Borderline Disaster

Haunted by the heartache of the migrant crisis

A father and his daughter dead.
Her arm wrapped ’round his neck.
The image breaks my heart and yours as well.
The crisis at our border
renders chaos by the day.
We must confront this senseless living hell.

Refugees and immigrants
head north with hopes and dreams
without regard for what our laws allow.
They long for freedoms we hold dear
denied them in their land.
They migrate just like cattle. Holy cow!

But we can’t simply let them in
without a plan in place.
The life they long for rests on laws and rules.
We must be firm, yet find a way
to honor those in need
while keeping out the criminals and fools.

The State of My Conflicted Heart

A prayer when life doesn’t rhyme

The state of the church finds me searching God’s Word
in light of our culture’s demands.
The state of the Presidency gives me cause
to question, to grumble, to pray.

The state of our union just doesn’t add up.
Divisions are multiplying.
United we claim, but we clearly are not.
It’s ugly. It’s dreadful. It’s wrong.

No wonder the spring in my step appears sprung.
No wonder my shoulders are stooped.
It seems that the song in my heart has been stilled.
I’m troubled. I’m anxious. I’m scared.

O Lord, calm the conflict that troubles my heart.
Ease the tension that strangles my soul.
Give me faith to believe that the future is bright.
I’m weary. I’m needy. I’m Yours.

Oh, the Places You Will Go

A graduation poem (with apologies to Dr. Seuss)

The world’s your oyster. The world’s your stage.
Your time has come. You’ve reached the age.
The Lord will guide you. So, trust his plans.
Just say, “Your wish is my command.”

Look in your heart. What brings delight?
Embrace your gift. Turn on the light.
God made you just the way you are.
So go with that and you’ll go far.

But far begins with one small step.
So lace your shoes and then expect
to run your race at your own speed.
Don’t fret about who’s in the lead.

This thing called life’s a marathon.
It’s not a sprint. So, carry on!
Along the way, you’ll trip and fall.
You’ll bruise your knees and that’s not all.

Your pride will smart, but that’s okay.
That’s how you learn to make your way.
So, each new day look in the mirror.
Confront yourself and what you fear.

Look deep inside at what you see.
Reflect on who you long to be.
Don’t overlook what you don’t like.
Tell bents you hate to take a hike.

Be honest with the one you face
embracing God’s amazing grace.
It covers all you dare confess
and undermines perfection’s stress.

Be sure to give yourself a smile.
It’s good to celebrate each mile.
Along the path that you will go,
who cares if you go fast or slow.

The speed that marks your upward climb
means not so much so never mind.
The trek you take is most unique.
So, too, the plans you aim to seek.

Dream big. Imagine. Go for broke.
While some may laugh, it is no joke.
Remind yourself God’s in control
and He will help you reach your goals.

You will achieve more than you know.
The many places you will go
cannot be seen from where you sit.
You have to move out bit by bit.

Make every day your chance to start
to live your dream and own your part
in what the good Lord longs to bless
including you and your success.

What matters most is making time
to pace yourself and read the signs
of where to go and what to do.
The future does depend on you.

The Beaches of Normandy

D-Day is more than just A DAY

The beaches of Normandy.
It sounds so ideal.
A vacation destination?

History recalls
it was not a Rick Steves’ piece of paradise.
Far from it.
Far from home,
mothers’ sons stormed ashore
dodging bullets
all the while praying
they’d live to see tomorrow.

This bloody chapter
in the history of World War 2
is not an addendum or an afterword.
If anything,
it is the preface
to the peace in Europe
our grandparents dreamed of.

It recalls a war we know all-too-well.
It was a living Hell that claimed the lives
of countless kids
who died with weapons in their hands
and hope in their hearts
that Hitler would be defeated.

Yes, D-Day is
we must never forget
to remember.
It is A DAY
to say thanks.

This reflection of the 75th Anniversary of D-Day is dedicated to Huston Riley from Mercer Island who survived the landing on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944.