October 6, 2015

Thy Son Liveth

Posted in Atonement, Bread of Life, Faith, Family, Grief, Hope, Redeemer, Resurrection, Suffering, Suffering Servant, The Church, The Eucharist, Water of Life tagged , at 11:30 pm by Teresa Roberts Johnson

Hot breath of famine dried the brook
That once had quenched Elijah’s thirst,
And so God sent him on to look
For one whose fate seemed doubly cursed.

A widow and her one beloved son,
With oil and meal barely enough for two,
Faced certain death, for hope and bread were gone.
One final supper ere they bid the world adieu.

But when the prophet came, the widow fed
Him with the first fruits of her scant repast.
And from that day, she never lacked of bread;
Her faith was blessed with food enough to last.

So when her child fell ill and met his doom,
She felt betrayed by all the prophet said
Until Elijah took him to an upper room,
Entreating God, who raised him from the dead.

Outside the gates of Nain a widow walked
In sad procession with her only son.
Her hopes lay dead, her footsteps balked,
To stay the moment when goodbyes were done.

Another widow’s Son noticed her there,
And in compassion bade her weeping cease,
He raised her son and lifted all her care,
Restored her child to live in perfect peace.

But soon this Son would in procession go
Outside the gate to die as though a thief.
This perfect Son offered Himself to bear our woe,
Dying and rising, He would end our grief.

Though evil may beset our souls with strife,
Though brooks dry up, and meal and oil decay,
Treasures of Living Water, Bread of Life,
Are spread for us in His new Eden day by day.

Copyright © 2015 by Teresa Roberts Johnson (All rights reserved)

Scriptural context:

Luke 7:11-17

I Kings 17

Isaiah 53

John 19

This poem does not need explanation, but at the risk of stating the obvious, I would point out that it begins in the wilderness and ends up in the new Eden. The lectionary reading about the widow of Nain has always spoken to my heart, but much more so since I lost my son James.

February 28, 2015

A Sonnet of Tearful Hope

Posted in Faith, Family, Grief, Hope, Incarnation, Kingdom, Love, Resurrection, Suffering, Thankfulness, The Eucharist tagged at 4:50 pm by Teresa Roberts Johnson

When we must leave, we grieve to say goodbye,
Or when we part with others who must go,
If tears flow not, we heave a weighty sigh
To think the miles between us now must grow.
But time and space and every vale or hill
That separates sincere companion souls
Cannot erode the love that binds them still
Nor take the hope that constantly consoles.
Yet hope would be in vain, except for trust
In Him whose tender love surrounds us all.
His life ennobles feeble forms of dust
And reunites them in his banquet hall
In Heaven, where there is an end to grieving;
For it is the place from whence there is no leaving.

Copyright © 2015 by Teresa Roberts Johnson (All rights reserved)

This poem is dedicated to Bill and Kathy, and to all who have suffered great loss and yet cling to an even greater hope.

May 12, 2013

Mother Love

Posted in Family tagged at 6:40 pm by Teresa Roberts Johnson

Her love vaults over distances
(Even those of stubbornness);
It stands as solid as a stone
But soft as mashed potatoes.
(Just like those mashed potatoes
where you buried your green beans).
Her love finds room for what you love:
And sometimes grits its teeth,
Then smiles and finds a way to see the best
In spiders, snakes, and terribly rude friends.
Her love is constant as a Latin infinitive:
Even when her world is shattered,
You can be sure that in rebuilding
Her mind remains on you.

The day that you were born
She cried and held her breath
Until she heard your breathy cry.
And still she holds her breath
When any form of sorrow steals your joy.
And never will you know what price she pays
To see you walk away
And stay a little longer every time.
Her love would cushion every fall
Yet knows mistakes are how you learn;
But every tear you cry buys two of hers.
Her love runs deep and wide,
Is brighter than the noonday sun;
Her love is durable and strong,
Stronger by far than death.

Copyright © 2013 by Teresa Roberts Johnson (All rights reserved)

This one probably belongs in the Otherverse section, but I was thinking today of all the moms I know who have, through many tribulations, loved their children.

For C, whose wonderful husband died suddenly, leaving her with two young daughters to raise.

For A and C and S whose husbands decided that marriage wasn’t their “thing” any more, leaving them to pick up the pieces of a life interrupted.

For C, whose husband was seriously injured in a car accident soon after his own mother died in an accident.

For B and K whose serious illnesses took them far into the valley of the shadow.

For L who lost two babies but never gave up hope and now has moved several times with five children to follow her husband as he follows his calling.

And for all the mothers in third world countries who struggle with scarcity of food, water, and medical care. So if you would like to help one of these women find a way to help herself, prayerfully review the information at World Vision Micro: http://www.worldvisionmicro.org/loans


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