When I close my eyes…

… I can see it all.
The table, decorated with autumn leaves
and burning candles.

Plates filled to the brim with food
in different shapes and colors,
exuding a seductive smell.

People who’ve known each other for years,
gathering to share a meal,
to celebrate life.

I can hear our laughter because
someone has made a bad joke,
but that’s how we are
with each other.

I can hear the stories
we tell each other,
memories of days past and
dreams of the future.

Questions and thoughts
we don’t have to keep from each other
because that’s who we are –
friends who carry
each other’s thoughts,
who hold each other’s hearts.

But when I open my eyes it’s all gone.

There’s just me sitting
at an empty table
in an empty apartment.

There’s just
an empty heart
yearning to connect
with people,
longing for
a place
to belong
and grow.

And I realize that
it won’t ever change
unless I actively walk
towards my dreams.

Unless I take small steps
towards other people
and invest in a relationship
from scratch.

Unless I give something
of myself and
trust the other person
to treat it well.

Unless I show up
for someone else,
time and time
again.

Unless I step in front of
my own door and go
where people are.

Unless I set my table
and welcome people
to join me there.


Writing for Five Minute Friday today.
Photo courtesy of Hannah Busing @Unsplash

Would You?

What would you say
if I
decided to come back?
Would you
welcome me
into your open arms?
Would you
embrace me
until I stopped
shaking?
Would you
tell me that
your love
for me
has
never
stopped
no matter
how far away
from you
I had run?
Would you
remind me
that there is
always,
always grace?
Would you
show me
what it means
to love
again,
to be in this relationship,
to believe?
Would you have
faith
for me
when I lose it
yet again?
Would you
reveal new facets about
yourself
to me?
Would you
allow me to find
you,
to know you
again?
Would you
take me by the hand
and walk with me
into this
wide space
in front of us?
Would you
show me how
beautiful
and deep
life with you can be?
Would you
teach me that being with
you
is
was
and will always be
worth it?


Writing for Five Minute Friday today.
Inspired by a story.

The “Good Life”

How do we measure a life? 
What determines the label ‘good’, ‘successful’, ‘amazing’?

The titles in front of our names?
The numbers on our bank accounts?
The mountains we have climbed in our careers?
The accomplishments we can brag about?
The size of our homes, cars, fridges?
The value of stuff we can afford?
The photos of our many glamorous vacation spots?
The relationship status?

What about the many little moments of happiness that show us what is really important?
The seemingly mundane days when we simply show up for work and are present in what we do? 
The many conversations that give our soul depth and new perspective?
The valleys that have taught us growth and endurance?
The cracks in our surface that allow the light to shine through?
What about the miraculous symphony of joy and pain that make life so incredibly rich? 

Maybe life isn’t supposed to be good.
Maybe it was created to be abundant. 


Writing for Five Minute Friday today.
Photo Credit: Unsplash

The Reward of Letting Go

I have given you my everything
performed on big stages
attended all the must-have-been-there events
showed my face with all the right people

I have read so much about you and
was quick to give an answer
or judgment
said all the rights things and
maybe
often said too much

I have worked hard for you
exhausted myself over hours
and days
and years
not realizing that life inside of me
was
running
out

I let go of my certainties and safe answers
opened my mind to what if and maybe
fell silent when voices around me grew louder
allowed doubt to sneak in

I left behind the old trodden paths
the places that told me who I was
the world of black and white
the safe realm of knowing it all

I wondered if I had made the right choice
if returning to the old ideas would make the wilderness any more bearable
if I simply thought too much and
somehow lost myself along the way
to
find that

I have discovered infinite beauty in mundane places
the rich colors life has to offer
the depth that is born out of darkness
the light that shines through the cracks

I have inhaled the scent of freedom
the life-changing difference of must and may
the peace that is found in stillness
and an honest “I don’t know yet”

I am learning that the reward of letting go
is getting to know you all over again
falling deeper into your unfathomable vastness
only to be held by who you’ve
been all along


Writing for Five Minute Friday today.

Where Are You?

Where are you
when we watch the news and can’t believe
how cruel human beings can be to each other

Where are you
when tragedy strikes so close to home
and we sink into despair deeper than an ocean

Where are you
when our cries for change seem to drown
in an endless sea of apathy and disinterest

Where are you
when our songs have become shallow
and our words sound dull

Where are you
when our questions and doubts roar so loudly
inside our hearts and minds

Where are you
when we stand alone in a wide open space
with no idea of what comes next

Where are you
when we can’t see you in our days anymore
and we have become tired from seeking you in our lives

Where are you
when we pound on your door with weary hearts and hands

You open and welcome us in 
and we realize that 

You have been here all along 
sitting in the rubbles of despair and destruction
comforting the hurting and the wounded

You are here
weeping with those hungering for peace in this world
restoring what has been broken piece by piece

You are here
meeting us in the waiting, sitting with us in the unknown
reminding us that growth happens outside our comfort zones

You are here
surprising us in places, people and situations
revealing who you are when we least expect it

You are here
rejoicing with us at the table as we gather to feast
on the goodness you have so generously given us

You are here
calling us to join you out here, in this wild beautiful life 
to be love
to bring hope
to fight for peace and justice
to be alive – with all the colors it may show.


Writing for Five Minute Friday today.

Longing for Completion

I keep drinking, eating, stuffing myself
and yet I can never get enough
I clean out the junk I buried inside my heart
only to find
that there is nothing there
just emptiness and this hunger burning inside
eating me away

There is a gap in my life
a void in my heart that cannot be filled
an unsatiable hunger for more in life
because this cannot be
it
there has to be something
deeper
higher
richer

There is this feeling of discontent and unhappiness
lingering in the back of my mind
and in the depths of my soul
silenced by busyness most of the time
but once in a while it rears its ugly head
and reminds me how needy I really am

There is this idea of being incomplete and unfinished
there is still so much learning and growing to do
so much more transformative work
to be done within and around me

There is this still conviction
this silent prayer
that one day
all hunger will be filled
and my soul will
finally
be
complete

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

C.S. Lewis


Writing for Five Minute Friday today.

Loyal

It’s a matter of priority.
To continue asking because I care about you.
To keep investing because you’re absolutely worth it. 

It’s a matter of love.
To speak with your lips what your heart contains.
To give freely because you will be given abundance. 

It’s a matter of determination.
To keep going when life pushes you around.
To continue writing when others have fallen silent.

It’s a matter of strength.
To speak up when you have lost your voice.
To stand beside you when others walk away.

It’s a matter of perspective.
To always see the good in you.
To always give my best to you.

It’s a matter of character.
It’s not something you can learn, it is something that’s inside you.
Something that might be buried under a pile of busyness or lies or brokenness, but it is there.
Waiting for you to uncover it.
To grow into it.
To be true to who you really are.
Who he said you were meant to be.


Writing for Five Minute Friday today.