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 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

      Friday, 22 November 2013

      I Turn to You


      You make all things new.
      You, of no shadow or turning.
      From me I turn to you.

      And you take my wayward, shifting heart
      as though it were a precious vessel
      as though it were your most valuable treasure.

      And you draw me, reel me in
      you, oh great fisherman of men,
      while I fight the line, and toss and turn.

      But you keep reeling.
      Not giving up, never retreating
      you keep beckoning

       until there is nothing in-between.


      And under the weight of your love
      my submission is invoked
      until this world I am able to revoke, once again.

      So take my heart, and make it your own
      with no shadow or turning,
      retreating or dis-owning.

      As your own precious vessel
      Your valuable treasure
      Entirely, utterly yours alone.

      You, who makes all things new
      You, of no shadow or turning
      Help me turn to you.


      Ana Lisa de Jong
      November 2013

      Gold Coast, Australia
       
       
       

      Monday, 11 November 2013

      How He Loves Us


      He loves us in the rose’s generous bloom,
      Her petals laid full open to our view;
      He loves us in the wind’s silent caress,
      gentle breeze soft upon our cheek.

      He loves us in the sky’s brilliant blue,
      The promise of a new sunlit day;
      He loves us in the sunsets gilt-edged hue,
      as a tender token at end of play.

      He loves us in the night-time sky,
      each star signalling to us in silent entreat;
      Of a love, which burns in His heart-sick heart, and
      with each turn of the earth, never ceases to beat.

      Passion restrained with a gentlemen’s honour,
      He loves us far more than we can perceive:
      His jealous attentions showered upon us,
      and yet the fullness of his love we could never receive.

      He loves you each day that you open your eyes,
      His gift of life another chance for Him;
      To woo you in a thousand ways,
      until all you can do in response is come.

      Come, to know your needs satisfied, and
      on His altar have all your yearnings laid.
      Come, to know your dreams fulfilled,
      to walk with Him for the length of your days.

      So come to Him as to the marriage bed.
      He wants you heart, body and soul – nothing spared.
      We are his Bride, and at his side he would have us stand,
      so come to Him – he has ‘your’ place prepared.

      He loves you in the rose’s generous bloom,
      Her petals laid full open to your view;
      He loves you in the wind’s silent caress,
      gentle breeze soft upon your cheek.

      He loves you in the sky’s brilliant blue,
      the promise of a new sunlit day;
      He loves you in the sunsets gilt-edged hue,
      as a tender token at end of play.

      He loves you in the night-time sky,
      each star signalling to you in silent entreat;
      of a love which burns in his heart-sick heart, and
      with each turn of the earth, never ceases to beat.

      Ana Lisa de Jong
      November 2013

       

      Tallow Beach, Byron Bay, Australia
       

      Friday, 1 November 2013

      Grace



      If grace is indeed a river,
      then it has no end;
      except where it flows to the ocean,
      where still more of it abounds.
       
      Yet, why do I think of it as
      something that can run out,
      that can be exhausted
      at the first real need?

      That there is a limit
      to its consumption?
      That God is not as generous,
      as His Holy Word decrees?

      While to others,
      He is rich in mercy.
      His love and compassion
      never-ending.

      Like the distant horizon, extending…

      into forever.

       

      But for me.

      For me, there is a limit
      to his favour, to his love.
      For if He truly understands,
      then He can clearly see my heart.

      And that is what I am afraid of.
      For the love that he has given me,
      has made me afraid of disappointing Him
      because how can I ever achieve…

      The holiness he requires of me
      The righteousness to even come near.
      The ability to lift my face,
      hold his gaze, and be worthy.

      Be worthy, of his kindness.
      Be worthy of his love.
      Be worthy of a river of reprieve,
      let alone an ocean.

      An ocean..

      of never-ending GRACE.

       
      Whoever has been forgiven little
      loves little, his Holy word says.
      I cannot fail you, or be forsaken by you.
      Help me to understand.

      It's in our need you meet us.
      In our inadequacy, that you are enough.
      Our faithlessness that you are true.
      Our humanity that you came, our sin that you perished.

      And the holiness He requires of me
      was long ago achieved,
      by the one whose heart of love for me
      once hung upon a tree.

      If grace is indeed a river,
      then it has no end;
      except where it flows to the ocean,
      where still more of it abounds.

       

      And your love and compassion never-ending
      has never ended for me.
      I can never be separated from you,
      despite my unbelief.

      For your favour and your love
      does not depend on what I’ve done,
      or the state of my heart.
      But on what you’ve given.

      What you have sacrificed
      in tears of blood,
      blood that has made it possible
      for me to be good enough.

      Lord, I stumble and I fall.
      Your way is narrow, but it is life.
      Help me to remember when I fall,
      it’s into the river, the river of grace.

      Whose streams
      ‘make glad the city of God,
      in that holy place
      where the most high dwells'.


      And the river.
      The ‘river of the water of life,
      that flows from the throne of God’,
      Which without …

      Without, we’d be lost.

      Ana Lisa de Jong
      October 2013

      Surfers Paradise Beach, Gold Coast, Australia

      Monday, 30 September 2013

      Love Knocks


      Love knocks on my door.
      He stands near on soundless feet,
      although I hardly know he is there.
      Yet it’s in my solitude that he accompanies me;
      In my loneliness he keeps vigil;

      Of all my doubts, and fears and struggles, he is aware.

      Love knocks so quietly,
      waits so patiently,
      I almost miss the insistent tone.
      Until the echoes reverberate around my empty heart;
      My ears prick to an unworldly sound;
      And I am drawn to him as to a siren’s song.

      Love stands waiting.
      While I look for Him in other places,
      looking for a love that cannot satisfy.

      Not knowing joy was mine for the taking.
      Not knowing it was His love I was lacking;
      Not knowing, until the door I finally open.

      Love stands smiling.
      No sin too large to dissuade him,
      No temptation too great to supersede him.
      My love simply stands for me;
      blessings at his feet won for me.
      Joy and peace; contentment, freedom.


      How can I refuse him?

      Ana Lisa de Jong

      'And having chosen us, he called us to come to Him; and when we came he declared us "not guilty", filled us with Christ's goodness, gave us right standing with himself, and promised us his glory.' Romans 8:30

      "Love means setting aside walls, fences, and unlocking doors, and saying yes..."
      Emmanuel

      "Where is the dwelling of God?"  This was the question which the Rabbi of Kotak surprised a number of learned men who happened to be visiting him.  They laughed at him; "what a thing to ask! Is not the whole world full of his glory?!  Then he answered his own question, "God dwells whereever man lets him in."
      From Tales of Hasidim
       
      Stony Bay, Coromandel, New Zealand
       

      Wednesday, 18 September 2013

      Sanctification


      Break me down
      Break me down
      with my tears anoint me.
      My pain, let it be the breaking of my will
      that leads to the restoration

      of my soul.


      Your righteousness

      Let it be as a robe.
      For my tarnished soul, and
      faithless heart
      cannot face the world,
      until I’m clothed in you

      and know my true worth.

      Lay me down
      Lay me down
      low enough to unburden
      and lose the weight of my sin.
      And lay upon your altar my confession, my repentance

      as a holy offering.

      Every day every day
      I’m aware of how I fail you.
      Every day every day
      I’m aware of how you love me.
      Every day I must lay, lay it all down

      and you sift through it all, and you shake off the dust

      and you replace my crown.

      Ana Lisa de Jong

      Mangawhai Heads, New Zealand

      Thursday, 12 September 2013

      Brother, Sister


      If you could hear my prayers.
      If you could know my heart.
      If I could hear your prayers
      and know your heart.

      Would we meet somewhere,
      and build a bridge to span the gulf that separates?

       
      If words were found
      to clothe our naked pain;
      and if our tears could speak
      of internal battles, lost and won.

      Would we appreciate?
      Would we finally understand—to our shame.


       
      If our future hopes
      were painted as a picture,
      through which God’s will
      were evidently seen.


      Would we see our similarities were greater than our differences?
      Would we see that together we share a common dream?

       
      Look into the mirror of each other’s hearts.
      What you see there simply an image of your own.
      Do not look for fault,
      or be too quick to condemn.

      It’s in a glass house that you throw these stones.

       
      A house of glass can’t stand
      too many hits.
      We forget whose house we claim to be.
      Peacemakers, promised to the precious cornerstone...

      but who would blindly bring the building to its knees.



      Trust Him with your grievances,
      and your broken hopes.
      He is strong enough to weather any storm.
      But your brother and sister is your keeper.

      We turn on one another at our peril.
      We turn on ourselves when we condemn.
       

      We will always find what we look for.
      So look for what is good, and true and right;
      and the light that shines in the darkness,
      will not by this present darkness be put out.


      Brother, Sister.

      Will you hear my earnest prayer?
      And come to know how tender is my heart.
      I will hear your prayer,
      and seek to know you also…

      and together we may turn the page
      to a whole start.

       
      Ana Lisa de Jong




      Tutukaka, Northland, New Zealand

      Friday, 6 September 2013

      Your Table


      You invite me to your table every day.

      I, drawn by the world, would rather gather crumbs
      from the floor;
      than come and sit
      and know your gaze,
      and the blessings you have stored.


      Drawn for me from your storehouse
      in heaven.
      And laid with love on my plate
      at the place
      prepared for me since time began
      and which, for me, you will sit, and wait.


      And the invitation doesn't lapse.
      The meal, it doesn't grow cold.
      Though I, drawn by the world,
      and my hearts vagaries, and focus on life's ills,
      hardly know, what is good.


      Yet today I see you waiting,
      and today I feel your smile -
      and I fall in love a little more
      as you draw me, and restore me;
      until I can climb up from the floor.


      Insistently you draw me,
      until boldly I  can come.
      Face raised towards you,
      tears of gratitude falling,
      as an anointing on your skin.


      Lovingly you call me,
      until its you I can't ignore.
      And as I fall into your arms,
      from this vantage I can see
      what has been laid before me all along.


      You invite me to your table
      every day.
      Whether I come is up to me.
      Whether I do, or whether I don't
      you simply wait.

      And you call....


      Ana Lisa de Jong  

      Going in she knelt before him at his feet, weeping, with her tears falling down upon his feet; and she wiped them off with her hair and kissed them and poured the perfume on them”.
      Luke 7:38



      Postscript:  Not long after writing this poem I opened an email from 'Streams in the Dessert' which follows below:


      In The Heavenly Places

      "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ . . . and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:4-6).

      This is our rightful place, to be "seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus," and to "sit still" there. But how few there are who make it their actual experience! How few, indeed think even that it is possible for them to "sit still" in these "heavenly places" in the everyday life of a world so full of turmoil as this. We may believe perhaps that to pay a little visit to these heavenly places on Sundays, or now and then in times of spiritual exaltation, may be within the range of possibility; but to be actually "seated" there every day and all day long is altogether another matter; and yet it is very plain that it is for Sundays and week-days as well.
      By L.B. Cowman