“There You Are”, a poem from L.Willows (Grace, Hope, Faith)

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Somewhere,
in the day that tomorrow brings,
I see you smiling.
Your eyes are sparkling with dances
that light in a new horizon.
You are gathering;
swelling, like waters that fill into rivers
that pour love into view,
You are new.

Somewhere,
in the day that tomorrow brings
I see you healed;
your sweetened heart revealed.
Your life joins with beloveds,
in an eternal embrace.
You are in the arms of grace.

There you are,
in the dawn
that rises up to meet you,
wrapped by the most tender mercies
and a blanket of prayers.

There,
entwined, encouraged and seen;
you are with each good thing.
You are hope’s dream.
There, I see you.

There you are.
Somewhere.
Not a far smile away.
There, in the Promise,
of a bold new Day.

© 2020 Linda Willows

Philippians 3:13-14 —Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus

Ecclesiastes 3:11 —He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

Isaiah 43:18-19 —“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

“Walking Towards Hope”, from L.Willows (Revival, God’s Goodness, His Glory, Believe)

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Walking Towards Hope, from L.Willows

The other day, I went to a nearby garden park that has been closed due to the pandemic. The loosely gated entry has not prevented locals from wandering in for private walks.  It is like a paradise inside.  Beyond the gate are gardens that volunteers lovingly tend to on a usual year.  The crews were absent but their labors from so many years past were still evident. That day was a real gift to me.

I  had been praying for a “second wind” in this journey of endurance during home isolation in our region. My heart felt heavy. I was deeply missing loved ones. I felt distant from all that I loved.

Then I stepped beyond the gate of the park. My heart lifted with gratitude that fell over me. Nothing of the world and its concerns seemed real in the gardens. Life seemed to be continuing without knowledge of the news or any updates of what tomorrow might bring. This was an isle apart. I smiled as I listened to birds singing to one another and stepped towards the largest fushia petals that I had ever seen.

Then I stepped amongst delicate yellow buds that reached up to feel the warmth of the sun. My heart melted and I became like a child walking in God’s open green, breathing His sweetened air.

I said to myself, “I am willing to believe that at this moment, everything is new. The bluebells tell be so. The lavender pearl buds on the bushes that run through the field tell me so. The lush green grasses that are dancing in the breeze are telling all that life is moving. A red cardinal flies majestically by.  The deep blue of the vast sky lives like the freedom that I long for. I walk but my heart is dancing. My soul is singing to God. I am praising Him.”

He is the Good Gardener. Nothing can prevent or delay God’s Goodness from rising. The Hope of His Presence and the beauty of His Creation lifts our hearts, from wherever we are.  I understand that there is no time, but the one that He sets. In the beautiful sky that I gaze at, my heart is set free, I am reminded of the vastness of God Himself. That freedom, which is the Altar of His Presence dwells within each of our hearts.  The Gateway is Jesus who is the Door .  My prayer was anwered. I had been revived by the sweetness of His Spirit. He led me to these Green Pastures.

John 10:9 “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.”

I had been free all the while. Because of the isolation, I allowed my heart to believe that the “walls that I saw” were real. They were really only walls within my own heart. I allowed myself to believe that the limitations of life during home isolation though they were tangible and physically confining did not have to confine by heart and soul. The Good Shepherd, Jesus was leading me once again to the truth of His Kingship and most especially of the gift of salvation.

The Lord, my Good Shepherd had led me to His Green Pasture. There I was, praying for renewal and revival. God sees our hearts, each burden, each care – wherever we live and wherever our walk takes us, He is there. I am so encouraged as I write, yet there is no tangible evidence in life, except that I had the great privilege of this walk. Yet, I realize that the great Glory of our God displays in intangible ways. I am reminded that we can’t always ask to see and have or even feel what we want in a mortal way. The goodness and Glory of God are beyond the gardens of this world, they are only “sighted” by the eyes of our heart when they have been opened by believing.

 

John 11:40 -Jesus said to her, Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?

That evening in my home, I did not feel enclosed by any boundary nor did I feel isolated. I looked out to the sky and I felt hugged by everything that is good. I felt wrapped in the Presence of God. He is beside us each and with us wherever we are. The paradise that I longed for is a blessed eternity in His Kingdom that is promised to all in His Care. For some reason, the words to a familiar song that we used to sing in Church comes to mind as I write:

I believe in God our Father
I believe in Christ the Son
I believe in the Holy Spirit
Our God is three in one…

and we will sing together again!

Hebrews 1:3 -He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

© 2020 Linda Willows

“Breathing Hope’s Gratitude”, from L.Willows (Prayer, Hope, Burdens to the Lord)

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I walked back and forth in a seemingly short space that was allowable on that day during the pandemic. Breathing much of my own breath through the face-covering created an awareness of the boundaries between myself and what was “outside” of me. Honestly, I did not like the environment. I longed to be in a beautiful garden- to see what I remembered from years past, most especially, to be reunited with friends and family. I longed for what I loved but could not see and to be where I could not be.  I wanted to embrace life again.

Quickly, I realized that sorrow was filling up my heart and my airspace. The longings had no place to go. Then I remembered that they did. Everything that was on my heart always had a place to go.

Everything on our hearts can always be told, given and healed by the Lord Jesus.  I had been bringing my heart to God in prayer for many years. So I walked and I prayed.

As I gazed before me, I no longer saw the long hallway. I acknowledged that everything in this world and in the eternal was made by God – that all that came into my own view was by His will and in His timing.

I began to praise Him for the goodness and for all of the beauty that was everywhere both in my life and for what came to my heart. Many steps later my heart was lifted. In an intimate discourse with the most loving Lord, I brought all of my burdens.  I asked for help and was needful in supplications.

I felt thankful that God was so close and near. Hope was restored.

As I returned to my doorway I was grateful for the nest of my home. Entering, I took off the face-mask. Breathing is such a gift.

I opened the window wider and let in more fresh air. I looked outside and felt grateful.

Matthew 11:28-30Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Psalm 55:22 — Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

Philippians 4:6-7–Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

© 2020 from Linda Willows