Tag Archives: exhaustion

Exquisitely Tender

I’m doing my best to play on through the pain
Putting on my bravest face as I try make it through
Yet, somehow my soul is exquisitely tender today
As if some wound on my heart was bleeding underneath
And I know that at the slightest touch the façade I wear
Might fall away as the pain comes pouring out
If I had a choice I would retreat away from the world
Like a wounded animal not wanting to snap out
At those who might inadvertently make things worse
And if tear would fall from these stoic eyes I wonder
What types of tears they might be:
Would they be tears of rage or pain or fear or confusion?
For perhaps the worst part is I don’t know what to feel or why I hurt
I just know that I am exquisitely tender and I’m doing all I can
To hold it together and keep my temper from flaring
And my emotions from falling apart under the strain
And like a repetitive stress injury it just needs time and space
To heal and to be isolated from the stress that broke it in the first place
And yet, it seems, that there is no protective cast or brace
No doctor’s orders or physical therapist’s demands
Or balm in Gilead to magically heal the sensitive soul

The Unforced Rhythms of Grace

Jozsef Somogyi's statue of the Tired Man in Mako, Hungary

Jozsef Somogyi’s statue of the Tired Man in Mako, Hungary

It is not the unreachable bar of perfection that we strive to attain day after day
The unending race to outpace our neighbors, our competitors or ourselves
It is not the daily grind of constantly trying to achieve and be seen that we need
It is not the frown of some angry and unappeasable god condemning us to perdition
But rather it is an invitation to lay down the heavy burdens of an alien religiosity
And enter into the unforced rhythms of grace, to know the shalom of the cosmos
The kingdom of heaven brought into our midst by the one who comes to take away our yokes
Yokes of wood and iron and steel wrought in our own striving to play god
So that we might look down on the world as its master
The burdens of carrying the expectations of others in the harsh summer of judgment
The expectation that Sabbath is wasted time
That the lords of commerce hold the keys to the kingdom
Come to me, all you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest
I will offer you the rest of creation’s Sabbath
In the wilderness, away from the cries of the city
Come and sit and learn the unforced rhythms of grace
That learning to be the people of God involves learning to rest in peace
That my shalom I give to you, not as the world gives
But in the undying love of a creator that offers the dreams of a kingdom
It is more about surrender and less about control
It is the way, the truth, and the life you seek not for some distant future
But it is an invitation to learn the unforced rhythms of grace
Precisely in your time of being overburdened, tired and beaten down
Enter my Sabbath, my kingdom, take upon you a far lighter and more graceful yoke
And I will give you rest.
Neil White, 2014

Empty Wells: A Poem


When the wells of the soul run dry
From watering and nourishing the fruit of the vine
In the middle of the wilderness
Do we accept that drought is a part of life
That every day, every season, every year cannot produce a bumper crop
Do we migrate to new watering holes, abandoning the old vines
Seeking fertile pastures with abundant water
Do we drill deeper into the will and the spirit trying to wrest from the barren ground
Some new spiritual spring hidden deep within, some reserve that may or may not be there
Digging deeper so that we may truly exhaust the waters of life
Or do we pray for rain?

Neil White 2013

purple rose 01 by picsofflowers.blogspot.com