My last coins.

 

There are mornings I wake up tired.

When the busyness of life has consumed me even in my dreams.

I come to you quietly with exhausted heart and give you my very last coins.

An offering,

of little worth.

There are many ways in which to spend the last I have to give.

But, when I lay it silently before Your feet, I hear the tired echoes of other women through generations.

Mothers, clutching scuffed dreams.

And I know,

I am not alone.

When all I have, is all I give,

it is enough.

Mark 12:41-44

The one left behind.

Darkness was falling.

The shadows alive with evil.

Her strength failing, she had been struggling to free herself for hours.

Abandoned by the others, she had given up too. But then scarred hands found her, the lost one, and carried her home.

Luke 15:3-7

Jabez.

She named you Jabez.
When wave after wave of the searing heat that had ripped through her belly and skin, had finally cooled and she, exhausted, could finally hold you in her arms, she looked at you and said,
I gave birth to him in pain.
Call him, Jabez.
He makes sorrowful. 
He causes pain.’
I often wonder, ‘
Why?
A mother forgets the pain of birth.
Usually.
But you, born in misery, a maker of sorrow,
 you carried that with you.
Through the years.
Every time your name was called.
A reminder.
Pain.
Sorrow.
Did you ever wonder, why?
Did you silently long for the every-day names of your playmates?
Yes.
I see you.
I see your heart determine not to fail.
I see a young man steadfastly refuse to give in to that which crushed his mother’s heart.
That, which also longed to crush his.
I see you fight not to settle for the destiny that you were named for.
Knowing there’s more.
Knowing that words have power, great power, but never as much power as the One who could breathe hope into a tired spirit.
The One Who longs to speak life into the dry bones of the heart.
Jabez.
Honourable man.
Thousands of years after your name was written on a scroll.
I see you.
I hear what the bible does not say.
Man of great honour.
Defiant one.
You taught me that I too could shrug off a hand-me-down cloak too ill-fitting for my shoulders.
You showed me the way to say, ‘
No.’
No.
I shall not settle for sorrow, though I might be named for it.
And there are many ways to name a child.
I shall not be satisfied with misery, though it might have been a companion for the generations before.
I shall not, forever, carry the bitter disappointments of another.
It is not my load to carry.
It will never be enough, and it will always be too heavy.
And this life has more.
Always, more.
Because He is enough, I can go with outstretched hands and ask for more.
Jabez.
The broken dreams of our mothers were never meant to guide us home.
And there is hope.
There is so much more.
Stand up.
Lift up your head.
Shake off that cloak.
It was never yours, to begin with.

‘Jabez was more honourable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.’

1 Chronicles 4:9-10

© 2017. Liezel Graham. All rights reserved.

Words.

What if my words could be seen on your skin?

Would I consider them more?

Carefully, tenderly picking just the right one.

For you.

Feeling the weight of each syllable heavy on my pregnant tongue.

Ready, to bring life.

A gift.

Each word a balm of hope on your tired, sun-scorched heart.

Or, not.

The choice is mine.

At times I forget.

I refuse to see the reflection of Jesus on your face.

I pick my words like stones off the sin-stained ground.

Weighing them one-by-one.

Choosing just the right one.

To break

you.

To mock

you.

To bind your tired, sun-scorched heart in chains

that might, in time, prove unbreakable.

Such power they hold.

Every word.

Life, or death

on my tongue.

And your heart

in my hands.

Your life

a fragile bird,

struggling.

Within my power to free, or to crush.

Proverbs 18:21

© 2017. Liezel Graham. All rights reserved.

Ransom.

Their anger was alive.

Spitting and frothing it bayed for her blood.

Her sin exposed.

“Our purity demands her life”, they screamed.

A trap for Him, but He held their hearts up like a mirror.

Who could throw the first stone?

Her shame covered by His love.

Redeemed.

Storm.

The storm whipping wildly around me.

Salty mist obscuring my way.

Fear clawing its way through my heart.

Darkness waiting.

Then, Your gentle voice riding on the wind: ‘Come. Follow me.’

I step out of the boat, water cold on feet, Your hand reaching for mine.

Safe.