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Alyssa Underwood Jul 2017
It's delight which flows without measure
from the assurance that through every circumstance
and detail of my life God is ever beckoning and drawing me
into deeper intimacy with Himself, ever whispering to my heart,
“Come closer still.”

Joy in the midst of devastating loss, crushing disappointment,
unbearable pain or scourging heartache is about the discovery of
treasure so precious and rare that it never could have been found
had we not been forced to walk a path of affliction in the desert.

It's in the isolation and brutality of the wild that we come to know Him
in ways that transcend the span of human imagining or desiring,
and all the songs and all the poems and all the masterpieces
taken together cannot capture an estimable description
of the pleasures that might be unearthed there.

There lies before us in our afflictions a vast and wondrous beauty
yet undisclosed behind the fog, and like a theatrical curtain
slowly pulled back to reveal a perfectly set stage
He will sublimely unveil it in His own directed time.

And we shall be elated at the view,
for it's against a backdrop of struggle and darkness
that the best and most moving of stories have always unfolded.

Maybe nothing truly beautiful can ever take form on earth
without the shroud of mystery and brokenness surrounding it—
at least not the kind of beauty that takes our breath away
and leaves us yearning to possess it.
~~~

"You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy
in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand."  
~ Psalm 16:11

"O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You, my body longs for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen You in the sanctuary and beheld Your power and Your glory. Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You. I will praise You as long as I live, and in Your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise You. On my bed I remember You; I think of You through the watches of the night. Because You are my help, I sing in the shadow of Your wings. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me."  
~ Psalm 63:1-8

"It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn Your decrees. The law from Your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold."  
~ Psalm 119:71-72

"'Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her youth...'"
~ Hosea 2:14-15
Alyssa Underwood Jun 2016
go on your way
My beloved child
turn aside from
the swerving path
untangle your gaze
to center on Me
stand in courage
hugging wisdom
guard all thoughts
leaning upon My love
release what's behind
and walk on in joy
Proverbs 4

~~~
CK Baker Mar 2017
lady craighead played the blues
on a stand-up samick
in the ***** room
along side the parsons project
and squabbling dogs
and night moves

stairs creek
up the mezzanine trek
wool sheets slide
on finished floors
little angels
play late into the seventh
(a closing match nearing
the midnight hour)

croaking toads and cicada
sing in the blue moon
musty smells and mothballs
settle deep in the vault
the kettle boils
and cat coils
as the pump house rolls
its heavy drawl

the red phone rings
and bird clock sings
(behind the ruddy stall)
a sleeman variation of the ruy lopez
employed heartily
by the incomparable master jack
marble toast burning
wringer wash churning
chris craft running
near the old carp canoe

rooster calls
and west wind squalls
rustle through the porch screen door
chicken *** pies
and rogue flies linger
a rocker chair placed
near the  sepia face
(softened by the intricate frame)

donkey in tow
(with a fastened ***)
maggie in her dreams
of green tambourines
the nocturnes
reflections
and whispering gospel bells

tractors pull on
the grinder stone
horses lay still
in the mid-day sun
a trump card is fingered
at the furnace click
(crosswords and puzzles are next!)
while the sparrow
and that **** rabid fox
are drowning
deep in castles well
Alyssa Underwood Jul 2017
The joyful heart is the buoyant heart—
empowered to rise above its circumstances,
unweighted, unburdened, unbound,
tied only to that which would lift it higher,
untethered from anything which would
pull it down, pull it under or suffocate it.

It's the free heart, quiet and at rest
yet jubilant and uncontained,
the celebrating heart, the praising heart,
the thankful heart, the heart set on pilgrimage,
bent on adventure, journey and romance.

All the while it's a waiting heart
because it's a yielded, led heart—
a heart which doesn't run ahead of the LORD
but willingly, quickly to the LORD—
a heart that though eagerly anticipating each
twisting turn, next horizon and changing path
keeps its eyes fixed not on the scenery
but forever on the Shepherd
because it's a heart persuaded
that He alone is the Great Reward
for which it has always been looking.

True joy is only ours when we find an endless
source of satisfaction, and of these I know only One!
The secret to all joy is to crave Him above all else.
The joyful heart is the one addicted fully to Him,
desperate for Him to the expense of all else,
willing to sacrifice everything to have that craving satisfied.

Joy and idols, I have learned,
do not easily reside together in the same heart.
So if I find that joy is chased away
the most likely culprits are my own desires.
What am I wanting more than Jesus?
For if intimacy with Him is the supreme goal of my life
then nothing can arise which I'm not enabled to bear with joy.
There is, I suppose, nothing so reliable as suffering and loss
to expose all of the hidden idols within me.

It's surely those who have suffered the greatest
and most frequent losses for Christ who are also
most capable of knowing the deepest and most abiding joy.
For it's when we've been stripped bare of everything else
that we begin to know for certain that our joy is based
not on the temporary blessings of our circumstances
but only on the presence of the Eternal Blesser Himself.

Sometimes He offers to us all that is in His right hand,
but for any with eyes truly opened to see
the most precious of times may be those
when He offers to us only the intimacy of His right hand.

Rivers of sadness can open up
into wide gulfs of endless delight and
are often the very courses needed to carry us there.
When all is lost, we find to our amazement
that, even so, we still have ALL
and no one can rob us of it.
When He takes everything from us
He proves Himself to be EVERYTHING to us.
~~~

"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."
~ Philippians 1:21

"I want you to know how hard I am contending
for you...and for all who have not met me personally.
My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart
and united in love, so that they may have the full riches
of complete understanding, in order that they may know
the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden
all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
~ Colossians 2:1-3

"I say to the LORD, 'You are my Lord;
    apart from You I have no good thing.'...
Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more...
    LORD, You alone are my portion and my cup;
    You make my lot secure...
I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the LORD.
    With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
    my body also will rest secure...
You make known to me the path of life;
    You will fill me with joy in Your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at Your right hand."
~ Psalm 16:2,4a-5,7-9,11

"Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
    He makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    He enables me to tread on the heights."
~ Habakkuk 3:17-19

"How lovely is Your dwelling place,
     O LORD Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
    for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out
    for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
    and the swallow a nest for herself,
    where she may have her young—
a place near Your altar,
     O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
    they are ever praising You.
Blessed are those whose strength is in You,
    whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
    they make it a place of springs;
    the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
    till each appears before God in Zion."
~ Psalm 84:1-7

~~~
Alyssa Underwood Sep 2017
There is little in this world that consistently causes our hearts more pain or which produces in us more need for forgiveness than rejection, especially from those whom it has cost us so much to love. It is universal anathema to the soul, and much of our lives can be unconsciously governed by the fear of it. So we find ourselves naturally asking, "Joy in the midst of rejection? Is that even possible?" Oh, yes! Not only possible but commanded of us who are believers in Christ. And not only commanded of us but ready to be gloriously bestowed on us like the most precious of pearls.

It's in the season of greatest rejection that we enter the season of greatest opportunity to discover the fullness of God's joy by discovering the fullness of His own heart. Walking in intimacy with Jesus through this searing pain may be one of the most priceless privileges of grace granted to us on this earth, for it opens up one of the widest doors for us to enter into the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, and there is no more obvious chance to die to ourselves and live for Christ than in that holy communion of suffering with Him.

It's there that we're most able to clearly see Him and best prepared to clearly reflect Him, and it's then that we're empowered to live our lives here on earth from the very throne room of heaven, seated in the resurrected presence of our Bridegroom, where the joy always runs full and over. So our deepest heartaches will turn to deepest joys when we embrace them for the sake of Christ, to gain Him and be found in Him, to know Him in intimate detail through excruciatingly sweet experience. We will discover that the Lord entrusts the most luscious of blessings and the rarest of secrets to the most desperate and thirsty of souls, and that He delights to place the loveliest of wings on the lowliest of worms.

The gifts of myrrh's sorrow which the Father pours into the vessels of our lives are poured first into the hands of His own Son and flow through His nail-pierced scars before they ever touch us. And as we choose to graciously receive them as such, we are filled up with Him and enabled to pour Him out into the lives of others, even those who continually scorn and despise us.

The gift (yes, gift) of rejection is the high privilege of being asked by our Commander to become His flag bearer, receiving the esteemed honor of marching beside Him at the center of the front line, into the heat of the battle and into the face of the "enemy" (the rejecter), armed with no gun and carrying only His banner of love over our head for all to see. It's a sacred invitation into a certain death for the sake of knowing His love more intimately and for the service of displaying it more gloriously.

And if tempted to refuse the privilege, let us remember these two things: this life is so much more freely, joyfully lived when we have finally learned to count ourselves dead to it and alive to Christ, and the flow of His agape love through us will only be as strong as what it costs us to demonstrate it. The greater the cost, the purer the love; the purer the love, the more we are made like Him; the more we are made like Him, the more attuned we will be to His own heart's breaking and to our own breaking of it.

Oh, that we might be purged of ever thinking again that our neglecting of His love does not matter to Him! May He cause our hearts to break and break until we see how much it does! May we know the world's rejection again and again until we are finally scoured clean of our own despicable tendency to reject Him in favor of all our worldly playthings! No lover has ever endured more rejection than our Lover at our own hands and by our own hearts. And no lover continues to love through rejection with the determination and desire, suffering and sacrifice, tenderness and tenacity of our own Bridegroom. Can we not endure whatever He has called us to suffer for Him? Can we not allow it to drive us more fervently to His heart?... Lord, capture us by Your mighty hand and consume us by Your mighty flame, and may we pant and pine only for You, for Your love sets us free to dance in the midst of the fire!

How humbling, mystifying and worship-evoking it is to realize that the One we have so grievously rejected is the same One Who so perfectly understands and longs to comfort our own heart's grief when we are rejected. And to not run to Him now for that fellowship of healing would be to reject Him all over again and to break His heart once more. What could hurt Him more than our stubborn resistance to share in both His sufferings and His comfort when there is so much joy and intimacy waiting to be had with Him? Whatever ache our own heart knows, however deep and scathing, it cannot compare to the ache of His own heart when we let anything pull us away from Him, for He is rightly EVERYTHING to us—Father, Husband, Lover, Best Friend, Brother, Confidante, Kindred Spirit, Counselor, Nurturer, Rescuer, Healer, Hero... Behind the pain of every rejection is a legitimate need or desire that He is waiting to fill in us, and we have to let Him get to it by dying to our fleshly ones.

Or do we suppose that we might ever find true and lasting joy apart from dying to ourselves and abiding in Him when He died so that we might fully live in the joy of that abiding? No, true joy will only follow abiding; abiding and dying walk hand in hand, and rejection throws open the door for all three. Man's rejection is central to God's wooing, for it shatters our false expectations of human love and stirs in our hearts the longing for a perfect one. So let us not shrink back fearfully from that which can do us such good and teach us to love as Christ has loved us. With renewed passion, let us ask Him to wrap every affection of our hearts more tightly around Him that every desire might be united with His own and that we might learn to love in a way that sets our lives and the world around us ablaze!

To be despised and rejected and, still, to love—that is the ultimate triumph of Christ in our hearts, for we are never more like Him, never more full of Him, never more surrendered to His heart and His work than when He pours out His love through us to those who will not love us back. When we can stand in the face of bitter, cutting words, contemptuous looks and shaming mockery and still love fiercely but with a gentle and quiet spirit, we will know without doubt that it is His Spirit moving gloriously through us... Lord Jesus, Who so willingly floods our hearts with Your most precious gift, Yourself (and You are Love!), teach us to ever know You more and to rely fully on the love You have for us and ARE for us in infinite supply. Teach us to feast on the abundance of that love, and let it flow freely out of us to the ones who would reject, scorn, mock and hate us, so that they too might one day taste and be consumed by Your perfect love which drives out all fear—Your infinite, immeasurable love which heals all wounds and fills all emptiness and gives meaning to all of our pain. You alone, O LORD, are able to truly and purely love through rejection, but You live gloriously in us, so unleash Your mighty waters through us. Your love is everything, for You are Everything!...

Our all-sufficient Bridegroom is able to work His agape love most perfectly in us when that love poured out to another is not ever reciprocated, for it forces us to finally let Him fill us with Himself alone and to rely completely on His love instead of on the love of another to meet our heart's deepest hunger. The need for His filling IS our deepest hunger, and so our soul comes most alive not when it is loved by our fellow man but when it receives and pours out Jesus' love to our fellow man, expecting nothing in return but more of Him. Thus His love is made complete in us whether they ever love us back or not, and the fear of their rejection is eventually driven out by His perfect and perfecting love.

Even if love is never returned...never even received...it is never in vain, for "love never fails." To love someone, though we mean nothing to them, may seem too cruel a burden for the heart to bear, but the only thing worse than not being loved is to not love, and so the greatest tragedy of love spurned or lost would be to stop loving. For to cease loving that which causes us pain would be to let the pain win, but for as long as we love, really love with Christ's own heart, no matter what else happens, we win.

Love without pain remains unproven and, therefore, is meaningless, but love through pain invokes nothing less than the miraculous and inspires even the incredulous. The purer one's love, the more pain it causes when it is rejected, but only continued love can redeem the pain of loving, and only a perfect Love can heal love's scalding wound; the more scalding the wound, the better primed it is to receive that perfect Love fully into it.

There is great romance to be found in unrequited love that keeps loving, though it is beyond any human emotion or fleshly capacity or mortal understanding. It is a most sacred mystery which cannot be grasped with the head or even the heart but only with the spirit, for it is a love whose connection to Christ remains unsevered. There is perhaps no intimacy to compare to it, for it drives us to Him like nothing else will. It is a love whose longing for the other gives us the greatest insight into God's own aching longing for us. Only when it has cost us everything to keep loving do we begin to understand the smallest fraction of the wildly extravagant love Christ has for us or of the brutally scandalous pain which it has cost Him, and it will leave us in utter awe of Him and in love with Him like we have never been before.

As our focus is turned more and more toward His love for us and toward all of our previous rejecting of it, we will come to clearly see that agape love and rejection have everything to do with the the hearts of the lover and the rejecter and nothing to do with what the beloved and the rejected have done or deserve. For obviously we have done nothing to deserve God's love and He has nothing to deserve our rejection, yet He never stops loving us and we keep rejecting Him in ways we can't even comprehend. No one has ever known more rejection than the only One Who is completely worthy of love. Every time we sin we reject Him in favor of something else, but still He loves us without fail and without end. He loves us because He is love and because He has chosen to set His love on us. We are absolutely and irrevocably loved and accepted in Christ Jesus, and nothing and no one can ever change or mar that love. Our identity is completely secure in Him simply because of Who He is and who He says we are to Him.

Therefore no amount nor depth of rejection by anyone changes anything about who we are in Christ or our worth to Him. We do not need any man's love or acceptance to validate our worth, for it has already been established in the heavenly realms by the only One Whose verdict carries any real and lasting weight. We are significant and precious and holy to God regardless of what anyone else thinks of us or says of us or does to us. What has their rejection got to do with us? Nothing, for we are His! We are chosen and we are beloved! And so we are freed from the fear of rejection when we see that it cannot define us or taint us in the sight of the only One Whose opinion or judgment matters. It's a glorious thing to finally care what no man thinks of us, only the Master, for then we begin to be free to love all men as He loves them and to pray with deepest sincerity, humility and fervor even for those who spitefully reject us.

And even for that one who has hurt us most deeply, who has crushed our heart and thrown us to the wind like chaff without so much as a glance back, we will pray, no longer with only a slight and distant hope that he would return to us but now with a passionate desire to see the prodigal return to the heart of the Father. We will pray, not with a focus on life with him but with a focus on life for him. We will pray for a total and glorious restoration of his life to Christ, even if we will never be there beside him to share in the fellowship and joy of his homecoming, even if we will never get to experience up close in this life the thrill of seeing the Lord make something beautiful yet of his ashes. And this may be the hardest and truest test of our love for him—this painful sacrifice of desiring his absolute best apart from us. It is a wrenching blow to our pride and to our will (not to mention our codependence), for we had so longed to play the Muse and to awaken that beauty in him. So we know we could never yearn or pray for this out of our own strength or wisdom; it is simply too painful to our flesh. We must be led into it and through every delicate step of it by our loving Redeemer, our Bridegroom, as if He were leading us out under a canopy of the starry host and into the most intricate and intimate of moonlit dances. And so we begin to pray and to dance...

But even wrapped in Jesus' arms we are clumsy, stumbling miserably over our own feet. The music is perplexingly unfamiliar and the steps wildly unpredictable, and our toes feel terribly pinched in these new shoes. Maybe this dance is just too hard for us. Maybe we are not yet ready. Maybe we should sit it out for now and try again later when our shoes are a little more broken in or when our heart is a little less broken apart. So we pull away...

But He tenderly beckons us back: Dear and beloved bride, broken-but-beautiful one whom I have made My own, do not push Me away now, not after I have brought you so far. I have many more secrets to share with you and so much more to show you of Myself. But you are not letting Me lead this dance, beloved. Why are you so rigid in My embrace? Why so worried over the next steps? Let go of everything and abandon yourself to My love. Enjoy Me...Follow Me...Lean into Me...Keep watching My face...Let Me move you however I desire us to go...Trust Me...Love Me. Shall we dance, then?

Yes, we shall and we do! As He draws us into Himself, into the prayer of His heart and the dance of His Spirit, and as we give ourself over completely to the impulse of His leading, the details of our words and the precision of our steps give way to the desire and passion of His will, and the pulsating of our heart swirls to the rhythm of His own. The further He pulls us into union with Himself, the more we find ourselves desiring this same intimacy-with-Him for the very one who has so badly hurt us, for we see how badly he himself is hurting without it. We realize now that his running away from us and toward another is just as much a reflection of his insatiable yet misunderstood craving for God as was all of our running toward our own idols (including him). Our soul aches for his redemption and his healing and for his lost sheep's heart to be brought out of darkness and into the marvelous light that shines from Jesus' face, that he might truly know the pleasure of knowing the One Whose pleasure he was created for.

Somehow, through this heightened and mysterious intimacy of prayer for him, we are now discovering a strange and new kind of intimacy with this very one whose intimacy had so often given us the slip, this one whom we had so long loved and lived with but failed to uncover at all, and the fresh wind of it drives us even deeper into the ache of God's own heart for him and for us. It is at the center of that ache that we are finally able to let go of the hurt and the man and leave the matter entirely in God's hands, understanding that the Shepherd's aching heart knows fully all whom He has chosen and will never stop dealing with or seeking after any of His own sheep. And so...


                        We release to Him with a heart of trust
                        This one whom we love and always must
                        We can let go the man and rest because
                        It's out of our hands and always was



But the dance, like the feast, goes on and on, and the more we dance and the more we feast, the more we heal. Our Bridegroom wounds us by His own providence but washes our wounds with His faithfulness and binds them up with His love. The wounds and their healing make us beautiful to Him. They teach us to know Him, to hunger for Him, to enjoy Him and to please Him. And they get us perfectly ready for that most glorious of dances and that most joyous of feasts which are still to come but, perhaps, much closer than we might dare to imagine. It is time to awaken, dear bride of Christ, and to break in our dancing shoes!
~~~


"And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because He first loved us."
~ 1 John 4:16-19

"And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."
~ Romans 5:2b-5

"As you come to Him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to Him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."
~ 1 Peter 2:4-5

"He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    He was despised, and we held Him in low esteem.
Surely He took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by Him, and afflicted.
But He was pierced for our transgressions,
    He was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on Him,
    and by His wounds we are healed."
~ Isaiah 53:3-5

"But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things... I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death..."
~ Philippians 3:7-8a,10

"But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
~ 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

"For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ."
~ 2 Corinthians 1:5

"'Blessed are you who hunger now,
    for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
    for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you,
    when they exclude you and insult you
    and reject your name as evil,
        because of the Son of Man.
Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets...But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you...Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.'"
~ Luke 6:21-23,27-28,36

"Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18

"You make known to me the path of life;
    You will fill me with joy in Your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at Your right hand."
~ Psalm 16:11

"I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
~ Ephesians 3:16-21

~~~
Alyssa Underwood Nov 2015
What is true joy?
It's delight which flows without measure from the assurance
that through every circumstance and detail of my life
God is ever beckoning and drawing me into deeper intimacy
with Himself, ever whispering to my heart, “Come closer still.”
"You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand."  Psalm 16:11
Alyssa Underwood Nov 2015
It is not the nature of things or people to satisfy us
but rather to awaken in us the desire to be satisfied.
When we seek our hearts' pleasures in temporal affairs
our joy easily fades for only delight in the Eternal
cannot be tarnished, broken, stolen or lost.

If we fail to learn the secrets of uncovering joy in loss
then we risk being driven to despair or bitterness or insanity
in this world which is so full of sorrow.

For all of this Earth’s wonder and beauty and blessings
it's only meant to serve as a great cosmic magnet pulling us to our Source.
One true glimpse of Him would cause us to never cast another glance
at any created thing and think it might satisfy.

Lord Jesus, give us eyes to see that You Yourself and You alone
are the bread and water which our souls so desperately crave.
Teach us to hungrily partake from Your own hand, O God.
May every scent and song, every shadow and sorrow
only call us closer to You.
~~~
Alyssa Underwood Nov 2015
Joy in the midst of devastating loss, crushing disappointment,
unbearable pain or scourging heartache is about the discovery of
treasure so precious and rare that it never could have been found
had we not been forced to walk a path of affliction in the desert.

It's in the isolation and brutality of the wild that we come to know Him
in ways that transcend the span of human imagining or desiring,
and all the songs and all the poems and all the masterpieces
taken together cannot capture an estimable description
of the pleasures that might be unearthed there.
"O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You, my body longs for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen You in the sanctuary and beheld Your power and Your glory. Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You. I will praise You as long as I live, and in Your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise You. On my bed I remember You; I think of You through the watches of the night. Because You are my help, I sing in the shadow of Your wings. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me."  Psalm 63:1-8

"It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn Your decrees.  The law from Your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold."  
Psalm 119:71-72
I see you for what you are
I will love you forever more
Your laughter
Your smile
Your unyielding will
Your peace making skill
Your love for me
Your anger towards me
Your smile
Your tears
Through the darkness
And through the light
Forever more will I love you
My darling I give myself to you
Goodnight
This was just for fun. To help those in need of love letter advice.
Vicki Kralapp Jan 2016
Once just a doormat under foot
of those she found about in life.
Helpless to loose the one inside,
she hid among her wounds.

She knew her life was made for more,
and spent her days to find a peace.
And rise above the noise and pain
of just an average life.

Her world was such a futile war,
a battle fought against her foes.
This feud fought daily with a prayer
to search for purpose in debris.

These struggles brought her to this day
to close the door and leave the night.
To free what screamed within her soul
for all those troubled yesterdays.

The girl that lived inside of me
has now become a woman freed.
To live her own true spirit born
within a prison cell now flown.

Now both the blessings and the tears
of all the long fought yesteryears,
Have melted into lessons learned
for the all past is left behind.

To find this heart come spilling forth
and dancing gleefully about.
For I am free to live my life
not shackled from the past or doubt.

My blessings now beyond belief
and joy on joy is now released
Tis true perfection our God makes
when once he choses to create!
Inspired
All poems are copy written and sole property of Vicki Kralapp.
Qweyku Oct 2016
strange things:
the same hands we raise
in victory are those we
lift in surrender, just as
joy is known because
we've tasted the fruit
that sadness yields.

**© Qwey.ku
Johnson Jul 2018
Freed from the blackness that fills my nights
Awoken from the nightmares plaguing my mind
For a short stretch only to receive a brief taste
Holding on for I know she must make haste

Like the foggy windows on a summers night
So have I felt the warmth of another
Never wanting to leave her comfort
Never wanting to see the light

Like roses at the peak of their bloom
Only to enjoy briefly till death ensues
Withered away and dying as they are
So am I breaking as we have to part

Joy is a bitter taste
For it never stays to long
You hold on until you are unable
Until it leaves you withdrawn

Am I but just another face
Another notch upon your bed
Scattered amongst the crowd
Overlooked and overdrawn

For if I know what is true
But I wish it were a lie
To face another second
As I feel my dreams die

On my own I must go
For you’ve taken to much
What I wish I would receive
I only gave to another
Ajit Saigal Jun 2018
I want to hold my head up high
I want to fly till I touch the sky
I want to make my angel smile.

Days will be hard and nights cooler
Life won’t draw your card any more
The storm outside would rage on & on
Yet your music would raise me strong.

The wounds keep bleeding
The tears keep falling
I may not matter any longer
But I promise to not let them monger.

Nothing can glimmer your dazzling light
Believe me, you can scale pristine heights
You are the brightest star ever
Just let it shine sharp and clear.

Keep smiling
Remain happy
Brighten up my Angel of Joy
You will always be my Phantom of Delight.
This was written for my little daughter whom I hadn't met for 6 long years.
My last memory of her flashed & paused,
at me kissing her tiny forehead,
she was just 1 month old then, sleeping peacefully on her mom's lap,
cuddled within caring silken arms.
Juhlhaus Jan 16
Sipping the air of a city night
So heady in the cold
On the move under static lights
Little worlds about
To collide

Gravity frivolity
Draw broken hearts like earth bound stars
As the pull of every
Small storied point holds others back
From abysses beneath
Dark waters

Lone souls each
And all compose this metropolis
Joy is to be
Discovered in insignificance
Where together
We belong
Three poets walked into a bar. These are some thoughts that emerged.
PoserPersona Sep 2018
A confident man feels not a need to speak
on all things with which he does not agree
Though in the proper time and place
he is not afraid to assert his way

And though his words at times cause spurn,
he will admit when they are out of turn
Fearing not the inevitable mistake,
but rather owning it too late

Caring and feeling without hesitation
and not for reciprocal adulation
Emotions are expressed appropriately;
either subtlety or rationally

As honest with others as with himself;
recognizing what he does and doesn’t do well
Claiming to know what he does know
and asks when he don’t

Pursuing tasks for their benefit and or joy
rather than status or fleeting ploys
Those latter things are often great fun,
but worry of them yields none

While in his mind there is good thinking,
he is more occupied with good acting
In order to have concerns of the ideological,
requires labors that are practical

On his confidence, he does not ponder,
as neither he or anyone wonders
of whether he truly possesses it.
We know it.
A young girl is walking on a sinuous and rough trail.
Wounds and scratches have found its place in her body, so frail.

As she reached the end of the pathway, she began to feel decrepit and impuissant that she wanted to discreetly skreigh.

On a cloudy dark night, a boy appeared in the fog.
He said
Everthing will be okay..
Don't worry..
Just take my hand..

He took her to a place
that is very bright,
dazzling that it hurts
her heavy eyes.

They both sitted on an evergreen
well-groomed grass.
She noticed the beautiful scenery that appeared.
It calmed her mind,
her heart,
her whole being.

The sun shines,
the water by the river is crystal blue,
the breeze of the wind blows her hair.
She have seen the skies,
the birds and the flowers
surrounded by tall trees.

This place is filled with love, joy and happiness.
This is the place that she can choose to be with
or she can be in another world..

                                          - Ella Salvador
(c) June 2018
Arke Aug 2018
Joy
you asked me to write a poem
about joy
a difficult request for someone
who has forgotten what it means
and at times
forgotten where to find it
I started thinking of life's tiny joys
warm coffee
soft cheese
mountain views
hot tub kisses
long hikes, hand in hand
running into a warm ocean
and I wondered if that was enough
if I could string together all
the tiny moments, end to end
if they would create something
quantifiable enough to be described
as joy?
or if my joy
like the wings of a raven or
jagged blocks of ice or
fields of succulents
would always be better viewed
at a safe distance and never touched but
you allowed me to see your joy and
for a moment I felt like it was tangible
you let me hold it with care
I will always be grateful
that you have shown me
what it looks like
I keep it near my heart now
by my closest memories
because your joy is my gift and
my joy
will always remain with you
Dylan McFadden Mar 2018
I pray that you will daily see
The God who fashioned you and me
Who formed the stars and gave us breath
Who’s sovereign over life and death

He is supreme and He is Love
Fulfills His purpose from Above
A Grand Design! A Perfect Plan!
Holding all things in His hand

His care is deep; His pleasures, sweet
Into which I pray you’ll sink
Deep and deep…and deeper still
Adore Him always; seek His will

He calls you “child” – loves you much
And so much so He loved you such:
When you were yet a rebel to
The heart of God, Christ died for you

A chosen soul, a chosen Bride
“Born that man no more may die!”
He gave His life for all His Sheep
He sowed it all that we might reap

Might reap new life and strength to run
To glorify God’s Only Son
To speak of Truth and sing with joy:
“In death, death has been destroyed!”

So, see the riches of His grace
With which you have beheld His face
He opened your blind eyes to see
Now daily look, and with Him, be

He’ll hold you safe until the end
No one can ****** you from His hand
He runs to meet you – draws you near
And daily whispers, “Do not fear”

.
Lizzy Dec 2014
The tests say 98% neurotic.
The doctor says I'm just passionate.
My parents say I'm too sensitive.
Lovers say I'm too clingy.
I say I'm just ******* crazy.

I feel everything so deeply.
Love is so instense.
Fear is crippling.
Pain is paralyzing.
Joy is euphoria.

Maybe I'm too passionate,
Or emotional,
Or sensitive,
Or whatever.
But I know one thing,
That I'm deeply,
Madly,
Cripplingly,
And euphorically,
In love with you.
eng jin Nov 2018
I swim,
under the twilight sky,
my heart is pounding & my arms are paddling,
struggling to breathe,
yet I push on,
to reach the other wall.

I hear,
muffled splashes
across the lanes as swimmers glide by,
though I could hardly see,
yet I could feel,
one of them fills the pool.

I wonder,
why I press on,
for my health or for my heart?
by now my legs are aching and my arms are heavy,
yet it is a joy,
to be in my hiding place.
aphrodite May 2015
If you give a girl a with a big heart your broken pieces,
she will gently pick them up and carry them in her soft hands,
and pay no mind to your sharp edges.
She will try to glue you back together
and she’ll do it in a way that made you forget you were ever broken.
With scratched finger tips and ****** palms,
she’ll lift you up to the sun,
letting it's blinding rays shine through you
to show you that even the worst things have things to love in them
and that even the shattered can again be whole.

If you give a girl with a big heart your body,
she will study you like an archaic God.
She will learn your curves and surfaces like braille,
she will adjust her hearing to the pitch of your laughter
so that no matter how far apart you become,
her ears will perk up like a dog's when you giggle,
and she will smile, knowing that you smile.

If you give a girl with a big heart your time,
she will make each second feel like infinity,
and each sunset like the end of the world.
You'll forget that the universe is as vast and wondrous as it is,
because you will be so captivated by the light that she emits
right where she sits,
by your side.

And if you take from a girl with a big heart,
please,
for the love of God,
do not take it all.

If you take from a girl with a big heart,
please remember that her love is not a renewable resource.
The wind and the sun and the water will forever be there to serve you but
she will run dry, and become another fact of history that will one day be forgotten.

If you take from a girl with a big heart,
please remember how sharp your edges were before her,
how lifeless your body was before she touched it,
and how meaningless time was before she made it into something magical.
**
September Roses Dec 2018
Lemon drop notes play across my lips
Spring is here
The grass is velvet green
White gold dances in our eyes as we look towards the sky
We sip sweet tea
And listen to an old radio
Out on the back porch
Staring over the fence
Sugary laughter comes from the fields
The light comes early
And the birds sing like honey
Oh spring
Isnt it sweet
Kevin J Taylor Oct 2015
A riot of Song
Of reverberating Song
And Imagination
Kevin J Taylor Sep 2017
Spoons
c-d-lick-k-k

pots/pans
b-bang-ng-ng
bowng b boawng
Hey!

-ey!
lids
CRSH-INGGG

Hey ng ng-ng b-ba-wnng Hey!

Hey!
HeyboangHecd-ba-b-yonnHey!
HeyowngHeyboangdeclick (SHiNGHey!)
Heyang-b-bang-c-dlick bongHey!
c-Hey-c-baowngSHINGGbonng-nging-Hey!
.
Not all poems survive. I've lost a few and let others go. My current collection of poems is available on Kindle and in paperback. It is called "3201 e's" (that is approximately how many e's are in the manuscript which is a very unpoetic title but a reflection on the creation of poetry by common means.)
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