Planet Impressions. Encourage. Inkblots in Rainbow Colors. Doing community in the global south and other places. "Higher up and further in!" with an outreach twist.

Posts tagged “belief

Neighbors

NEIGHBORS

My neighbors live at the edge

of the River Rocha

open canal

chemical waste, raw sewage.

Their homes pop up, proliferate

like toadstools after rain,

disappear again,

houses of ripped sheet plastic, sticks, garbage.

When we visit with donations

one man with long white hair,

dark sunburned wrinkles,

asks, “soymilk instead?”

Four more are young

wild wiry glue-sniffers,

dusty, tousled hair,

angry, jumpy eyes.

One keeps three sheep in the riverbed,

hobbled, corraled with clinging driftwood.

Traffic whines within yards, oblivious,

every few weeks police knock down,

set afire my neighbors’ homes,

they scout the city garbage bins

for present food and future building materials,

they want squatters’ rights

to this land nobody else wants

and nobody else wants them to own,

they stake claim

in the pestilential air

on the burned, polluted flood silts

dotted with spindling shrubs,

their lives as tentative and embattled

as the gnarled and stunted willows

barely growing

in the Rocha riverbed.

©Globe Prints by NinadesusOjos, 2012 -2017.Any and all unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all photographs, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited by law.

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Enjoying George Herbert

Yesterday while continuing my project to gradually and systematically weed through, organize and de-clutter our apartment, I was dusting a bookshelf and happened to come across an old college textbook on 17th c. poetry.  Feeling wry  fondness for the faded green hardback, I pulled it and dipped in.

I came across a George Herbert poem, actually several of them, already marked up in now-faded pen, by the “me” of years ago, and they touched my heart, spoke to me, even YET, and YET AGAIN!  Especially this one!

JESU

Jesus is in my heart, His sacred name

Is deeply carvèd there, but th’other week

A great affliction broke the little frame,

Even all to pieces, which I went to seek:

And first I found the corner, where was J,

After, where ES, and next, where U was graved.

When I had got these parcels, instantly

I sat me down to spell them and percieved

That to my broken heart he was “I ease you”

and to my whole is JESU.

-George Herbert, a pastor in the 17th century.


N.T. Wright

“How can we tell the story of Jesus in a simple way, when so many elemental forces came rushing together at that point in space and time?  So much history, so many bad memories, such high expectations and aspirations, such a tangled web of faith and fear and hatred and hope.

And so many memorable characters crowding onto the stage, catching our eye and firing our imagination:  Mary Magdalene, Peter, Pontius Pilate, Judas… the list goes on.  And then we catch a glimpse – or was it just our imagination – of Jesus himself, towering over them but without ever appearing aloof.  Who was he?  What was he about?  What was he trying to do?  Why should we care, two thousand years later?

These were, of course, the questions his closest friends wanted to ask as they woke him up in the middle of an actual storm on the Sea of Galilee.  It’s still a dangerous place today.  There are signs in the parking lots on the western side of the sea warning that high waves can sweep giant waves right over parked vehicles.  But Jesus wasn’t fazed.  According to the story, He got up and told the storm to be quiet (Matthew 8: 23 – 27; Mark 4:35 – 41; Luke 8: 22 – 25).  And it obeyed him.

I think his friends told that story not only because it was striking and dramatic in itself, but because they saw in it something of the larger story they were struggling to tell:  the story of a man in the eye of the storm, the storm of history and culture, of politics and piety, a man who seemed to be asleep in the middle of it all, but who then stood up and told the wind and the waves to stop.”  -“Simply Jesus” by N.T. Wright


When Our Hearts Break

Yesterday while continuing my project to gradually and systematically weed through, organize and de-clutter our apartment, I was dusting a bookshelf and happened to come across an old college textbook on 17th c. poetry.  Feeling wry  fondness for the faded green hardback, I pulled it and dipped in.

I came across a George Herbert poem, actually several of them, already marked up in now-faded pen, by the “me” of years ago, and they touched my heart, spoke to me, even YET, and YET AGAIN!  Especially this one!

JESU

Jesus is in my heart, His sacred name

Is deeply carvèd there, but th’other week

A great affliction broke the little frame,

Even all to pieces, which I went to seek:

And first I found the corner, where was J,

After, where ES, and next, where U was graved.

When I had got these parcels, instantly

I sat me down to spell them and percieved

That to my broken heart he was “I ease you”

and to my whole is JESU.

-George Herbert, a pastor in the 17th century.


Short Poem by Charles Kingsley

Be earnest, earnest, earnest –

MAD, if thou wilt;

Do what thou dost as if the

stake were Heaven,

And that thy last deed

Before the Judgment Day.

copyright La Nina de Sus Ojos by NinadesusOjos, 2012 -2017.IMG_4712Any and all unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all photographs, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited by law.


Neighbors

copyright La Nina de Sus Ojos by NinadesusOjos, 2012 -2013. Any and all unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all photographs, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited by law.

NEIGHBORS

My neighbors live at the edge

of the River Rocha

open canal

chemical waste, raw sewage.

Their homes pop up, proliferate

like toadstools after rain,

disappear again,

houses of ripped sheet plastic, sticks, garbage.

When we visit with donations

one man with long white hair,

dark sunburned wrinkles,

asks, “soymilk instead?”

Four more are young

wild wiry glue-sniffers,

dusty, tousled hair,

angry, jumpy eyes.

One keeps three sheep in the riverbed,

hobbled, corraled with clinging driftwood.

Traffic whines within yards, oblivious,

every few weeks police knock down,

set afire my neighbors’ homes,

they scout the city garbage bins

for present food and future building materials,

they want squatters’ rights

to this land nobody else wants

and nobody else wants them to own,

they stake claim

in the pestilential air

on the burned, polluted flood silts

dotted with spindling shrubs,

their lives as tentative and embattled

as the gnarled and stunted willows

barely growing

in the Rocha riverbed.

©The Runaway Loved One, by NinadesusOjos, 2012 -2013. Any and all unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all photographs, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited by law.


A Wendell Berry Poem

Berry wrote this poem for his wife.  But when I read the poem, my thoughts flew to that moment now many days, years and decades ago when as a young teenager in the living room of my university student “Junior High Youth Group Leader” of my church, I bowed my head, closed my eyes, and took a leap of faith, accepting Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior from all my sin forever, and accepting to genuinely believe He exists, and IS who the Bible says He is, and beginning a life of daily relationship with Him, the One True God of the universe and beyond.

I finished that prayer and looked up, said goodbye to the Junior High Youth Group Leader of the church, opened the old screen kitchen door of that little old frame house beside the gas station on the corner, in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, and began walking home to my house along the cement sidewalk.  And, something was unmistakably DIFFERENT, in me.  I felt it.  I knew it.  Jesus was THERE, with me, in the core of who I am.

It was June and, New Wilmington being the warm, friendly little college town it is, people’s yards had rambler roses climbing the fence, along the sidewalked short blocks.  Those roses looked brighter!  Their fragrance wafted more pungently!  Joy welled up in my spirit and, the whole world seemed brighter and more full of promise!

And Jesus coming into my heart, my spirit, my life, in personal relationship during that prayer, on that day, has never left me!  What He started to do in me, with me, for me – and the relationship the two of us have – is real. Has been all along, since then.  He’s never left me – I know that with a deep certainty in some deep, deep place in my spirit, in the core of who I am.  41 years later.

The Wild Rose      by Wendell Berry

Sometimes hidden from me

in daily custom and in trust,

so that I live by you unaware

as by the beating of my heart,

Suddenly you flare in my sight,

a wild rose blooming at the edge

of thicket, grace and light

where yesterday was only shade,

and once again I am blessed, choosing

again what I chose before.

IMG_8226


White City – a Poem about Racial Discrimination in South America

-by NinadesusOjos

Jewel city of the Americas,

Pearl spun into stressed fabric of Andes life,

Where folks still sense silken whispers,

Glimpse, in memory, inlaid tortoiseshell haircombs,

Pompadoured raven locks of fine ladies,

curves of white cheekbones,

Sheepswool-white, pearl-white, cotton-white.

Long swallow-tail coats on gentlemen,

Imperious be-jewelled white fingers “SNAP”!

beckon for the lady’s fan.

Quechua slaves, dark brown, scurry, obey, eyes cast down.

Tiered stone mansions, spreading stairs,

An historic tapestry of old, white-washed buildings, red clay roofs, tiles,

textured, textiles, speckled – pink, blue, peach.

Deceptively spacious, these ornate estates

discreet behind massive carved doors,

CLOSED.

In the streets OUTSIDE, hunkering on gray greasy pavement,

green-hued teeth chewing leaf,

(to kill the hunger pangs)

homespun striped ponchos, stained,

cover dark brown trembling skin.

A silent myriad Quechuas still sit,

lower gaze beneath stares of white men.


Neighbors

 

NEIGHBORS

My neighbors live at the edge

of the River Rocha

open canal

chemical waste, raw sewage.

Their homes pop up, proliferate

like toadstools after rain,

disappear again,

houses of ripped sheet plastic, sticks, garbage.

When we visit with donations

one man with long white hair,

dark sunburned wrinkles,

asks, “soymilk instead?”

Four more are young

wild wiry glue-sniffers,

dusty, tousled hair,

angry, jumpy eyes.

One keeps three sheep in the riverbed,

hobbled, corraled with clinging driftwood.

Traffic whines within yards, oblivious,

every few weeks police knock down,

set afire my neighbors’ homes,

they scout the city garbage bins

for present food and future building materials,

they want squatters’ rights

to this land nobody else wants

and nobody else wants them to own,

they stake claim

in the pestilential air

on the burned, polluted flood silts

dotted with spindling shrubs,

their lives as tentative and embattled

as the gnarled and stunted willows

barely growing

in the Rocha riverbed.

©Globe Prints by NinadesusOjos, 2012 -2017.Any and all unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all photographs, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited by law.


Image

This is one of the pictures on the walls at our outreach center, with our children… I like it, because I see in the lives of our 45 kids and other persons, that it is really true.

IMG_5999