Words from the Wasteland

I was gone for awhile.

Beneath the darkest ground.

Cold to the touch– I was hard as death.

Wasteland, Wasteland,

I’ll bury myself here.

Nothing can grow from this ash-made piece of me.

I place two hands above the mound.

Bitter cold in the spring. And fast dead leaves in summer.

Wasteland, Wasteland.

I put my ashes there.

Vigorously watching—half-hoping for the rain.

Whole-needing Light again.

Cold ashes in the ground. Anything, Anything?

Two hands above the mound.

Nothing, nothing. And I am hard as death.

Wasteland, wasteland,

Gave my ashes to the ground. Have you become my grave?

Cold tears my only rain. Anything, anything?

Then His Light punctures through,

And finds the hollowest part of me–

Is full of Love not mine.

And this river of Grace washes out my grave again.

Wasteland, wasteland?

I thought I was lifeless here. I buried the ash-made piece of me.

I lived as hard as death. I cried so deep that I began to drown.

Two hands above the mound.

I push my fingers in and find the ash-made piece of me.

I pull it from the ground, and then—

Pulsing embers burst to flame. Green shoots burst forth to bloom.

And I couldn’t live like death with a Light-filled heart held in my hand.

Wasteland, wasteland?

Break open cracks wide as you can.

Swallow me up, but you can’t—you can’t!

I just gave my heart to His hands.

The river of Grace has drowned my grave.

And an ash-made heart can burn like fire.

Green shoots can grow from death.

You are earth-bound emptiness.

But I’d like to finally meet you now, because I’ll be here for awhile.

Wasteland, wasteland,

Hello, my name is JOY.

God’s going to make good out of you.

He’s made life out of me!

Wasteland, wasteland,

It’s time for us to wait and see—

That the death of something doesn’t mean that my heart has to die.

And you are not my graveyard.

You cannot swallow me.

Wasteland, wasteland,

Can you believe we’ve found the spring deep in the winter-time?

Can you believe you are the place where God poured out Himself?

And because you’re made of nothing, you are now made up of Hope.

You are not my graveyard,

You’re a river wide with Grace.

And you’ve since become my home.

Wasteland, Hopeland,

I’m broken-whole just standing here.

No longer ash or bitterness.

Hello, my name is JOY.

I’m so glad we had to meet.


behind the words:

written for 2017 in which I screamed in the desert & asked God burning questions, and let full life die because of pain. written for 2017 in which I found my heart had never died and hard valleys don’t get to swallow me & pain doesn’t get to bury me. written for 2017 in which I watched as God made rich life out of me, and made hope grow from nothingness. written for 2017 in which God changed my name to Joy. And I finally met the Wasteland without fear or bitterness. My heart is a river for grace, and there is green everywhere here!

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