Waiting 6: Bathsheba

Matthew Pullar is one of the best poets of his generation. This poem is one of my top favorites of all he has written. Please be sure to thank him for this excellent work. Then go back and read about David’s capture of Bathsheba in the Old Testament.

The Consolations of Writing

“Bathsheba Mourns her Husband” by James Tissot (Flickr)

Viewed from the voyeur's vantage,
she is only ever Other,
breasts bared or barely draped in dampness,
bathing or emerging from waters,
eyes come-hithering,
sometimes her whole body issuing its
dubious invitation.
No doubt David saw her this way,
eyes surveying the rooftops for all he called his own,
the private and holy ritual she performed
the only thin excuse his lust required.

Only Tissot has her clothed,
prostrate, grieving
the expendable Uriah, the second
in a three-stranded cord of griefs:
her body first, then husband, then son.
Had she known how history would blame her,
conflate her name with "Seductress",
she'd have grieved longer,
lain on the floor until
her swelling belly, the violator king's
bursting offspring, allowed it no longer.
At least Tissot gives her this dignity, letting her grieve
without end, without her body made
a vessel of desire.

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And That Would Be

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More beautiful than all my fondest dreams,
Yon “palace” calls, and grabs me by the heart,
Packed full of gracious, lovely offerings,
Embracing function with sweet healing art.
My weary heart was burdened and fell ill
Beyond the scope of Longbourne’s pow’r to heal.
Enticed to joy anew, THIS would fulfill
Rich longings, and the grace of God reveal.
Look, Longbourne, you have kept me safe to now,
Expressed good will, the best that you knew how,
Yet to a better dwelling I must bow.

by Gwennon
April 11, 2022

Yes. Even all these years later, Jane Austen’s influence remains. Longbourne, the ill-equipped lodging of her most beloved heroine, eventually gives way to Pemberley, the house where she will reign as beloved queen of the realm. Sigh!

If God ever grants me the home I desire, its name will be “The LORD is great!”

“But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, ‘The LORD is great!” – Psalm 40:16 NLT

In our home, “palace” has two localized meanings: house of dreams; and good housekeeping. On the housekeeping end, we might say, “I’ve made my bed from a dungeon back into a palace.” Similar things have been said about various stages of kitchen cleanings.

If I’m honest with myself, Pemberley may remain a distant dream. We are currently living in a limbo we never expected, while looking endlessly online for homes and jobs here, hither, and yon. A door of change might be starting to open. But a move from Longbourne could yet be months off, if not longer Prayers appreciated. Prayers for godliness, contentment, and faithfulness where we are would be especially helpful. Thank you for reading with me today.

Please Forgive Me for Forgetting

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Well-meaning but distracted,
Helped on by foolish pride,
Again I clear redacted
The laws I have defied.
Much more than I could ever pay
Your Son gave on the cross that day.
Self-willed through sun or tempest,
Intent on my own wants,
Not finding needed soul rest,
Stretched thin by sin’s old haunts,
Have mercy on my soul, Dear LORD:
A grace my self can not afford.
Vest new life in my thinking.
Expunge what needs to go.
Connect me fast, unshrinking,
On Your great love to grow.
Show fully all I’ve been forgiv’n
That rightly I reflect Your Heav’n.

by Gwennon
September 4, 2022

“The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: Thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: Forsake not the works of thine own hands.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭138:8‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Maybe Someday

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I won’t have to grit my teeth
And wonder when my feelings
Will align with Jesus’ commands.
On that beautiful someday,
I’ll forgive even before
I ever start praying
Sincerely
For God to bless
These enemies of mine
Who make daily life
With them in it
Such a prickly trial
Such a miserific, harsh uphill trek
Toward necessary holiness.
That beautiful someday
Lies beyond cloud-draped hills,
Over rainbow dreams
Straight ahead to the exquisite
Impossibly beautiful heart of God.
Jesus, please
Take me to that someday!
Amen!

by Gwennon
August 1, 2022

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:43-45‬ ‭KJV‬‬

The “ETH” ending shows a continuing action in the verb: i.e., God continually makes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and He continually sends rain on the just and the unjust.

I wonder how our thoughts would change if we ever realized how much God does for us constantly.

In Case You Were Wondering

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You would probably never suspect me
Of being painfully shy, though I am.
Unless you know me, my introversion
Can fly right under the radar, well-cloaked,
And most people will never know the truth.
Not that they need to. The world will go on
Fine without my name lit in neon lights.
I am okay with that. I do not need
Needless notoriety to find joy
Daily where I am. Joy is everywhere,
Masquerading at times in the mundane.
Yet those determined souls will track it down,
Needing nothing too extraordinary
At all to capture it and make it theirs.
Most people find joy outside of cheap fame,
Escaping the traps and entanglements
Of being too well “known” from a distance.
Nevertheless, at times we may want it.
Minding our own business is boring, and
You’d be hard-pressed to find souls not seeking
Blatant praise and applause for well-done work.
Left to ourselves, most of us sink to that.
Of course, there are other rewards right now:
God gives me joy in these writings themselves.

This is awful, but I’m not sure when I wrote this. It was some time before our last move.

Will You Please Forgive Me for Having These Thoughts?

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I saw you at THE CHOCOLATE BAR
A place you never could have been –
Astride a barstool, gulping down
A smoothie with your “next of kin”,
Church bulletins turned into fans,
Commiserating pain and loss
That undermined your greatest plans:
Y’all wondered at THE TRAIL BOSS.
Your cattle ordered one more round
Of smoothies made of blueberries.
Blue beard and mustache fully found
A home on faces hung with care,
As coyotes scurried all around
To find a seat and service there.
I shook my head and bowed in prayer,
Since what I saw in there weren’t real,
And asked The LORD to strength renew
And kindly His good plans reveal
So silly thoughts won’t fall so far
I see you at THE CHOCOLATE BAR.

Gwennon
June 25, 2022

for Teresa

“The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”
‭‭Numbers‬ ‭6:24-26‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Ah, LORD God, please have mercy on all the farmers and ranchers who are struggling. Please rescue them powerfully with good weather and everything they need, without so much struggle. I know that we need a certain amount of tension in our lives to be well-tuned violin strings making beautiful music. But too much tension is just as sloppy and discordant as too little. So please help all the farmers and ranchers by removing some of the tension and stress in their lives. We thank you in advance for what you are going to do.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen!

Dear Friends, you are welcome to pray with me here.

A Mourning Morning

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Lost in what we’ll never do again:
Trapped in tears and aching might-have-been:
Never speaking like we did before;
Never sharing holidays and meals;
Never sharing tales of fam’ly lore;
Never sharing birthdays, or reveals;
Never sharing hymnals in the pew;
Never planning parties, baking cakes;
Never sharing secrets that are new;
Never lighting charcoal, grilling steaks;
Thrashed with ragged pain, now fresh and deep;
Ever praying Heaven is your keep;
Snagging hankies, losing self-control,
Missing you and praying for your soul.

by Gwennon
April 29, 2022

for Betty Jo,
who stepped into eternity in April 27, 202

Culture Shock

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I wore my mask to please the world,
Where NO ONE WAS WEARING A MASK.
I should have questioned how to fit in,
But didn’t know WHO to ask.
Offending while wanting only to please,
I’m failing again at this task,
Signaling virtue to no one at all,
As for air and acceptance I gasped.

Gwennon

March 16, 2022

Origami Ladder

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An origami ladder
I’m building to the moon
While waiting for an answer
That isn’t coming soon.
I’m living in the middle
Of someone else’s choice,
And they have all the power:
In this I have no voice.
No confidant save Jesus
Can stop and wait with me.
And there’s none else to lean on,
As far as I can see.
My origami ladder
Make take me to the moon
Before I get that answer
That isn’t coming soon.

by Gwennon
October 4, 2021

An implied promise, a strong betrayal, and a very long, laborious wait have combined to shake my family’s world. We are needing to lean on Jesus like never before. Prayers welcome.

Let Me Want Nothing!

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My hope keeps sinking to the LESS
Ongoing source of bitter pain! —
Reframing me, I must confess.
Expensive loss!!! It can’t remain!
The source of life must be my source:
Hereafter God must be my goal,
And I must plot His better course:
New import give unto my soul.
It’s now that I must set my heart
While life remains and grace still calls.
At Christ’s command I’ll soon depart,
No more to live in earthly halls.
Today is when I cast my lot:
Give Christ and holy aims my love,
Or shrink to short-term comforts not
Designed to fit me for Above.

Gwennon
January 2, 2022

This is the year that I want to draw closer to God and start leaving behind those hindrances that divide me from my most important love: Jesus. With the help of a book called IDOL LIES: Facing the Truth About Our Deepest Desires by Dee Breston (which has some wonderful accompanying videos online), I’m hoping to get back on track. Feel free to pray for me on this. And tell me your own prayer concerns.