Category Archives: When Someone Else Says It Better

In Sorrow

I was looking through random saved documents on my phone and found this. I know I saved it from a devotional I read a while ago, but I can’t seem to remember which. Just have a feeling someone other than me might need this today…

In Sorrow

“If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there;
if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.”

– Psalm 34:18, The Message

There is a sacredness in mourning. There is a hallowed ground in the void that comes beyond suffering – in the place where we feel forgotten and afraid, where we are empty, spent, worn threadbare from the pain, where we feel the “No” still echoing through.

There is a reckoning in sorrow. Whether we feel God’s presence envelope us whole or we feel desperately alone, there is an interaction with the Lord. We know He is there but the question is, How close? We know He brings good but we cannot see it yet, not in this.

What does it mean to give thanks when we’ve lost what we could not bear to lose?
What does gratitude look like in a heart that’s broken into a million jagged pieces?
What do we thank God for then?

There are the standard answers. We can look at other gifts in our lives, those things which we have not lost. We can thank God for what’s come before, the blessings in our past. We can thank Him for what’s still ahead, the blessings in our future. But sometimes our red, puffy eyes cannot see well enough for this. Sometimes all we know is what we feel. Sometimes all we can muster is simply to stand still.

And did you know that that’s OK?

Our God is not bound by conventional methods of thanksgiving.

Gratitude can look like sitting in the sorrow for awhile, allowing the grief to burrow deep into the skin and become a part of us. Giving thanks can happen when we let ourselves feel every inch of the sadness, knowing that He feels it too.

Christ’s fierce love for you is not quenched when sorrow steals your words or mourning silences your tongue. His flame for you only grows brighter in the darkness.

Sisters, our Jesus mourns with us. He holds us near, even when we are too numb to feel it. We are free to weep, free to mourn, free to feel the loss. He feels it, too.

We don’t have to explain it away. We don’t have to lean on clichés. We can lean on Jesus.

He. is. right. there.

Thank God for that.
Psalm 34:18 – “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”

I hope this helps someone.

Peace, Love, & Light,


When Someone Else Says It Better…

Because sometimes I find myself here…

The Skeptic Goes To Sunday School – Joshua Bennett.
The first time I imagined
what being in hell would feel like
I was six years old.
In an attempt to scold me for my disobedience at home
my aunt quotes the book of Exodus, Chapter 20, Verse 12.
Honor thy father and mother, so that thy days may be long, in the land.
She says it as a threat.
An attempt to curb my habit of letting the tongue run wild.
Lest it lead me right to death’s door.
It wasn’t the words themselves.
But the ashes in her teeth when she said them.
How the scripture wrapped itself like a blanket of knives
around my tiny body.
I was so small then.
Barely a coffee stain on the backseat of my mother’s Toyota Camry.
She drives a silver Volvo now.
It looks like one of God’s nickels gone missing.
I sometimes feel the same way.
As if something wonderful in me
has evacuated its throne.
I’ve wanted to be a pastor ever since I was in kindergarten.
Would run up and down the stairs of my home
preaching sermons that I had made up on the spot.
I’d be lying,
if I could tell you that I remember exactly what I preached about back then.
But what I do recall,
is the electricity in my parent’s faces.
How they hung their hopes on every single word.
The world’s smallest congregation
gathered in our family dining room to hear their son
expound upon the nature of joy.
Using words like faith and super-strength interchangeably.
I spend most nights failing to pray
that that boy is not dead yet.
That there is still something my mother would still call holy about these hands.
Though I have come to trust them
So much more than the words that used to shepherd my steps.
The scripture
that would flow like a news ticker across my mind’s eye.
Sometimes, it feels like i’m in a battle royale
with a room full of younger, more devout Joshuas
and it’s not that I don’t have the will to win,
but that my eyes are too full of tears to see where i’m swinging.
The day before what would have been my first sermon
I wrote a one page email to the pastor of my church,
saying that I would not be showing up.
Saying, I’m sorry for sending this so late.
But I cannot proclaim what I no longer know to be true.
I have forgotten the shape of my Lord’s face.
The hardest part about starting graduate school is not the work.
It was the realisation that my faith had made me into some sort of zoo exhibit.
The day one of my white male colleagues saw a pocket-sized bible in my backpack
and laughed in my face.
The Ten Commandment jokes
thrown like flawless javelins across the room
hitting no one but me.
I remember
calling my friend Ashon in tears
how everything changed,
when he told me,
They will always try something
but do not let them send you home.
They have not earned that right.
Two months ago
My three year old nephew looks in the sky
and asks
How come when I pray
God doesn’t speak back?
I wanted to say,
of course He does Miles
just look at your mother’s face.
Gaze into her frozen lake eyes
and lose yourself in all that glow.
There is so much that we simply do not know.
So much beauty to be found
in the depths of an honest question.
I am done with running.
Finished with feeding the feeling that my parents’ religion
is an electric fence with everlasting arms
that there was only one way to live
to love
to see
what is invisible to the eye
but readily apparent to the voice inside
my grandmother’s prayers
are a suit of armour
that I will wear
until the day that these bones break free.
I just want my life to be a light.
a megaphone
blaring Agha Shahid Ali
open your gates
a refugee from belief seeks a cell tonight.
These are not poems anymore
This is me
trying to build a diorama of heaven for the people I love
May all fear be expelled tonight.

Because I do not always get it. Because I do not always see it. Because sometimes I want to understand what I ought only to trust. Because trapped within the multicoloured layers of self-doubt is a woman yearning to keep up with the journey; not to become, but to grasp the concept of being, and along the way enjoy “carefully curated pieces of happiness”. Because we are not always broken.
May all fear be expelled tonight…

Love & Light,

Things – Thuli Zuma

My friend, Joshua, introduced me to Thuli Zuma a while ago through her spoken word piece 90 Trillion, and after spending some time on her tumblr, I fell in love with her art. The poem I’m about to share with you is maybe my favourite from all her work I’ve seen (I’m not sure I can pick a favourite really, but for the sake of this post, let’s agree that it is).

When I was young, and my parents were going out, I would always ask to come along. “Let’s go to the shops!” I’d say. “To get what?” “Things!” The answer always came, “let’s go get things”. My father loves this story, tells it all the time, it’s his favourite of me, it’s sweet I guess- but really I think it’s just because it’s his only one.

As a kid, I used to hold my breath, just- stop breathing for no reason. Perhaps because I’ve always liked the idea of getting to start over. My heart, it’s too big for my chest. There’s isn’t space enough for it in there, space to run, space to bleed, but really it just wants room to sing, or hands to finger-paint.

I like to paint my nails. Once when I was nine I touched a rainbow. People told me you couldn’t reach its end. I was too young to know to believe the lies of those who insist that there can’t be so. So these days, I paint my fingertips, just to remind me that I saw the face of God once before I grew up and learnt that he couldn’t exist.

Once long ago I hid destiny in my soul, and now for the life of me, I can’t find it- it keeps me up. Some nights, I hear it rattling around some marbles I misplaced. I lose everything. I used to know exactly where home was but somewhere along the line I lost that too.

When I was younger, I knew everything. Now I’ve learnt I don’t know much of anything at all. I know there are some things in this world so fragile you can break them with a sigh, eternity can be measured in the width of a baby’s outstretched palm, that even hardened men have sacred in them, that God-dust from which they were created and to which they will one day return.

No you don’t have to be in jail to be in prison, you cannot build walls high enough to keep you safe from knowing. I know the world keeps turning, spinning on its axis since time immemorial, even when the clocks in your soul stop, and your world implodes, and it does this not to mock you, but to reassure you: the day will come, the sun will rise, you will find your strength, you will rise.

I know that there are some things that make what is broken whole, things that put together and actually hold, things that make it easier to breathe when grief collapses your lungs and all you can taste is howling. And there are things that turn bomb blasts into basebys – they can do no more harm than tickle the organs inside your chest. And there are things in this world, that ease the unrest, that water what is dry, bring back to life what has died, things that make loving worthwhile and these things- they are given to those who don’t deserve it. Because- who of us really deserve it?

When I was young, I knew everything. Now, I only have a sense of it, as in a…dream of a dream of a painting I’ve seen but I wasn’t really paying attention and now I don’t really remember but when I was young and my parents were going out I would always ask to come along.  “Let’s go to the shops!” I’d say. “To get what?” “Things!” The answer always came, “let’s go get things”.

Now I don’t think that they can be bought, but I know like I know there are things in this world cause even though I’m half-grown, I still find myself holding my breath some days. And this heart of mine, big as it is, has found a way to beat in this broken chest most days. And I know this world it’s all but done but really our lives are ever just begun. So come along, take my hand, trust yourself if you can. Let’s go get things.

You can see the video here.

Have an amazing week everyone. Set your mind free, let yourself be.. Live life… Trust God. Go get things :*

I Will Wait For You

Thanks to all this recent posts on being single, I went back to listen to this spoken word piece that blessed me the first time I heard it. MissTerious Janette…ikz (pronounced as Mysterious Genetics) is an official poet of P4CM (Passion 4 Christ Movement) and one of my favourite spoken word artists. You’ve probably heard this piece before but I’m posting it here as a reminder to all Ladies In Waiting… We won’t settle.

Link to video.

So it seemed,
that it was cool,
for everyone to be in a relationship but me.

So I took matters into my own hands
and… ended up with him.
Him, who displayed the characteristics of a
cheater, a liar, an abuser, and a thief.

So why was I surprised when he broke into my heart?
I called 911, but I was cardiac-arrested for
aiding and abetting,
’cause it was me who let him in,
claiming we were “just friends.”

It was already decided for me by the first date that
even if he wasn’t,
I was gonna make him “the One.”

You know… I was tired of being alone,
and I simply made up in my mind,
that it was about that time
so I decided to drag him along for the ride,
’cause I was always the bridesmaid and never the bride.

virgin in the physical,
but mentally just a grown woman on the corner in heat,
who was tired of the wait,
so I was gonna make him “the One.”

he had a… form of Godliness,
but not much.

But, but, hey, hey, I can change him,
so I’ll take him, I mean he’s close…

Ready to sell my aorta for a quarter,
not knowing the value of it’s use to me.
Arteries so clogged with my will,
it blocked His will from flowing through me.
So, I thank Christ that His blood pressure gave this heart an attack,
that flatlined my obscured vision, put me flat on my back.

Through my ignorance, He saw,
so through my sternum He sawed & cracked open my chest
to transplant Psalms 51:10,
a new heart
& a renewed right spirit within.
So now, I fully understand,
better yet, I thoroughly comprehend,
how much I need to wait
for You.

the bad thing is
that I knew he wasn’t you from the beginning.
’cause in the beginning was the Word
and he didn’t even sound or shine like Your Son

Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks,
and all he could whisper was
which meant nothing!

he couldn’t even have prayed when I needed him to,
asking him to fast would be absurd,
so, forget about being cleansed & washed with water through the Word.

But I know you,
you are already praying for me.
Even never having met me,
let me assure you,
I will wait
for you.

I will no longer date,
socialise or communicate with carbon copies of you
to appease my boredom
or to quench my thirsty desire I have for attention and short-lived compliments from ‘sorta kindas.’

You know, he ‘sorta kinda’ right, but ‘sorta kinda’ wrong?
His first name: Luke,
his last name: Warm.

I won’t settle for false companionship.
I won’t lay in the embrace of his arms,
attempting to find some closeness,
but never feeling so far, far apart
’cause, I just wanna be held.
♫ ‘Cause all I gotta do is say♫

No more ‘almost sessions’ of
‘almost coming close’
passing winks & buying drinks,
and ♫I’ma,
I’ma flirt!♫
Who flirts with the ideology of,
“Can you just tell me how much I can get away with & still be saved?”

No more.

I’ll stay in my bed,
and write poems,
about how I will wait for You.

he won’t even come close,
our fingers won’t even inter-lock,
we won’t even exchange breath,
’cause I have thoughts that I’ve ‘saved as’ in a file that God has only equipped you to open.

I will no longer get weighted down,
from so-called friends & family talks,
about the concern for my biological clock
when I serve the Author of Time.
Who is not subject to time,
but I’m subject to Him.
He has the ability to stop, fast-forward, pause, or rewind at any given time.
if we could role play,
you would be Abraham & I would be Sara,
or you can be Isaac & I can be Rebecca–a servant’s answered prayer.
I am
bone of your bone,
flesh of your flesh,
made up of your rib, Adam.

And once we meet,
like electrons, I will be bound to your nucleus,
completely indivisible

We even speak the same math:
1 + 1 + 1 = 3,
which really equals 1 if you add Him.

We were all created in His image,
but you have the ability to reflect, project & even detect
the Son.
If I were to explain what you look like,
you would have to look like a star–
a sun of the Son.
I would gain energy simply from the light that you shine on me.
I would need you in order to complete my photosynthesis.
I await your revelation, but once again from the genesis,
I will wait for you.

And I will know you
because when you speak,
I will be reminded of Solomon’s wisdom,
your ability to lead will remind me of Moses,
your faith will remind me of Abraham,
your confidence in God’s Word will remind me of Daniel,
your inspiration will remind me of Paul,
your heart for God will remind me of David,
your attention to detail will remind me of Noah,
your integrity will remind me of Joseph,
and your ability to abandon your own will, will remind me of the disciples,
but your ability to love selflessly & unconditionally will remind me of Christ.
But I won’t need to identify you by any special Matthews
or any special marks,
’cause His Word will be tatted all over your heart.

And you will know me,
and you will find me,
the boldness of Esther
meets the warm closeness of Ruth,
where the hospitality of Lydia
is aligned with the submission of Mary,
which is engulfed in the tears of a praying Hanna.
I will be the one,
drenched in Proverbs 31,
waiting for you.

But to my Father,
my Father who has known me before I was birthed into this earth,
only if You should see fit.

I desire Your will above mine.
So even if You call me to a life of singleness,
my heart is content with You–the One who was sent.
You are the greatest love story ever told,
the greatest love ever known.
You are forever my judge & I’m forever Your witness,
and I pray that I’m always found on a mission about my Father’s business.

I will always be Yours,
and I will always wait for You, Lord.
More than the watchmen wait for the morning,
more than the watchmen wait for the morning,
I will wait.