The Wall

I stood alone behind
My self-made wall of fear and pride.
It kep the world locked out
(Me with my fears, locked up inside).
There were no doors or windows
In this fortress I had made
(I couldn’t take a chance
Someone would see my guilt and shame).

One day, you knocked upon my wall
And old me of a light–
The light of God’s acceptance
That could put my fears to flight.
You said if I surrendered,
Laying down my will, my pride,
That He would be my fortress–
(There’d be no more need to hide).

Carefully, with trembling hands,
I lifted off one brick.
Then I removed another
(Thought I wasn’t moving quick!).
A ray of light came shining
Through the window I had made–
As time went on, I found
I was a little less afraid.

I took more bricks down one by one
Until I built a door.
Then I ventured out
(A risk I couldn’t take before!).
Not only did I tip-toe out–
I let some people in.
They weren’t a threat–
They were a joy!
I found some special friends.

I built an altar from those bricks,
Offered up my fear and pride,
Then found to my amazement–
There was more room for peace inside!
Tearing down my fortress
Was the beginning of hope for me.
Now life is becoming better
Than I ever dreamed it could be

Letting Go (poem)

Letting go of what’s behind,
Embracing what’s ahead,
Going through the changes
As I feel I have been led.

Accepting possibilities
To learn and trust and grow.
Believing when I ask His will
He’ll give me grace to know.

Grasping for serenity
And fragile peace of mind
Praying for the power
To do what I may find.

I make now this commitment
(which I know won’t be the last
for it is but a stepping stone
along this winding path)
So now that I have given it
My all, my very best,
I have to LET IT GO
And trust in Him to do the rest.

August 28, 1988

Don’t Look Back (Poem)

The road looks so uncertain
Although you’re really hurtin’ –
You wonder ’bout the choice that you have made
To commit to real life changing
And permanent rearanging
Is enough to make us all a bit afraid.

But on the path you’re moving
There’s sure to be improving
And with each step comes strength to carry on.
For one day at a time
By God’s grace we shall find
That in our weakness we can be made strong.

So don’t look back, my brother.
Take one step then another
And the strength you need will surely be revealed.
As you choose to walk this pathway,
Please know you chose the right way
And in your life His grace will be revealed.

(written for a friend, August 12, 1988, as he was on his way to treatment….
he died this week clean and sober, restored to his kids, grandkids and great grandkids, and loved by a lot of folks in his community who had been encouraged by his gentleness and kindness and helped out by his practical assistance in so many ways….gonna miss you, Tim).

Experience, Strength and Hope (poem)

Trembling inside, I walked through that door
Unsure just what I was looking for
But hoping that somehow there’d be a way
To find the strength for another day.

I hid in a chair in the back of the place
Averting my eyes from each friendly face.
Afraid of being rejected again
And not expecting to find a friend.

Experience shared gave me strength to hope
As I heard how the others have coped
With the things that threatened to do them in-
How they’re learning to trust and starting to mend.

But as the meeting neared its close
I heard these words and my heart froze–
“Anyone else? How ’bout the blond?”
(Oh LORD, how I wished that I was gone!)

I couldn’t run – made a quick reply,
Curled up inside and wanted to cry.
As soon as I could I headed for home
Too scared to reach out, staying safe but alone.

As I went down the highway I started to see
The wonderful gift that had been given to me.
Acceptance had been there when I walked in the door
‘Cause each of those present walked in these shoes before.

The fear and the pain to them were nothing new.
They didn’t crowd my space ’cause they’d been through it too.
Now by that acceptance I’m drawn back again
To experience the strength and the hope of these friends.

The Nowhere Track (Poem)

She’s looking back
to the nowhere track
That self-made hell
where drunks and addicts dwell.

Torment inside —
Emotional downhill slide.
Didn’t think to make a call.
Set herself up to fall.

What a fearful place
Alone again to face
That choosing the easier way
Means with her life she’d pay.

Thank God, she can’t forget–
(The memories haunt her yet)
As to her knees she falls
And for deliverance calls:

God of my sanity,
Quick! Calm the storm in me!
The waves are oh so high.
I cannot see the sky.
The boat is shakin, Lord.
I cannot find the oars.
Help me choose life again,
Let go and let you in.
I surrender, Lord,
‘Cause I can’t afford
To do it any other way.

1988