Fragments 2


Fragmented Poem 2

The dream comes to me
in stop motion sequence
and I press my face
close to the glass,
wanting to enter in

Time stretches in the silence
as I fiddle with volume control
and seek to find the power switch
to let me in, to stop the waiting
to know the next steps

There is a
replaying of old memories
as I seek to find the answer
for why the paper lays barren
as the madness spreads
and smears it ink-black, wordless

I won’t pretend for a moment
that any twinkle of lights
fill the dark corners with peace
because the light flickers slow
and my eyes are mesmerized
the blinking leaves me blind.

In this black and white world
how I long for your colours
saturating my knowledge with truth
letting the glimpses fill me with hope
but I’m grasping at words that lead to you

I fear the weakening of my words
that all that is revealed
won’t tell the whole story
but just pieces and you’ll miss
the complexity of my journey

My life laid bare
full scale rawness in spewing
swaying the pictures this way and that
looking for the negative
so that I can blur out the positive

My fingers scratch blindly
seeking for a way up, way out
memories of whispers echo
and I vaguely recollect
the right words at the wrong time

And I’ve sat down here
in the midst of the path
cause I’m weary of walking
and the stones trip me up
where are the words said in hope?

Like a wood nymph
you seem unreachable, unfathomable
to be glimpsed but unknown
but this is how you seen
and I want to know you in every way

To have you heal blind eyes
 to show me things I haven’t seen
breathe life into weary lungs
give light to the darkened path
words to alight my lips once gain

When your voice seems silent
often we fill the blanks with our imagination
twisting and turning in the lies
conjured by our own broken minds
spoken with our weary voices

But there is a
step by step to intimacy
as a wounded bird
I’m flittering to and fro
eyes glittering in distrust

I’ve been wounded,
the pain slips deep
and there is
anarchy in this truthfulness
rising up to show me light

Because when my mind is so consumed
with finding my own path
with trying to see beyond my limits
I can’t distinguish between faces and masks
and my heart is easily swayed

The truth is
when I’ve strung the bits and pieces together
I don’t want to find my way out of you
because the truth breathed in
the dream rekindled

Opens my eyes to more of YOU.


By Janel Andrews written April 26/2014

Fragments borrowed from Purloined Letter on Twitter.



Letting Idols In



I wake myself up out of a dead sleep to check it.  The first thing I do after rubbing my eyes every morning, check it. Throughout the day its the first app I use on my phone. When I’m on my day off, you can see me there throughout the day, posting articles I’ve read or commenting on things people have shared.

And its not a bad thing. Its social media. It seems to be the new way we communicate, and I’m all in. but…


I’ve made it an idol. It takes more time then I spend with God, or with people some days. And when its a hard day and I’m struggling more often than not I look for answers in what other’s have posted, and don’t seek the Word of God and seek Him through prayer until it seems like a last resort.

and its clear I have a problem when i think I’ll miss out on something happening at 3 am in the morning….but its so prevalent in my mind, that I actually wake myself from a sound sleep to check what is happening on facebook. And my eyes are slits, and my breathing shallow…but still I persist, because I don’t want to miss out.

and it makes me wonder, what do I think I’ll miss out on. What can possibly be more important that sleeping when I’m supposed to (after all, those who know we well know that I do enjoy a good deep sleep more than a lot of other things) And it seems that my obsession with keeping up on what is happening in the world around me, has left me with the need to know…at any moment I want, what someone is thinking, or feeling or sharing (if they so desire to share). And since media is so fast moving these days perhaps part of it is not wanting to be left behind in the dust.

and I’ve read those posts about mom’s being more present with their kids, not always paying attention to the screen but actually living in the present…and i’m convicted. Because how much of my life am I living to see life around me, to God at work around me…to ask Him what he’s up to and if perhaps He might gracefully bestow a part for me to play through His leading??

But instead I fill my eyes with sights, my ears with sounds, my mind with other’s thoughts….and these are not bad in and of themselves, but when they become my heartbeat, my life breathe…there is an inkling that my priorities are all wrong and that perhaps something needs to be done.

and perhaps a lot of it is me thinking that I need others to interact with me, to let me know I’m worth while, that my thoughts are brilliant, that perhaps there is something in me that is a writer or a poet, or even more that I’m worthy of being noticed, acknowledge, perhaps even loved.

and I am reminded of the second commandment “Though shalt have NO OTHER gods before Me” (Ex 20:3) and I’m thinking that I’m placing alot of things in my every day life on to a level they don’t deserve. The things that I lift my eyes to, that I seek out for answers…are things, made of human hands and God-given ingenuity…but they are still THINGS. They are NOT to replace a relationship with the Most High God and a seeking after Him for the things that my heart desperately needs.

The Shadows Still Remain

hands over face

I suppose sometime the shame will lift,
the feeling of failure will abate,
the questions I ask of God and myself will be quelled.
But for today they hang heavy, shrouding all of me –
Lore Ferguson


It seems like a lifetime ago, and yet someday’s it just feels like yesterday.

Sometimes I can still feel the sobs rising up…the day that I made the choice to walk away from it all. Thankfully, there were red flags and warning signs. Thankfully, though so much of me rebelled at the thought, I chose to walk instead of stay…before the ring burned my flesh and my life was sealed in the deal.

It took me a year to put the ring my parents had given me when I turned 20 back on my finger afterwards. I couldn’t stand the idea of something  reminding me of the loss, of the way my heart had been chained to his for that short time.

and so it lingers…a wound that sours and sickens, covered over by bandages that make it look like healing has been setting in, but under all the white of outward looking wholeness, the gangrene settles deep and I’m ill at heart. Because the cutting of this gangrene will mean wounding…removal. And i’m used to this stench…this pain, this soul ache.

Ten years later, I find myself attending the same church he does. And while there are times that we might run into each other in the midst of hundreds of others…every time it seems like a fresh wounding. Because my breathe comes in short gasps, and I’m left light-headed.

This past Sunday I found myself revisiting moments and memories in my head and heart. So much so, that I felt the weight settling in and I almost bolted from my seat in the midst of service to find relief. But I wonder if that would just be running, instead of sitting in the midst of the chipping away…

And this post by Lore…it spoke deep into my gasping places. Because she spoke of her experience, of being one month removed from when she was supposed to be married. And I don’t know her story…but I know a bit of the ache, and this post just threw my aching heart into motion.

The idea of diving deep into the wreckage resonated with me because I feel like I’m swimming under water, barely surfacing for a soul breathe before I’m plunged under again. Interestingly enough…it seems my own hand is pushing my head under water, allowing only one swift breathe before going under again, seems like some kind of penance. Maybe I can drown the pain out of me…if I only allow myself the gift of life breathe when its the last thing I need before going under completely.




By HIS Wounds…

he was pierced


“…and by HIS STRIPES we have received healing and been made whole” (variation of Isaiah 53::5b)

Last year, Good Friday was introduced to me in a way that I’d never experienced before.  Since we rent a school for church we aren’t able to do the usual Good Friday service, so instead of celebrating Palm Sunday we have Good Friday the week before. Last year the last five minutes of the service was the scene from one of many movies made of Jesus suffering previous to his crucifixion and then his being put on the cross. AND it was horrifying and grotesque but I’m not sure it was even close what actually took place. Because I’m not sure we can even fathom that kind of horror these days.

And while it was a representation of what took place, they were looking for accuracy. This past sunday our pastor shared with us that when people were lashed it was by a ‘cat o’ nine tails’ which was basically made to inflict people as much pain as possible. and These men that were responsible for torturing Jesus before his crucifixion were professionals. This is what they did. There was no mercy in the lashes, no deft hand when laying the crown of thorns. Their job was the create the ultimate impact of pain…to get the people as close to death as possible, but then leave them almost able to continue on to final death.

As John Blase so distinctly writes “they were not trying to maim a man, but rend a god… they ruined him. They ruined the one I loved.”

And this morning I was thinking of how my pastor was describing the ripping open of flesh…of it being beyond what I can imagine in excruciating. And sometimes we paint a pretty picture of Christ’s resurrection body as just having the wounds in his arms and feet. But I wonder if he walked with a limp…if his body still bore the marks of the whip across his back, the literal destruction of his human form…if the marks on his head from the piercing blows of the crown thrust deep didn’t serve the remind of the actuality of what happened, of the price paid we can’t even begin to imagine.

And the the words ‘and by THIS we are healed’…

And I can’t comprehend it. Because this total destruction of his flesh form was the catalyst to the ultimate sacrifice when every sin of the entire world, past and present, would be placed upon this marred human body and the only way that it could be endured…in any form, was his Godhead. Because he would have been annihilated otherwise. And we live, and we believe, and we endure and we are SAVED because of this tearing, this ripping, this flesh being removed from being.

and I wonder if I’m truly able to grasp the horror and cost of His LOVE for me.

i fall so quickly into lack of trust

A couple months ago, my car was doing odd things. I took it into the dealership, took the dealership guy for a drive and he said ‘you should be fine’. I had noticed some grinding noises more recently and then my whole car started vibrating when I drove it and when I threw on the brakes. I knew something we really wrong, but didn’t think about it too much until I had other people in my car and then I freaked out one night on the way to Bible study. Thankfully I’m able to borrow my parent’s car on Tuesday nights so I can safely get people where they need to go.

Right before I left for Refine I knew that things had progressed from bad to worse when I felt like my car was going to fall apart on me at any moment. Thankfully the Lord saw fit to take me to Toronto and Hamilton in the past two months with no issues. So grateful for that.

I talked to my parents about my concerns and we had to wait until I had a day off because I wanted to be able to leave the car there for whenever they could look at it. It was there for two days. They called me and told me that what needed to be fixed was about 900$. Last time they worked on my car it was about 1300 so I was glad it was cheaper. I received my tax refund from the government the same day that I found out the cost. The check would more than cover it. I decided not to have the work done that day because they had other things on their plate and I needed my car for work this weekend.

It was my understanding that everything that needed to be done would be covered by the 900$. Upon looking at the reciept though my steering column replacement (or whatever the steering apparatus was that needed to be fixed) was not included in that price. Looking it up online it runs about 500 (perhaps including labour). So i’m not even sure they can fix it.

I left the auto shop rejoicing that the money i had would cover the cost. i was so thankful, but the question came in my head…what if it wasn’t all taken care of right now, would I still trust. And as soon as I found out that my steering wasn’t covered, the doubt and mistrust and anxiety began to creep in.  I had been rejoicing all day, remembering verses about his provision and songs that reminded me that He’s always been faithful…and there was my heart full of anxiety and fear.

*sigh* when will I learn. God will provide. God will work it out. He will show me the answer. But I’m so prone to fall into the pit so fast. I am such a lost cause sometimes, it feels like God.

So thankful for my parents who have been willing to lend me their vehicle and perhaps rent a car for themselves if it is necessary. I am beyond blessed by them, time and time again.

I get paid this Friday and only one thing HAS to come out of my account, so I’m thankful that I have a little bit of room to move (with gas and such needed for at least my parents car) *sigh*


Writing Out of the Ashes

This world flames around us
in patches of pain
moments unexpected
and our flesh warms

heartbeats quicken
trying desperately
to understand the loss,
the wretched angst

hearts broken wide and
all around me ashes rain down
covering the beauty
blinding my eyes

cancer licks its evil lips
death declares victory (for now)
a womb is casket like in death
and I don’t have enough tears

and so I sit

legs weary from the journey
heart overwhelmed by darkness
the sun is being terrorized
as these ashes block my view

I try not to whisper words
that are contrite because
they only feed the hurt,
and isolate

yet silence is no answer
it leaves hearts yearning for a word
and sometimes it seems
my vocabulary of truth is lacking

I don’t understand your ache
even though I’ve known my own
and right now all you need
is to be held tight, tears running freely

I”m gasping for clean air
hope that seems so distant
and I know You are here
my skin so tender, it hurts to be held

I strive to open my eyes
against the raging ash
and I glimpse Your pain
the wounds still mar your hands

and I feel wet upon my head
an anointing
as you tears fall freely
and I know you KNOW this ache

in one breathe
a gutteral cry ‘it is FINISHED’
and the ash falls dead
I see it lying in piles around us

Your arms hold me fast
and slowly it shrinks
until it is no more
grace has it consumed

let your anointing remind me
that Your heart aches greater still
that this broken world is groaning
but you are not absent or unaware

I am merely human
my words insufficient and wounding
please draw them close, let them know
You have felt this pain, their pain


By Janel Andrews      Apr 3/2014     (inspired by Bethany Paget at The Gift of Writing  )