The Father to the Fatherless

I stood singing in Church, swaying to the beat. Then the music stopped… but only for me.

For I hear a phrase, a phrase sung all around me. A phrase that is accompanied with tears. A phrase that brings comfort and hope. A phrase that I do not understand.

The Father to the Fatherless.

I have never been fatherless.

This poetic wording is in three parts, illustrating the gold pendant with the three diamonds that adorns me. The same pendant that has made it journey from father to son, although in different forms, before it is gifted from a father to his daughter – me.

The first diamond – There is someone who is the reason why I was never without a friend. There is someone who I could not become angry with, but instead ask “why” and laugh in hysteria when the answer is “trust Me.” There is someone who holds me close, whispering gently, and protecting me from the woes of the Enemy. There is someone who is the definition of a father in its entirety. This someone is one that I call my God, my Holy Spirit, and my Savior.

The second diamond – God, when He began knitting me, knew I needed more guidance. He searched and searched, before making His divine choice. He chose a man to teach Truths, to show compassion, to provide, and to discipline me. And this man, who is called Dad, was once given his own dad to demonstrate those qualities. This father of my father, who is called Granddad, opened his home to many and invite [edit: told] the youngest of the grandchildren to come and join the Church taking place in his living room. And back to the man I call Dad, before that name was given to him, was given another dad through marriage. This father of my mother, who is called Grandpa, a man that loves and honors his wife and who possibly knows no stranger. A Grandpa who does not shy from being silly to granddaughters. A Grandpa whose actions depicts qualities of honesty, actions that does not go unnoticed by a granddaughter.

The third diamond – Now a grown woman, no longer a girl needing a secure fortress (Proverbs 14:26), yet it also states that teach a child the Truth and s/he will not depart (Proverbs 22:6). Now a grown woman, no longer a girl living with her earthly father. Just a grown woman learning to brave this world. But the first diamond, her God, knew the importance of a father. He directed her down paths, paths that her feet took her after she grew up. These paths lead her to spiritual men that are fathers and once a father, always a father. Whenever she looks around, feeling lost or broken or alone, she’ll see a trusted friend (who so happens to be older and a father) and discerns the wisdom she so needs rely in that paternal figure.

I have friends who are without fathers, whether it is because of death or sin, and it pains me that I do not know how it feels. But I do not know what it means to be fatherless. For when I am friendless or alone, I hear God whisper in my ear and I am no longer alone. For when I am sad, I feel God’s arms around me and I am glad. For when I am in need of advice, I can call my Dad. For when I need immediate assistance, I know fathers whom I trust.

I am not fatherless. I have a father, grandfathers, and men in my life who I look up to like a daughter looks up to her dad. I am not fatherless. And that is okay. For I have a God who is teaching me to see others in His eyes, to see those who are fatherless and to invite them in my life in unconditional, unadulterated love.

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers in my life. Your teachings and love and compassion does not go unnoticed.

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Where Are You? I Miss You

1,810 days ago, my grandma arrived in Heaven with blamelessness and gladness. 365 days ago, my granddad made his own journey, with the same blamelessness and gladness, and I choose to believe that he was ecstatic at seeing his wife of almost 60 years again. After all, he stayed on this earth 4 years (almost to the day) after Grandma passed away, I think he couldn’t wait another day without seeing her face that when God called him home. He was, like, “Ok, God, you’re the boss,” (after all we are called to be prepared) and then said, “Hate to impose, but when do I get to see Ann – wait, now? Yes! Wait, how do I look? Is she happy with me? How is she doing?” Okay, it probably didn’t go exactly that way…. but, a granddaughter can dream.

Anyways, this poem is for my granddad. One of the men who influenced (and still influences) my walk with Christ. He was a great man and I miss him dearly. I pray that you all have a Jim in your life.

*****

Close my eyes and I see it all
Cradled in your arms,
Asleep as you pray,
Praying for this life I’ll lead.
Then I wake –
Where are you?

Close my eyes and I see it all
You preaching in Africa
You teaching me how to effectively dry plasticware
(and not dry like Grandma, unless I want to wait until Jesus comes back)
Then I wake –
Where are you?

Close my eyes and I see it all
You at the kitchen table
You praying for others
You interceding for others
Then I wake –
Where are you?

Close my eyes and I see it all
Dress in black, somber expressions
Assembly line
You hug me, choking out words that I needed so dearly
Then I wake –
Where are you?

Close my eyes and I see it all
You asking about me
As your mind struggles,
Yet your heart vies for victory.
Then I wake –
Where are you?

Close my eyes and I see a dream
Walking in that house on N. College
Hugging Grandma, hugging you,
Maybe I’m with someone, maybe I’m not.
But it’s Now
And I am happy as can be.
Then I wake –
Where are you?

Open my eyes and I see reality
A year is upon us,
You have been united with her
You have been rewarded by God
Your heart has been victorious

And, although, my heart rejoices,
I still feel a twinge,
A splinter of sorrow
When you cross my mind.

I love you, Granddad.

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Motherhood: Something More

This is in three parts…

 

There is a mother who opened her home and heart to children without a mother’s love for five years and yet still showed unconditional love to the four daughters of her own. There is a mother who demonstrated great love to her students, missionaries, and – above all – her two daughters and one son. They were ordinary people, but these mothers were given special names: Mama and Mom, respectively. And these special names earned them new ones: Grandmother and Grandma, as well as GG when a newer generation arrived.

 

The two family joined with the union of the oldest of the four daughters and the only son. The oldest daughter, just like her mother before her, became a mother until she, too, was gifted with the name of Mom at four different occasions by four different people. She showed strength and humility, but possessed an ability to speak up for the oppressed. Like all roles of motherhood, it transitioned from teaching and disciplining to that of advising and guiding. She is given a new name as a new generation arrives: Agogo.

 

Motherhood – a job that is never fully thank with the exception of once a year. It is a job that many has cited to be “more than a job,” a quote, in which, from an outsider’s perspective, I am inclined to believe. It is a role where if one truly takes motherhood (for all its joy and tears) then it’ll seep into the mother’s other relationship for it becomes a trait.¬† Here’s to the mothers who have lost a child (whether by death or worldly sin). Here’s to the expectant mothers anticipating the day they’ll meet their baby.¬†Here’s to the mothers who have moved their child to college. Here’s to the mothers who have children and/or grandchildren celebrating them. Here’s to the mothers who have departed from this world. Here’s to the mothers who are of adoption, marriage, or of spiritual sense.

To all those who represents motherhood: You are Someone’s Mom. Thank you for all you do.

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No More Tears

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:4

The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

 

 

 

As a child I was taught
I’ll be a new creation.
I was taught
I’ll be Your bride.

Yet I wonder, I wonder,
What that day will be

Will my vision be obstructed,
Will Your beauty be unseen?
Will I choke, will I cry?

Will I feel unworthy?
Will I fall, turn my eyes away?

I think of my granddad and his arrival
Did he smile, greet You with wide arms?
Or tremble, did he fall?

Did you wipe all those tears,
Giving back 20/20?
Did you sing over him,
How wonderful that it is that he answered the Call?

I wonder, oh I wonder,
If You turned Granddad to the Gates
Whispering three words.

 

 

As a child I was taught
I’ll be a new creation.
I was taught
There will be no more tears.

Yet, I wonder, I wonder,
What that day will be.

Will I smile, greet You with wide arms?
Or tremble, will I fall?
Will my tears – caused by Your splendor –
Weaken my self-worth?

 

 

As a child I was taught
I’ll be a new creation.
I was taught
I’ll be Your bride.

Yet, I wonder, I wonder
What that day will be.

I believe tears would be no more
An illustration of grace drawn up
The Lord, my God, will wipe my tears away,

The Lord, my God, will give back 20/20
Wiping tears so that I may see His Face.
He’ll whisper three words
Granting me access beyond the Gates.

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#walkup

Fleas buzz around,
densing this world of hunger and sickness.
Smiles of falsehoods
Hid the scars away.

I don’t want to see it

Someone lost and broken and alone
I want to see their worth,
not their addictions

Someone lost and broken and alone
I want to see their heart,
not their struggles

Someone lost and broken and alone
I want to give love
I ant to give hope
I want to give faith
Because they are humans

When I give, may it not be out of fear
or the pride of “doing right.”
When I give, may it be out of genuine love.

“For I was crucify with Christ,
It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.
The life I live in flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God –
the very same who loved me and gave up His life for me.” (1)

This I pray:
For a heart of humility
For a heart of gentleness
For a heart of purity
For a heart of Christ

Happy Easter! #walkup is now trending due to recent school shootings. I have read both sides of the issues. Some are for it and others are against it, citing that it would only elicit fear toward the other classmates. I don’t agree. For me, #walkup is learning to see people for their worth.

There’s a song written by Gary Chapman and it was performed by Amy Grant. It is called “Father’s Eyes.” It is a prayer that your eyes will see the way that our Heavenly Father sees things. That is my prayer.

I do not want to see the homeless as homeless, a victim as a victim, someone in poverty as someone in poverty, nor the quiet kid as a quiet kid. Yes, I want to help them, but when I see the person for the very first time I want to see the same thing that God sees. I want to see the person’s worth, see their full potential. Because, just like me, they are sinful humans. I want to help a homeless, knowing that he or she could be the one to find a cure for cancer. I want to bring victims to safety, knowing that there’s a rainbow around the bend. I want to give to someone in poverty, knowing they could, one day, start their own charity. I want to befriend the quiet kid, knowing of the beautiful character they have within themselves. God knows you and me (Psalm 139:1-5); I want to be like Him.

(1) Galatians 2:20

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The Pursuit

I ran on the hill,
Swerving in and out of the darkened path
In pursuit of my brothers and cousin.
Never give up, I pant

As a girl I lived for chases
Yet now the joy’s obsolete,
An artifact up on display.

I’ve seen the hillside of my youth
It is an once-upon-a-time
From the inside looking out

Yet prayers of energy
Yet prayers of pure hearts
Yet prayers of immense joy
Cry out from within me

What if the energy is dampened?
What if the purity is clouded?
What if the joy is buried?

Unleash
Unfog
Uncover

What if your inner-child’s suppressed?

There’s this hillside, located in the foothills of the Southern Rockies and the side yard of a dining hall. I wish I have a picture. It is not anything special, but a hill with a building on top and a tree-covered path in the middle of hill. It was to the side of the building, you will reach the spot by exiting the doors closest to the restrooms. As a girl, in the late nineties or early 2000s, I used to go out to the spot with my older brothers and cousin (as the adults finish eating and/or talk grown-up stuff) and we will play. Usually it’ll be a tag game (which I now know to be a smaller version of The Blob) where I was always “it” and it brought me such joy to catch everyone else, particularly the two oldest. I mean, I was the littlest and smallest, so if I was able to catch someone 7-10 years older than me, it was a big deal.

That game never got old for me. I think back to that time fondly. Recalling how it made me feel. When I worked at that place, sometimes I will stop and look out. I will remember everything. I will remember chasing after my brothers, the purple hood of my jacket falling off (the purple hood was a very important factor of the game, I can’t believe I almost forgot that part. I won’t say the whole reason but that I was obsess with the color purple and family members would remember a certain vowel sound I liked to hold). I will get sad though, because I have grown up and my child-like wonder and joy had faded like my girlhood.

Sometimes I think we think once we pass through the threshold of adulthood, childhood is gone and there’s no turning back. That we easily grow wearisome of the pursuit to do God’s Will. But Jesus said that the greatest is one who has faith like a child. Doesn’t that mean that we can go back to that time of our lives? Why can’t we have the same joy, energy, and purity like I had as a child chasing after my brothers?

What if we still have that?

What if the responsibilities of adulthood suppresses that child-like faith?

What if we pursue God with the same joy like we have had as a child?

Glorieta, New Mexico
The gazebo to the right and the cross in the middle reminds me of Jesus’ life. He was born a king in a stable and died a king on an old, rugged cross.

Glorieta, New Mexico
I have a distinct memory of climbing up these stairs to visit Granddad and Grandma. I think I even stayed in the same room in the summer of 2014. I could be wrong, but in my heart it is forever true.

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A Bird Flew

A bird flew,
wings outstretched,
soaring through the blue skies

A man weeps,
for a place setting is gone.

A bird flew,
wings downward,
diving to the green grass

A woman weeps,
for traditions deemed to be useless

A bird flew,
wings flap,
spiraling up to the white clouds

A child weeps,
for childhood is fleeting

A bird flew,
wings outstretched,
a seed falls.

A man arose,
catching the seed,
and goes inside.

A woman arose,
catching the seed,
and goes inside.

A child arose,
catching the seed,
and goes inside.

An empty place setting can mean
“not today, but one day.”
A broken tradition can mean
“remembrance.”
A fleeting childhood can mean
“live a life like they would’ve wanted.’

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26

Seed means growth, because out of a seed can grow fruit and vegetation. It can grow life. Christmas is upon us and there are some who would not be celebrating with a loved one, whether it is because the person greeted death or a thorn was wedged between them. It is a sorrow regardless. It is not a tragedy, because sometimes hardships have to be endured for the seed to take root.

This poem is for all those who won’t be celebrating Christmas with a loved one. This poem is for all those who are hurting, to be reminded that grief is good and that it is okay to think of them.

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