Monday, October 6, 2014

it’s about time we let this all go

we tiptoe around these bugs in the house as if we have resigned ourselves to sharing our home with them.

we sleep with our knees bent and our toes tight so as to not disturb the spider at the end of the bed, we leave him there to kill the mosquitoes — it’s a mutual understanding. eat them and don’t bite me, and i’ll spare you on the weekly “vacuum the spiders” day.

the spiders aren’t all there is. this cockroach under my leg is symbolic of so much more. we’re tired of brushing out the cobwebs day after day. so here we are, sharing our home with roaches and ants. and yet there is grace even in the way he smiles up at me with his black antennae. grace. what grace.

we struggle to wake and when we see the other’s tired face headed to the washroom, there’s another kind of mutual understanding — sometimes it’s hard. sometimes it’s too hard. but if we have to do it, there’s a beauty in the fact that you and me can see each other in this moment and recognize how hard it is. and here we are. another day, let’s go.

it’s late, and the candle is flickering a large circle on our ceiling. we’re no longer speaking words, but we sit close enough to brush thighs and shoulders on this pallet couch.

solidarity. darkness. candles. the community of three that makes us keep trudging through the mindless routines when our hearts aren’t in it.

and we sing psalms in the morning and hold hands briefly before we leave the doors of this little dark sanctuary. we hate to leave it. we hate to return to it. we love our little moments inside it.

we pray. we weep. we sing. we wash the dishes. and sometimes that seems the most sacred and healing of all.

the basil plant, at least, is flourishing. we rub him a little bit of affection and give him water to live, and he seems to do the best out of all of us. relinquishing leaves for our little comfort foods and pleasantly filling out again within a day — we’ll be little basil plants someday soon. we’ll be done with these dead willow days.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

a sonnet. march 19.

please, hear the plea behind my silent cries,
there is no hope for which i often wait
hands off you foul demons, wicked lies
you speak to me and i would choose to wake
from these foul dreams of death. i know
the good the true and beautiful must have their place
but all those rules are just misunderstood
it is a lie, there is no common grace.
but, no, for me and mine, i choose to war
and lo, sweet dawn will come, sweet breath0
to me this ship though drifting, sinking, will find shore
and i will find what i have sought at sea.

written for a dear friend, who at the time, was struggling to see the good, true and beautiful in life. and who also had a deep fondness for all things nautical. with love. and hope that you see the grace, now.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

my summer morning song. how rare and beautiful it is to even exist.

(Source: Spotify)

Monday, June 2, 2014
sometimes it’s raining outside
and the house is asleep
and you’ve written enough that your heart is at peace
and everything is okay. 
Monday, December 23, 2013

he came.

in flesh and crying loudly - not in indignation
but in the humility of human pain.

he came.
he is here.
and he is human
in all its wrinkled-fleshly soft and delicate fragile needy infantness.

oh yes the angels sing
and the garbage sweepers came to see
the maker of the heavens sneezed.

a word and galaxies would dance.
a word and God is human in our hands.

long awaited.
long sung.
long prophesied.
by all the men we venerate.

now screaming on a stable floor.
hungry weak and sleepy
behold your God.

2000 years of waiting
for a baby that cattle tolerated in their home.

GOD. traveling the birth canal.
did he wonder at his creation or just gasp for air?
in the womb no longer
did he glorify himself as he saw through these miracles we call eyes?
sweet consciousness how can God be fully man?

long expected messiah.
this is your grand entrance,
a weeping woman
a red, bruised child.
they expected rended heavens and a military man on white horse.
come to redeem us?
come for a glorious revolution?

wait and see.

most men cannot justify the blood they shed the day they are born.
for Him it was merely a christening
— for this you have come.

christmas thoughts

pinkie promised a friend to swap christmas musings. 
here are two of my attempts. 
in his words, “the incarnation might be the most beautiful thing that has ever happened.” agreed. 


flashes of lightning
mountains rise, oceans form 
angels sing.

glory, hallelujah chorus
to see him would render me to ashes
perfect, holy. 

one with God, creator, 
surrounded by beings higher than we 
humbly lean and see this world
new home. 

from angels to donkeys,
willingly weak
enthroned from holy glass to humble straw 
words of power to whimpers of hunger

God, creator, 
surrounded by chickens, slobbering mouths of beasts
wrapped in strips of cloth 

willingly weak 
all glory placed aside for a labor of love 
God. man. babe.  
he is here. 

now we see him, hold him, hurt him. 
willingly weak. lowered to us, all for love. 
subject to sin’s effects, unable to even speak, God-man. 
humility is a rare, beautiful thing. God. man. all for love. 
God limits himself so that we could be lifted up. 
man, redeemed in an act of condescension, 
woman, redeemed in an act of delivery. childbirth has now redeemed your sin. 
deliver us, deliver us, emmanuel, God with us. 
Sunday, July 28, 2013

taking our “Threes” for a walk with some help from friends. 
[cue catch-up time].

Tuesday, July 16, 2013
miss this guy! 
sir haniel the 32nd. skilled in dancing, laughter, and the sarah face. [among other things]. [like eating ice cream.]

miss this guy! 

sir haniel the 32nd. skilled in dancing, laughter, and the sarah face. [among other things]. [like eating ice cream.]

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

say hello to “the sarah face.”
234235 variations coming to theaters near you. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

more OG happinesses. 
and loads more to come with haniel the 32nd’s pictures. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

ibo, my man. miss that kiddo.
adventure running in action. this was at our mountain destination. 
MUDSLIDE. army crawling under rope through murky muds. batman & i are serious about obstacle courses, you guys. this was after the 120 kids went through it, because we promised since we forced them all through the grossness that we’d do it at the end. 
we actually did it three times just for funs. better pictures to come. 

OG 2013. so much to be said.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


and like those phoenixes i wrote about ages ago - these things i’m clutching to will soon be ashes. 

clutching to a desire to be here. clutching to a desire to make a statement about it. clutching to friends i can no longer hold onto … it’s all soon to be ashes. 

and who wants to carry around ashes in their pockets? if we did any fun swing-dance moves they’d all fall out anyways. 

and more seriously - like the phoenix - by clutching we give no chance for new life. for one, our hands are too full to hold anything new, we can’t grab on the end of a truck to go up a mountain a bit faster, we can’t hold the finger of a child walking beside us, we can’t help up a friend falling. we’re stuck with our tightly clenched fists and a trudging gait. 

and if any of the ashes had any magic to begin with, we’re destroying the possibility of a phoenix. no bird can form in the oxygen-free realm of a sweaty fist. to let go means we may lose ashes, but it also means we may gain new life. 

i want to clutch so desperately to all of these things i’ve mentioned. 
but honestly, what are we gaining by our fists of ashes anyway? 

and i want to fly and if not that, then to be free to touch and treasure whatever is coming next. 

project hello jack jack / goodbye izmir.

a bad attitude means everyone loses. 

it’s not up to us to prove to the world that our situation isn’t right. that things are wrong with the world. that we’ve been cheated.

chances are, we aren’t off as badly as we think we are, and even if we were, it’s still not up to us. 

this world is a world with two realities and it’s not up to us to prove the infinite quality of brokenness in this world.

i can go to university and decide it’s up to me to show my roommates and those around me that i’d rather be in turkey, with my friends, with my heart, with these people i’ve grown to love and even to some extent the culture i’ve embraced. i could forgo my totes shirts & yellow sunglasses & fist-pumping because let’s be honest folks: it’s just not the same without my bros. 

but this cheats me of joy. it shows that i don’t think God has done enough to prove that goodbyes suck. it shows that i don’t trust that payment has been made for the brokenness of this world: i have to add just a little bit more disapproval to show that it’s messed up. 

what. a. joke. 

my little tiny rebellious finger-flicking at the brokenness of this world is about as ridiculous as it sounds. 

yep, it hurts. 
yep, it’s not right.
yep,  there’s a possibility that no one at university will understand my life or what i’ve left behind or that i really truly am not excited to be there and would much rather rent a flat here and live off of tutoring money. 

and yes, if i act like the Totes that haniel knows, it’ll look like i’m denying the reality that i’m not where i want to be. no one looking on might see what really is going on in my heart. 

but that’s where i have to trust that a) what difference does it make whether or not i legitimize my hurt by acting like it? infinite payment has been made for this (much more than my little tiny pain really deserves because if we’re gonna compare it let’s just not even be talking right now). it’s no longer up to me. i hand over my desire to legitimize my pain and give it to the one who felt much more conflict inside him than i, and then get up and dance my heart out because it’s no longer up to me to prove it’s real. b) there will be the few who want to know what goes on in this heart. and that’s enough. c) God will give grace to let me be Totes. be joyful. fist-bump and tchu-tcha-tcha with increasing amounts of genuine joy. 

i am free to run. i am free to dance.
i don’t need to be tied to these bonds of needing people to understand. they can’t, if they can, they won’t, and if they do, they won’t want to. 
why cheat myself? i’m going, and i’m gonna love it, or act like i do till i do. 


do i want to spend my little finite life arguing with the creator of the Universe? Job shows us what happens. 
no, i want to look at the lightning and see the ladybugs and dance around trees to portuguese love songs while doing the neymar dance, and i want to run through the fields accepting that yes: it’s a broken world. but yes: it’s still beautiful. and it’s beautiful no matter where i am or who i’m with because i have eyes given to me by Jesus. 

there’s a time for grieving. i’ll weep with yona for a moment at reentry, then we’ll dance the night away. 
because despite blinding tears, the future is brighter than any flashback. 

my response to people asking about college has been lately: i really don’t want to go. and then i shrug and look away and the conversation moves on. 
but now, i think i need to change that. 

next time they ask me, i’ll say, i’m so excited to see Jesus better in all this. that’s where i’m gonna be for at least 1 semester, and YOLO. what up union you have no idea what kind of party is about to start. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

i knew this day would come, i knew it all along. why did it come so fast?

and that’s when it hit me.
like rain drops, one by one, and then all at once, a downpour.

and i was soaked in acid rain.

but it’ll be reversed i hope -
the slow dying to the excruciating pain - to the feeling alive but just broken inside -
to feeling artificially better than before.

all that once was glorious color
will slowly fade to black and white
to sepia
to storage in the back room of my mind to glance at and laugh at later
in memories
like these stories we almost forget of times long ago -
and it hurts for what is real now to move to photograph only
the way the water felt
the way your hand against my hand
pulling and tugging around the “poison pot”
[sam’s games are always the best]
and hugs goodbye.
but i’ll see you again, ayla girl. i will.

when all this is said and done
do photographs mean anything at all?
was this moment wasted or will one day we relive it in eternity
minus the confusion and tiredness and drama behind the hand holding mine?

or was it all
a yolo. and it’s over. and too bad if we missed the chance to savor.
but i did. i did savor.
and i’m grateful.
but sometimes you can’t get enough of something beautiful. like the red, red sky tonight
and our glowsticks
and the way you all jumped over the fire, again, and again, and again.
caleb never got tired of it.

hard to think a year from now, where
all this will be and where
we all will be
completely removed
probably forgetting it all
not caring

it makes you wonder what was worth it.
it it worth it? it’s worth it to love.

that’s the mantra i tell myself.
love is always dangerous.
love is always worth it.

sometimes i still doubt myself - i’m a high persuasive
but i cannot always fool myself.
am i being fooled?
i prayed for love.
i got it.
and now each of these tender hearts will be ripped and stowed away.
to become carbon types of what was once beautiful and living.

but it’s late
and the glowsticks on my bed invite me
to lie and ponder and remember and savor while it’s still almost breathing
and watch them slowly lose their effervescent glow -
still, now. so beautiful.
tomorrow, they’ll be clear containers of plastic, dead.
but now, they’re beautiful.
and i think that makes them worthy of something - but maybe not.

in the morning all will be brighter and these beautiful, comforting lights will no longer be
so dearly needed
the sunlight comes, and with it i’ll have to go
and i won’t have the chance to hold many of you close much longer
but maroon5 isn’t everything.
jesus holds me here
he’ll hold me there
and he’ll hold me in the daylight as well as the night
and he’s one thing that will never change
or be reduced
to a combination of colours on kodak sheets
30 kurus a piece
50 lira’s worth of memories on the walls -
he’s alive
and he’s with me.