
so in the soft murmurs of a forest
             how can He not be heard
             and how can He not hear?
if He created the trees of the forest,
            their broad leaves and narrow needles, 
            the sweet smell of old leaves and fresh berries,
            the cool shade and the warm glade,
                        then can’t He meet you there in that garden?
 
II.
this is for the children of God 
           who are afraid to lift their voices too loudly,
who are afraid to be heard, who have been told too many times
           their prayers and thoughts aren’t worth enough
                       to be of any concern to God.
your words don’t have to be beautiful or elegant or perfect.
            a parent praises a child’s first words, 
            and one who loves the child never stops listening
            when those words become sentences, become questions,
            become who they are struggling to explain in sounds
                        someone else can understand.
don’t be afraid to try and speak, don’t fear rock cold judgment 
            when what awaits you is warm open arms 
            and a ready ear for whatever words you say.
every whisper and worry and hope
            He’s waiting to hear, however you say them,
            wherever you say them.
 
III.
i walk in a forest today and sing aloud to heaven.
            Listen closely—
            the forest is singing back His reply

 
 
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For the girl who was told she couldn’t pray in a forest by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.