March 19, 2010

we shout to you “wake up, come out of your slumber!”
you show us that you are already awake
your singing has never stopped
your shouts of joy have never ceased

in pain, in trial, in conflict
your voice shouts the greatest of all
it brings more life to the world than water to the earth

hallelujah hosanna
you sing you us
we stand changed

now we have come alive
through the life in your lungs
that flows out of your heart
into the stoney parts of ours we had a moment before

we want to tell you who you are
you sing it back to us
we came to give
we receive more when you smile

you have much more to show us
will we ask?
you have much more to offer
will we receive?
you have much more life to sing
will we breathe it in?

written: in mozambique

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February 18, 2010

every moment is a choice
perfect love comes from a voice
will you enter?

entering costs everything in the moment
but as you step through the threshold
everything turns into nothing
and there you are

there.you.are.

you’re lost but found
slave but free
lost because in order for others to find you they must enter love too
slave because your experience with freedom has bound you to sacrifice for love

love is a voice

can you hear him calling?

love sets the captives free
it makes the wounded the healed
so the healed can love the wounded

it beckons our beings into a life of freedom we never knew existed
until we entered

love is a voice
it shouts into the dark with a whisper
brining forth it’s light

like walking into a dark house
and turning on a lamp
revealing everything as it actually is

joy by the window sill
comfort on the stairway
friendship in the kitchen

love is meant to be inside of a house
that house is you and me

will you enter into his voice?

Gregory

I was driving down Main St. in Kansas City, Missouri while I was back with family for Christmas. It was the only day that it was snowing during my time there and I had just left my favorite coffee shop, Oddly Correct, to go home. I had said my good-byes to the guys who own and make coffee there, specifically Gregory. I got in my mom’s car and returned a phone call to my dad, who’s name is also Gregory. As I was approaching the Plaza, I saw a man painting by the JC Nichols fountain. I thought, “Wow, it’s really cold outside and that guy is painting!” So I drove past staring at him and kind of paying attention to the road. I drove around again taking a second look at what he was doing. I decided to stop and see what this guy was about and why he was painting outside while it was snowing. I walked up, said hi, introduced myself, he introduced himself, “Hi, my name is Gregory.” Interesting. I asked him why he was painting in the snow. He told me that he paints outside in any kind of weather because he likes it. Gregory has painted outside, to my remembrance, in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico. He told me that it’s much easier to paint in the snow or rain with oil paint. I was standing behind his painting while he was sharing about what he does when I asked if I could see it. I took a couple steps forward to the left, saw the canvas and some paint with snowflakes falling onto the different colors. I was wonderfully surprised at his work. I can’t recall if I had seen any paintings like his. I enjoyed how the strokes of his brush created what he was seeing. It was like these abstract strokes came together and created a clearer painting of what was in front of me. I asked him if I could take a picture of him and his painting and he accepted. He gave me his card so I could send them along to him. We wrapped up our conversation and I thanked him for sharing with me what  he does. Here is Gregory and his painting on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, MO. If you would like to check his work out for viewing pleasure or purchase (I recommend both), go to his website: http://www.rgregorysummers.com You can also find him on facebook.

“That Black Man”

The room we were in looked like it was stuck in the 1970s. On two sides of the room, perpendicular to each other, there were windows giving us a view to an outdoor common area. Another side had bookshelves that were filled with many old and intriguing books that surrounded a fireplace. Some about Zimbabwe, National Geographic magazines, Christian books, The Lord of the Rings and many others that I can’t remember and didn’t see. I had watched a documentary about what had been transpiring between the president and white farmers in Zimbabwe about 6 months prior. I also had read a little bit of a book I have about such events in addition to information online. I just met Evelyn (who’s picture is not on my site) walking outside and we were having a good conversation. I asked her to tell me about the Zimbabwe that she has known on our walk into the living room like setting we found ourselves in. She turned towards me as her face brightened with a smile and her eyes opened wider as she allowed herself to remember and engage a Zimbabwe that once was. That will be again. She shared with me how beautiful her land was using her hands as part of her expression. She told me of all the beautiful flowers and birds that I could capture with my camera and show other people the beauty of her nation. She seemed to come alive in that part of the conversation with her excitement, expressions and tone. She stopped and said, “And then that black man.” Her tone changed and her facial expressions showed the feelings of anger towards him. Her statement struck me a bit. She is a black Zimbabwean and she just referred to her president, the leader of the nation, as, “that black man.” It seemed as though she wanted no connection to him other than their obvious skin color similarities. She told me how all of what Zimbabwe is experiencing now is due to him and his corruptness. I asked her why she didn’t flee like many people in her country did. She responded, “This is my land, this is my home. I am Zimbabwean. Why would I want to go anywhere else?”