By and By

the sun casts the faintest
of shadows across the lawn
in the afternoon lull
between rainstorms

my mind does not rest in
these peaceful moments
but continues to ask
questions in the hope of

answers to prayers so long
repeated so long lamented
so long hoped for all in
God’s time

For God’s time is greater
than my own but how sweet
it would be

Satan’s emissary can be as
small as a fly spreading
the littlest lie a fiery
dart aimed at the heart

but just then as I held
on to what I know I heard
the church bells strike
three to remind me that

I belong to thee even if
I die before the fly and
the answers will come
in the sweet by and by

Not Far Behind

It got dark at midday when
the first thunderstorm hit
and bright sun followed.

But not for long as the
fourth thunderstorm of the
day just passed over.

It is the start of hurricane
season so it is easy to
think of doom and gloom.

Will our new fence hold
this time?

Talking faith on a sunny
day is one thing but on a
day like today you hold

your breath and pray the
Lord will bring us, our
house, and fence through,

not to mention the swaying
trees and swinging power
lines. God is our provider

and refuge as the weather
becomes a true test of faith
with hope not far behind.

Just This Once

when life throws
you a curve ball
when you least

expect it

that is when the
coach puts you
in to bat

he spits then
looks you
straight in

the eye
just get on base
son I’ll do the

rest

you nod and in
your mind you
are on deck

fighting for
your life in a
game you’ve

never won

still you want
to belt it out
over the fence

or out of the
park just this
once

But Not for Me

the wind is moving sweetly
from a tree here then over
there dropping a whisper

here then over there but
not for me like the song
of the same name

even so a gentle breeze
touched me to remind me
that hope is never lost

only momentarily forgotten
but always within reach of
a believing heart and mind

there was a time when I
thought that hope was for
everyone else but not for me

Along the River

the first of a string of cold nights
and mild days are a welcome
change

I am not outside at my usual
time so the stillness and quiet
are very refreshing

I can hear the drone of a lawn
being cut probably at the church
and a siren far away

add a loud bird and I think it may
be stereo another lawn being
cut on the other distant side of me

my tea went from sipping hot to
cool enough to gulp if I want to
with less than half a cup left

do you know what is missing
my steno pad as I opted to bring
my laptop outside for the first

time so my Namiki fountain pen
already a relic by age alone is now
a sure sign of my past

thirty-five years ago or so on a
day like today I’d walk from my
Kaserne to a bench along the

Nahe River to sit and fill a
notebook with all the woe is
me of the day and to pray

or cry

no cell phones and no PCs really
just a few word processors at
work using large CP/M disks and

floppies I think
about one sip of cold tea to go

you know the same God who
used to hear my cries then
as I looked out over the river

hears me now

I for one am glad that some
things don’t change and God
is one of those things

my father God has never
forgotten one of my tears as
we sat along the river

The Sound of the Wind

I was sitting outside in my new chair
for the first time. It was a Valentine’s
Day slash birthday gift from my
sweetheart.

I wasted as much time as possible
because I could easily sit in this
lounge chair for hours on end.

I read my Kindle on my phone which
is a different book than on my
Kindle. A book I had forgotten I was
reading.

I opened a crossword. I closed the
crossword; my mind wasn’t up to it.
I was content that death may not
be coming today.

Which made me think as I listened
to the birds, a time is coming when
I won’t hear the birds anymore or
the piercing sound of the wind.

I am holding on to a thread of faith
that says God has the power to do
all that he has promised.

I wait eagerly for what lies ahead
even when my faith is too weak to
see anything but the sound of the
wind.

Who I Was

It is a warm seventy-five for
a day in February, with a
refreshing gust of wind from
time to time.

One street over, the same
dog that barked its head off
yesterday is doing it today.

I’d guess that it was the same
train that went through with
a different engineer because

the horn blasts were new. It
was two shorts and long. Rest
and repeat. Rest and repeat.

What came next I couldn’t see.
It came and went too fast to go
take a look. The sound of a

military jet was so ear breaking
awesome, I was ready to reenlist
on the spot!

For me, twenty years in the army
flashed by with the sound of the
jet. That dog is still barking.

Daily I am faced with the reality
that I can no longer do what I
loved to do so long ago and not
so long ago.

I must be content with the things
I can do now. As I have gotten
older I rather do more, not less.

The Lord knows our limitations,
but we serve a God who shows us
his unlimited grace.

I trust God will open yet another
door I now cannot see. The dog is
tiring. I, too, may be tired.

But I do not tire of your grace or
your love for me. Age has stepped
in but my time is in your hands.

By your unending grace, I can serve
you as I am now because you are
the God who made me who I was

with the knowledge of who I was
to become.