Wings Will Come: Journey – Part 8 “Crossing”

This poem describes the night that we emptied all manner of furniture, tools, and other household items out of my grandfather’s house into two storage units, a task that had to be done that night due to schedules and availability of the family. It was hectic, with carloads of items to take to the units before the place closed at 10 pm. Looking back, it reminds me a bit of the crossing of the Red Sea story in Exodus 14 – a rush across a sea of unknowns in a time of great change.
 
In the midst of that stressful dash, my mom and I sang praise songs in the car ride, and for a moment the impossibility faded as we remembered our God and His power and love that was greater than our troubles. It’s a reminder I continue to need and often look back to.
 
Next week, I continue the story of my family’s move and God’s goodness in the change in the ninth poem of my collection, “Wings Will Come: Journey.”
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
“Crossing”
Preparations
 
afternoon blurs into dusk
as we tape, wrap, box, disassemble, and
carry a collection of a lifetime.
the curator watches with a breaking
heart. the sweet and acrid blend of old
pipe smoke hovers around me
in a cloud of memory.
 
my grandfather’s house is a
monument in my mind, as fixed
as its keeper. but now
it, too, moves: a parting sea
in the journey to new places,
and like Your ancient people,
he is afraid to cross.
 
movement rushes us, dragging
us, our fear, and the collection into
dashes to a storage unit
that closes at 10 pm.
every circle back for more, the clock
squeezes time tighter.
 
impossibility will not be our master:
windows rolled all the way down in
humid sunset air, my mother and I
cry out to You in song, as loud as we can
over our turmoil as we drive in
darkness.
 
we remember that You give
dry ground for the crossing and that
we are in the keeping
of a Spirit who moves
and a Man who shepherds.
 
 
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Crossing 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 6 “Heralds”

My parents began to get ready for the move, but the enormity of the task soon made us question this decision. It was in those moments God spoke to us in unexpected ways, encouraging us forward. In your dark times, listen hard to the night, and you may find the message of hope you need.
 
Next week, I continue the story of my family’s move and God’s goodness in the change in the seventh poem of my collection, “Wings Will Come: Journey.”
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
“Heralds”
Doubts
 
preparations chew into
busy hours and restless weekends.
tasks climb on top of each other
to beg our attention.
exhausted, we stare into the shadow
they cast over the dream.
 
in the shade of the movement,
questions stitch themselves
to our skin and hide the
true muscle and bone beneath.
 
in a weary ride home
of a shadow-day
you speak to my father
in a radio song calling
for change.
When he looks ahead
he sees a license plate
for his destination
hanging in plain view.
 
today a song of change
and Arizona-tags leap to the top
of the shady mountain
to proclaim direction.
 
we follow unassuming heralds
and shed our doubting scales.
 
(For more on the doubting scales reference, see Act 9:1-19)
 
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Heralds 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.

Sing

Hi everyone,
 
My campus pastor once told me that sometimes when we lose our faith, we can let others hold onto it for a while until we’re ready to come back. I have been blessed with a community and a family of believers who let me ask questions and never criticize me for them. When I am ready, they welcome me back with the arms of Christ. These are the strong voices I rely on, that I listen to, and I join in singing with day after day. Yes, sometimes my voice gives out, but the Holy Spirit always gives it back to me.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
“Sing”
 
i have songs to sing
of God’s love and grace
and His wonder,
but my voice
doesn’t always hold out strong;
it breaks and falls away
warbles and wanders
into choked silence.
i feel inadequate.
fragile.
 
but when tears swallow my notes
i stand in a congregation that keeps singing:
i stand amidst family who carries on,
their voices encouraging me,
filling in my silence until
my voice is strong again.
see, i have learned
the song doesn’t stop
and it sweeps you back in.
when you think that you’re done
trust to the song—
when the time comes to sing
the Spirit fills your lungs
with all the words and voice you’ll need.
 
 
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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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