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Raw

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by Rhiannon C. Hall – (c) 2017


I’m feeling a bit raw tonight,
A bit broken
And tired
A little empty
But also too full of determination
So I refuse to stop and listen
To the echo of doubts
Rattling around inside
I will simply speak the truth
That I believe in soul mates
And I believe that all of this struggle
And pushing
And growing
All the way to the edges
Where who I’ve ever been
Meets who I’m meant to be
Will be worth feeling a little raw
And ragged now
For the day I fall into the heart
That I have waited for
And I’ll know I’m home…

 

-I originally published this poem as a post on Instagram, including some ridiculous hashtags…

 
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Posted by on 24 May 2017 in Poetry

 

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The Little Pieces…

Little Pieces blurred

By Rhiannon C. Hall – (c) 2017

 

The pen strokes blur
Until I really stop and look at them
Haphazardly thumbtack-quilted
Wall of quotes
And wisdom
And dreams

The little pieces of life
That healed my heart
The little pieces I knew
I’d need reminded of
But didn’t know when
So I put them on display

Reminders to wish outlandishly
Reminders to dream and be silly
Reminders to give love away freely
Reminders that love will always stay with me
No matter how much I’ve given away
Reminders that I’ve been seen and heard and accepted
Reminders to ask hard questions
Especially of myself
And to dig deep for hard answers,
But to do it gently, with grace

These little pieces are pieces of me
And I imagine my heart looks very similar
To the wall behind my desk
I imagine the fingerprints
Of friends and family,
God and myself,
Time and life
Are all over me,
Haphazardly quilted together
And they tend to blur
Until we really stop and look at them

 
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Posted by on 16 May 2017 in Poetry

 

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The Becoming

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I’d barely opened my eyes
When I remembered the dark You asked me to sit in,
The clouds that I’m not yet allowed to wave away,
The heaviness I have been told to trust You to lift from me.

Upon first waking, I was flooded with the electric panic
Tingling along my limbs and around my heart,
Constricting my lungs and my hope,
The racing thoughts crowded out my dreams

And You whispered, “Trust Me…”
Because You know I want to move and wave and lift,
You know I want to know and help
Instead of wait and be…

I told You I didn’t know how
And Your love letters came to life before my eyes:
“Be the beauty that lives inside your dreams,” You said to me,
“And trust that I created you for that very purpose…”

The tingling faded,
My heart beat on,
My breath came easier,
My mind slowed.

Becoming is hard and painful,
The undoing of what so many years have fixed like stone,
The gentle unfolding of brittle pages that stiffly cling
To dusty binding so that they may be read anew by the eyes of Love.

And a page cannot unfold itself
Without crumbling into dust in its own impatience
And I cannot become myself
Without falling headlong into my own destruction

In my excitement to already be the next me,
I forget I am still ensnared in the not-yet
By pieces of the me I have outgrown
And yet, haven’t quite let go of

And so I turn my eyes upon You
And I soak in all of the beauty of Your wonderful face
Letting the image I was made in
Soften me into the beauty You see in me and sowed so gently into my dreams

That I may bend and not break
That I may walk and not grow weary
That I may love and open my pages
That I may tell the story of my becoming…

 
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Posted by on 9 May 2017 in Poetry

 

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Trouble the Waters

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“I didn’t know I was wrong…”
“I meant it in love…”
“I was trying to help…”
“I firmly believed…”
But God troubled my waters.

“Love the sinner, hate the sin…”
“Of course, you’re welcome, but…”
“We all fall short…”
“This is tough love…”
But God is troubling the waters.

“The Bible clearly states…”
“It’s just not natural…”
“Abomination means hell…”
You didn’t have to look past the surface,
Until God troubled your waters.

Except that God did,
And God is,
And that’s why I repeat
My identity to you.
Am I how God is troubling your waters?

Inviting you to dive deeper,
Inviting you to take the fullest breath,
Inviting you to see past the surface
Where you are so confident and sure,
And let enlightenment rise swirling from troubled waters?

When the angel stirred the pool,
The first one in was healed.
When God’s children shake your view
Deeper truth may be revealed.
And isn’t it Truth that sets us free?
That’s why God troubles the waters.

 

 

 

This is breaking my goal/guideline of posting a piece that I wrote in the preceding week as this one is from January. But after experiencing some disappointing dialogue and even a little trolling over the weekend, it was brought fresh to mind. We can become so certain in our faith journey (which is the antithesis of faith) that we forget we have healing left to do under that certainty. We judge others for being in a different place and we try to bring them to where we are, not realizing that they have already done the hard work of healing from the very wounds that God has already called them out of and we are trying to call them back to. We can do better, in grace and love. We can brave the places where our current beliefs are being shaken up, troubled, if you will, and see if it isn’t God inviting us to a better understanding.

God troubled my waters of belief a few years ago when I realized I was gay. I sorted through my faith. I laid all of my doubts and fears and pain at God’s feet and prayed there would still be a God to believe in after the sorting and diving deeper was done. It was terrifying and painful and the most raw and vulnerable I’ve ever been. I can say, from this side of that ordeal, that it only brought me closer, it only made me love God (the same Father, Son, and Holy Spirit I’d always believed in) even more. My peace that passes understanding came from that ever faithful Triune God who never left me, never stopped loving me, and was strong enough to handle my honesty. It felt like the biggest risk of all to step into the troubled waters and yet, there I found such healing and a deeper understanding of God.

 
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Posted by on 2 May 2017 in Blog, Poetry

 

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Play Date

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Sit in the sandbox with God.
Squish your hands and feet into the possibilities
Of poetic words and beautiful worlds
Created from grainy bits of what others take for granted.
Revel in showing each other your handiwork,
Even if it collapses the next moment,
Even if you tear it all apart
To build the next eternity of wonder.
Get lost in those spaces of time and awareness
With the One who created all,
The One who never tires of creating,
The One who never tires of your company
Or your smile
Or seeing you throwing yourself into the awe
Of Mystery and Love.
Look for the love letters
Hidden throughout the experiences
Of gritty potential crunching underneath you
And smooth, cool existence pouring through your fingers
And breezy memories dancing all of time back through every moment of now
As you throw yourself with wild abandon
And wide-eyed surrender
Into the Arms of the Great I Am
And find yourself in love with Being
And Becoming…

 
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Posted by on 24 April 2017 in Poetry

 

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Room in the Pew

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I took my fear to church today,
It sat there in the pew,
It tickled all across my spine,
It tore my heart in two,
So many breaths I had to hold
And tears that still broke through…
I felt the whisper of my Lord say,
“It’s okay, there’s room.”

I took my pain to church today,
The hurt I’ve tried to hide,
And no one seemed to disapprove
When it sat on my other side.
My trembling hands were kindly grasped,
I was greeted with gentle smiles,
While I wrestled with the message
Of a hope beyond our trials.

I took my doubt to church today,
And it whispered in my ears,
“Remember I’m the only one
To stay close all these years.”
But another whispered, “Liar!
She has always known I’m near.
Just because she can’t see answers now,
Doesn’t mean I’ve disappeared.”

I took my love to church today
And I offered it up to God.
It looks a little weathered now,
It’s weak and bruised and lost.
While they spoke about the empty tomb
My broken heart still fought
To hope my love would be redeemed,
To hold one precious thought,

And there it was around me,
That thought I yearned to find:
I knew a Love that never ceased
To say, “This is my child.
I will always hold her near Me,
Make her gifts and burdens Mine.
There is always room for all of her.
She doesn’t have to hide.”

I took a lot to church today…
But there was room there in the pew
To sit where God could speak to me
Through many others who
Also had more visitors
Than those there in plain view,
When it hurts, we keep believing
God is up to something new.

The Easter story has room enough
For pain and impossible odds,
Miracles, betrayal, fear,
And a crucified Son of God,
The waiting and the in-between,
A tomb with rolled-away rock,
And a risen Saviour calling our name,
For nothing’s ever too far gone.

My life has recently been in a seemingly perpetual season of Holy Saturday: waiting in the unknown, grieving and change, anxiety and uncertainty. Today, Easter Sunday, I struggled to celebrate the hope and joy of Easter. I have hope this season will pass, but right now it is still difficult, it is still too freshly present and messy to celebrate that hope some days. I cried through most of the church service, my broken heart feeling a bit out of tune with all of the happiness of those around me. I felt my soul lingering in the spirit of Holy Saturday where I was not alone in my waiting and tears. I love that I have a church where that was acceptable, a body of Christians with compassion and grace enough to hold my space of conflicted sorrow sacred alongside their own variety of emotions. I love that I have a church that acknowledges that the beauty of a Risen Christ can bring us to tears in the best of times, and life is rarely “the best of times”.

Had I been attending one of my previous churches, though they were full of lovely people, I wouldn’t have felt that space sacred enough for my vulnerability and honesty. I’d have stayed in bed under my quilt. I have been blessed to find a church family who is willing to walk alongside each other. Though it was painful and I was tempted every few minutes to leave, I stayed and let God speak hope and beauty into my despair in ways that I did not have to unfold just then. God spoke in ways that would bloom as I carried their echoes throughout the rest of my day. I’ll even hazard a guess that they will continue to unfurl and spill fragrant praise for many days to come, even if I’m still crying Holy Saturday tears for a while yet. Isn’t that the glorious truth of a God who meets us where we are, even in our humanity? There is room enough for us to come fully unedited before our Creator.

 
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Posted by on 18 April 2017 in Blog, Lent Series 2017, Poetry

 

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All the Same

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If we fit in with polite society
And match every letter of definable normalcy,
If we go with the flow of what flows around us
And always match the beat of the marching masses,

Will we ever have the strength to follow
Footprints that are a little more radical,
A little less concerned with following the crowd,
A little more concerned with having the crowd follow Him?

If we mold ourselves to be inconspicuous,
To be camouflaged behind the gifted glow of others,
If we only let our colours shine in similar company
And never to a full brightness of our Gift Giver’s glory,

Will we ever paint a rainbow in the dark skies of the lost,
Who need so desperately to behold the promise
Of a Love who creates peace amid the storms?
Will our hue remind of Love’s presence when peace is forgotten in a blur of rainy grey?

If variety is the spice of life
And lukewarm is distasteful blandness our God spits out,
If we never play our inspired melodies
And find our harmonious differences that sing God’s praises,

Will we ever be fit to be savored?
Will we be refreshing and vibrantly distinct as only we could be?
Will we ever be the chord in the song of God’s heart
That our very vibrations of eccentricity bring dancingly alive to Holy Ears?

If Christ chose twelve who were outcasts and misfits,
If He sat with the marginalized that others had deemed unworthy
If God revels in the beauty of those He created to not quite fit in
And counts as friends those willing to colour outside the lines for Him,

Will we dare to be brave and proclaim ourselves non-conformingly,
Exactly as we are and exactly as He names us:
Disciple, Saint, Beloved, God’s Child, Redeemed, and Friend?
Or would we rather be all the same?

 
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Posted by on 11 April 2017 in Lent Series 2017, Poetry

 

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