Gratitude Day 2: Revelation

I got to give an Elder’s quorum lesson Sunday morning on the talk Ask, Seek, and Knock, by Milton Camargo. He discusses in that talk how revelation is something he is grateful for, and I agree. I don’t know where I would be without the “guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost”, as President Nelson put it, and so I want to #GiveThanks for the divine gift of revelation.

Revelation

Have you ever been walking,
and tried to see how far you could walk
with your eyes closed?

I can’t walk very long —
a few seconds at most —
before anxiety and fear
force my eyes open,
even if just for a moment,
to see a snapshot of the path ahead
before I take one more step.

I wonder how I could possibly live
if I always walked like that,
with my eyes usually closed
to the path ahead of me.

Afterwards, I’m more grateful
for the gift of sight,
the sun’s guiding light,
the trees and path alike,
that I missed with my eyes held shut.

And then I think how often,
I go hours or even days,
without opening my eyes
in prayer to the Lord
and His wonderful light
that guides my eternal path.

Gratitude Day 1: Friends

In following the Prophet’s advice, I wanted to post a poem every day this week, instead of just on Sunday as I usually do, listing things I am grateful for. Today I wanted to #GiveThanks for the many friends I have, and the times they help me in my life.

Friends

Friends who let me talk to them 
When I just need to talk,
And get it all out in the air,

Friends who sit there while I cry,
When I feel like crying is all I can do,
To let my emotions out.

Friends who accept my cookies and hugs
When that’s all I can give,
Though they need so much more. 

Friends who make me feel like I belong,
When loneliness is heavy on my mind
And belonging makes it better. 

Friends make life a better place,
So thank you, God, for all my friends,
And please, help me be a good friend, too. 

The man who wasn’t crucified

In church today, during sacrament meeting, one of the speakers made a comment that he heard once from a Baptist Preacher: “Jesus had to be treated like Barabbas for Barabbas to be treated like Jesus.” I thought that was an intriguing thought, and I turned it into this poem. 

The man who wasn’t crucified

Imagine yourself as Barabbas. 
Facing certain death
For your mistakes and crimes:
Murder, sedition, and insurrection.

Suddenly, guards bring you out in chains. 
The crowd is angry, but not at you —
At a strange, quiet man,
Who doesn’t look like a criminal. 

Pilate asks who the crowd will free,
And somehow, they call your name. 
In disbelief, but also relief, you walk away,
Chains unlocked, now a free man. 

Maybe you later go watch the man on the cross,
Dying instead of you. 
Or later hear stories of how he lived
And did miracles for the poor. 

Maybe you later change your life
When given this second chance,
And try to live as that man, Jesus, no longer could,
To make up for his unjust death.

One thing I know, that fateful day,
When the innocent man died,
Barabbas was not the only man
Whose life was saved by Jesus’ death. 

Redeemer

Redeemer

If every bad thought
were a stone you had to carry everywhere,
how grateful you would be
if someone helped you lift the pack
and let you walk again.

If every unkind word
were a year you could never see your family,
how grateful you would be
if someone offered to take on your lonely decades
and let you hug your family again.

If every hurtful deed
were a stab wound in your flesh,
how grateful you would be
to the doctor who bound and healed your wounds
and let you live without pain again.

And yet,

when every bad thought would always weigh us down from happiness,
when every unkind word would keep us from our family forever,
when every hurtful deed would lead to everlasting pain and death,
how often we forget
the Man who suffered, struggled, and died
to let us live again.

The first sunset in the Garden of Eden

Originally published 11-09-19

I know this poem probably isn’t 100% doctrinally correct. The scriptures don’t have many details on the Garden of Eden,  so it’s hard to know much about it with certainty.

The first sunset in the Garden of Eden

The birds
still figuring out how to fly,
tried anyway to flap up
and catch the colors.

The lion and the lamb
stopped playing to see
what made the lamb’s coat
as golden as the lion’s.

The trees,
who feared the dark of night,
were soothed by the flower
of the fading sun.

The crickets,
still untrained violinists,
competed to praise the shades
of beautiful light.

The clouds
tumbling through new air,
paused and held still
to frame the moment.

Adam and Eve
sat side by side
and watched the world
that God had made for them.