Little birds (poem)

Little birds who in a rage
flew right out of their cage
and their wings were damaged, covered in soot,
for their loved ones had given them the boot
so why did you land near my roost
did I look comforting? Did you need a boost?
taking you in with your damaged pinion feathers
torn up by stormy weather and old love letters
so you came to me as if I were a vice not a virtue
you came because you knew I would not hurt you
and in my mind I knew some day
that you would fly away.

Say what you will and be defended,
these emotions weren’t real, we pretended
but when you say WE…do you know what you’re saying
when you heard I was praying did you think I was preying?
You know I’m emotional, do you get what I’m conveying?
Well I’m not down on this, trust me someday soon
another bird will land, her name is June
and she will settle down with me as a free bird
we won’t be kept down and we’ll exchange words
transitioning over time, like to love
she shall be free my little dove
and I shall be vulnerable, to be truly intimate
but for now I’m caught up in this predicament
over birds who landed one day
who wanted to be healed just to fly away.

[n][v]

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Confessions of a closeted capitalist (poem)

Confession:
I live in a state of duress
brought on by stress with what I possess
my books, my camera gear
they’re near and dear, but
I fixate and salivate
save and spend, invest and buy
worldly possessions…just to get by (?)
I don’t need this surrealism brought on by my capitalism
but still I take out my cash, my credit card
do I think much about it? well I don’t think hard
that the material I purchase might be real
but living for myself is rather surreal
this thing called money has made me a phony
I talk a good game but I know it’s baloney
I give my time, my strength and health
but I hardly give any of my wealth
I give away parts of me that has no expenditure
living a life that’s equal parts risk and adventure
but I’m cold and calculating, searching and seeking
for temporary fixes that always are fleeting
and with everything I call my stuff, call me out & call my bluff
To which I wonder does it really matter? When is it enough?

[n][v]

I saw God today/Imago Dei (poem)

I saw God at my work today,
he reeked of cigarettes,
He smiled a broke tooth smile,
cheap alcohol on his breath.
He wanted to find some music,
So I helped him with a smile,
“‘Here’s the Metallica albums'” I said
so he looked there for a while.
He was disheveled and visually a mess
but I didn’t have to second guess
that in the brokenness of this man before me I saw God
I could have hidden my love away but love shouldn’t be a facade
We talked a moment before he left on a bike painted primer gray
I smiled in the cold Spring breeze at a guy, an Imago Dei*
I started to cry externally for reasons I cannot say
but there went God riding a bike, I saw him ride away.

[n][v]

*Imago Dei is Latin for Image of God, we are all images of God.

Carl Sagan makes me cry

Now look, I don’t know where Carl Sagan is, but God knows and that’s all that matters…

***

Carl Sagan wrote a book called Cosmos and from the book a TV series came to be. Now I happen to own Cosmos (book and TV series) and it is absolutely phenomenal for the person interested in space because it is very detailed about various topics that can expand your mind of how big the universe really is!

https://i1.wp.com/www.wired.com/images_blogs/geekdad/images/2009/03/24/cosmos_2.jpg

Now, while not instilled by Carl Sagan, I am one to believe that the has no end, that is there isn’t some “celestial wall” we (if we’re still around) will someday bump into. The universe does have an expiration date but despite of this, the further out we go the further the universe will present itself.

I Carl Sagan, some of my closest friends in real life would say I have a bit of a “man crush” on him but that’s besides the point. The guy knew his stuff very well and he is funny, amusing and it drives me to deep thought with some tears thrown in.
I cry because it is so freaking beautiful, the size of the universe, the detail, the intricate aspects that…point to a Creator, point to a Divine Architect, someone bigger that caused this universe to be made.
For all of this to have come to be by some cosmic fluke/accident is kinda sad, from the perspective that if this didn’t come to be by someone bigger than us humans, what’s the point to it all then? I also cry because even though I don’t know where Carl Sagan is, he comes really close to “getting it”; getting that all this was made by someone and not by chance.

God knows where he is, so I can’t point a finger and say he’s in hell. I do hope he’s in heaven, if we’re given a chance to chill with believers who’ve gone before us I know I want to talk to him (and Mr. Rogers, Johnny Cash, my grandfather and Jeffrey Dahmer and others).

I do think it’s awesome to see where technology is going in regards to exploring the known universe and even (for the wealthy at this time) space travel. That would be fun, exploring space and taking photos (tho they’d probably have to be long exposure ones right? )

So that’s why Carl Sagan makes me cry, for his closeness to getting it and who knows he might have! But also for the fact that every star, every planet, every solar system was made by God!

[n][v]

A note to my kids (from the past to the future) – part 1

Disclaimer: I don’t have any kids, but since I’m going to have some someday, why not write to them? I will get around to writing to my June, my wife, but…that’s between her and I.

Dear Nathanael Jr., 1 other son and 2 daughters…

Hi! How’s it going? I just want to start off by saying you are loved by me, your mom and more importantly God loves you! He did create you (tho your mom and I had contributed…a little) and he wants the best for you, you make him smile. You know how we sing songs and read his book together? We do that because this is one of the ways we worship and love him, he lets us know in His word that he loved us before we even loved him, isn’t that amazing?

Now I know there are probably times you think that your mom and I came from another planet, that we’re not “cool” and we might be rather annoying (but not that much, otherwise no food/allowance/etc for YOU – just kidding). I once was your age, really! Oh sure I was much more popular than you might believe, but yeah, I was a ___ year old like you. As you grow older you might get some of the reasons why I act quirky, but don’t you like it? Would you rather have me be mostly serious and away at the office all day all year except for during vacation?

Now I know you might feel some unnecessary pressure from the people we worship with on the weekend, you being PKs and all, I’m sorry for this pressure and I hope it doesn’t compromise who you truly are. If it’s getting to you and you want to worship with some other believers, I’m cool with that.
Does it seem like I’m spending more time with people from church instead of you? I’m sorry if it seems like it, wanna grab St. Arbucks with me sometime? You’re important to me, I hope you never say “My dad was never there for me” because I don’t want to be that way at all.

Are we working on a project car yet? Do I have the ’61 Lincoln Continental with the LS9 swap aka Black Betty up and running? If not, I do appreciate your help in building one of my dream cars.

Dear sons and daughters, by now you’re noticing guys and girls in a way that words can never fully describe. This thing called like/love is something, eh? It’s something you want and something you will have, but it comes with responsibility and I hope you realize that when I ask you about ________ I’m curious but also looking out for you. You’ve already suffered a broken heart? My sons and daughters I am sorry this is so, I’ve had my fair share of heartache of love lost and in time (whether you believe me or not) you’ll love again and here’s hoping that love you’ll have is for keeps!

I don’t have much left to say in this note except do you truly understand that I love you but God loves you much more than I ever could? I hope you also recognize that the reason why I correct you is because I don’t want you or anyone else to get hurt. I hope I’m correcting you out of love and I hope this is known, I know what it’s like to be corrected out of anger and frustration and it’s no bueno in my book and I’ll try to prevent this from happening.

All the best,
Nathanael

A bad case of wanderlust (thanks a lot National Geographic!)

I haven’t done much traveling outside the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Oh sure I’ve been to nearly all 50 states, but growing up reading National Geographic sure did a number on sparking my desire to see the world.

Here’s some things I want to see in real life:

The Cliffs of Dover

The Taj Mahal

The Swiss Alps

Petra

The Sphinx and Pyramids in Egypt

The Salt Flats

Where do you want to travel?

[n][v]

God moments with strangers: I’m sorry campaign/Marin Foundation

I went to the Chicago Gay Pride Parade last year, I hung out with these wonderful people…

and today I chose to wear my “I’m Sorry” t-shirt because it was a good conversation starter then at the Gay Pride Parade and it’s still a good conversation starter.

I went out to get some Chinese food for lunch, it is the best (yes, I’m biased and not joking) and I usually go there 2x a month (it is good, but I don’t need to eat it regularly).
Anyway, I walked in and before I talked to the owner about what I wanted to order I was questioned by the only other customer what I was sorry about and from there I talked to the guy for close to 15 minutes about how The Marin Foundation, a few friends and I wore these shirts to the Gay Pride Parade and we shared with those who asked (and they were many) what we were sorry about.

We shared how we’re sorry for the way Christians have treated the GLBT community by saying God doesn’t love them or by treating them badly altogether. I expressed to this guy I am sorry for what I’ve said in the past and I truly love my GLBT brothers and sisters, God loves them and so do I.

This guy was taken aback, he went on to share with me how his brother is gay and he’s been hated on and it’s not often enough that Christians who have said callous things or been callous to GLBT members have come forward to admit their wrongdoings. I told myself that sometimes instead of going out and asking for forgiveness and seeking reconciliation with others we hide in our churches and play it safe where it’s comfortable.
It was good to take time to explain the I’m Sorry campaign, but you know who all credit is due? God.

God has worked in my heart, transforming it and changing it into his own. I’m not the person I was 7 years ago, I’m not the person I was yesterday. All of life is a trip, and it’s about this journey that we get to our destination. With this in mind as a follower of Christ I can either walk the path that is of my own making or I can seek to be more Christlike with those around me, to truly love them as Christ loves me.
I’m not a public speaker, I have an easier time speaking about what I know and with some time to process it all (I’m an introspective extrovert) before I share… So me, talking to B* for 15 minutes without having a “what will I say if someone asks me about this t-shirt I’m wearing” thought in my mind…God, it is to his glory and it was Him moving through me and helping me express what I was supposed to say.

God moments will happen, will you take the opportunity to use them for His glory?
~Nathanael~