Awaken the Promise

In hope for the year ahead.
 
God bless.
 
 
“Awaken the Promise”
 
Electric candles in golden chandeliers
coat the ceiling in yellow greetings while evergreens
dance down the edges of the stained glass windows to settle around
soft, looped red bows. Cozy in the crowded pews,
the congregation is audience to song and sermon.
 
Lights above and around them dim
for the last hymn. Sanctuary is invaded by darkness.
 
The people pass one light to each other,
wick to wick, candle to candle, flame to flame.
Arms lift the light high as one, a hundred different
sleeves, skins, and strengths caught in the rise
of the candlelight. In rumbling chorus
they call on the peace of silent night’s song and shake the shadows.
Among them wakens the Christmas promise of change.
 
 
 
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Awaken the Promise by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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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.

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

In Winter

This one goes out to all the caregivers and the heartbroken trying so hard to be strong for everyone else.

God bless

“In Winter”

You have been looking for beauty in the winter
and a masterpiece in the shrieking storm.
You are rain-whipped and weary,
but for them, you must be strong.
For them you tell of rainbows and silver.
For them you are the warm hearth in the blizzard.
You keep your eyes open
to never miss a second or a cry.
Passersby say words to you like snowfall that blow cold
and then fall into the blanket of white ashes
where you put up a sign called Reality.
You hide the sign behind your skirts. They must not see.

In this season where you are the single pillar, I can only say:
Pray remember who is your ground.

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

Green Times

Never stop praying and working for this day: “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.” (Isaiah 11:6)
 
God bless
 
 
“Green times”
 
A little boy with a red t-shirt and dark hair
climbs the gigantic old gun from the war,
fingers gripping bolts and sneakers squeaking on protruding metal corners
of this museum piece tucked in white concrete barracks
clustered inside a state park.
the boy swings from the long barrel back and forth,
curious and carefree, then drops into the grass and sprints away.
 
 
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Green times by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

To keep

Romans 8:38 (NIV) “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present or the future, nor 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.”

God bless

“To keep”
 
The day is dark, God.
Tell me you will keep me.
To keep is an embrace when the lights go out,
surrounding hidden hurt with healing arms;
it is shelter and steadfast;
it is a promise.
 
Another one is gone, God.
Tell me you will keep her.
To keep is to lift her to new heights of spirit,
transforming and renewing with Your light’s bright touch;
it is trust and change;
it is heaven.
 
I have no answers, God.
Tell me you will keep me.
To keep is a firm hand on shaking shoulders,
steering me out of the ash to fresh blue air;
it is tireless and true;
it is peace.
 
 
 
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To keep by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

You are Hiding

I dedicate this poem to my fellow women, with hope. Never forget that the light of the world dwells in us and we can use it to challenge the darkness.
 
God bless
 
“You are Hiding”
 
You are hiding.
I know this because when you were a girl
you were a blossom of creativity, a lively brook of dreams.
You spun worlds out of color and endless ideas.
 
Your path to your full potential
did not last.
You listened to fear’s senseless whisper, you dropped your flame.
Though your talent bleeds like sunrise through your skin
you covered yourself in cloaks and learned to shuffle in gray shoes.
 
You are hiding.
I watch you at arm’s length, unsure what I could say
to help you throw off the muted world you wear.
The best I come to is this:
Do not fear what you could be.
Fight for it. Love it. Love yourself.
Loving yourself is a risk, for all love is dangerous,
but all love comes from God and therefore it can look deeper,
touch our tender bones, and bring out the joy that birthed creation.
We are bearers of future.
Do not hide.
 
I am waiting.
You know this because I stand nearby
never ready to give up my hope,
sister, mother, daughter, woman.
 
 
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You are Hiding by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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