For the usual things
Made more special for their expectedness:
For things beautiful and strange:
Books with voices that strengthen my own;
An orange cat with winsome determination;
Crackling fires facilitating laughter and conversation.
And for things unusual:
Love beyond measure,
And grace that finds us
Even in the midst of our wanderings.
They didn’t teach me
How best to express an ache
For people I don’t know,
Or how to help heal a wound
That never closes.
They didn’t teach me
Five steps to fix an evil next door
And a continent away.
But they did teach me how to love
They taught me to stand up
They taught me to be compassionate
Even when I’m afraid.
They taught me grace, grace, grace.
They taught me that no one is perfect
They taught me to listen, carefully.
They taught me “I’m sorry”
And they taught me apologies paired with action.
They taught me to paint with all the colors
Because no one ever made art
Just staring at white paper.
They taught me “all men are created equal”
And Jesus loves me, so He must love you
Just as much.
They taught me so many things
But here I am, still learning.
I stand ankle deep,
Clutching dirty rags in lonely fists,
Attempting to soothe my soul with bitterness.
Until you pull me further in:
You begin waltzing me through the dark waves.
You lead me back and forth,
Disregarding the rhythm I expected.
You move me.
And we dance,
Until every step glows in the midnight ocean.
This is not the grace I was looking for,
This nibbly bit of blessing,
Dragging me through one more day,
But just barely.
I’d prefer a measure of Dying Grace,
The kind packaged with enough Courage and Faith
To carry me through many moons
And unto some glorious ending.
Instead here I am
With my plain, everyday ration
Whose meager portion obliges me always
To return for more each morning.
Let us wisely pack away
Along with the old clothes
And unrealistic expectations.
Let us gladly embrace
Our clumsy communities
And the stains
On the new tablecloth.
Let us easily welcome
A smidgen of chaos —
Disruptions of schedules
And unplanned smiles.
Today, let us highly resolve
To notice grace
Tucked deep in the dust
Of our collection of days.