Lord, I’ve got this problem weighing on my heart.
And when I meet new faces, it’s tearing me apart.
Like: can they see through me? Do they know?
Lord, you’ve been at the receiving end
Of all of my calls,
When I cried and cried-
I swear they could hear it through the walls.
You know that I’m the same me
Who from down on both knees
Tried to pray away this thing within me.
And, Lord, I remember it clearly:
"Lord I don’t want to want this; please take it away.
I don’t want to keep living in this sick, perverse way."
Lord, you know if I could’ve I would’ve
Washed my mind out with soap
Because the hands of my iniquity
Kept tightening around my throat
I know I lost control too many times along the road,
But was I really to blame for this unbearable load?
Did I do it to myself? Let my mind wander too far?
Lord, I just really have to know,
Because I’ve come this far, and it’s been so long,
But yet I find myself singing the same sad song.
Will it ever go away, God? Please take it away.
I was coping with this yesterday,
And I’m still coping today.
It’s a long and tired battle,
And not many understand.
I’m in between these two extremes
And there’s no one to hold my hand.
And that might be because I would have to let them know,
And this side of me I’m not too eager to show.
I wish they could see it as a problem like one of their own
But instead they see me as excluded from calling the Kingdom home.
So I guess it makes sense when I feel so alone.
I have people to my left saying I can’t change who I am
And people to my right who think me unworthy of the Promised Land-
Unless I change the way my mind seems to be programmed.
But I want to be
What God wants me to be,
And I’m on a personal journey
To find just what that means.
There is something inside of each of our souls:
This desire for the things that will destroy us.
We crave to behave in ways that leave scars.
Battered and mauled, we are in love with the sickness.
Why do we find it so inviting that we can’t want to turn away from it?
Because to turn away would be to deny ourselves of who we are.
We were born this way: rotting flesh and souls in decay.
We will not admit to the shame of it because we cannot let our pride be wounded.
We do not accept it as fault.
We embrace it because we can’t change.
But the evidence roars in the background as you say that you are deemed worthy.
The lie you just told broke a heart.
The substances from yesterday still affect your loved ones today.
We are not meant to hurt; we were not made to hurt each other.
I believe in love.
I believe in forces.
I believe that we all were destined for good things.
They say I am too old for imaginary friends,
But this love is not imaginary.
I can see this love.
I can see it in smiling eyes.
I can see it in random acts of kindness that shouldn’t be so random.
Brothers and sisters, we were made for more than this world has to offer.
I saw love; I felt love.
Love followed me.
Love pulled me out of my own head, my own mess, my own love for my own sin.
Love knocked the wind out of me.
Love crushed my old heart.
Love let it shatter to take what was inside and make it something better.
Love loved me, when I just didn’t care.
Love waited for me.
Love was always there.
Love always knew that I would find my way.
Love had its hand on me on even my darkest day.
Love looked at me with heartbreak it its eyes.
When my back was turned, love never passed by.
Love never turned and left;
Love never gave in.
Love hurt because I wouldn’t let love in.
But love stayed and love waited.
Love waited on me.
Love led me and taught me how it feels to be free.
Love saw in my heart that I was a wreck.
Love broke down my bones to build them back.
And this time, they are stronger.
Love let me feel pain, though it pained love too,
Because in the end love always knew
That I would find love from my shackled, broken place
Where I would accept love and accept grace.
When my heart was torn open, bleeding out on the ground…
When my soul was crying out for something unknown
To fill the gaping void in my life left by the people
Who couldn’t love like love itself…
When my fears consumed me and I thought I might explode…
When I needed someone to hear me- just hear me-
So that I would not feel so alone…
When the stars taunted me and told me I was small
And that my life would never amount to anything at all…
When I was left in the dust and so unfairly mistreated
By people who were just as lost as me…
When the screaming of voices that were broken from
The love that they never received would ring in my ears…
I was lost.
When there were times that life meant nothing to me
Because I had no reason to live it…
Love found me, and love rescued me.
And love waited to make sure I understood
That love was not going anywhere.
And love wanted me to know love and that I could show love to
People who never really knew the love that found me.
They say that I’m too old for imaginary friends,
But love is not so imaginary.
Love is felt, and love wants you back.
And love never leaves you wanting.
The love on this earth is tainted and broken,
And people hurt each other because they were hurt too.
When people love, they try and give it their best go,
But they are weary and reluctant.
My heart longs for a love deep enough that no one is left dry.
A thirst that is quenched.
No more hunger pangs.
Because love showed itself to me.
So let me love even though I am weak.
Let me try and have that love show through me.
I want to shine so bright the sun would feel inadequate,
Because the brightness of love burns like a thousand earthly suns.
Because the love that found me is the love that beats in my heart,
Traveling deeper than my bones, so I can feel it in my core
When my heart pounds on.
This love courses through my veins, planting a hope in me
That I didn’t even know could be possible.
Love was not found in the pages of a book;
Love was found in the message of a force that created love’s meaning.
The pages of the book hold the words of the creator of the love
That found me but love is in their meaning.
Love is in the force behind the words that kiss the pages
Of the book that is mocked and made foolish.
The words twisting, distorted and wrong,
So far from the place where they started.
So far now that they are only words,
And the meaning they held is lost.
Love itself was mocked and made foolish
By the ones love came to rescue.
I will not mock love.
I will be proud to stand for a love that will stand for me,
When I am no better than any other imperfect human being.
No one laughs at love when love is shown in a smile,
Or a word of comfort to someone who is in need.
But they laugh at love when love is shown in the meaning
Behind the words in a book that only acts to convey the love
That could save them.
They say that I am too old for imaginary friends,
And they mock the love that lifted me above the ashes
And led me through the pain of life.
When my life was wading in open waters
With sharks circling beneath me
And feeling the fatigue set in.
Pretty soon, I would have been too tired
To even try at all.
But love reached out into my heart
And gave me the strength to keep wading,
With the knowledge that the sharks can’t touch me.
And one day I will be out of the water and onto dry land
Where I will never have to swim again.
They say I am too old for imaginary friends,
But love is the realest thing I know and
Love saved me.
Lord, I have so many faults.
Through pain or gain, my wounds they salt.
I know that they’re down there below even when I don’t know
Because my pride and ego overshadow.
Why is it I see myself in such a light,
But then curse myself in the darkness of night.
How can I be so in love with me?
But still everyday want to kill away
Myself from my own sight?
Lord, who am I?
I realize I carry around my pain inside me
And maybe I hope my ego will hide me-
The broken pieces of me that I see
Well, I hope your spirit can guide me.
Lord, I’m feeling a little lost.
But I said I’d follow you, and I knew the cost
So then why am I here harboring this fear
That I spent so much time convincing myself was no longer there?
Well God I know that I do have something to show
For this broke down life you once made whole
You know, I don’t expect to heal overnight
And even when I hope it would, it’s alright.
Because I know, down to my soul,
That this one thing I got right.
So, God, please help me
Not passively sit by,
But actively take what you’ve laid out for me-
Whatever that may be
And whatever that may take-
No, not for mine,
But for your sake.
God, I am yours.
And even when it feels like I’m lost at sea,
I know you’re looking out for me,
And you hand me the oars.
And by the grace of the Lord,
I’ll make it to your shores.
If they saw through my bones to what’s inside of my soul
They would see me for me- and not who they think I might be.
The stinging words I hear them speak…
They spit venom so casually, not knowing they’re actually talking about me.
But what they know is what they’ve been told, which they base on the moral beliefs that they hold,
But they can’t see that that sinner is me- the only reason they even took a second look.
But if they could take just one more, to the depths of my soul way beyond the shore,
Maybe they would see the scrapes on both of my knees
From the days I spent praying to God to spare my soul from this thing plaguing me.
Maybe they would feel the rips in my lungs from screaming out to the sky to be rid of my depraved mind.
But if they could see the scars from the blade I used to penetrate my skin
To cut through to the sin and bleed out all my inner demons,
Maybe they could they see my heart sinking in my chest at the dinner table
When my family talked about their disgust
And have you seen the pool of tears I’ve been choking back
Since the first time I realized I was trapped
In this sinful body with these sinful tendencies
That build up like scum corrupting the inside of me?
But even still my heart felt so pure
With the butterflies in my stomach when I first saw her.
And it didn’t feel like it should feel wrong.
But it did feel wrong when I stood along
As these godly people talked about chapels and steeples
And churches and marriage between a man and a woman,
And how anything else is simply perverted.
But in my mind, I just don’t feel
Like this sin is any more or less real
Than any of those their condemning mouths have committed.
But somehow still I’m the one to be pitied-
Or even still to be ignored.
Like, maybe if we shun her she’ll know she doesn’t have our support.
Because God knows that a smile or a kind word to someone feeling alone
Could easily communicate to them that you openly condone
Every single thing in their life that they might be doing wrong.
But answer me this if you know all about my affliction:
Do you think that I would choose to be hated on sight by judgmental Christians?
If I could choose my path do you think I’d choose pain,
Guilt, humiliation, and shame?
Do you think I’d choose to live a life shackled and chained,
Hiding away a part of me I almost don’t want to accept to this day
Because I fear when I see God he’ll turn me away?
At peace beside the banks of a swollen stream
We see the life below the water
Turning to our father's song
Never give in and you'll never go wrong
And never believe in the space beyond your vision
A simple decision.
Melting faces they depart
Putting permanent splaces in your heart
And all the people you must have seen
Swirling in the stream
Now it's bursting at the seams
With the weight to all those dreams
It's running away so fast
And we just don't know
If the time to go
Can open up their minds
That's why we care for the past
The only thing that will last.
It's 2am in December and my windows are all open.
Trying to remember what it's like to feel..
I'd smoke another Newport, but I've smoked so many
that it hurts to inhale normal air,
especially the crisp winter air
that's pouring into my apartment,
sleep seems futile..
There's an empty bottle of cheap pinot lying next to me,
a half-finished PBR, from the thirty I bought myself
and I haven't thought of you in a while.
My mind wanders to that alleyway in the heart of Columbus,
dark and deserted,
the sounds of lovers off in the distance,
my boyfriend calling my name, searching
but I can't hear him.
I can only hear you...
You see love, I haven't thought of you,
haven't let myself back to that place
because I met a nice boy,
who told me nice things,
asked nicely if he could touch me, in nice places
before he did so,
and it was nice...
So I waited and he waited,
took things slowly for once,
convinced him it was worth it,
that I, was worth it,
so when he told me, it was beautiful
and I told him right back.
it was beautiful,
"I love you"...
And don't you dare question me, love
for I love him,
because he thinks I'm wonderful,
hasn't seen the scary parts that I'd showed you,
doesn't believe I'm as broken as I say,
He tells me I'm perfect...
that night in Columbus, Ohio still haunts me,
the night you rode a bus for sixteen hours to get to,
that moment we're screaming at each other,
I'm telling you that I hate you, and I know you've never cared
why are you even here? I HATE you...!
You kiss me.
Like your sole purpose in life... was to kiss me.
Like you'd been waiting forever..
You kiss me
like you were created by God
for the final moment
where your lips would dance with mine,
and fireworks would fly
from your fingertips
as they brushed across my cheeks,
turning tears into vapor,
unspoken truths into song,
longing into love,
you kissed me.
Kissed me, and saved me from being stone..
That night, you told me everything I'd ever longed for you to tell me.
Told me about your terrifying family,
and the reasons you were better off being alone.
I wept into your arms as you told me you loved me,
that you had given me every single thing you could,
how you were sorry it wasn't enough.
And I told you all the sad things I'd lived through,
all the boys who never learned my name,
all the nights I'd never had a home,
the day I wished I was dead..
And you stroked my hair, told me not to cry,
wiped the tears from my cheeks,
while I told you that all you had to do was ask,
that I'd come back for you.
All you had to do was tell me to come back, for you.
And that night,
in that tiny apartment, 700 miles from home
you made love to me,
kissed me softly,
whispered sweet nothings until I fell asleep on your chest...
You became home, my love,
You were my home.
The next day,
you got on a Greyhound bus back to where you came from.
Didn't look back.
And I went back to that little apartment,
never looked back down that alleyway,
and once more,
"Hey loverboy," she says. I don't respond.
A rough draft excerpt from my story, Fictional Truth.
“Hey loverboy,” she says. I don’t respond. I enjoy ignoring her for a moment after I come out of a day dream.
“Hey. Jake. Snap out of it boy. Time to come back to earth,” she says with her usual tone of pleased annoyance. This time I leave the world inside my head and return to reality. Slowly turning my head to the right, I can see those deep blue eyes gazing up. I never get tired of her eyes.
“Come on, you said you’d help me here.”
“Sorry,” I say with a half grin and my best attempt at contrition. I look down to the papers in her lap. Right, math. I was helping her with calculus. She was really very good at math. We were in the same class, but she was two years younger than me after skipping two grades in elementary school.
“This one you just take the derivative of your function and plug in these two values.” I can remember these things effortlessly now, which was a huge accomplishment for someone who doesn’t particularly like math.
“See, this is why I keep you around,” she says, those rosy lips that I so adored pulled into a little smirk. She reaches up and kisses me. She always seems to find an excuse to kiss me. “You can go back to daydreaming now.” Indeed I do, retreating back to the dreamscape inside my head. This time I think back to when I met Clara.
I had just arrived on campus, a bright eyed college freshman. There I was, lost in a sea of more beautiful women than I had ever seen in my life. Small private schools had never been kind to me in that regard. Everything on campus was a wonder. Nobody from my high school had come here and I was very much alone, but I didn’t mind. I had outgrown most of my high school friends long ago. It was long past time for me to expand my horizons.
I found myself standing in front of a massive glass building. I wasn’t past checking my reflection in the glass windows. Had to make sure my hair still looked as good as it did when I arrived. Who knew when I might run into some attractive young lady? Opening the doors I caught a waft of the bookstore smell, unlike anything I expected. At home the bookstores were small, with dusty leather covers that begged to be handled and old people that smelled like coffee. This was completely different. The odor of panicked freshman and newly bound textbooks permeated the air. I decided right then I wouldn’t be spending much time there.
There was a long line extending towards the back of the building. Not knowing better, I assumed it was the line I was supposed to be in and slowly made my way to the rear. This would take forever. I pulled out my phone and started on another game of Angry Birds. I had been killing evil pigs for almost five minutes when I began to feel like I was being watched. Sure enough I glanced up to see a large pair of deep blue eyes looking at me.
“You know, some psychologists say that technology is making us less social,” said the girl looking up at me. I couldn’t respond. She had straight black hair pulled behind her in a long ponytail. She had a small, perfectly formed nose with what seemed like a sea of freckles on it. Even more freckles danced on her cheeks. She was several inches shorter than me, maybe 5’9” and had on tight jean shorts and a black tank top that exposed only the most tantalizing amount of cleavage.
“So I’m just starting to feel a little uncomfortable with you undressing me with your eyes like that,” she said with the smirk on her face that I would soon come to know.
“Sorry,” I said, a tiny grin tugging at the corner of my mouth, “You surprised me a bit.”
“I’m Clara. This is the point in conversation where you tell me your name.” I liked her already. She had confidence and wit that was both abrasive and attractive.
“I’m Jake, pleased to meet you.” Damn I was smooth. Almost as smooth as a wagon over rocks. “Are you a freshman too?”
“Yep. Just got here. I don’t think this line is moving.” I really liked the way little dimples appeared at the corners of her mouth even when she frowned slightly.
“It really doesn’t seem to be. At least I have pleasant company,” I said. Oh man I was so smooth! I was really proud of myself right there. It was hard flirting with such a beautiful girl. She seemed to throw me off balance.
“Well, that was the least offensive flirting I've heard all day,” she replied. Good gosh this girl was straightforward. “It’s a good thing you’re cute or I might not have accepted that.” Cute. Okay, I could work with cute. “So you’re in psychology 1000?” she asked.
“Nope, I took that during high school.” I replied. Why would she ask that?
“Well, you’re standing in the psychology book pickup line.” She said with a slightly puzzled look on her face. I definitely was not in psychology.
“Oh, Psychology! I, uh, I thought you said, uh, philanthropy. Nope, I’m definitely in the right line. Okay, that was a lie and I was at least 100% sure philanthropy was not a class. But hey, I was under pressure and I needed an excuse to keep talking to this girl. She looked at me like I was slightly on drugs but moved on without hesitation.
We talked about various meaningless things while the line crept closer to the back of the store. I was constantly mesmerized by the deep blue in her eyes. I had always been attracted to blue eyes for some reason. When we got to the pickup window, she paid for her book and stepped to the side, watching me. I decided to bow out of buying a several hundred dollar book just so I didn't look like a complete idiot. I comforted myself with the fact that she might think it was funny.
“Soooo. I’m not really in philanthropy. Or psychology. I just didn't want to stop talking to you just yet.” I said with a sheepish grin. Luckily for me, she laughed right there.
“Alright then Mr. Jake, what books do you really need? Maybe we can go stand in line again.” I listed off several books that I needed for classes.
“Calculus. I need that one as well. Come on silly.” She turned her back and started walking. I followed right on her heels, a goofy grin plastered all over my face.
That was my first interaction with Clara. We spent the next two hours gathering all of our books, and at the end I carried her rather large pile back to her dorm room. I was promptly rewarded with her phone number and some cookies that her mom had packed. Normally I’m very pleased by cookies, but the phone number was worth so much more.
“Hey. What about this one?” Clara’s voice comes from beside me. I lean over to look at the paper again.
“This time just take the antiderivative of cosine and solve for x.”
“Oh right. That's the last one.”
“What do you want to do now?” I ask.
“How about we go to your room and see if we can make your roommate uncomfortable enough to leave?” She says with a mischievous grin, bringing those deep blue eyes nearer to mine. She always seems to find an excuse to kiss me.
When I was young
I'm not going to lie
I wanted to be older
I thought I would die
As soon as I hit twenty-one
All was the same
Only there were bills now
All work and no play
Now I wanted to be older still
To having a family
And house just to start
As soon as I got there
The kids grew up so fast
They were gone very quickly
Empty the nest
Now that I am fifty
All alone on my own
I wish I was a kid again
Cause I know whats to come
So never wish your older
Treasure the moments that are young
Because the next thing you know
You'll see your last setting sun
there is very little that makes me happy
and there is quite a bit that makes me sad
but there's one thing that makes me feel both at once
a hurricane of tears and smiles
hundreds of butterflies and thousands of grimaces
choked back emotions and overflowing thoughts
i don't care for your friendly gestures
all i want is your lips back on mine
and you in the palm of my hands
at least while i'm still able to feel something
who am i even writing about.
all i know is that the end is drawing near.
ALL good things come to an end.
What if I don't want it to end?
Can't we just stay in this
cocoon of childlike happiness
You can't escape the inevitable.
If the best is yet to be,
I'm at my best when you're with me.
Why can't we just live for now,
and push all our sorrows
out the back door?
The thing about pain is that it demands to be felt.
This pain, it's different, this pain,
it's like swallowing shards
of your own shattered heart
in order for the pieces to reassemble.
We don't deserve this.