Stand Up

He said, “Stand up”

After knocking him down

“Boy look me in the eye”

Afraid to make any sound

He knew better than to cry

“You best respect me

And be grateful too

For all I’ve ever done”

The hollow words echoed

In the ears of a beaten son

He watched as siblings

Found their way

With the help of a doting dad

And yet he knew

The times would come

He’d feel the wrath of things gone bad

He then grew into his own one day

And he caught his father’s fist

The anger swelled and broadened

But dad was too weak to resist

The boy now man

Struck a blow

To the man at whose table he sat

The father staggered

And shouted out

“I raised you better than that”

The boy now man

Stood his ground

And said, “You’re reaping what you sowed

You raised me up in fearfulness

But I’d like us to live in hope”

But the father pushed back

And hated this son

For what he showed him to be

He refused to listen

And find a way

For both to live strong and free

The family bonds were fraying

For lack of empathy’s ear

And on bended knee the son would dream

Of a life free of struggle and fear

Hear our prayer

We cry out O God
Hear our prayer
We cry out O God
Please be here
We cry out O God
Hearts undone
We cry out O God
Bring the sun

Our tears seem never-ending 
And our spirits sink so low
Lord the light we long to live in
Now is barely but a glow
Please hear our prayer
Our burdened sigh
And speak a word
That lifts us high

Lord we cry out
Please hear our prayer
We cry out
In deep despair
Lord hear us now
Lord hear us now
This is our prayer

Let Me See

Oh let me see

The you that lives

Deep inside of me

Make me less

And you be more

For then I’m truly free

The more of you

Lord Jesus

That overtakes my soul

Will give the world

A better me

So let this be my goal

Take what must be taken

Convict me in my sin

But leave me not

Where I am

A light just barely dim

Hope in the Rain

Lord I believe

Lord I believe

Though I quake in the storm’s embrace

I trust you are near

Though I struggle to see the way

I push back the fear

For you give us hope

That defies all the rain

You send forth your faithful ones

To ease trouble’s pain

Lord I believe

Lord I believe

Lord I believe

I believe in the change you made

In my wayward soul

I believe you are calling us

To bring others home

For you give us hope

That defies all the rain

You send forth your Spirit

And we find life again

Lord I believe

Lord I believe

Lord I believe

I believe there is more

I believe nothing less

I believe the day is coming

When we’ll find peace and rest

But until that day has come

And until this life is done

Lord I believe

Lord I believe

Lord I believe

Potential

A yellow load of potential
drove past me yesterday
It’s hard to see its fullness
from my porch
Could the answer for our future
be traveling down my street
Might a problem of tomorrow
sit beside her
Potential has no moral compass
nor does it bend to one
All those on the bus have it
Their choices and mine
set the path
And now I’m thinking
did they look at me
on my front stoop
and wonder about me
Do they imagine my potential
And that leads me to consider
do I?

Grace

I saw grace
Flowing 
Like a waterfall
But a drop
Is all I could grasp
The more I tried
To take hold
The less I seemed
To have
Tangible
Yet elusive
Frustration
Made me wonder
If grace
I could know
In any measure
And then
Everything changed
When I stopped 
I stopped grabbing
For grace
And instead
I cupped my hands
Watched them fill
And took a drink
Suddenly
I was revived
Refreshed
Hydrated
With living water
So often I grab
When I simply need
To receive

Gold From My Undoings

You spin gold from my undoings
Creating beauty from my faults
You make something from my nothing
From my sin your love is taught
There is no force upon the face
Of the earth that can compare
To your ever-present Spirit
To the grace you freely share
So I bow before you Jesus
As there’s no one else I see
Who can bring forth unseen wonder
From the mess I’ve made of me
Lift my life beyond the hopelessness
Take my heart and make it new
You’re the future I can’t fathom
And the love I dare pursue

Shame

Why must I bear the shame
Of your hatred and your pride
From birth I share your gender
By DNA my skin is white
But that's the reach of our connection
For you act with such disdain
And yet I live the stigma
Of your torch-lit claim to fame
My answer is to be among
The men whose skin is white
Yet seek to bring the heart of God
To your insipid evil fight
May I be so bold to offer up
The life I think I need to live
And may I find the courage
To regret I have but one to give

Dead Ended No More

Long had I wandered
In the harsh lands of doubt
Dead ends trod too often
With my legs giving out
Valleys of poverty
Mountains of shame
I stumbled and climbed
And limped along lame
I hardly took note
Of the one walking near
He called out my name
But it took time to hear
When I turned toward the sound
Of grace offered free
I found a companion
Who first founded me
The journey still taxing
The path narrow still
But the change unexpected
Was the strength of my will
Stronger I felt
With each passing stride
As Christ led me on
And walked by my side
My journey's not ended
I'm not sure when it might
But my dead ended wanderings
Are no longer in sight