On Beggar’s Ticks seeds
Yellow seeds with barbed awns
Sticky, burring yellow awns
Designed to be carried
to Other places and other soils
By unsuspecting flutterbys
carrying unsuspected messages
living breeze to breeze
dropping Beggar’s Tick
for other seasons
Work to wait
wait for just the right
Across sand and shells
Past orange and raspberry sherbet
Past old and young
little and big
arms, legs and noise
playing wave games
Clapping and flinging
in spiraling airflow
Across ocean expanse
Across salty, slippery
grey, blue and green
stickier, deadlier than burrs
from a Beggar’s Tick
one wing beat
To reach a home
risking to gain
against ultimate loss
to reach a home
a home always
Something deep inside
something that says
butterflies Are born
“There will be a highway
called the Holy Road.
No one rude or rebellious
is permitted on this road.
It’s for God’s people exclusively—
impossible to get lost on this road.
Not even fools can get lost on it.
No lions on this road,
no dangerous wild animals—
Nothing and no one dangerous or threatening.
Only the redeemed will walk on it.
The people God has ransomed
will come back on this road.
They’ll sing as they make their way home to Zion,
unfading halos of joy encircling their heads,
Welcomed home with gifts of joy and gladness
as all sorrows and sighs scurry into the night” (Isaiah 35: 8-10)
The Story Behind the Poem
On holiday at the beach when the sun and clouds pulled closer to my patch of earth and the tree leaves looked like crazy quilts of oranges, reds, yellows and fuchsias – my husband and I found ourselves floating quietly by ourselves in a sea of salt.
Our boys had abandoned us for a lazy river and video games. The littlest, he’d constructed a half-hearted sandcastle – only because I said we’d needed one – and he’d not grown up enough to relish not heeding me yet.
I bobbed and my husband floated along the currents, savoring the peacefulness of it all, me not quite trusting the quiet; my husband taking it all in stride when a Monarch butterfly beat its wings up and down from shore toward us, past us – and we watched, our bobbing and floating turning to follow his journey beyond where we could see. We watched, expectantly – and gossiped about its journey until the current pulled our attention to where we wandered – and we set to working ourselves back to align with our beach side property of chairs, blankets and bags.
In the bobbing and floating, trying to catch a good wave – both our attention was caught by a Monarch butterfly beating its wings up and down, out of the distance, past us without a pause, to the beach, straight to the Beggar’s Ticks beyond the beach walk.
We paused – wondering if this was the one that had just left – or if maybe this was one come from across the gulf.
I kept wondering what message those butterflies carried from God – Nothing ever goes to waste if we just pay close enough attention.
A few weeks later, back on our misty mountain, the butterfly message revealed itself,
A prayer – I don’t’ know if it was one prayer sent 2 years ago or the book of prayers sent out 15 years ago for one son – sent out on a journey like a Monarch butterfly. The Journey of The Prayer Sent Out takes time – maybe one minute, two years or 15 years – but a prayer I sent out came back after a significant wait, like that Monarch returning from across the Gulf of Mexico – the answer brushing past as though on the soft beating wings of a butterfly.
Just like Daniel’s prayer sent out on a journey before it returned answered:
“‘Relax, Daniel,’ he continued, ‘don’t be afraid. From the moment you decided to humble yourself to receive understanding, your prayer was heard, and I set out to come to you. But I was waylaid by the angel-prince of the kingdom of Persia and was delayed for a good three weeks. But then Michael, one of the chief angel-princes, intervened to help me. I left him there with the prince of the kingdom of Persia. And now I’m here to help you. . . .’?(Daniel 10: 12-14, The Message)
Oh, yes – I long ago decided – I couldn’t raise these boys with just what I had or my husband had within and without ourselves. It is humbling to realize sheer determination cannot generate the results I want. I cannot love my boys well enough. I cannot teach or talk eloquently, persuasively, wise enough to save them from a fallen world. Humbling myself to the Father – saying to Him “only you can” love these boys enough, get through to their hearts and minds to shepherd them where they need to be. . . and it liberated me – and it saved them and saves them, still, today.
When I sent those prayers out, whether it was all those years ago, or today, “Save him” – our Father-God heard – and He set out to come for me to save each of my sons with the challenges they faced. Like in Daniel’s story – it was a journey to answer that prayer. He loves us like that – He loves my sons like that.
God came. He helped – and that prayer answered beat its wings with soft assurance one night, past my mailbox, up my driveway, its wings beating up and down, up and down, fluttering tirelessly – and as it hit my porch steps. . . the answered prayer brushed against a new prayer freshly flying out. . .
The answered prayer knocked out the scales that had blinded a boy-to-man’s soul eyes – repentant heart revealed, eyes suddenly selfless seeing and in the seeing grieving. Self-centered emerging selfless“. . . Oh, Answered Prayer come home, how welcome you are.
A prayer returning brushing up against a prayer leaving.
Just like the sun can shine in a rain downpour, my heart rejoiced and cried at the same time.
Remember Me Monday: #78 & Link-up
“I’ll make a list of God’s gracious dealings,
all the things God has done that need praising,
All the generous bounties of God,
his great goodness to the family of Israel—
. love extravagant.”
~ Isaiah 63:7, The Message
In the Old Testament, God repeatedly, quietly and loudly, tells his children, “You have forgotten me!” (Jeremiah 3:32, Ezekiel 22:12, to name a few). It’s a heart cry from a father to a child who has forgotten all the love, all the saving, helping, little and big blessings – and it leaves me stunned when I realize our Father, the creator of the universe, who knows things I cannot begin to fathom, who authors storylines that leave me amazed, delights in all of us so much, He cries out, “Remember Me.”
While every day is a Remember God Day, I am inviting you to join me on Monday mornings to come by and remember what God has done for you, for your family. Maybe God sent a cardinal darting out in front of you, as if to tell you, “I’m here,” or broke a child’s fever after you laid it all down at His feet in a 2 a.m. bedside vigil. Maybe He stood with you in the wait of a prayer sent out, or brought someone you loved to Christ. Maybe He healed your broken heart, gave your courage, or you gave Him your dreams as a love offering only to have Him give them back in an unimaginable way. Maybe God helped you survive to bedtime after a crazy Monday, or forgive yourself for missing it with your kiddos –– Whatever it is, let’s Remember Him. . . in a “Remember Me Monday” love letter.
“My mouth will tell of your righteousness,
Of your salvation all the day long,
Though I know not its measure.
I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign Lord”
~ Psalm 71:15-16.
Let us delight in Him by telling the stories of what He’s done! If you wrote a blog post remembering what He’s done for you, join the linky. If you didn’t but still want to praise Him for what He’s done – write it in the comment section. Then visit a comment before or after yours! One of the beautiful things about the blogging community is the relationships it builds!
Rules? Write long or short, a list or a story, include photos or not. Just Remember Him and what He has done, and let the gratitude of your heart guide you. Let’s make Monday so Rejoice, that the goodness of God spills into the rest of the week!
Places I’m Linking at This Week:
Inspire Me Monday, Instaencouragements,
Legacy Link-Up, Recharge Wednesday
Faith on Fire, Tell His Story, Grace&Truth
Let’s Have Coffee Wednesday Celebrate Your Story
Scripture&Snapshot, Sunday Scripture Blessings
Sweet Tea & Friends Monthly Link-up