Let the women speak

“Let the women speak”

Read between these bold and flashing headlines
for the message to my sisters that we belong
standing silent in kitchens with bowed heads and backs,
that our testimony is an annoying fly to be swatted.

I’m shredding that message.

I am woman, no longer a bone from your body. God made me whole.
Cite me your old laws of how I am lesser, unclean, but I
am busy watching the Lord pick an adulteress off the ground and I
hear him telling a bleeding woman that her faith made her well.
Tell me all about my weakness but I
stand by the Lord who stopped everything to raise a dead son
for a weeping mother whose agony touched his soul.
He loved our complete selves, from tears to faith.

They killed Christ for his rebellion. You are still doing it.

Let the women speak. Listen to the wounded lives
struggling unseen in tearing bramble.
Hold up the girls, mothers, sisters, and grandmothers. It is time
for us to unlock our souls.

Call me heretic. I am watching the Lord lift a girl from her deathbed
and say she was only sleeping.

 

 

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Let the women speak by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 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.

Question mark

Written for the many people affected by disease and struggle, whether past or present. We are told “Be still and know I am God” (Psalm 46:10), but what does that look like?
 
 

“Question mark”
 
I see you staring at me, question mark, 
     like a scar on paper.
You aren’t the elegant, looped symbol
     I grew up practicing to read and write.
On the page you are written in six letters: c a n c e r.
 
I cannot forget you, 
                      escape you, 
                             or answer you 
        with a thousand distractions, 
                 a million miles, 
                     or a billion books.
I pray to understand, to fight the question, to erase the mark.
       But God has not answered or erased anything.
Instead God listens. He sits with me in waiting rooms, 
           holds the shaking reports in my hands, 
                and stays awake with me while I am staring at nothing. 
 
God just 
    is
       when I am afraid 
                          to be.
 
When the lights are out, 
         the treatments fail, 
            and the goodbyes sneak up on me,
all I have from God is: be still. Know I am God.
 
It is, in the end, my only answer
to the question mark.

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

Whose will be done?

To my country America, consider whose “Word” we are listening to right now. Consider what it sounds like—and what it ought to sound like instead.
 

“Whose will be done?”
 
You have heard it said I am a God of love and mercy, 
     but I say to you, rip the babies from their mothers 
          and bring them to me for proper salvation.
Truly I say to you, follow the law blindly and take no responsibility.
Blessed are the ones who live with closed hearts, and
     Blessed are they who misuse my name for fear and power,
         for theirs will be a snow-white country.
Love the Lord your God when it is convenient,
     and do unto others as you see fit.
And your mortal kingdom come, your will be done,
in America as it is in darkness.
Amen.

 
 
 
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Whose will be done? 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,
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.

The Last Photo

Grief is a long process and one that I wholeheartedly believe can only be endured with the love of the people around us. In their embraces, encouragement, quiet company, God is present and working to heal us. And when we are ready, God can also show us how to see a way forward.

God bless,
Morgan

“The Last Photo”

The moment snaps
like an old Kodak camera – click –
captured in the glare of a flash
on darkness. Your weakening breath and slack fingers
are imprinted in the silent cacophony of the end
I didn’t want.

I am holding old pictures in
a quiet house as disarray hangs
upon me, stealing direction.
Atop each photo of birthdays,
beach trips, and family vacations,
the last image of all perches
with black raven claws.

I am moving through albums,
and it takes me years to turn
pages. It takes the constant embrace
of love and perseverance to push
off the raven claws and teach
me how to hold my hands to
capture new moments.

I reach,
breathe out – click.
 
 
 
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The Last Photo by Morgan Waad is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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