Saturday, May 29, 2010



Her thin legs knock together and
her slender arms shiver.
Her tiny toes,
papaya-pink polish glossing each nail,
grip the edge of the wooden plank.

Her brand new blue bathing suit is dry
and her hair is pulled
tightly into a long, brown ponytail.
Her wide, green eyes
past the edge of the dock,
and out onto the placid lake.
She is calculating.

What sensation lies underneath the glassy surface that separates air from water?

Her freckled face tenses.
Eyes clamp shut,
lips seal tight.
Deep breath.

Knees bend.
A leap.
A splash.

Nothing for a moment
and then,
as she emerges from underneath,
a gasp of breath.

She is alive.


A young boy’s nose pressed up against the window screen—
his tiny awestruck face is illuminated by blue lightning across the water.

His eyes are bright
with wonder.
The sky lights up again.

Another bolt cracks
through the cloudy night.


Marching down the pathway—
into the trees,
the ground
littered with debris
from last night’s storm—
he comes
a plain, blunt shovel.

A black snake,
likely displaced
by the wind
that blew through
the wooded peninsula,
is poised to strike.

The man raises the shovel
above his head
and the dull metal glints
for a moment
as he begins to speak.
"Lunch will be at

The snake halts,
at his feet.

"Romans eight.
For the creation was subjected to futility,
not willingly,"

He quickly and accurately
lowers the
spade, crushing
the head of the

"but because of him
who subjected it,
in hope that the creation itself
will be set free"

The shovel sinks
through the snake's flesh.
It writhes on the ground
limp for a moment
and then stiffened throughout.

"from its bondage to corruption
and obtain the freedom
of the glory
of the children
of God."

Its body shoots upward,
curling rapidly around
the handle.
Grasping for life
that is slowly
slipping away.
Its final battle against
metal and wood and man

"For we know that the whole creation
has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.
And not only the creation,
but we ourselves,
who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,
as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons,
the redemption of our bodies."

The serpent is dead.
Its loss is His victory.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Raw fingertips
I have been pulling weeds for hours
from the miniature dunes of this
lakeside volleyball court.

Sweat drips down the backs of my legs
and sand fills my eyes.
I can taste the earth
as wind blows dust from
the unwelcome and uprooted plants
into my mouth.

I do not think that pulling weeds
is a very important task.
And I am not sure if I
am even doing it right,
but I continue to plunge
my hands into the dirt.

Fingers searching
groping for a bit of flora
that I can,
rip out of the ground
and throw into the fire.

Monday, May 17, 2010


My bedroom is empty. Oddly, it seems smaller than it did yesterday morning when it was filled with pictures, posters, books, and blankets. I'm sitting on the floor as my fingers click away on a three-year-old keyboard provided by my grandmother, who paid for this computer when she found out that I was accepted at NC State.

Three years. That's how long I've owned this computer and how long I've been in college. It's also the amount of time I've lived "on my own"—whatever "on my own" means when I'm still mostly financially dependent on my parents.

In the past three years teachers and professors have presented me with ridiculous amounts of information covering a surprisingly broad range of topics that includes differential equations, Shakespeare, early American history, and how to tutor effectively. Countless lectures, ongoing PowerPoint presentations, endless notes, pages of readings—sadly, most of the knowledge I gained from any class I've taken left my working memory as soon as I received my final grade. So far, the things I remember about college life are things that have nothing at all to do with school.

Three years is how long it's taken me to learn how to grocery shop for myself and how to parallel park without hyperventilating. I've learned that Ramen noodles are best served at 3:00am and that putt-putt brightens even the most frustrating of days. I have come to accept the facts that I don't like going to afternoon football games and no matter how fun eating celery looks, actually eating it is quite unenjoyable. I have learned that communicating with others is the key to healthy relationships and that not communicating with others leads to silent battles over how the magnets are arranged on your air conditioning unit. In the past three years I talked much, laughed much, cried much, and loved much.

Three years is the amount of time the Spirit has taken to reveal to me the glaring sin that I have always been guilty of and it is the amount of time I have needed to realize the incredible things that, by God's grace, I am capable of.

It is amazing to look back on these three years and compare what I thought college would be like to what it has been. I never would have placed myself here. I never would have imagined myself as the person that God has molded me into.

I have always known that God has everything taken care of, but looking back on these years since my high school graduation, I can actually see what the Lord has done in my life to teach me and grow my faith. Situations that I wept through and begged God to deliver me from are the very situations that He used to refine and sharpen me.

Shout for joy to God, all the earth;
sing the glory of his name;
give to him glorious praise!

Say to God, "How awesome are your deeds!
So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.
All the earth worships you
and sings praises to you;
they sing praises to your name."

Come and see what God has done:
he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.

He turned the sea into dry land;
they passed through the river on foot.
There did we rejoice in him,
who rules by his might forever,
whose eyes keep watch on the nations—
let not the rebellious exalt themselves.

Bless our God, O peoples;
let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept our soul among the living
and has not let our feet slip.
For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us as silver is tried.

You brought us into the net;
you laid a crushing burden on our backs;
you let men ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance...

Come and hear, all you who fear God,
and I will tell what he has done for my soul.

I cried to him with my mouth,
and high praise was on my tongue.
If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
But truly God has listened;
he has attended to the voice of my prayer.

Blessed be God,
because he has not rejected my prayer
or removed his steadfast love from me!

Psalm 66
One year left. I am so excited to see what God will do.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


The end is in sight!
Your reward lies
on the horizon.
Closer you race
towards the prize;
slapping pavement and
heart beating fast,
panting for breath
it's close.

The grass is green.
The water is glass.
There will be
lemonade and sailboats,
misty mornings and
golden sunsets.

You know the starry
nights that await you
and the summer
thunder that will crack
into the foggy silence
of midnight
on the lake.

Your legs swing
one in front of the other.
Your arms pump
wildly as you approach
your destination.

The end is in sight!

But beware:
do not trip
over the finish

Monday, May 3, 2010


The battle is won.

Death is swallowed up in victory.
My Lord has already crushed Satan's head. Such empowering knowledge should make me bold, but I fear it has too often stunted my growth and numbed me into complacency. I am comfortable in my salvation. I have nothing to fear. But if I am fearless, shouldn't I be driven to action?

How can I fail when God has complete control over infinity?
What can keep God's will from being done?
Who can stop the Lord from keeping the promise he made to the serpent in the beginning?

I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
He shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise His heel.
Genesis 3:15
Satan, you have lost. Evil has no place in my eternity.