The Silent Voice of the Spirit

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Easter brings a time of reflection on what the meaning of the death and resurrection of Jesus means to us who are part of the Christian faith. For me it reinforces the power of God’s love in my life. Some get bogged down in rules and rituals and debates over theological interpretations, but for me the gospel boils down to Love and Grace… God’s Love for me and Grace that goes beyond all my sins.  I wrote this poem earlier this year which sums up and focuses on the way all this plays out in my life.

The Silent Voice of the Spirit
In the recesses of the mind
Where reason and conscience lie
Right along side the knowledge of good and evil
There comes a sound // not in words
But a silent voice speaking to me
Not with scream nor shout
But with a still small (silent) voice
Heard above the noise of loud voices
Clamoring for my attention
Heard above the noise of city streets
Roaring trucks and honking taxies
Above social media smart phones
Spewing out trivial pursuits
The silent voice always there.
The other option…
Some call it mystical
Others hear nothing
But I hear the silent voice of God
Speaking into my soul…
The voice that says, “I love you my child.”
“No matter what you might do,
I love you!”
“Be all you can be!”

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

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Rose Petals

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One must realize
When lying on a bed of roses
It took stems of thorns
To create such beauty
Pain // Pleasure

Grace

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Armor of Blame

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Cold steel words now cover me head to toe.
I bind cold blame around my pierced body
Thinking it proves righteous indignation.
Not the first // mine will be the second blow
A fight to the death // my sword sharp words live;
Casting blow after cutting blow I charge…
Battle-scarred, bruised, and battered we retreat…
Alone // Would be easier to forgive?
Oh, no! … for I fight alongside Id and Ego;
Too much at stake to forgive your many sins.
Blame is my protection // choking my heart;
Stand and fight // I learned defense long ago!
Forgiveness // love // leaves me vulnerable;
I go down fighting // while I am able.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today Frank , at d’Verse, asked us to write a poem that includes blame and forgiveness.  I wonder why we put ourselves through all the pain when forgiveness could save us the agony. It all comes down to being right! How could I forgive you if I am always right!!?? I believe this is the problem in our country as well.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Finding God

 

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Somewhere amid the rules and regulations
The desire for correctness
The literal interpretation….
Underneath it all we hope to find God
Buried in the guilt and shame
Of imperfection // fallenness
We lie…
Controlled by our fears
Manipulated by our insecurities
Underneath it all we hope to find God
In creeds and sacraments of blood and wine
In stories of suffering // blessing // and chosenness `
We struggle to make right our wrongs
Knowing that…
Underneath it all we hope to find God
Our prayers ascend on wings of faith
Hoping to find an opiate for our pain
A clearing and focused mind
That can see and feel that…
Underneath it all we hope to find God
We open our heart to redeeming grace
Finally realizing // it’s not what we do
Not what we say verbosely to others
It is in forgiving others // and ourselves
That we find love and acceptance
And underneath it all we find God

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Stain glass window from the WUM Church in Weddington, NC

Advent of Innocence

Advent Painting - Piercing the Darkness

Advent of Innocence
Today is the first Sunday of Advent in the Christian Faith. Emmanuel, God with us, was the prophesy of the promised Messiah. A time when God himself would take on the human embodiment to show us what it would be like to live and love in a life contradictory to the norms and darkness of the day. It is interesting to me that the Messiah came to us in the innocence of a tiny baby. The future life and sacrifice of Jesus brought forgiveness, grace, and peace to all who choose to believe.

The Word made flesh
Advent of innocence brings
Light piercing darkness

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Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Shared with the Frank Tassone Haikai Challenge. Join us at: https://frankjtassone.com/2018/12/02/haikai-challenge-63-12-2-18-advent-and-or-hanukkah-haiku-senryu-haibun-tanka-haiga-renga/

Where Were You?

 

Alan Jackson wrote this song after 9-11 reflecting on that terrible day when so many innocent people died in the collapse of the Twin Towers.  Today at d’verse, we were supposed to take a poem we wrote about 9-11 from our past writings about the event and lift some lines or words that could be used as a prompt for a poem today. Since I never wrote any poems about 9-11, I am barrowing Allen Jackson’s song “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning”.

When the news broke that a plane hit the tower

I was on a ladder working on a chimney that September day

A phone call informed me and my world stopped turning

I felt compelled to go home and watch the news

Soon after I sat down to watch.  the second plane hit

Stunned // I watched as people ran for their lives

While first responders rushed into the inferno to help

My world literally stopped turning again as I watched

The first tower // then the second tower collapse and fall

White powder from pulverized concrete billowed everywhere

How could anyone do such horrific acts against fellow human beings?

When heroic acts brought down the third plane in Pennsylvania

The world stopped turning for many people whose loved ones

Lost their lives in the misguided attacks

I wondered how anyone could forgive such actions

Then I reflected on the horrific crucifixion  of Jesus

As he cried out in his agony // Father forgive them

For they know not what they do.

Faith, Hope,  and Love

Are the good things he gave us

But the greatest is Love!

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Video from Youtube

 

 

Holy Place

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Holy Place (a Quadrille)

Burning bush // the path of guilt

Words of “I AM” searing the heart…

Mirroring my soul awry…

Calling, “Come, take off your shoes”

“Step forward”//“This is holy ground.”

Let go past laments

Rise in newness of life.

Not a building //location //nor shrine

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

We were asked by Amaya, at d”Verse, to think about Holy Places that are sacred to people. They might be shrines, locations, or buildings that people go to and find a connection to the the divine.  We are to write a poem of our choosing. I chose to write a quadrille.

Although I have great respect and high regard for what most people consider Holy Places, I find that it is not a place or a thing that brings me connection to God. It is rather the Spirit connection that has occurred in me at various times over the years. It may be through hearing the spoken word, the words of a song, an event, seeing a butterfly or bird, the birth of a baby or the ecstasy of love. It could be in church or out in the mountains. God to me is Spirit, and the place the I find our spirits connecting is a Holy Place.

Visit us at d’Verse : https://dversepoets.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Shadow of Death

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Shadow of Death
I will climb mountains with you
Celebrate birthdays and anniversaries too
Cry over the birth of our children…
And morn over the loss of our parents
But // am I willing to walk with you…
“Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death?”
*
I will struggle to make ends meet
Sacrifice myself so you can get ahead
Take the kids to ball games // cheer them on
And, kiss boo boos when knees are skinned
But // am I willing to walk with you…
“Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death?”
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Can we survive the death of a child
When cancer takes its toll
Survive the blinding demons of depression
When you no longer want to live at all
Will I be willing to walk with you…*
“Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death?”

When we have faced financial loss
And all we worked for goes down the drain
When infidelity and insecurity plague our life
And forgiveness seems the last thing on the brain
Will you walk with me…
“Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death?”
*
Relationships are tough // not all fun and games
We are guaranteed to have heartaches and pain
But // if we choose to be committed //for the rest of our life…
“Till death do us part” // as husband and wife…
We will walk together… We will always be there…
“Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death!

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Photo of Stain Glass Window at Weddington United Methodist Church – Dwight L. Roth