Would I See Him

Sent home from my mission Aug 07, 2017

The poem I want to share with you this week is one I wrote half of in the MTC around Christmastime, and I finished the rest of it out in the mission field. I thought about what kind of person I would be if I lived in the time of Christ—would I be a shepherd who went and worshiped the baby Jesus, or would I be one of the hundreds or thousands of other people in Bethlehem to whom this was just another baby? 

Would I See Him?

If I’d walked the roads of Palestine
in older, simpler years,
would I have seen a man
drying people’s tears?
Would I listen to His words 
and choose to follow where He goes,
or would I spit on Him, reject Him,
there in Calvary, alone?

If I’d walked the roads of Bethlehem
on a certain silent night,
Would I have seen a baby
in swaddling clothes wrapped tight?
Would I have knelt and sang his praise
and worshiped Him, my Christ, that day,
or would I have been too busy
and continued on my way?

And in the paths I’m on today
in this loud and noisy world,
do I make time to see my Savior
and His gospel flag unfurled?
To pray for truth, and seek His grace
and follow what He taught,
or will I never feel His hand in mine
and do the works He wrought?

As I seek to walk His paths,
and simply serve my brother,
will someone see me, and notice 
as I try to help another?
Will they see my work and think of Him
who served us each so selflessly?
I don’t know, but I did my part
And I that’s enough for me.

The Great Minister

Originally published 11-03-19

I had stake conference this weekend, and one of the speakers, talking about ministering said a line I really liked. I expanded the idea and turned it into a poem.

The Great Minister

I’ve never raised the dead
        back to life,
never been able to say “I know
        exactly what you’re going through,”
or “I’ve suffered through that so you
        don’t have to,”
never made a mountain move
        or multiplied loaves and fish.
never made up for every loss,
        every broken dream.
never “wiped away tears
        from off all faces.”
never been a perfect example
        to lead the way back home,
never died to save my friends
        and enemies,
never changed the world.

But, like the Man who did those things,

I can take somebody’s hand
        and lift them higher.
I can weep with those
        who just need to cry right now.
I can help make tiny miracles happen,
        with my simple prayers and faith.
I can follow gentle promptings
        and bless those I am near.
I can wipe one tear
        off of one face.
I can be a friend, be close
        to those who suffer.
I can let my candle,
        however dim, show the way.
I can give some hours of my life
        to help someone in need
I can change a life.

Courage

Originally published 09-13-19

I wrote this poem on 9/11:

Courage

I try not
to pray
for the strength to keep
winning my daily battles.

Now, I pray for the
courage
to keep trying,
to keep fighting
alongside God.

To Friends Who Know How to Hear Silence

Originally published 08-21-19

I have had several experiences this week that have taught me
the priceless value of friends who know how to really listen. When I wrote this
poem, it wasn’t based on any specific personal experience, but I think we all have times
in our lives where we need friends who know how to hear silence.

To Friends Who Know How to Hear Silence

When the loudest noise is the stubborn air conditioner,
            and tears rolling on cheeks,

When words are gone, are incomplete,
            though repeated however heartfelt,

When it seems that each man—and I—am an island,
            an ocean away from true connection,
            an ocean away from humanity,

When all I have inside that must be said has
            no words, no true names,

When my thin voice cannot capture my bursting soul,

How thankful I am for friends
            who know how to hear silence.

I’m Called to Go and Change the World

Originally published 08-03-19

Written Aug 21, 2017

I wrote this poem based on a thought I’ve been having about making a difference, and how it must be one heart at a time:

I’m Called to Go and Change the World

I’m called to go and change the world
and make it a better place,
but I can only change the world
one heart at a time.

I’m asked to cry repentance
and bring my siblings unto Christ,
but repentance only touches people
one heart at a time.

I’m a soldier, God’s elite,
sent to fight Satan’s hosts
but the hardest battles are always fought
one heart at a time.

I talk, I preach, I pray, I hope
that people’s hearts can change.
This gospel brings joy and peace and hope
one heart at a time.

When life gets hard, I’ll stop and think
of why I’m doing this,
why I’m healing up a fallen world
one heart at a time.

And I remember the One who died
and lived to make a difference.
As He did, I too will bless people
one heart at a time.

Each work I say, each deed I do,
is to change the hearts around me
with differences that are only made
one heart at a time.

Mother’s Day poem

Originally published 5-12-19

I debated this week between posting my favorite poem, about the prodigal son, and this poem about mother’s day. I eventually went with this one, but I’ll share the other at some point. Happy Mother’s day!

Mother’s Day poem

Who prepares our meals and makes sure that we’re fed?
Who beautifies a house and makes of it a home?
Who sends us off to school and tucks us into bed?
To all these questions, and many more, the answer is: our Mom!

Thank you, Mom, for all the many things you do for me,
Thank you, Mom, that you’ve been there and with me all along,
Thank you for being an example of who I want to be,
I’m glad I have the blessing to call you my Mom!

I love you, Mom!

Break All Bonds

Originally published 05-07-19

This poem was inspired by the Come Follow Me for this last week. I loved the line in Luke 13:16, where Christ describes healing a woman on the Sabbath as “loosed from this bond.” I like the imagery, and I wrote this poem in response.

Break All Bonds

When an ox
falls in a hole
would you not each
rescue her?

Do you not—
even on the Sabbath—
lead your sheep
to be watered?

A daughter of Abraham,
too, can be loosed
from her bonds
on God’s day.

He who breaks all bonds
comes now to you:
will you let Him free you
today?

Counting to Infinity

Originally published 05-05-19

I know it has been a while since I wrote, I was busy and on vacation. Nevertheless, here is a poem I wrote today. It was inspired by a comment someone made during fast and testimony meeting, which became the third-to-last line.

Counting to Infinity

One life, ticking by.
Two eyes, to always seek those in need.
Three square, daily meals to care for my body.
Four limbs to walk with strangers, to lift up tired hands.
Five fingers to grip the pen and write a “thank you.”
Six grades, all A’s, no minuses.
Seven days before it starts all over again.
Eight years of learning, then facing life accountable, for real.
Nine-to-five to feed a future family.
Ten commandments, unrelenting, unbreakable.
Eleven…
Twelve…

Perhaps life isn’t about counting to infinity.
After all, ten plus infinity is the same as a million plus infinity,
And if I let Him, Christ will add to my staggeringly imperfect finite.
He will add the infinity I can never count to.