Poem of the month and/or mini musing

On this page, you will see a new work, a favorite work, or a comment (mini musing) posted every 

so often, not necessarily once a month. The category page from which each work is taken is 

listed in parentheses ( ).


SEPTEMBER 1, 2020

I am very blessed to have two sisters who I love dearly and with whom I feel as though we have 

great relationship. One sister, Cathy, is four years older than me. Soon after I graduated 

from college, we spent the majority of our adult lives living in different states, raising our families. 

Then, four years ago that changed! We now live only 15 minutes apart! I'm thrilled! I feel as 

though I'm still learning new things about her, like the fact that she is such a detail-oriented 

person. I recently wrote a poem about her and decided to ask for her input so that I could get the 

details right! The joint-effort project is below.


(From: Family)


That’s Cathy

 

She’s learning, reading, writing, pondering,

sharing – while climbing higher.

 

She’s painting, walking, sewing, singing,

worshiping – her Lord unseen.

 

She’s cooking, detailing, decorating, flower arranging,

serving – at life events.

 

She’s remembering, missing, processing, valuing,

honoring – heritage gone by.

 

She’s praying for, standing by, aching with, hoping for,

supporting – her five precious gifts.

 

She’s wife-ing, mom-ing, friend-ing, grandma-ing,

life-ing – with hugs and tears.

 

She’s talking, listening, laughing, grieving,

loving – all things eternal.

 

 

gratefulsue

8.16.20

© 2020 gratefulsue

 

(For my sweet sister)


AUGUST 1, 2020

I was married to David on August 10, 1985. This month we would have celebrated our 35th 

anniversary. Here's a twist of irony/serendipity. David was raised by an Aunt and Uncle. He did 

not know the date of his biological parents' anniversary (who were both deceased by the time we 

wed). After setting the date for our wedding and reserving the location for the reception, he did 

some research and discovered the month and date of his biological parents' anniversary was 

also August 10th! That was a pretty cool discovery! And, there were other cool things about our 

marriage, not just the date of the wedding.


What was not so cool were the difficulties we had in our marriage. We faced almost daily 

challenges from differing values, being raised in different areas of the country, different decades

(we were eight years apart), and parenting styles (his was authoritarian, mine was not). The 

poem below reflects many of those challenges. I read it to David while he was declining from 

cancer, and surprisingly, he liked the poem. So, it was read at his funeral in 2015. A few years 

after the funeral, I had to take out a verse which no longer fit after gaining perspective from his 

absence. No marriage is perfect, and some have more challenges than others. I still have 

questions about mine, and answers I won't know until I get to ask the Lord.


(From: Love and Marriage)


All We Didn’t Do

 

We said harsh words, but

            we didn’t neglect to apologize.

 

We got very angry, but

            we didn’t hate each other.

 

We had our power struggles, but

            we didn’t always have to “win.”

 

We sometimes felt lonely, but

            we didn’t abandon each other.

 

We were often disappointed, but

            we didn’t file for divorce.

 

We were too busy, but

            we didn’t stop going on dates.

 

We saw our definition of love change, but

            we didn’t discard saying, “I love you.”

 

We were sometimes hurt and misunderstood, but

            we didn’t withhold a kiss or a hug.

 

We went to bed at different times, but

            we didn’t leave out praying together before bed.

 

We had different philosophies of childrearing, but

            we didn’t miss out on having wonderful kids.

 

We had our own “important” agendas, but

            we didn’t disregard our promise to love and serve one another.

 

We were average people with some stubborn weaknesses, but

            we didn’t forget God could use us anyway, to bless others.

 

We sometimes faced walls of impossible trials, but

            we didn’t fail to see our Lord make a pathway over them.

 

We had 29 years of weathering a somewhat stormy marriage, but

            we didn’t give up.

 

Some might say, we “didn’t do enough,” but

            I say, “All we didn’t do, was enough.”

 

 

gratefulsue

2/8/15

(C) 2015, 2019 gratefulsue

(For David, on Valentine's Day)


JULY 1,2020

Years ago, someone in my church was offended by something I did. To this day, I don't think I did anything wrong. But, that's not the point. He did. He felt wronged. I apologized. He asked his wife to stop talking to me. I was devastated because she was my best friend and he had put her in a terrible position. So, my good friend and I didn't speak, while we prayed and cried a lot. This poem came out of that experience. Given the tense climate in the US right now, I imagine there are many different kinds of people who are experiencing emotions similar to mine, the terrible ache of Hurts Unforgiven. I'm happy to say, two weeks later, the Lord had graciously moved in this man's heart and my friendship with his wife was restored. May we all learn the difficult ministry of forgiveness.


(From: Fellowship with Believers)


Hurts Unforgiven

 

My pleasant thoughts of you have been

interrupted by this ache…

I would really like to be free again,

the latter is too hard to take.

 

The former mind of smiles and cheer,

of friendship –warm and clear,

Is clouded by the muddy waters

of hurts unforgiven, I fear.

 

I hurt you, yes. And you hurt me.

We didn’t mean to, though.

Apologies were spoken, but

the wounds were deep, as you know.

 

You backed away, withheld your love,

“And moved on” without me.

I stand alone and grieve to God—

How I miss what ought to be!



“Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be

overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.  I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love

for him… in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of

his schemes.”    2 Corinthians 2:7,8,11. NIV 

 


gratefulsue


4/6/00  


© 2015 gratefulsue                              



JUNE 16, 2020

The end of May and beginning of June was a difficult period for the United States. Fresh 

examples of police racism, and brutality against Black men in particular, and African American 

people in general, delivered fresh trauma to the collective psyche of the Black community. 

Protest marches in support of the Black Lives Matter movement were held in nearly every major 

city in the US and even in many cities overseas. Almost everyone, Black, Brown, or White, was 

outraged at the dismal state of prejudice and injustice which continues to exist in the U.S.

The images in online videos and news reports and written accounts online reminded me of

how systemic injustice is a form of ongoing trauma to the entire community, from torturous 

thoughts and concerns, day after day, after day. Here's the first part of a poem I wrote titled,

Trauma.


Mind videos and audios,

            are stuck on “instant replay.”

Like a “broken record,” they

            continue night and day.

 

Exhausting thoughts, ferocious fears;

            raw feelings barge right in—

at any moment, without welcome,

            relentlessly, they begin.

 

Depression enters, falls, and feels

            like a blanket, wet and heavy.

Endless details overwhelm,

            and drown me without pity.

 

My mind becomes a second foe,

            besides the trauma’s furry.

A battleground for fractured faith,

            hard questions, doubts and worry.


For the remainder of the poem, go to poem # 7  (From: Suffering). 


JUNE 1, 2020

In February of 2017, I was volunteering with a local program, run out of a church, to teach English

as a second language (ESL) to Internationals. On one occasion, I was having a private 

conversation with a woman named Nursen. She is a very warm person, the child of devout 

Muslim parents, but herself, an atheist. She said she was "tired of people who claim a religion 

but don't follow the core principles." Her philosophy now is to "Love, love, love!" and to always 

help any person who needs it. How right she is about that (Lev. 19:18, Matt. 22:39, Gal. 5:4) 


The following year at Christmas time, the director of the church ESL program wanted to 

give a small gift to each of the 83 students. Nursen knew how to knit and so she helped out the 

director by knitting 83 3x4 inch squares with a cross in the middle, to be used as Christmas 

tree ornaments. Her labor of love inspired the following poem.


(From: People)


Love! Love! Love!

 

What an example, her heart of love!

            Hours and hours knitting eighty-three crosses

To bless eighty-three new friends.

 

She does not believe in the One she honors,

            And yet, she displays His character—

Much more than many who claim to believe.


“The only thing that matters

            is LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!”

She preached to me some time ago.

 

Yes, you’re right, my Turkish friend.

            So said the man on the cross.

And, in that pursuit, you are ahead of me.

 

My Lord and Savior sees and smiles.

            “Look how well she uses the gifts

I shower on all mankind!”

 

Oh, that all would have this purpose—

            to, “LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!”

Like that of sweet Nursen.

 

Oh, that I would be so generous—

            handing out care and acceptance

Even to ones so different from myself.

 

 

gratefulsue

12.12.17

© 2018 gratefulsue

(for Nursen, who is from Turkey)



Most recently featured works:


MAY 14, 2020

Here is Where I Live (From: Contentment Musings)


MAY 2, 2020

 Truth's Friends (From Doctrines)


April 28, 2020

Gasping for God (From: Evangelism)


April 1, 2020

Wavering (From: Songs)


MARCH 1, 2020

Human Condition (From: People)