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Cafe

Surrounded by a dozen people,
We are all alone
At a table for two.
Simple things –
Sandwiches and juice,
Daisies in soda bottles,
Holding hands
While Mozart and rainbows
Fill the air –
Are romance to me
When I am here with you.
The old house,
Now the newest trend in dining,
Is ours in so many ways,
And it always will be.

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Emmaus

I am your disciple,
Though I don’t always
Follow you.
In fact,
I sometimes head the wrong way –
Away from fellowship,
Away from you.
Disillusioned,
Because of my own lack of understanding,
I get caught up
In my own pity party.
(You have no idea what I’ve been through.)

As I dare
To tell you all about you
Your life
Your death
You point me to the Scriptures
And the Resurrection.

Please,
Stay with me.
The fellowship is sweet,
And I’d like to know you more.
(I have no idea who you really are to me.)

Time together,
Your perfect love,
My many childish questions
Answered by you,
Patient teacher.

Oh!
Savior!
There you are.
You were beside me all along.

Escape

I’d like to drive away
Down a winding road
Across state lines
And let them wonder where I am.
Or hit every store
And spend all I have
Buying things I’ll never use.
Maybe stand on a corner
Somewhere
And scream
Until I have nothing left.
Or simply
Speak my mind
Plainly
To those who need to hear it
For once.

Thanksgiving

Greeted by the aroma
Of sage and cinnamon
Coffee and cake, turkey and herbs,
Potatoes and yams,
Comfort and joy.
Woodsmoke and leaves,
Clear sky, fresh air.
Welcome home.
Embrace, sit,
Holds hands and say grace.
Thank you God for . . .
Words tumble end over end,
Then awed silence.
Gratitude.
Bright sunlight until twilight.
Candlelight.
Thankful to be together.

Coming Home (III)

At a party
Surrounded by a crowd
Of friends and grateful guests
Tinkling of ice in glasses
Music of the piano
Percussion of chatter
A crescendo of conversation
Ending in a burst of laughter.

The party is over
But the cleaning up can wait.
You are all that matters
You, and this time we have.
I see you smile
As you reach out to take me in your arms
For one last song.
And I am home.

Outsider

I stand outside in the dark
Covered well enough by my coat
So that the brisk air touches
Only my face.
Light form a nearby window
Draws me
And like a moth, I approach.
I look in the window.
(Not nose to the glass – that would be too close.)
Keeping a respectful distance
I watch.
Warm, happy family
At dinner
Breaking bread
(It smells so good!)
Sharing stories
(Remember when . . .?)
Knowing each other
With a familiarity that nourishes the soul.

I rub my gloved hands together
And tell myself that I am content
To stay here
And watch.
This is my place.

While thus engaged
Enjoying the view
I hear the door open
And see light flood the pavement next to me.
“Come in. We were hoping you would join us.”
I shed my coat,
And warmth covers me –
Warmth from the fire and from love.
I am filled with delicious bread
And with joy
That comes from being included,
Being family.
My soul is nourished in
Sharing memories
Speaking of hope
And knowing I am family.
This is my place.

If I Were a Cat

Jeremiah 29:11 – “I know the plans . . .”

I’m not exactly what you would label a “cat person.” I’m more content with a litter of puppies, although I hear housebreaking a cat is much easier. I don’t hate cats; I just don’t always understand them. But they do fascinate me. Cats are graceful, intelligent, independent. And the best part is that, if you believe the hype, they have nine lives.

I have often wished I could have nine lives. When I was a little girl, what I wanted to be when I grew up was a ballerina-cheerleader-ice-Capade-skater-teacher. As a teenager, I knew that I wanted to do something important when I grew up. After college, I was ready for anything! And my grandpa was convinced that I should be a nuclear physicist and be and interpreter for the UN in my spare time.

And so far in my life, I have done just about anything. I have taught high school English, Spanish, speech and sign language. I have worked temporary gigs at a bank, at a beverage company, and in the front office an electronics repair company. I have been a manager and buyer for a retail store. I have been a barista and worked in several restaurants. I have worked for a law firm, a title company and a truck stop company. And then there are the volunteer and extracurricular activities that God has allowed me to do. I have enjoyed and learned from every one of these. Yet it may be these very opportunities that have me so restless. Is there more I can do?

But I feel hampered. That is hard to say without sounding ungrateful. I am held back from some of the things I would do for God by those things I know are gifts from God: my job, my family, my studies.

You may wonder, with all God has allowed me to do, what more could I want? I’ll confess. I want to be a teacher again, but in England, helping to spread the love of God to the English countryside. And I want to work in theater – backstage, Broadway – speaking grace and unconditional love to those who must always deliver the perfect performance. I want to write a book, go on a book signing tour, and have Oprah add me to her list of favorite writers. But each of these dreams would take a lifetime. And I only have one.

But that one life is God’s gift to me, and my gift to Him. Whatever wonderful opportunity God gives me to serve Him, I will gladly take it. And God will make me happy and fulfilled in it.

Perhaps you wish you had nine lives, or just some other life. You want to do more than you are doing, or just something different. Be patient. God wants to use you for His perfect plan. Listen. He will tell you where to go and what to do when you get there. You can do everything you were put on this earth to do.

And you don’t have to be a cat to do it.