Restoration

Lately God has been clarifying a conversation he started with me years ago. I constantly see things that are broken, littered, torn down and my heart grieves for what it once was. I believe that God was giving me a glimpse into his heart for His creation and his desire for restoration.

I recently wrote this “poem” found on the Facebook post below. I say poem because its poetic but it was really just my observations during a quiet time that then eventually led to the song you find attached to this post.

“Bended Fences”

Restoration.
God’s language is restoration.

Broken branches, broken lives,
Bended fences and hanging vines …
Cars speed by five lanes abreast.
The metal rail becomes my place of rest.

A red berried bush neatly trimmed lines the edge of morning.
The blaring horn of the passenger train momentarily disrupts the illusion of stillness.

I don’t want to leave.
When will come the new leaves?
Still dead are many trees,
But not the approaching sound of the highway that drowns out the gentle breeze.

What’s the use for barbed wire fences wrapping wooden posts separating brown grassy fields from dead twigs and forgotten leaves?

Is the once alive strip mall to blame?
What has been taken that needs to be reclaimed?

Is it time to clip the wire and bend it back the fence?
Is God calling the fence down?
Or calling the parkway to renewal as he builds something different?
Who knows what’s in store in the creator’s plan to restore?

I hope you enjoy both and that they evoke a heart of participation in God’s plan for restoration.

 

“Untitled” for my brother

“Untitled” for my brother

“Untitled” By Arman Sheffey
 
Trapped behind a shroud of fading smiles.
One false move from cracking and shattering to pieces.
Fumbling for the darkness in a world of light…
dying to feel something…
Something true.
Something real.
Something of you.
Something that’s got your fingerprints and mine intertwined and smudging the pages of our short story.
 
Dull lead scrapes sharp white as the college ruled lines keep the pain from spilling into the next chapter.
Yet the ribbon stays rested along the binding holding the memory on this side of the margin like the banks of a river holding water at bay for a season.
As time treads along the thread its all bound to come unbound.
But what then.
Will past give way to future?
Or will old charcoal brush against and stain the pages yet written?
How can I stay within these lines when yesterday pushes me to freedom?
My emotions ooze across the inches of boundary until My son’s jumping joy calls me to remember tomorrow.
So I accept an invitation to LIVE. AGAIN.
 fullsizerender
Pieces/Peace is

Pieces/Peace is

2016-10-12-11-27-38
Wind blows back tears
and stands at the gates to say “NO!”
Clouds roll
Leaves rustle
The October breeze mourns with the trees and cries out a reply to the echoing, “Why?”

It just is.

Ripped from Hope
by the greedy claws of despair.
No more moments to move closer.
What could be is now what was
as another whisper from cracked lips… Why?

Because.

Silence comforts like a warm blanket
as the noise of sadness gives way to emptiness.
A remnant, a reasonable breath of life remains reflecting on the pieces of me gone to sleep with the pieces of you.

And yet the merry go spins
The wheels on the road rebelliously turn.
A defiant bird chirps in the gloom of afternoon
And broken leaves slowly come to rest on the dying lawn moments before rain covers them all.

Peace is.

A View to an Italian Vacation

A View to an Italian Vacation

In-Laws' Balcony

Warm ceramic tiles brushing shoulders with sweaty palms…
Motors purring cool the summer heat into submission…
Unwanted cd’s dangle from string spinning, sparkling as the sun turns this make shift mobile into art…
A welcomed breeze high fives the leaves as it blows my journal’s ribbon bookmark from its home…
Lost in a place of being found thankfully unconcerned.

Nameless blue petals cast across the courtyard,
Like pennies in a wishing well, each holding a world of hopes and dreams…
Aging vines grow down and browning as they go,
covering afternoon sky & sweet corn yellow lattice after lattice…
A dozen ledges boasting life and terra cotta tempt high rises to envy and shame as their sullen beige shade becomes a casket of normality.
Yesterday’s rain abandoned in the gutters now trickles its way from the roof surprising the trail of ants marching toward the sky against orders.

The afternoon, the garden lamps
And the empty pots hiding on our balcony all rest away the day…
But not the lonely bird that calls like an echo in an empty hall,
Bouncing and bellowing sound creeping into every cracked facade in this intersection of peace and fading memories of thunder.

On the Other Side of the Glass [A Plea to All Americans]

I’m tempted to stay silent.
As bodies fall to my left and my right,
the question enters my mind, “Am I next?”
Maybe if I’m quiet I’ll get through unscathed.

I’m tempted to stay silent.
Keeping quiet will keep the peace.
Let things just settle down and it will be fine.
Soon things will go back to normal.

I’m tempted to be silent.
I am a black man and a pastor to many white people.
My thoughts will anger and unnecessarily provoke
If any of my words are misspoke.

I’m tempted to scream it loud.
Oppression ends now.
Structures of injustice must come down.
Fight the power.

I’m tempted to scream it loud.
Black lives matter too.
It seems they only do when they matter to you.
Why won’t you fight with me?

I’m tempted to scream it loud.
Black on black crime!
Police brutality!
Economic inequality!
Justice justice justice!

Peace Peace Peace!

We can’t be unaffected anymore.
We can’t be silent anymore.
We can’t scream at each other expecting change.
We can’t go back to business as usual.

It’s time for a new normal.

It seems that I stand in the gap between so many thoughts, people groups, facts and I want to just lovingly say to all…
Join me in the gap.
Join me in the place where God calls us to face injustice and violence.
Join me in the place where we mourn for one another’s losses.
Join me in the place where love lives and repentance reigns.

We can’t truly see one another behind our walls.

I’ve been blind by the apathy the life of blessing has afforded me long enough.

We stand closer to the goal than ever but we’ve now been given a clearer window into what has always been there.

We will struggle to move forward when we don’t truly see where we’ve been and where we all stand today.

Don’t do like I did and sit and be glad that the horror is on the other side of your glass.

Come open the door and visit with me in the middle…
The place where offenses may clash but love wins.
The place where peace is made and not kept in silence.
The place where objections and disagreements are aired but true unity begins.
The place where facts give way to truth as we elevate human dignity.

Let’s desire to hear more than speak and understand more than be understood.

I’ve been indoors long enough.
I’m finally outside.

Will you join me?

Sleepless

Later than it should be.
Summer fan blowing things to rest.
The heat and inspiration rises and falls like the breathing in my chest
Tired eyes and quickened spirit
Collide in a song,
But dreams are miles away or lost in moments of forgetfulness.
Dawn creeps round the corner
And cracked phone light glows blue like the moon reflecting off tinted windows on the street.
Darkness does a dance to the sound of oscillation and snores
As the dry mouth of exhaustion refuses to say, “good night.”
“Good night!”
Another bedtime story please…
Or something for my tea to caffeinate me to sleep
Tired eyes trade hellos with tomorrow and lashes wave goodbye to yesterday
Wondering where the time came.
Good night.