-a poem by NinadesusOjos
that nourishes my body and my mind,
green and raw and crisp and orange,
no greasy, sweet, soft, white, starch, flour,
apples, oatmeal, quinua, squash and lettuce.
reading to learn,
reading to be stung to think,
reading to laugh,
reading to relax and fly away.
to know Him more,
to enjoy Him more deeply,
to worship Him more fervently,
to study His Word,
to delight myself in my beloved position with Him.
marveling at their quirks and mine,
smiling at a ten-year-old’s clumsy joke,
listening to their hearts,
mourning with them in their grief,
dancing hand-in-hand in their triumphs,
sharing my Lovely and Loving God with them.
In Australia, or, “The Empty Nest”
-a poem by NinadesusOjos
In Australia I watched kangaroos and wallabies.
In a small zoo, saw
surreal koalas eating gum,
Boxy chocolate kookaburras,
Pea green tree frogs with Yoda faces,
a family of them, eleven,
all different sizes,
piled on top of each other
like a heap of sticky emeralds.
Small gray wallabies like babies,
Tall rangey kangaroos like gawky
All the females
with their offspring in their pouch,
safely, cozy, in their pouch.
But my children, oh, they’re FAR away!
What makes a home?
I never thought I could envy a wallaby.
Zookeepers told, “Joeys keep their offspring
near the pouch two years or longer.”
How many, translated to humans?
I never believed I could envy a kangaroo…
I watched those females,
their young safe within their pouch
or hopping nearby, blythe,
ready to dive back in at sign
Those moms grazed alert, brooding,
My children, so far away,
now with only God vigilant over them
each night and day. (NOT ME!)
No longer me…
I place them, yet again,
in HIS care each day.
No longer me…
Every once-in-a-while if I am to wake up at three or four 0-clock in the morning, usually only if we are sleeping in the front bedroom, that windows onto Alto de la Alianza Street, I will hear the “cleferos” (yellow glue-sniffers) (children, teens, and twenty-somethings) who live in the streets and in the dry river-bed strolling and shouting and sometimes banging sticks, along our street. I am not sure, but think that they are the ones most often responsible for writing with spray paint on everybody’s property walls. This is a wall just across the narrow street from where we live. The text reads, ” If God does exist after all, well then, I hope He has a good excuse for things!” Poignant. Expressive of the social, spiritual, political and economic mindset of hundreds and thousands of indigent and non-indigent persons. I think much graffiti all over the world is. I thank God for showing me my personal field to work in and giving me love for and interest in, people, since I could NEVER produce that myself, starting literally one step outside my door. But I don’t go out alone at three or four o-clock in the morning and, it’s a different world in the daytime, actually very safe!
Grace in my South American garden,
icy little dancers,
girls in yellow dresses
twirling fast and straight
in center of furling rinks,
a yellow candle taper
on a snowy wax
edged with green.
This past Sunday morning, sitting in church here in Bolivia, the corporate worship time was about to start and, as I looked forward I saw three rows ahead of me part of a young blond “worker” family whom I know only a little bit.
The husband was gone, the wife explained to me later that morning that he’d had to travel to a different part of the country to get some paperwork done for their family. Their 3 little kids were getting extra hugs and kisses from an, also, blond woman sitting beside the wife throughout the morning. I smiled to myself as I realized the husband’s mother had been able to come here and visit the family for several weeks.
It took me back, to the wonderful time of THIS photo, for OUR family, when my husband’s parents had come to stay with us and help us, for a month, and we’d taken them to this village, to meet this Quechua family with whom we closely worked, at the time! Our two (at the time! then it became three, when our daughter was born in Sucre, but that was a bit after this!) little ones and us parents, too, blossomed and flourished with great satisfaction and a deep sense of abundance and benevolence, for that awesome month that Mom and Dad Bentley traveled all the way to Bolivia and invested in our young family. It was a huge gift from the Lord to my husband’s and my hearts and well-being. This is Don Atiliano and Donna Carmen, and their family, in front of their home in Rio Chico, with my beloved mom and dad-in-law! Oh how good is God, to us!
Teaching the 3, 4 and 5 year olds today we had to reprimand several of the little boys for talking and gesturing with each other about stabbing people with knives and about slitting people’s throats with same.
Vignette #3: Little E., four years old and speaking with a lisp, when the topic of class discussion got on “Obeying our Moms when they Ask us to Wash up, or to Go to Bed”, talking eagerly and excitedly to everybody in the class about how he has 3 Moms!
Vignette #4: Sharing Who Jesus is with the children, verbally, in small groups of four or five, through use of the “Evangel-cube” and how eager all the children are to hear and “do” the cube over and over again, never tiring of it, and breaking in to help tell the story, and how they love to handle the cube themselves, in turn, and help tell bits and pieces of the story.
Vignette #5: How the children were all big-eyed when I introduced the new Crayola crayons all the way from the Estados Unidos, and how worried they were about the possibility of accidentally breaking the new crayons. One little guy said, “Oh no! The point of my crayon is breaking!” when it was only blunted the tiniest fraction through him starting to use it on his color paper…
“You have as much laughter as you have faith!” – Martin Luther, via Ann Voskamp in her book, The Broken Way.
“What could you create today with a gentle heart of love? (a letter? a treat? a surprise?) Create something out of your love.” – Ann Voskamp in her book, The Greatest Gift.