Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The Heart is a Wilderness

The heart is a wilderness
and the mind a map.
The heart would lose itself,
until the mind brings it back.

The heart is pure feeling,
and knows not time, or fact.
On a wave it will take you,
and won’t let you forget.

The heart lives in a moment.
The mind looks forward and back.
The heart not knowing caution,
is, in its own emotions enrapt.

But the heart is a barometer.
The key to our innermost selves.
We know from what hurts, and what delights;
where our pain, and treasures lie.

The heart is a wild bird singing.
The mind its keeper and cage.
While the heart is passion aflame,
the mind is its necessary restraint.

Yes, the heart is a wilderness
and the mind a map.
The heart would lose itself,
until the mind brings it back.


Ana Lisa de Jong
March 2015

Hauraki Gulf, Auckland, New Zealand

Thankfulness


Thankfulness
It’s the only way we can live with life.
It’s the only cover for the chill of the night.
It’s the only light to ward off the dark.
It’s the only way to hold close, that which without,

thankfulness and gratitude
might dissipate.

Thankfulness
It’s the only way we can find salvation.
It’s the only way we keep from drowning.
It’s the lifeline we need to keep us upright.
It’s the only way that we can obtain,

faith and assurance
of our hopes not failing.

Thankfulness
It’s our only key to peace in suffering.
It’s our only comfort when losses bear down.
It’s our only joy, when joy’s hard to find.
It’s the only way to still ourselves enough,

to see, there is still treasure left
in an open palm.

Ana Lisa de Jong
March 2015


Whenuapai, Auckland, New Zealand (home)

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Inside


I like to live inside myself.
I make it beautiful there.
I take the dirty washing and make it clean.
I take the shambles and the stumbles
and I put them into order;
learn how to walk purposefully again.

I like to live inside myself,
where I talk to myself in words;
and in pictures.
Remembering beauty is always present,
and love is running through,
our lives like a river runs, constant and true.

I like to live inside myself.
I find there’s always someone there.
I find my truest, clearest self,
who answers back to me,
with words that take me by surprise,
with their sense and clarity.

I like to live inside myself.
It’s a wondrous place to be.
So great in capacity as to contain,
all the beauty of this earth;
all my loves, and my discoveries,
held in memory…

for perpetuity.


Ana Lisa de Jong
February 2015

Waiheke Island, Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Lonely

‘God puts the lonely in families’.
To me I understood it to be read, as;
‘He finds a family for the lonely,
(if He wills it)’,
but perhaps on reflection,
that’s not all,
that was meant.

Perhaps as I sit here alone,
longing for a comforting arm,
aching for understanding;
maybe I’ve got it wrong?
Maybe loneliness is a given,
even in the midst of a family’s bonds.

Maybe loneliness should be understood more,
as the catalyst for communion?
For if we are content in our family,
we wouldn’t strive for union,
we wouldn’t desire connection,
with the only One who can contain our longings.

And maybe loneliness is necessary,
to experience and appreciate,
another’s human presence?
Maybe it’s the dance of humanity,
to draw close and depart,
and maybe in the departure, we truly value the other’s heart.

So it’s okay to be lonely in my family,
because God has put me here.
And I know as close as I may feel tomorrow,
the next I’ll feel far away.
But then I’ll know my need for God,
and invite Him in to stay.

And though I may feel lonely in my family,
my family may feel so too.
And with a renewed appreciation of each other’s worth,
we may build a bridge closer still.
Which although it may not hold with permanence,
we will daily rebuild.


Ana Lisa de Jong
February 2015

Mercury Bay, Coromandel, New Zealand

To Lose

Why are we so afraid to lose?
To surrender back to Him what has always been His.
Is it because we think we will not care in this certain way again?

Or is it that we’re afraid there will be a day, 
that we don’t remember them?
And it will then be clear, that it was only for a season.

And why are we so desperate to hold on to a season?
As though Summer won’t write words of love once more on our skin.
As though Winter won’t bring us its silent offerings, as treasures in the darkness.

As though joy won’t cause our heart to skip a beat
as Spring breaks us open, 
and we respond and soften as a child, with pure expectation.

Why are we afraid to lose?
When we must lose to gain.
While each season’s gifts are spent, and running out like rain, through our hands….

a new day’s waiting in the wings.

Ana Lisa de Jong

February 2015


Whangamata, Cormandel Peninsula, New Zealand

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Crossroads

There is nothing better than Your paths.
Though we’ll stray and divert our ways,
from Yours.
Carry burdens not made for us,
stumble on alone and not recall,
the comforts of a companion for the road.

Nowhere is more perfect than your paths.
And because of Your love and grace,
You’ll wait for us at a thousand crossroads.
Until we slow down our pace,
until we see the light of heaven shining upon Your road;
and foresee a different way. 


And when we walk with You,
our burdens lessen at each step.
Your light yoke settles on our shoulders,
when we falter we feel Your hand support,
and at our feet we discover,
contentment. 


And when we walk with You,
in Your light we see a view,
a view that astounds.
A path that stretches forward to heaven,
a beckoning bright horizon.
And we realise apart from You,
we stumble on in darkness.

There is nothing other than Your paths,
to give a firm foundation,
to give a reason for continuing,
a light for our very lives.
And nothing better than Your presence,
comforting and constant,
to be our way and guide.


So, as Your Good Word instructs,
I must,
‘stand at the crossroads and look,
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is,
and walk in it,
and find rest for my soul’.



Ana Lisa de Jong
January 2015

Cathedral Cove Walk, Hahei, Coromandel

In the Mirror

“You say I surprise you with My gifts,
encouragement at the moment it’s needed
insight to your heart’s deepest thoughts,
comfort laid directly on the hurting parts.
‘How did you know?’, I feel you say,
‘how did you know God that I was caught?
Caught up in the web of my own making,
spiraling down with doubts’.

But is anything beyond My knowledge my daughter?
Is anything a surprise to My Spirit?
If you knew the extent that I lived in you,
and how much My love surrounds;
you would not doubt My devotion for a moment,
and would never for a moment feel alone.
So look in the mirror and when you see the image of yourself,
see Me too, for we are not separate, but bound.

And each concern of yours is a concern of Mine.
Each doubt in yourself, I will find, and remind you,
that you are made in the image of Me, and
because of that you are rich in possibility.
There is no measure you can use to define yourself,
that can capture the potential I have placed in you.
You must only believe that when you don’t feel enough
I, with you, My body, make a multitude. 

You say I surprise you with My gifts,
but you to Me are My prize.
And just as I’ve graced you with My presence,
you grace the world by being the you that I have designed.
Don’t question anymore, but explore,
see who you are, all its wonders and its flaws,
but please do not deride what you find,
for you are worth so much more than you recognise.”


Ana Lisa de Jong
January 2015

Mercury Bay, Whitianga, Coromandel 

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Friendship

Some of you are water to parched earth.
Some of you are sunshine to lift the spirit.
Some of you are nourishment to feed my soul.
Some of you are rocks upon which I hold.

Some of you draw from me a future dream.
Some of you I cherish because of where we've been.
Some of you I dance with in the present tense.
While some of you I hold near despite the distance.

But all of you are needed and appreciated.
Like a tree whose growth and survival is dependent,
on the warmth of the sun and the rains nourishment,
so I need you to grow, and in your care flourish.


Ana Lisa de Jong
January 2015

Happy New Year.  Have a wonderful 2015!

Waitawa Regional Park, Kawakawa Bay, Auckland,
New Zealand


Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Peace


Let me go.  
Let go of me. 
Let me run far from here.
To a place where I am not necessary.
Where I can be alone,
without expectations;
without the frustrations,
of being here.
Of being everything to all of you,
of being continually emptied.

Let me go.
Let me go,
to a place where I can fill.
Where I can renew and restore.
Where life instead of taking,
gives to me,
more than what it draws.
Where I can breathe and stretch.
Retreat from the world and reconnect.
Not with you all, but with my soul.

There is a voice,
that’s calling me softly.
I don’t know from where,
though it’s not from here.
But from where there’s no noisy needs,
to harass me.
Only peace to shore up
my fragile defences;
and calm,
to soothe my shattered senses.

Let me go.
Let go of me.
it only takes a moment to steal away,
and breathe.
To look up at the sky, so still and calm.
To listen to the birds,
and the rustling leaves.
To feel the cool evening air,
on my cheek.
To become aware of a gentle presence.

For peace is not found if we run away.
Perhaps for a moment,
but it soon dissipates.
Peace is found when we release our burden.
When we accept ourselves,
and realise our boundaries.
When we feel,
the weight of the world on our shoulders,
yet call on Him, from where we stand,
to restore us.

For His peace
is not something we must find,
or run to obtain.
But something we receive,
in our weakness,
and in our dependence, claim.
And if I close my eyes for a moment,
and draw breath.
Peace will come softly,
as sure as His promises.


Ana Lisa de Jong
December 2014


My home village Whenuapai, Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, 26 December 2014

In Your Light

My tears, from where you sit
are not simply translucent on my cheeks;
but rather coloured in your sight,
in every hue of rainbow light.

My mess, from where you sit
the fruitless striving and backwards steps;
appear to sew a pattern of mistakes,
until you turn the tapestry on it’s back.

And in wonder, I see…

My life, from where you sit,
is not all fumbled stiching and fraying threads,
but rather beauty designed with loving intent,
by an artist who weaves together frailty and strength.


My future, from where you sit,
is not coloured by error, but marked out by potential.
The tears that I shed not wasted and hopeless,
but refined and polished to a silver thread.

And I see…

Reflected in your light, the ‘light’ of who I am -
when my life, and its despair;
all its brokenness and tears,
are beheld by you through the eyes of grace.

Ana Lisa de Jong
December 2014

Muriwai Beach, Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, 10 November 2014

Come to Me


Come to me and love me
like the sun rising.
Surprising in its warmth,
it's caress on my skin,
strengthening me within.
Like a plant stretching to the light,
make me want your love,
and reach towards your heights.

Come to me and love me
like the rain falling.
Gently refreshing,
soft upon my fields,
that I may lay there and yield.
Renewed as the parched earth,
make me need your touch,
and fill my thirst.

Come to me and love me
as the moon waxes full.
Held in its light,
reflecting silver rays,
unfolding under its gaze.
Smiling on my knees in tender reverence,
make me open to your love,
in sweet surrender.


Ana Lisa de Jong
November 2014

Bethels Beach, Waitakere, Auckland, New Zealand

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






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')