Hammer blow

A poem for those facing troubles with health for yourself or a family member.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 

Hammer Blow
 
Hello, hammer blow, 
  visiting again, iron to my
      glued-together glass. I scoop together
my pieces and look up weakly. It hangs
            overhead in shadow, its cold metal
a brewing storm. My eyes fix 
       on the invisible weight that might fall
       from the doctor’s lips. 
Then I 
     stand up. 
Fall what may, grace 
       shields my glittering soul and
           arms of the Spirit hold my fragility.
I wait in trust.

 
 
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Hammer blow by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Threshold

Hello everyone,
This is a poem for all facing changes and transitions in their lives. We are told by Jesus Christ not to be concerned about the future (Matthew 6:25-34). When we focus on and value our present moments, even ones of change, I think we can see beauty where we are—or where we are headed.
God bless,
Morgan
 
“Threshold”
 
I face doorways with dread boiling hot and fierce in my bones, a primal fire.
Warily, I cross into the halls
beyond.
 
Trouble, joy, questions, answers, faith, and fear
cram the hallways and rooms I find.
my eyes miss the angels and stare
at the demons smirking at my feet.
 
Heart like a rocking ship, I set out,
and only when I reach
the threshold
do I know it is always
an entrance
and I am here before I ever took the time
to cherish what lay behind.
 
I have met too many doorways with fear.
it is time I forge forward with a weather eye,
just as ready to spot rainbows as storms.
 
 
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Threshold by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Travel by Night

Hi everyone,
 
Good times or bad, it seems like an obstacle always suddenly appears to stop us in our tracks and go a different, unexpected way. Whatever detours we face, we can choose to handle them with faith and trust in God. In Second Corinthians chapter 12, Paul faces an obstacle inside himself, the “thorn” in his flesh. Though God won’t take it from him, He tells Paul in verse 9, “My grace is sufficient for you.” I don’t believe God puts problems in our way. Instead, from this Scripture I read that when troubles attack, He gives us the tools, the grace, to get through what we face step by step. When we rely on that grace, it transforms us: Paul writes, “for whenever I am weak, then I am strong” (verse 10).
 
God bless,
Morgan
 

“Travel by Night”
 
been traveling by night.
    exhaustion’s got me in a vise,
    squeezing yawns out of me.
would be home by now, 
    but I missed my exit and kept on
    going.
 
been looking for another way,
   but the last chance I got
   is two hundred yards ahead 
   tied up in red and blue warnings lights.
Orange cones like
      impassible mountains
      force me off into unknown
      territory in the dark.
 
been winding on this detour and
     sinking deeper into teeth-grinding
     confusion.
why the red, blue, and orange
    when I needed a clear exit?
but there’s no roadmap to that
   answer.
 
been exploring for hours now,
    finding an odd, shaky kind of calm
    in just moving forward.
my car’s bright eyes show me
   some more of the road:
there is a turn 
   up ahead.

 
 

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Travel by Night by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

The Long Dream

Hi everyone,
 
I recently graduated with my master’s degree, and I wanted to reflect on the crossroads that many of us face as we choose our next steps. We may be applying to colleges, looking for work, or starting our first fulltime jobs, or we may be later in life facing job loss, sudden change, or dissatisfaction. We often feel like we’re hovering between events, lost.
 
This poem is about feeling like we’re in limbo, but it is also about moving toward our full potential. I think often of Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” The word “know” strikes me in this verse: it isn’t ‘God’s working on the plans’ or ‘God’s thinking about the plans’ – He sees the way forward, and He is confident. Through Him, we can share in that confidence, too.
 
God bless!
–Morgan
 
 


“The Long Dream”

Tonight I am dreaming a long dream.
It starts with me sitting in a knickknack shop
  cluttered with baubles, books, tools, toys,
     electronics, paintings, shoes, and countless
  wonders – and I am told by the cashier to pick
the one that is mine.

I am still not sure
       when I put my choice on the counter,
but I leave with it and don’t let go.
     I walk through a town then, and it is
          crammed with buildings, people, cars, noise,
          streetlights, fears, hopes, and wishes
          and I almost can’t breathe in it all.
I carry my prize from the shop.
  At every road, corner, and door, I look for a place
      where I can use it.

I am still dreaming the long dream of the town.
I am still dreaming because
         I won’t give up.
    Like all dreams, this one throws at me
          chaos, people, places,
        unexplainable events, and pain—
   but I know if I wait long enough, I’ll also find 
      the joy of flying,
and it is then that I will wake up 
    holding my choice firmly in my hand 
    and knowing my place in the town.

 
 
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The Long Dream 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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Sing by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Float

Hi everyone,
 
This new poem was inspired during my mission trip to Crisfield, Maryland, which I talked about in the previous post. Our theme was storms, and one day we focused on the Noah story in Genesis. The devotional that day reminded me that Noah had to put a lot of trust in God and His design of the ark to survive the flood that destroyed the earth. This is a lesson for us, too, in our own difficult times.
 
God bless!
–Morgan
 
“Float”
 

i need to
    float
      for a while.
i need to lay on my back
   and trust the water
      to hold me up
   like a cupped palm
      under a flower petal.
 
i need to stand on
     an ark
  built sturdy according to
     God’s direction.
i need to stand on the deck,
   stare out at the flood
and wait for the dove
     to return with an olive branch
  of hope:
     wait, float, pray
  in the silence over the flood.
 
i need to trust
    for a while
that when the waters recede
   there’s dry ground beneath,
that there’s life waiting to grow,
   that there’s more journey to go.
 
i cannot learn to trust and walk
    when the ground is easy to see.
i must learn when i’m floating above
   the storms of the raging sea.

 
Acknowledgment to the following devotional and the awesome people on the mission trip who assembled the great collection of readings for the week!
 
Lessons From Noah’s Ark. eDevotions.org. http://www.edevotions.org/docs/noahsark.html. Published January 9, 2000. Accessed April 16, 2013.
 
 
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Float by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Step by faith

Happy New Year everyone!
 
Last Sunday, the 6th, was Epiphany. This is the day we celebrate the coming of the magi, who traveled from the east following a star to find the newborn Jesus Christ. I was inspired by the story of their faith and wrote this poem. (You can read the story in Matthew 2:1-12.)
 
I like to plan things out and know exactly what’s on my schedule. It’s hard to imagine taking to the road with no road map but a star in the sky, and no idea of how you’ll reach your destination. Yet, this is what the magi did. May we all have their faith and trust to follow God’s signs on our journeys in life.
 
God bless!
–Morgan
 
“Step by faith”

Sitting on my porch step,
i study the road beyond
as if i could read its story
from all the way over here.
i dream of having the faith
to step out onto that road,
of having the trust
to leave my comfortable world
behind.

thousands of years ago
wise men stepped
onto an uncertain road,
each step taken in faith
as they followed a star
to meet the King of Kings.

no journey is perfectly sure,
but each one of us is called
to find our stories on the road,
to trust God beyond
our comfortable worlds,
to take all steps in faith,
to be brave enough to follow a star
on the road to the King.
 
 
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Step by faith by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.