Writing over Anger with Love

This poem reflects something I need to give and receive in my life now…something I’ve lost beneath blinding rage. It isn’t pretty and I need to release it and grasp on tightly to the love of God.  The poem is a critique of church rules and right ways of doing things. However, the silly lies of anger are written on my walls.  I’ve been here before, recently even.  Something clicked tonight at church, and I breathed in the life-giving breath of God.  I hope love is written on my heart, and that this time it lasts—that God’s graffiti will paint over the anger permanently—I don’t want to sink back into that angry place.

heart

God’s Graffiti

We’ve splashed our rules
all over the sanctuary walls…
so many rules we don’t have time
for dancing…
our graffiti
defiling the house of God.
God’s graffiti is different:
God writes LOVE
upon our hearts.
Some night, let’s sneak in the sanctuary
and paint over the rules
and write God’s graffiti
all over the walls…
LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE

— Ann Weems

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Lent, and Things on my mind

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD.  Lord, hear my voice!  Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications!  (Psalm 130:1,2)

Winter in Pennsylvania

I wish I could write some sort of reflection on lent, but my spirit has been drained these past few weeks. Winter has gripped my soul and I am still passing in the dark night, out of the depths. Perhaps this lent will help me transition from this place of bareness to new life. One of my lenten practices has already fell flat in this numbness–morning prayer. In fact, lately, I have been praying less and less. Other things have preoccupied my mind and body, so much that it consumes me, physically and emotionally. Past wounds are surfacing and I have come face-to-face with them. This is a time of processing, purging, and letting out long-trapped emotions.

My previous entry alludes to my purging–a confusing time in my life when I lost two of my best friends. Well, actually I did not lose them, I was thrust into a maelstrom of a fight during which my friendship with both of them together and as individuals was ripped apart.  Perceptive and self-aware, I recognized those memories and old feelings surfacing before they became twisted in the present. Now my journey in lent is colored by this edgy angst and sorrow for what happened. Caught in the need to express current emotions about past events and current emotions about current events (of all sorts)–not to mention reading about the spirituality in depression and grief for school–I am intensely wandering through an array of emotions. As a spiritual director, I believe this is healthy for me to do, to understand myself and my own emotions it is easier to accompany others in their own stuff.

And, as I have with previous entries, I turn to poetry and Scripture.   This one from the Celtic Daily Prayer Book from the Northumbria Community (pg. 227):

 This night and every night
seems infinite with questions,
and sleep as elusive
as answers.

Pain and longing are always present,
dulled only a little
by the distractions of the day.
I am weary; I am angry.
I am confused.

Circle me, Lord.
Keep despair and disillusion without.
Bring a glimmer of hope within.

Circle me, Lord;
keep nightmare without.
Bring moments of rest within.

Circle me, Lord;
keep bitterness without.
Bring an occasional sense
of Your presence within.