Sunday, 26 October 2014

Heartbroken

Heartbroken…

My hopes fading,
falling victim to fears.
Fears that hold up a mirror,
and take my pain and enlarge it to claim,
all of the years still ahead.

Heartbroken….

My dreams stolen,
before they’ve hardly drawn breath.
The way forward, too coloured by the past,
that there seems nothing on which to build,
a new hope, a foundation to last.


So heartbroken…

My optimism is shaken,
taken hostage by doubt.
Until the future I saw as certain to be ours,
fades, until even my faith can’t resurrect,
the hopes of my despairing heart.

So heartbroken

That even your promises
can’t seem to shine their light,
into the crevices, the cracks that
will refuse to mend; while the pressure remains,
while the stresses strain, and the darts hit their mark.


God…

so heartbroken

I fail to understand
that my brokenness is your ministry.
That only your comfort, your tender love
can heal the parts that need your touch,
can ensure the past will not corrupt, the future you would have for us.

So God…

I place my heart in your hands.

Broken and tender.
Bruised and surrendered.
Subdued in your grasp, so that you may use my tears as balm.
To shore up the cracks, that in you I may be intact,
restored to strength once again - in your embrace.

Ana Lisa de Jong
September 2014



"His left arm is under my head, and his right arm embraces me”
Song of Solomon 2:6 

Hauraki Gulf, Auckland, New Zealand

Without Love

Without love,
who would I be?
It does more than cover a multitude of sins.

It puts up a mirror.
It shows me the self that, in Him I’ve always been.
The person whom, without love, I could never believe myself to be…

Without His love reminding me,
of the beauty he sees in me.


Without love,
where would I be?
It does so much more than draw me home.

It provides a haven.
A place where I may lay it all down.
A place where my longings are at rest, and my restlessness tamed.

For love gives me a reason to return,
and a need to remain.


Without love,
why would I believe?
It does more than assure me of my right to be His.

It accepts and affirms me.
It seeks me relentlessly.
It says of me, “You are worthy beyond compare, and loved beyond belief.”

And so love then becomes my reason,
and in response to Him, I become His gift.


Without love,
how can I live?
It does more than give me breath.

It takes my heart, from upside-down
and turns it right around.
It takes my eyes, intently fixed, and instead turns them heaven-bound.

Until love then is all I see,
and in love I am found, and set free.

Ana Lisa de Jong
October 2014



Hidden in Him

You are hidden close in Him,
and His life is in you.
His greatness contained in your small frame.
Your life guarded, and in His hand enclosed.

Who would you be, if you could truly believe,
if you could comprehend, what you held inside?
Would you recognise his heart beat in time with yours?
Would you feel, coming like a flood, the fullness of His life?

Who would you be, if you could truly understand,
that He treasures you, like His most dear and precious find?
Each one of us imperfect, fragile, but hemmed in near.
Each one of us, the much desired, much loved, apple of His eye.

You are hidden from shame, sheltered far from pain,
and the unkind glare of a fallen world.
In every need, your defender comes to your aid,
and guarded by His wings, you are kept shielded and secure.

Who is He who both keeps us, and is kept by us?
Who is He who both infuses and envelops us?
If we could allow Him to penetrate, and fill us,
would we then understand that His plan for us is ‘one-ness’?

A return to the Creator, who is both our source and maker.
A return to the home from whence we came.
Back to Him, from whom our DNA originated,
the author of each and every one of our cells.

What does it feel like for us to come home?
To know His life in us, and know by Him our lives are held?
To truly believe there is a haven from our fears,
a retreat to safety, and a God who wants us near.


It feels, it feels like finally knowing…
knowing we are hidden close, at home with Him.
Knowing that His life is inscribed within.
His greatness contained in our small frame, and we in His hands encompassed.

Ana Lisa de Jong
October 2014
Brisbane Botanical Gardens, Brisbane, Australia

Sunset


The clouds.
I watch them change. 
From pink to purple, to yellow, to silver.
And I notice that,
whatever their hue,
though they may change to grey,
and reflect the sombre shade,
of my heart;
I still see the blue,
behind them still.

And the blue.
The blue remains.
Though the winds blow,
and the clouds skim,
across a sky forever,
in a state of change.
The blue stays true.
Showing us that it’s what’s behind,
not the forefront,
which we must hang on to.

Our feelings.
Simply an artist’s palette.
Every shade of light and dark,
shifting across our days and nights;
determining our view,
shaping our lives.
But even when the sun sets
and darkness draws in cold,
the blue returns when morning dawns,
although it was never gone.

Ana Lisa de Jong
October 2014

Whananaki North, Northland, New Zealand

Monday, 18 August 2014

Guidance


God’s guidance is as gentle as,
the nudge of the rein to a horse that’s willing.
But without our will in tune with Him,
we carry on blind, impaired of our vision.

Without our eyes on Him, as he leads,
we charge to the front, as though we had foresight to see;
all the lay of the land,
that we’re never meant to perceive.

For the knowledge and the wisdom rests in Him.
With our intelligence, all our education,
we cannot even begin,
to navigate our way, to seek to untangle the string…

of all the choices, all the feelings,
all the myriad of motives and opinions;
that have brought us to where we are today,
wholly dependent on Him to highlight our way.

Lost but found, poor but rich,
reminded of our need to submit.
Reminded of our need to draw into line -
so that we can be guided, rather than blindly lead from behind.

God’s guidance as gentle as,
the pull of the bit to a horse that’s willing.
It only knows what its master deems to reveal.
His way made clear to us, only as we yield.

Ana Lisa de Jong
August 2014



”We look to Jehovah, our God, for his mercy and kindness, just as a servant keeps his eyes upon his master, or a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal.”
Psalm 123:2
Northland, New Zealand

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Black and Blue

Oh God….

Black and blue, I come to you.
Bruised and empty,
I pray you’ll quench me,
of this thirst for you….

Of this thirst for joy -
renewed.
For strength, faith
and hope to flow through.

My barren heart,
like a desert parched,
broken, and
in need of you.

For the well is dry.
And I torn in two,
try to stand,
fruitlessly,

on a foundation
come unglued.


Oh God….

Where are you?
No words left
to call to you.
I can only silently,

Trust in your
endless mercy.
I can only
parched and thirsty…

Plead for rain.
Like the dry and broken land,
suffering
without you.

But I know 
you haven’t left me
and your springs
deep, eternal...

Will rise up to renew me.
Fill the well
that’s empty, thirsty,
with a love that can continue…

With a source
that can re-fuel me,
to carry on until
tomorrow.


Oh God….

Black and blue, I come to you
Bruised and empty,
praying you’ll
strengthen me.

Shaky on a
broken foundation;
still dependent
on your healing.

Still grasping
for your hand;
to comfort and
enable me,

To hold on, and
not relinquish;
a desperate, hope-driven
expectation....

of a different ending.

Ana Lisa de Jong
July 2014


To the Sun


There is hope for a tree,
if cut down, it buds again at the scent of water.
There is hope for us.
In your tender mercy,
our failings are not fatal,
and our missteps only temporary.
For you steady us when we falter,
and you promise us eternity.

You turn us back toward you,
as a tree grows to the sun.
As its roots search out sustenance
we seek the only one,
who satisfies…
And to whom we lift our face,
to whom we re-affirm our faith,
the author and the giver of all grace.

There is hope for the pot,
that is not responding  as it should.
For the potter holds the wheel,
the artist the brush.  Just in art there’s no mistake,
the designer will not rush.
Sometimes with great intent,
he’ll re-mould his design,
so that with all creation, he may announce it as “good”.

So we can believe when he speaks of eternity,
of ‘new covenants’ that wash us clean.
At the scent of water we can re-bud,
though we may feel dead in the ground.
We can have faith in his goodness and mercy,
that follows us to where-ever we have run.
We can respond as the tree, as the pot, -
let him change us, and turn us to the sun.

Ana Lisa de Jong
July 2014



"For there is a hope for a tree.  If it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its tender shoots will not cease.  Though its root may grow old in the earth, and its stump may die in the ground. Yet at the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth branches like a plant"
Job 14:7-9

"surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever"
Psalm 23:6

"God saw all that he made, and it was very good"
Genesis 1:31







Why

When did pain come to stay?
Or fear pull up a chair,
make himself so at home,
so that we see his face as we lie, sleepless and alone.

When did grievances grow so great,
that they must come out,
in screams of hurt -
and cries of hate.

What did we do? Or fail to do?
Did we love to much,
or give in too soon?
How do we assure him that our love runs true?

Why must he test it
as though only to prove,
to himself, he’s unworthy
of the love that he spurns.

And why has our home,
once a place of peace and safety,
become a prison and a battleground,
rather than a sanctuary.

Where do we hear the answer to our prayers?
Where do we run?
To whom do we flee,
when we long to escape our misery.

I feel you whisper, “run to me.
I am safer than any sanctuary.
And I am stronger than the strongest wall.
Lean on me and you will not fall.

I will give you a place to hide.
Come near to me and be restored.
For I soothe the tender aching heart,
and strengthen the battle-worn.

So say to pain, ‘your time’s almost done’.
And to fear, ‘you’re not welcome here anymore’.
I have a purpose and a plan,
and no grievance against my love can stand.

No failure is ever irredeemable,
and no broken heart irreparable.
Every story is written with my handprint
every life lives, a creation of my handiwork”


Ana Lisa de Jong
June 2014


“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made
your works are wonderful
I know that full well.”
Psalm 139:14




Thursday, 19 June 2014

Joy

Joy is in the middle.
Whoever thought joy was at the end;
at the end of our afflictions, trials and suffering - 

was wrong.  Its right in the centre of things.

Joy takes us by surprise.
When we thought that all was dark.
Joy's in the glow that glints; through the curtains drawn,
and leads us to search out the light.


And as joy sits at our feet,
we scan the horizon far.
Looking for an answer, or a reason -
not believing - that peace is ours right now.


Joy is the anchor that holds,
while the sea is churning rough.
While the love runs out - runs cold -
and the vessel's tossed to and fro.


Joy continues to hold.
Its strength made perfect in weakness.
Its grace continuing to absolve us,
of shame, of guilt, of faithlessness.


Joy keeps us fighting, keeps us grasping -
to hope, to a future way.
As a laser that pierces the night sky,
it points out the coming of day.


Yes, joy is in the middle.
Whoever thought joy was at the end;
at the end of our afflictions, trials and suffering - 

was wrong.  Its right in the centre of things.

Ana Lisa de Jong
June 2014


"...and not only that, but we also glory in tribulations."
Romans 5:3





Elliott Bay, Northland, New Zealand






Sunday, 1 June 2014

Hope

If  ‘Hope is a thing with feathers that perches in the soul’,
then too many knocks and trials can tend to make it fall.
And for a moment we can wonder where hope has fled,
when the dark clouds shield the sun, and our dreams die unrealised.

When our Plan A’s become Plan B’s we didn’t envisage,
when our optimism is faltering and tears blind our vision.
It’s hard to believe that God’s plans can’t be shaken.
His ways are not our ways – and we won’t be forsaken.

That even in the valley we can be safe in his will.
Even in the storm we can find shelter still.
In the stillness of His presence, where hope resides,
we can renew our strength; and realign ourselves…

To a future that may look different to the one we’ve imagined.
But which we can trust by whose hand it is fashioned.
Though to all appearances it may shatter our dreams,
and break our very hearts, until we recast our vision.

If ‘hope is a thing with feathers that perches in the soul’
then hope, though it may fall, may yet ‘spring eternal’.
And with wings, we have the freedom to take what we’re dealt,
and make something new out of what seems set in concrete.

Make something beautiful out of the present reality,
though it be rough and stormy, and hard to stay steady.
Make something precious out of all the broken pieces.
As in hand with Him we redesign and restore them to completion.

And hope, with love and faith, are closely related.
It’s because of our love, that our hope can’t be shaken.
It’s because of our faith, that our love doesn't weaken.
It’s because of our hope that our faith remains unbroken.

Ana Lisa de Jong
May 2014


"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love."
1 Cor 13:13


"Hope is the thing with feathers - that perches in the soul - and sings the tune without the words - and never stops - at all."
Emily Dickensen


Puriri Bay, Northland, New Zealand

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Because You Love Me


You know me God.  You know me through and through.
You know myself better than I know myself.
You know what you’re making of me.
You know where you’re taking me. 
I can rest in you.

You know me God. You know when I’m near and when I’m far.
You know what makes me stray, and what draws me near.
You know for what I’ll fall.
You know what I will stand for.
I can depend on you.

You know me God.  You know my character.
You know where I am lax, and where you need to support.
You know what I lack.
You know for what I ache.
I can trust in you.

You know me God.  You know when I turn to you.
You know when I turn my back, and when I vacillate.
You know when I will waver.
You know when I will falter.
I can turn to you.


For I know you God.  I know you to be faithful.
I know you are all that I am not.
I know that you will shore up the gaps
With abundant undeserved grace.
I can rest assured.

For I know you God.  I know you to be present.
I know you’re here when I am there.
Following thoughts far from you.
And yet you will never depart from me.
Of this I can be certain.

For I know you God.  I know you to be true.
I know you to fight for us.
Even when we see ourselves unworthy.
I know that to you, I’ll always be your bride.
And you would have me at your side.

So take me God.  Come journey with me.
Although I'll try, I may not always honour you,
with the undivided heart that you deserve.
But I will always love you, trust in you, and depend on you.

I will always turn to you.  Return to you.  Because you loved me first.

Ana Lisa de Jong
May 2014


Northland, New Zealand



Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The Tender Places


The deeper our need, the further you fill us.
The more we need you, the more you meet us,
at the places most sensitive.

Where we long for you most, we will see you,
When we call out, we will find you there,
even before we take a breath.

We just need to open up, let down our defenses.
To you, who longs to hold us close,
in the places where we’re loneliest.

Where we have been hurt the deepest, you would hollow out our hearts.
In the corners that cannot contain you,
until you’re done your delicate work.

For you hold the knife and the balm,
you cut and soothe, heal and calm, as we,
both baby and patient, lie in your arms.

For there is no escape from life’s hurts,
but there is a remedy, when we are transparent
and allow your Holy Spirit to touch us,

where we are the tenderest.

Ana Lisa de Jong
April 2014

Pakiri Beach, New Zealand

Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Way of the Cross


He has risen.
And his way points straight to heaven
Now dead-end roads no longer entrap,
nor mountains fail to mar our vision.

For we have seen the highway to heaven.
From tomb to throne, he shines upon,
the road alight with His victorious presence.
The road which beckons us home.


He has risen.
And we are invited to follow Him.
As we do our earthly problems grow dim,
when viewed in the light of heaven.

And to us who believe he is a well-spring.
Provision for our daily needs,
and mercy to guarantee an eternity.
The water of life freely given.


He has risen.
And yet without His crucifixion,
would we seek to follow him?
Would we know what sacrifice means?

But Christ our King has taken His throne.
Christ our friend leads us on.
His grip firm, as he affirms,
the way of the cross leads home.

Ana Lisa de Jong
April 2014



Taylors Mistake, Christchurch, New Zealand


Friday, 18 April 2014

No Need



There is no need to worry for me.
I find joy and beauty -
in everything.
All that happens, has its purpose.
In everything I derive meaning.

Now as I lie writing on the grass.
I see the hydrangea,
its time has passed.
Its petals once bright, turned to brown.
Its full blown bloom faded now.

Yet at the stem new life begins.
Leaf as green as,
the return of spring.
Nothing is ever truly lost.

Everything in its time is replenished.

Life comes knocking at our door.
Even while on our knees,
no strength to stand tall.
Life quietly

rebuilds and restores.

As with new sap the branch re-springs,
back into shape,
as it once had been.
So we know that life returns anew,

to transfuse us with joy again.

And friendship stands the refiners fire,
bears the strain of winter's grief.
As we are cleansed of impurity
by a God who demands us clean,

love that's born of friendship, will remain.

So there is no need to worry for me.
I search for joy in everything.
Even loss I count as gain.

The treasure of the past never gone -
only re-framed.

Ana Lisa de Jong
April 2014 

Elliott Bay,  Northland

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Loss


How is the loss to be borne?
By bearing down upon the pain.
Come closer to me Lord.
In every wave of grief come near,
and lay on my tender aching heart, your balm.

How is the loss to be borne?
By your healing touch turning it to gain.
So come with the gift of yourself Lord.
To fill each corner of my empty heart,
now echoing in mournful refrain.

Let my mourning turn to joy Lord.
The joy that only comes from your hand.
The mourning which will give way to morning.
As you gently take my heavy cloak,
transform it to a garment of praise.

As as I sing to you my praise Lord.
May it be sweeter for my brush with pain.
Capturing depths that joy alone can't reach.
Stirring the dark corners of my heart,
so my prayers may ring with deeper meaning.

How is the loss to be borne?
By going with it - by being borne upon.
The waves that I fear will take me under,
will only bear me to the next shoreline.
Where tomorrow I may find I can wake,
and face, a new dawn.

Ana Lisa de Jong
March 2014



"He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair."
Isaiah 61:1-3

Puriri Bay, Northland, New Zealand

Friday, 28 February 2014

There is a Time


Oh Lord it must first be torn down
before it can be repaired.
For you would turn us and all that is dear,
upside-down, almost beyond repair.
Inside out and torn right through,
until we, with nothing, come to you.

Oh Lord, we must lose what we thought we held.
What we thought to be adhered, as though glued.
You would ask us to release, and let go.
You would ask us to cut away, and expel.
And to let the wounds run clean, under your tender mercy.

Oh Lord, we must grieve, what we must lose.
For what we cannot retain, we must lament.
For our carpet that is torn from under us,
we must pine with tears. 
Let them fall on the hard, cold ground,
upon which Jesus himself lay - at Gethsemane.

What we once may have spoken,
you whip the words, like the wind, from our mouths.
With anguish you silence us, as we hit the wall.
Render wordless the very prayers and thoughts of our minds.
Until we can only stand in awe, wounded yet still whole,
under the tower of safety - that is your wall.

Where we once would have surrendered, for peace,
you would armour us, again, for war.
Against that, which without just fight,
we may lose the ground you have secured.
In the endless battle for our souls,
the balance of power, you would have us restore.

And in this journey called life,
where there is a time for everything under the sun.
In this dance, of love and loss, laughter and mourning.
We must recall that it is all only temporary.
For now we take your hand in the crucifixion,
and then you lead us on to resurrection.



Our lives now, a series of little deaths.
Scattering seeds, as though stones,

so that we may gather, what in sorrow and pain, we've sown.
So that our soul may enlarge,
our hope grow and expand as a balloon.
That it might be filled in time, with all of you.


Ana Lisa de Jong
February 2014

 


Russell Beach, Bay of Islands New Zealand
Sitting as an adult at the beach where I used to swim as a child.
 
"Everything is appropriate in its own time.  But though God has planted eternity in the hearts of men, even so, man  cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end".
Ecclesiastes 3:11


Saturday, 8 February 2014

Poetry Pieces from the Past

Today I found an old poetry book full of poems I had written in my early 20's.  A couple of decades ago!
 
Here are a small selection:
 
 
IF YOU DESIRE

Love knows no boundaries
Beyond the willingness of two hearts
to be in union.

If desire is there then
Love can traverse

An ocean.

If desire is there
And the hearts are intertwined
Then absence is of the body only
And the measure of time

Has no meaning

Beyond the last embrace
And the moment of reunion...

Ana Lisa de Jong




TO LOSE OR KEEP

It is love to lose?
I thought it was to gain.

Like the moon would it wax
And then would it wane...

Like the moon my heart enlarges
Then dissolves as if rain.

And why to love at all, if to feel such pain.

Is to love to lose?
I thought it was to find.

Like branches of the willow
Would we entwine...

Like strong in tenderness
As the towering pine.

Until storm and lightening tear down our spine.

Is to love to lose?
I thought it was to keep.


Like an ocean
Our feelings run so deep, then...

Like the sea
The tide runs out at our feet.

And why to love at all, when love can't be kept.

Ana Lisa de Jong

 


SHAKING THE TREE

When you shake the tree, you strain the roots
When you pick the rose, you lose it soon
When you dare to fly, you cannot stay
When you choose the dawn, you lose the moon.

To have, to hold, till death us part
That is the dream of the romantic heart
But the heart that loves is the heart that betrays
On a different night, in a different day.

This world of beauty holds so much
So much to experience, to reach for, to touch.
Living our lives in a windowless cage
We seize to security, while our souls yearn for change.

What is it in him that makes me his?
What is it in you that makes me live?
What is it in you, that I would give, and
That I would do what he could not forgive.

When you shake the tree, you strain the roots
When you pick the rose, you lose it soon
When you dare to fly, you cannot stay
When you choose the dawn, you lose the moon.

Ana Lisa de Jong

 
 
A POET IN EVERY SOUL

There is a poet in every soul
Like a piano yet to be played
Or a song that's not yet composed
Or the birds hush before break of day.

There is a portion in us all
That feels the ocean move
That hears the earth and sky speak
And recognises love's silent pain.

There is a essence deep within
Which would speak of eternal things
Of rivers that have been;
and of the travels that they sing.

Far within there is a temple
Which is written the stars by name.
The reason for our life's beginning;

And of love's final meaning.

Ana Lisa de Jong
 


DON'T GO BACK

Don't go back
The past has been, to leave a dream
To haunt...

But

Don't go back
It will never be, as now it seems
Again...

It was in its place, that it was best.
In the past, leave it to rest.
Love has many guises.
Today he has a new face.

Leave, leave yesterday.
You can lock the door.
For it can't leave you,
It has been before...

Ana Lisa de Jong






 
"My soul is awakened, my spirit is soaring
And carried aloft on the wings of the breeze;
Far above and around me the wild wind is roaring,
Arousing to rapture the earth and the seas."
Anne Bronte
 
"Memory is the scribe of the soul."
Aristotle (quoted in the wonderful movie 'The Book Thief')

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Beauty Hunter


I am a beauty hunter.
Desiring to touch, taste and see.
To drink in sunsets
Run through waves
Chase the tail of the moon – and be free.

Beauty beckons to me,
as a siren call from the sea.
The only response to embrace -
nature, creation;
to stand in awe of its immensity,

and bow down before its beauty.


Except my heart, which was made for You
is restless in its search;
As it yearns to touch you,
strives to reach you,
with my worship for this earth.

Yet my soul, which expands,
so wide, with a view of the sea;
Almost feels that heaven,
the essence of all creation, of all eternity,
has visited me…

only, too briefly.


So what to do with a love, I said,
that can’t do with only a fleeting smile,
a touch, or a view.
What to do with a passion,
a constant yearning for more?

This is what I heard you say to me:
“This only do I seek -
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
gaze on the beauty of the Lord…

seek Him”.  And be free.

Ana Lisa de Jong
February 2014


Bland Bay, Northland, New Zealand
(the speck at the end of the beach is me)


Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Where I Stand


Lord God, take my worries, take my fears.
Take my sorrows and all my tears.
Replace them with your joy and your peace,
so I may lie at rest,
assured as a child on her Father’s chest.

 
Lord, the sun shines again, after a passing storm,
and I am reminded that all passes,

except God and my soul stand sure.
I can take comfort in the transitoriness of all things,

because of your constant, enduring love for me.

 
Lord, joy so often grows at our feet.
While we so focused on looking ahead,

miss the flowers planted with such loving intent,
to bless us where we stand right now -
in your presence.


 
Lord, we know that you are the great ‘I am’.
And that to find you and your peace we must slow down.
Yes, you precede us and hem us in from behind,
but its where we are right now,
that your blessings are found.



So give me the secret of joy and contentment Lord.
An awareness of you in each breath I breathe.
Racing ahead I must rein myself into submission,
to sit at your feet
and drink deep of your wisdom.


Give me the secret of peace and trust Lord.
Give me the water that sustains me continually.
So I don’t seek that which leaves me thirsty.
Show me that water is still when left undisturbed,
that the peace of our soul depends on harnessing our thoughts to you.


 
So Lord, take my worries and all my fears.
Take my sorrows and all of my tears.
Take the burdens of the years,
the year that has been, the year to come.
Assure me that you have it all in hand, but that most of all…

You wait for me where I stand.

Amen.

Ana Lisa de Jong
January 2014

 
“When the body is kept bustling it becomes fatigued – when the mind is overworked it becomes worried, and worry causes exhaustion.  The nature of water is that it becomes clear when left alone and becomes still when undisturbed.  It is the symbol of heavenly virtue.”
Chuangtse


Coatsville, Auckland, New Zealand
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

The Edge


I stand in my heels at the edge of the year.
An ocean stretches before me in view.
Although I search the horizon’s haze,
I cannot foresee what lies ahead,
and must cast off my shoes.

Tentatively, gingerly, I tip my toes in the year.
The cold surprises and I draw back, preferring the safe and the near.
Cannot I just stay at the edge, I ask.
There’s beauty behind and around - who knows what lies ahead,
and I might leave it behind.

Tenderly, gently, I feel you take hold of my hand.
And assured from your grasp, to the depths of my heart,
I know that you have a plan.
“It’s just cold to start”, you say, “but come venture in,

for I’ll never leave you alone”.

So I take a last fleeting look behind,
cherishing all that’s been.
Knowing part of what lies ahead, its backwards I would prefer to swim.
But with my trust conquering my fear
I find I can take a step in.

Wonder of wonders, its warmth surprising,
I find myself drawn into the sea.
And buoyed by hope, buoyed by joy
I find courage to let go of the familiar shore,
and float in serenity.

The sun casts diamonds of light on the surface around,
and my skin is warmed at its touch.
And in the ocean’s embrace I let go my haste to know it all at once.
As I realise that You are the ocean, You are the year,
and nothing is left to chance.

Ana Lisa de Jong
January 2014
 
 

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Help me to See


Help me to see.
See what you have given me.
Help me to cherish the days as they are.
Grey or blue, or inbetween.
As they come, to cherish them.

Help me to receive.
Receive what you've given me.
To accept all from your hand,
as it arrives with open palm.
Pleasure, or pain, my wishes tamed.

Help me to believe.
Believe you have my good at heart.
Trust you to never give
what will hurt irreparably, and only
to give what will serve to further me.

Help me to love.
Help me to love with true agape.
Not for gain, or even certainty;
but only to love for the good of the beloved,
because for me your love is enough.

Help me to rest.
Rest through fear and doubt, and frustration.
Rest through struggle, despair, temptation.
Rest my emotions and my will,
in the one who carries me still.

Help me to hear.
Hear above the din of others.
What you long for me to discover;
that you are speaking to me nigh incessently,
and your words are love unquestionably.

Help me to submit.
There is peace that flows like a river,
for the one who has given up.
Given up stubborn independence,
to depend on the one who delivers.

Delivers the day,
the minute, the hour
as a blessing, or a spring-time shower.
Not to harm or hinder or hurt,
but only to nourish the soul's parched earth.

Yet our souls,
they take umbrage.
With the hand that gives.
To ready to distrust the gift,
for its packaged as we cannot envisage.

We would return it,
or shape it as we expect it.
We would weigh it, and continually assess it.
Instead of going with the flow of his providence,
trusting that he knows what is best for us.

So help me to trust you Lord Jesus.
To see, to hear, believe.
To rest in you and receive what you've prepared.
To welcome all that's held in your hand today,
knowing that in true love its made.

Ana Lisa de Jong
December 2013





Goat Island, New Zealand




Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Christmas Morning



God came to us.
His journey begun as a seed
the smallest treasure, placed by the mightiest hand;
into the secret place of a daughter of Adam,
that we in good time may receive.

God came to us.
The longest journey
thousands of years, universes spanned;

waiting for a time ordained, from the time of Eve,
to then patiently grow from the smallest seed.

God came to us.
On a donkey’s back, in a warm dark womb enveloped;
He came in humility, in vulnerability,
and borne by love enacted in obedience,
He was carried to His destiny, to outwork his mighty plan.


God came to us.
And like a giant apple tree,
hewn from the smallest pip, He grew,
as a babe in need, in total dependence, in Mary’s womb.
Until it was our time, our turn, to make Him room.


God came to us.
But there was no room.
The inn was full and no one would let Him in.
As though there were  a flaw in His mighty plan,
which may be, if not for the rightness of His humble origins.

For God came to us.
Not only as a King, but as a servant.
And only a stable, which opened wide its doors,
could serve as the birthplace of a babe,
who was both King and ransom to us all.


God comes to us still.
In the form of gracious, humble, sacrificial love.
In the form of His precious one and only Son.
The gift of Christmas, that has never stopped giving
since that first wondrous Christmas morn.


Ana Lisa de Jong
December 2013


    Matthew 1:18-25This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"—which means, "God with us." When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.


    Painting by Joseph Brickey 'The Road to Bethlehem'

      Monday, 2 December 2013

      I Look for You


      I look for you. 
      I look for you without realising it.
      It is always you that I seek.
      As I look for you in all whom I love, all whom I meet.

      And as another day draws to an end,
      where I have gone misunderstood, where I have felt neglect;
      I become aware that it is only you,
      no-one else, in whose love I can be truly complete.
      That without you, like half a heart,
      or an empty vessel; I only know a lonely ache.
      For there’s only one, only one that exists
      whose love I can rest in – replete.

      So I look for you.
      And never find you, or at least only in part.
      Each person I meet, imperfect yet
      reflecting a portion of your perfect heart.

      But they can’t fulfil.
      They never will – they were never made to.
      All I can do is try and grasp
      in others, what he means for me – for us…

      ‘Relationship’ - with the only one
      who knows each ebb and flow of our heart.
      Who will ever perceive our deepest self;
      what brings us together, what keeps us apart.



      So I look for you.
      And I finally find you, but only when I have given up.
      When I am ready to lay myself down, appreciate others as they are;
      quietened by your love.
      This side of heaven, between the trees
      there will only ever be discontent, and unfulfilled dreams.
      If we try to do it all alone,
      without His love to fulfil our deepest needs.
      His Love that makes up for a multitude;
      that mends what is broken, fills the gaps.
      That transforms our half hearts into whole;
      completes us, and provides all that we lack.

      I look for you.
      And I find you, when I am willing to see.
      That everyone is a part of the whole, including me.
      That I need everyone, but no ‘one’ too -
      for in the end – its only You.

      Ana Lisa de Jong
      December 2013
      Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast, Australia
       
      "The Lord your God is in your midst...he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will quiet you with his love..."
      Zep 3:17