I Am Mud

I am such a mess.
The rain falls on my soil,
And for a while I am mud.

No hint of fertility.
No hint of growth.
No hint of flowers.

Mud is self-forgetful,
A confusion of gift,
A profusion of promise.

The day will seed to my substance,
Serendipity and surprise,
Plantings for the morrow.

I shall lie here,
Loving my mud,
Waiting for the Sun.

© 2016 Joann Nelander

Under the Fig Tree

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“I Saw You Under the Fig Tree.”

All our yesterdays are forgotten
With the rush of Tomorrow.
All the words fade away.
Images are fleeting.
All praise passes into oblivion.
The compliments lost,
As unrecorded history.

All things are sand
Falling through the fingers of the Future.
None endure the winds of Time.

So, what of me?
What is the why of me?
Why do You long for me?
I feel your desire pleading
In all about me.

“I saw you under the fig tree.”
What did you see of me, O Lord?
Did you see my yearning?
Were You witness to my sin?
Did you hear the prayer I whispered,
The call of my heart.

Did you see resolve written on my face?
Did you see the love
Swelling my heart?
What did you see of me, Oh Lord,
Under the fig tree?

Because You saw me
Under the fig tree,
My heart opens to see You.
You reveal a world and love
Beyond all that is matter,
Beyond all that once mattered,
Surpassing all that is,
A world of God ,
A world of God in all,
And for all,
Dying to live in all.

I didn’t see You,
Until now,
This precious Now,
Surviving my mortality,
With the reason of my being,
With the holy vision of Thou.

© 2016 Joann Nelander

Love’s Reach

I reach for You
With my life,
All my life.

It is not for naught,
That You labored,
Bore my sins.

I reach for You
With my thoughts.
In the night,
I contemplate Your Dying.

Writhing in agony,
Alone with hell’s phantoms,
Blood called
From Your flesh.
More than a drop
Spoke my name.

Here in the dark,
The echo resounds,
Scatters my foes.

I reach for You
With my heart,
All my heart.

The scourge,
The nails,
The Cross,
Crown Your life,
Given for my life.

You reach out,
Nailed to Your Cross,
Stretched across the ages.
I am but one
Who feels Your Pain.

Your Passion reaches me,
Saves my life,
All my life.

Copyright 2013 Joann Nelander

All rights reserved

A Thousand Little Moments

I fail and I fall.
“Yes, Father, it’s me, again.”
My prayers and tears reach Your heart with plaintiff sighs.

I reach for Love, as a baby grasps the finger,
Securing You to my heart,
Binding You by trifles.
A thousand little moments, like a knitter’s weave,
Trivial triumphs conquering like souls,
For made in Your image, I desire only You.

Of wooing, my begging be a part.
I turn, my God, to You, as a prayer with every care.
Prayer and tears, now, all one,
I nestle to Your breast and am all ear.

I listen as beat upon beat,
Love’s rhythm reassures me of the next,
And, of Your eternal constancy.
I listen, as for a whisper, and fear not
Whisper every care, and fretful prayer.

I reach for You with every breath,
And sigh when You draw nigh.
You answer with a mother’s warmth,
Bending low, picking me up, and pressing me
To Your consoling bosom.

“What is it my child. Am I not here? Haven’t I given you all?”
You kiss away my tears
And delight in the exchange.
I have given nothing but complaint,
Yet, You are full of smiles.

A thousand little moments knit our day.
I cry and You comfort.
I beckon and You bend in kind regard.
You draw me into that chamber,
In which I was formed,
That hallowed space,
In which my time began.

Heaven and rest contained
In one all holy Name.
Name me, my God,
And I will come into being,
Called forth from my darkness
Into Your marvelous Day.

All our moments measured by Your mercy,
I cry out for a heart made unto Your own,
That I may grow to give Your Love.
Love begetting love, for love alone.

Fear of The Lord – Poem

The merciful hand of the Lord
Is upon me.
It is a fearful thing
To fall into the Hand
Of the Living God
He metes out judgment,
And punishment due.
Why then, do I lift my voice
In praise and thanksgiving?

In an instant,
I saw my desert.
Fear and trembling seized me,
As my mercy-cry
Pierced the darkness.

Caught in my descent,
His Hand reached
Into my Hell.
It is in my nature to fall,
In His nature
To show mercy.

His end is my good.
Even in judgment,
Mercy shows His Face.
Punished, I am now free.
Seeing His mercy
In His rendering of scourge,
I trust,
As once I feared to do.

May His Hand always
Be upon me,
As fear of the Lord,
Befriends me.

©2012 Joann Nelander All rights reserved

I Watched a Friend at Prayer

I watched a friend at prayer.
From the moment her eyes
Met Yours on the Cross,
She was enraptured.

What is it that passes between like souls?
The gulf between You, God,
And Your creature is unfathomable,
Yet, Your love spans the distance and dissimilarity
With the intimacy of a mother
Suckling her infant,
All giving, all gift and all grace.

I watched my friend at prayer.
The world about her changed.
A holy space surrounded her,
As angels hurried to and fro,
Now bowing, now prostrate, now adoring.

All prayer unites,
As earth receives its Savior-God,
As Man exercises dominion,
Freed from Sin and chains.

Angels in swift flight,
Aloft on mission-wings ,
Now ascending,
Now descending.

Peace on earth
To men of good will,
As Time and Eternity kiss,
Love knowing no distance.

I watched my friend at prayer,
As her prayer became my prayer,
You drawing all to Yourself.
Draw me now,
And all will in turn
Run after the odor of Your ointments.

 ©2011 Joann Nelander