Friday, April 18, 2014

We are Easter people living in a Good Friday world [Barbara Johnson]

Darkness came over all the land and Jesus cried out in a loud voice "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”...  And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open.  [Matthew 27:45, 46, 50, 51]


the darkness endures
we too feel forsaken
as we are waiting
waiting waiting waiting
for Love to win

every step towards the kingdom
is hard fought and won
we are begging for mercy
waiting waiting waiting
for Love to win

mourning hearts crushed spirits
the cost of sin
leaves humanity broken
waiting waiting waiting
for Love to win

trying to bring light
grasping for hope
growing weary of waiting
waiting waiting waiting
for Love to win

Saturday, April 12, 2014

my heart is with your heart -- my messy beautiful

In my work as a youth addiction counsellor I talk to my young people about that voice in their head, the voice of their addiction, that speaks in lies. It tells them they are not worthy, not loved, not capable and leads them down the path to numbness and destruction. This voice blocks out the light and love in the world and makes them think there is only darkness and loneliness.

I encourage them to engage in acts of resistance -- truth telling, showing up, feeling feelings, and doing hard things. And they do. They show up with their broken hearts and speak courageously about their painful lives. They let themselves be seen and known. They fight for their lives, until they can't, then they don't, and then they bravely get up and start fighting again.

There is a voice in my head too and it also deals in lies and blocks out the light. It's the voice of fear. It keeps me afraid that one day there will be too many drugs, too much sadness, too much pain and one of those precious souls won't be able to get up and continue the fight. This fear convinces me to keep my emotions under wrap, to not speak up, and not to push too hard. Because what if I do and they stop confiding, stop showing up, stop trying? The fear wears me down and then one day I catch myself thinking that if the unthinkable did happen, at least it would end this painful cycle.

I also need to engage in acts of resistance -- truth telling, letting my real emotions show, and doing it scared. So I do. I keep loving them fiercely, I let them see me cry, I tell the truth, and ask the hard questions. And even when the darkness threatens, I hold on to the light of hope.

There's not much of a difference between me and these kids.... we are all doing hard things and doing it scared, trying to bring light to the darkness with our honesty and authenticity.... we are all messy and beautiful...

This essay and I are part of the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project — To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! And to learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback, CLICK HERE!

Carry your world and all your hurt...

In a million ways
its not OK
I watch you struggle
under the weight of it

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

heavy heart, weary soul, reckless mind

six year old fingers
pressing down
on black and white keys

brain expanding
naming notes
picking out a melody

backs of small hands
with happy faces

three dots
eyes and a nose
all in purple marker

but instead of a face
my weary mind
sees track marks