Banished or Burnished

It sits on the table. I give it a wary glance.

It has been some time since we last interacted, and I’m not sure I’m ready.

I prowl around the table, looking at it from all four corners, wondering what my best form of approach is. I’m not ready for head on…I’d rather wonder from the side.

My eyes take in its rounded corners, the rough edges sewn up time and again, the way the handle curves beautifully not betraying the dark interior contents, the fabric worn and faded and yet I still see the pattern, something worn deep in my memory.

My hands tremble, my eyes begin to fill with tears and my heart beats hard.

Once embraced, attacked, released…one can never return to the unknown.

It has sat in the dark corner of my closer for far too long, skeletons dancing about…sharing their secrets and pushing them deep into its recesses, and I remember slamming the door on their whispered voices.

But the day has come. The door has been opened. The light has sent those skeletons fleeing and I have thrown this memory keeper full onto the table, ready to spill its contents.

The clasp is worn and rusty, and yet I know it just looks old, its barely been used and I’ve yet to flick the switch. I know that there is a journey that lies ahead. That soon this table will be littered with moments, memories, vices, grace and mystery…and yet my fingers hover above.

Letting forth this baggage, these moments of the past…will forever change my future, because once released they can only be dealt with, given the death blow to those things that drag me low and speak in lies, and those things seen in fresh light that I had left foraging in the dust of disuse and un-remembering.

Holding my breathe, I close my eyes…and flick open the latch. A puff of dust seeps out as I open the cavern of its opening wide and dare to take a peek. The contents lay deep within, time covered and sitting dark cornered. My task lies ahead…

I shall take each of them out. I will lay them table covered until ever last item is revealed. And then, it will begin. The banishment or burnishing…it lies ahead, there is no turning back.

Letter to the Hungry

I don’t remember what day it was…perhaps right after Thanksgiving.

Life was looking different than I had imagined (when doesn’t it). And I was looking for a new church.

Being away from my ‘home church’ for a couple years had been good for me. Allowed me to discern somethings for myself, allowed me to make my beliefs my own. Allowing me to see freedom in places where rules had been my legislature.

There has been raising of hands, communion with tears running down my face, challenges from the Scriptures… a yearning in my heart to be known.

Coming back home after a change in career path, I was devastated. Everything I’d worked towards to this point had just blown up in my face…and I didn’t know who to blame. It hurt soul deep and I wondered if I’d ever heard His voice at all.

I heard about this church that had begun meeting in the high-school I had attended years ago. I asked my mom to come with me, to check it out…she was willing to give it a try. We sat on the left side of the auditorium, facing the stage and the music began to swell. The fold down chairs filled up and people began to greet one another. The music seemed to pulse through my soul (I think that bass might have been turned up a bit too much that day, because my heart actually felt like it was jumping out of tune, but I digress).

What I remember most, was at the end of the service. People had milled out in the coffee area, very few people remained in the seats and I turned to my mom and breathed deeply before speaking. I said, “You know how sometimes there is something that is missing in life, that you hunger for…but you don’t know. You don’t know until you find the thing that fills that hunger, that meets that need you didn’t even know you had. I just had that experience.’

And in the opening of the Word of Truth, in speaking word after word of HIS Word, after delving deep into its significance at that time period and then amongst us today, I found what I had been craving for many years…food. The Holy Scriptures read and taught in a manner I hadn’t encountered for quite some time…exegetical teaching.

and in that moment I had tasted my hunger, and I had found it met.

I know i’m not the only one. The one whose heart and soul and mind hunger for more. But we’re not sure just what will meet this innate feeling that resides just below our flesh. Chase this hunger. Let it seep deep. And let your eyes be open wide to His filling, His feeding, His WORD.

Profound Tolkien

all that is gold2

In the midst of the solemn quiet
I stepped forward to recieve
a mark upon my forehead
a symbol, a reminder

from ashes you have come,
the intonation,
to ashes you will return
and I felt the mark fully

My skin had been marked
the words had been uttered
and I thought that would be
the end of it

the holy moment would pass
I would remember
it would remind of fraility
and i’d move forward

but then these words hit me
‘from the ashes a fire shall be woken’
and I knew that I had seen it
all wrong

Because its true
we’re all in the process of dying
our crowning scream of birth
starts the scent of decay

and yet these same ashes
that mark us as mere humanity
are not the dead rememberings
that I thought them to be

Instead there is fire in those ashes
hidden deep, almost submurged
and perhaps in their coldness
they’ve lost some of their stinging power

But its there, your heart begins
a slow murmer of awakening
and the ash smudge on your forehead
it seeps deep, and begins a soul burn

for you are remembering
that it was His breathe
that animated humanity at beginning
and his timetable the figures the end

and yet in the midst of this span
there is a reminder of our frailty
and a calling to LIVE forth
in the days we’ve been given

the mark on my forehead is temporary
these ashes have long since cooled
and yet the fire they have ignited
is slow burn into raging passion

Let me live.

By Janel Andrews     Written Mar 6/2014

A Letter…to build a bridge

I’ve been a bridge burner for quite some time. I’m not really sure what takes me there…maybe its the light of it all going up in flames or perhaps I’m afraid that something in the past will catch up with me, but either way I’m really good at leaving those bridges between me and you, in tatters.

I’ve made judgement that were based on my own insecurities, and I’ve held them up at truth. And when I see your face, all I can remember is what I first laid claim to your name as…Cold, Brutal, Unfeeling, Un-moving, Aloof. And yet, I knew nothing of who you were, who you are…or where your story had taken you.

And now, we shall meet again. We shall see each other face to face, and I pray that this time…instead of burning bridges just to watch them burn, I’ll make  sure that I’m out there putting down new wood where the old is starting to break through…and that as we tentatively step one towards the other, that perhaps this bridge won’t give out, that those judgments I’ve made that were so unfounded will be flung with abandon and purpose, over the side of the bridge to fall lake bottom deep and allow us to start over.

I seek His forgiveness, and I seek your forgiveness. My offenses are unknown to you, but they lay heavy on my heart. I pray that I shall seek to release my hold on what I thought was true, and get to know the real you. Your outward appearance speaks to me of who you appear to be, but there is a depth greater to you than I have encountered. I pray my heart will be healed, and reading and waiting to make these new memories, to tread these boards together and to potentially walk hand in hand over this bridge.

Whatever the outcome, I pray that I will desire to build up bridges that I have in the past had my first reaction of self-protection to burn them down…and that this heart change will allow me to be vulnerable and truthful, and give my judgement and accusations into the hands of One who can fling them far and wide…and replace them with the truth of who each of us is IN HIM, whether we are completely reconciled in this lifetime or not.

This is the beginning of laying the boards down one by one, seeing the other side and seeking to reach it one board at a time….as we build up rather than tear down.



Linking up with Ruth and Sabrina for ‘Letters to..’

Letters To

A letter to… the future me.


I’m heading towards my 35th birthday. I’d love to do something to celebrate. I mean, I’m half way to 40 for goodness sake. I wanted to do 30 things on my 30th birthday, but a lot of what I had in mind would have been a fair amount of money and time. So I’m thinking something smaller this year, but still significant.

When I turned 20, I shed a few tears…when I turned 25, it was much of the same. Mostly, I cried for what wasn’t. Because I had an idea of what my life would look like, and it just wasn’t happening.  I was still single, in school hoping that I was following the right degree, and up and down in my relationship with Christ. Looking back now, I’m not too clear on what the other things were that I was disappointed that I hadn’t achieved or become by that time, but I know that it went deep into my heart, made me think less of myself.

Heading into 30 and now towards 40, I have come to a new understanding that really I may have some idea of the future, but it generally looks like moments that I simply couldn’t begin to imagine. I have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams, and I’ve also faced hurts I couldn’t have foretold were coming, but the person that I now am, looks so much different then when I started so many years ago (besides the obvious growth that comes with aging).

So now I’m writing to you, I’m not sure how many years in the future you are. But this is what I dream for you…that you would know both joy and peace. That you would more fully breathe in grace, and breathe out less legalism. That you would be content in where He has called and who He has called you to be. Contentment is a hard place to reach. But sometimes, its easier to see a glimpse of what God’s at work in, when you stop feeling sorry for yourself, and make yourself available to be used by Him.

I hope and pray that you are seeking more of Him. That you are diving deep into His Word. That you are growing in beautiful, deep friendships with women around you. I pray that you are still writing and reading voraciously. And I pray that what radiates from you is not only laughter and fierce loyalty, but also peace found in Him alone.

In whatever days God has ahead for you, I hope you continue to trust him, to ask him questions, to seek His truth, to rail and cry, to fight and fear, but to live…in TRUTH because that i what you will come back to, what you will be grounded in. What will continue to fill you up, and bring you through…

HE is all that will constantly remain.

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linking up with Ruth and Sabrina for their weekly prompt “Letters to…”

letters too