"We all die," she told herself, "sooner or later."
And she cried.
"The sharp colors hurt my eyes,"
The jade plant leaned toward the window, to suck up all the light, leaving a soft amber glow in the shadows.
"Perhaps that is where the healing is," she thought, "perhaps it has been there all along."
I lost a friend yesterday. Although we had never met, I knew her through her poetry and the pictures that she colored when she was depressed. She called it color therapy. Rachel was a kind and sensitive person. Her poetry was beautiful and hopeful, and her pictures were too. I am sad when I think that I won't see them anymore.
I look for the colors
you left behind
So what do you do with that hole in your heart?
"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed."
Isaiah 53:5 NIV
Jesus was, is, and always will be our healer. He heals us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. He healed us when He lived among us, He healed us when He died on a cross bearing our sin as His own, and He healed us once and for all when He said "It is finished."
Jesus was buried, but not for long. On that third day, He rose again. His tomb was and is still empty! And we, as believers, will live again!
And no, the disciples did not steal his body, do you think they could have fought off a Roman guard and rolled a two ton stone away from the grave, and then carried a dead body with one hundred pounds of embalming spices without anyone seeing them, ...to where?
They thought that it was the end when Jesus died, they didn't know he was gonna get back up out of that grave.
They were wanted men, a threat to the religious establishment, a threat to the Roman empire...
All they wanted to do was fade into the woodwork and go back to fishing...
But Jesus had other plans...
"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
John 11:25-26 NKJV
That is the question...
What about the Jade plant? Take a close look. It has seen better days. It is scarred and beaten and yet it has life. And just as it sucked up all of the light producing a place of healing, a soft amber glow, so does Jesus. The one who was, and is, and is to come. The one who is eternal.
So be happy! When death comes knocking at your door, and you can be sure that he will, spit in his eye. Because Jesus came to Save, and when you believe in Him you will live forever!
dancing with colors
I can only imagine
Until next week,
PS Oh death, where is your sting?
Didn't I tell you?
all you gotta do is call
Nothing can separate us from the love of God!
hangin' out with
the usual suspects
In the most unlikely places
I saw this in the grocery store last night. Keith Richards on the magazine rack and Jesus less than a yardstick away. I knew I had been given a gift, so I grabbed my camera and started taking pictures. There was a haiku in there somewhere.
It came to me fast, the imaginary conversation between Keith and Jesus. Actually the conversation was pretty much one-sided, but when God speaks, it is usually polite to just be quiet and listen. And what did Jesus say?
"I am here, even if you can't see me because I'm three magazines to your left, and we are both facing forward." (Of course Jesus can see everything, all the time, but that's neither here nor there). "Just call me, Keith! When you are ready! I can hear you, even without a phone!"
Of course I'm joking...
Jesus is everywhere, all the time, 24/7. And he is ready to listen. Really, all you have to do is call. A simple, "Jesus help!"
And you don't even have to speak. He knows your thoughts. But don't worry, there are a lot of people who have worse thoughts than you. In fact when it comes to bad thoughts we are all pretty much in the same trash can.
Jesus came to save us.
That is what He wants us to know.
So, if the world is getting a little heavy on your shoulders,
If life seems crazy and you wonder why you are here,
Ask the one who knows.
He will show you the straight path. It's really not so bad. In fact once you are on it, you won't want to leave.
Jesus loves you!
Bad thoughts and all!
He is here to take them, and then some!
All you have to do is call!
Oh, the usual suspects...
Jesus came to save the lost, the sick, and the broken. That is all of us, even those who seem to have it all together. Jesus knows, remember what I said about him knowing your thoughts...
Jesus was notorious for hanging out with alcoholics, junkies, working girls, the IRS people, even Kings and higher-ups in the government. He also hung with average joes, women :o , and children. And last but not least, the religious leaders of the day.
And if you're telling the truth, we all fit in at least one of those categories.
So, If you need help, he's waiting...
"For God so loved the word that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
PS This is really good news...
Jesus in the room
I count my blessings
covered in prayer&
day nine / new year's pneumonia
I've been sick in bed with pneumonia for almost two weeks now. New Year's Day it hit me. No warning. Within a few hours, a cough, chills, and a fever. Blindsided. And I had so many plans. I was ready this year. Ready to get my doctors in order, my writing in order, my house in order...
What do you do? Nothing. Really. I could barely keep my eyes open.
The first week was a blur. Day eight, I had a thought about what I wanted for breakfast. Improvement. Day thirteen, I am up and dressed (Pajama casual), cooking (instant oatmeal), writing (a little), and watching a bit of TV. I still have trouble keeping my eyes open.
The thing is that I should've/could've gotten my pneumonia shot last year. My doctor highly recommended it, in fact he insisted, but I said no, for good reasons I might add, which I'll not go into here.
"I'll never get pneumonia," I thought.
The best-laid plans...
(Robert Burns is my new favorite poet)
So what do you do when there is nothing you can do?
What I haven't mentioned about being sick with pneumonia for two weeks is that I was really afraid. I was afraid that I would never get well, or that maybe I would die. I am almost 64 years old you know, stranger things have happened.
When fear takes over, your imagination can run wild, and not in a good way.
So what do you do?
I turn to the Word.
Because Jesus knew that Satan uses fear to attack people. In fact, He was always telling people, his disciples mostly, not to be afraid.
There was the incident when Jesus was walking on the water and Peter and company thought He was a ghost!
Fear can paralyze. Fear can torment. Fear can keep you stuck in a place you don't want to be. Fear can keep you from getting well.
Jesus came to set us free from fear. He is stronger than fear. He is stronger than anything Satan can throw at you. Including pneumonia...
So when I am afraid I let go of that fear and Freefall. I imagine God's hands stretched out underneath me and I know he will catch me. He hasn't missed yet!
"The spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free..."
Luke 4: 18
There is something about Jesus announcing good news to the poor and freedom to the prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind and the lifting of the oppressed. Jesus can do it. Jesus did it and he does it today. All you have to do is open you hand and take the gift of freedom and life that He offers.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
Have a good week!
PS Luke 4:18 was written especially for me. I know this because my birthday falls on April 18. Not a coincidence. What is your birthday verse? ;)
midwinter moon: a collection of Christmas haiku
By susan beth furst
January 6th is the day Christians around the world celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany,
Wise men came from the east to Jerusalem asking where the King of the Jews was to be born, because they had seen his star in the sky and had come to worship him. King Herod let them in on an ancient Jewish prophecy; that Jesus was to be born in Bethlehem. But Herod had ulterior motives. He asked the wise men to return to him when they found Jesus so that he could worship him too. Of course worship was not what King Herod had in mind for this new little threat to his throne.
The wise men continued their journey to Bethlehem and when they found the baby Jesus it was revealed to them that he was not only King of the Jews, but King of all mankind. Jesus was God Incarnate. It was also revealed to them not to return to Herod for he wanted to kill the child and so they departed another way to their own countries.
Matthew Chapter 2
That's it in a nutshell! Epiphany is all about revelation. In this case a revelation of God sized proportions!
January 6th is special for another reason. It was the day my husband and I met for the first time, at IHOP. Today is the eleven year anniversary of that meeting. I learned many things that day. Herb's mother and my mother had the same birthday. He also had the same first name of my favorite Uncle, Herb.
How many Herbs do you know?
I learned other things too. Herb's mom was from Poland and his dad was from Latvia. They were both holocaust survivors...
Well, it was an auspicious night, and eleven years and ten years of marriage later, we are still learning things.
This morning, I realized that our anniversary and Epiphany were on the same date. This was a revelation to me. I wanted to know if Epiphany fell on January 6th every year, so I did a little research, and yes it does.
January 6th is now officially Epiphany and The Furst's First Date Day.
So what about the dog barking?
I learned that in Latvia, if you hear a dog bark on Epiphany Day and look in the direction of the dog, you will see your future spouse.
Hmmmm, I might be stretching it a bit, but it was on Epiphany Day that I first saw my future spouse. We were at IHOP, not the one in Latvia of course, and there weren't any dogs around, but....
Just one more thing. As I said I am a Lutheran Christian and my husband is a Jewish believer. I was baptized, born and raised in the Lutheran church. Actually, I was born in Shadyside hospital, but it was very close to the Lutheran church. Herb went to Hebrew school, was bar mitzvah'd at thirteen, and attended synagogue.
But he was born in Baltimore Lutheran Hospital...
Or maybe it was just meant to be...
Waiting... This is my first haiku of the new year. It is a one word photo-haiku, so there is a lot of empty space to fill in. I invite you to ponder my poem and photograph, fill in the blanks, and discover what waiting means to you...
A New Year's Blessing: Three of my haiku were published today in Failed Haiku: A Journal of English Senryu, edited by Michael Rehling.
a little night music the frogs fill the pond
parking-lot puddle the birds go all in
made in Japan
the pine tree missing...
Thank you Mike!
It is a good way to start the New Year...
I would like to wish all of you a Happy New Year filled with all good things and His Peace.
PS Time flies hold onto your hat...
Susan Beth Furst is a poet, author, and sometime photographer. Her desire is to glorify God with the gifts he has given her.