Making work out of words-- Artist denied? Of commas, conjunctions, connotations-- Contrived? Trading fun in for form Or Innate for refined? Rather Opening, growing, guiding the mind? Devotion--Emotion-- First talent…Now skill? Poetry--in motion.
It can be uncomfortable to have our eyes "opened" to certain subjects in life. It can be even more unpleasant to have them opened for a second or third time. Today was a great day for that, a painfully wonderful day, an emotionally and spiritually challenging day. Today I listened to stories of pain and passion around me and I felt my own eyes hold back tears. Again. I've felt this sympathy before, stemming from similar pains and passions in the lives of my students and my colleagues. But every time I hear their stories, I feel like I'm more aware than before, and more defeated.
And it leaves me wondering: Why do we often fail so miserably at loving people? We all know what it's like to feel undervalued, unnoticed, or unworthy. But why do we so rarely break the cycle? Even if we don't feel loved by others, we can still show them the love we know they need! Love is still a wonderful thing, even when it only goes in one direction.
Today I asked my students to reflect on the following quote. The response was more divided than I'd predicted it would be. So now I'm curious as to how other people see it! Anyone willing to share your thoughts? "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." ~George Bernard Shaw
I shared these thoughts with our FCA students this week. I hope it inspires them, and I hope I can live up to my own ideals. I believe we are called to demonstrate a Love that is greater than our own human nature can supply.
One of my favorite quotes about being a Christian:
“As a Christian, the greatest influence you can have on those around you is…just not be a jerk.” (Sean Lumsden, Living Hope Church ☺)
*But then again, any non-Christian can also “not be a jerk.” So what would make me different?
God’s love v. man’s love
*Unless I pursue God and truly understand his love, I can only love out of my own human capacity. Since humans fail, my love will also inevitably fail. Sadly, sometimes my love will…be impatient, envious, proud, snippy, selfish, feel like giving up on someone, lose hope.
*What does 1 Cor 13:1-7 say about God’s love in the face of those failures? If I speak in the tongue of men and of a…
Lately, I've been pondering old thoughts again. I'm assuming that at some point, everyone finds a quote or verse of some kind that just sticks with them throughout their life. For me, that quote has always been Galatians 5:22, the Fruits of the Spirit. It's all too easy to get caught up in the excitement, goals, fears, and drama of daily life, but when I remember to compare my daily endeavors to these fruits, life finally comes back into focus.
So tonight I've been praying that I can begin to live with "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control" again. I've re-decided that I need to evaluate any goals, choices, statements, or happiness according to that list. Is that goal based on patience? Is this word or choice based on love? And so on. It's just disheartening to know how easily I forget about these things...So here I go again, I'm reminding myself (and anyone else who wants to join me?) t…
When I was there, that's who I wasbut I moved on and climbed above. Or so I thought 'til your return-- Took hold, refused to let me run. It's not your place to choose, decide, To call me by your Name, not Mine-- To make me feel two inches tall is all You did when I was small-- Now with you here, grows only fear Of How can I continue where I'm strong and free and on my own When you refuse to let me go?
If they knew how this heart bled with theirs, Would they see our pain's the same? If they saw the sweat and heard the tears, Would they see I'm torn down too? Or would these...weaknesses...confirm I am as flawed as they've assumed?
Sometimes I am SO inspired by my job! Just when I think I should call it quits, my kids pull through for me and remind me of all there is to love in literature and in working with such amazing students. Today, during our poetry lesson several classes asked if I really think that poets put all the effort into their poetry that we try to squeeze out of them. I based my answers on my own creation of music, poetry, and choreography. In both classes, my explanation was something to this effect: I think poetry is often a combination of natural talent and skillful writing. At the most basic level, poets are poets because they instinctively associate words in ways the rest of us don't; words naturally flow from them with sophistication and beauty. But I also believe that when a great poet encounters a glitch in his writing process, he knows how to draw from his skill and training; he knows how to use his head to compensate when the words from his heart are insufficient. It's the sa…