The Soul Wound

June 28, 2013

No one knows the pain
Of the soul wound of others
But I can listen
 
I will not give up
Seeking to participate
In loving others
 
Only two commands matter
Loving God is the first one
Loving each other is next
Give me a pure heart

The deepest soul wound
Unspeakable tragedy
Is understood by your God
He shares the same wound

Betrayed by his friends
Who thought they knew who they were
Jealousy and strife
They were awakened by love
Friendship indescribable

This story I tell
After listening to the wound
The soul wound fully expressed
Given space to heal
In the safety of true friends
Peace passes understanding

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Who Are the Heroes?

November 12, 2012

On the front page of Newsweek dated, November 12, 2012, the headline is entitled, “The Heroes Issue”.  General Petraeus is recognized for his 12 Rules of  Leadership.  His fifth rule is: “We all make mistakes.  The key is to recognize them and admit them, to learn from them, and to take off the rear-view mirror-drive and avoid making them again.” 

“Life breaks everyone”

A line that is familiar

But some become strong

~

The human heart will judge you

Whether you are religious

Or just believe in yourself

On the twists and turns of life 

You’re wise to seek good counsel

 

The ones who can admit

Tell the truth about themselves

Come out from hiding

Hold themselves accountable

Then arise from the ashes

 

The General Petraeus 

A leader in the country

Told the truth about himself

Then resigned his job

 

Many condemn him

His own heart judges him most

How he handles this 

Will be the test of his life

King David can be of help

 

Power does corrupt

Pride makes one vulnerable

Easily deceived

Lust will dismantle the soul

Greed poisons the human heart

 

A leader has fallen hard

His great opportunity

Is to model now a way

To be forgiven

 

One way to escape

The deep judgment of your heart

Meet one that’s greater

Who knows your story so well

Who loves you like his own son 

~

General Petraeus, your story is not over.  God meets you with the same compassion he met David the King, the “woman at the well”, “the Centurion”, “the thief on the cross” and me.  I pray mercy reigns for you, your wife and your children.  Let the world see now, how a leader rises by the grace of God.

Ernest Hemingway stated: “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.”

“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up to us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”Romans 8:32, Psalm 51

The Language of Tears

June 17, 2012

~

The voices that I hear

Are the ones who are not speaking

Their silence is screaming out

I do know their pain

 ~

Suffering is the teacher

It is one I did not choose

Desperation silenced me

I now have language

 ~

All along the way

People have arisen here

I did not know I needed

Their voices touched me

Their presence ignited me

A fire lit up my soul

 ~

Friendship sets me free

To listen to the heartbreak

And wait in silence

Compassion invites me in

Only my tears tell my heart

 ~

It is the language of tears

It is my deepest desire

To make real what is the truth

Extravagant love

~

Dedicated to Julie

~

~
Today I will remember
Those who have fallen so young
Because of the bad decisions
Of Adolf Hitler
~
Normandy and Omaha
On those beaches lay the dead
Of young men who were heroes
Who died for freedom
~
Each person has a story
That is known by very few
Each would say “ordinary”
If they only knew
 
Each life is special
A sacred gift to cherish
Remembering the sacrifice
~  
~
The loss of Ty Osman II fills us with sorrow, but it comforts me to imagine Ty skydiving through the galaxies with his Father in heaven.
 

Ty skydiving

 
 
From Ty’s friend LaJuana Gill:

To observe Ty’s life was like watching a beautiful, brilliant shooting star.  He was in perpetual unfettered motion.  Even when standing still, his eyes sparkled.  His smile was so infectious that it drew you into his orbit.  At Coker Creek, it was such great fun to watch him connect with Adair or to play with Keller and Paden.  I loved how Ty worshiped with abandon.  He lived and worshiped full-out! 

I think you brought God glory, Ty.  Just know that you leave us wanting more – just like a beautiful, brilliant shooting star …

~

From Ty’s Dad:

Ty keeps comforting me from heaven with memories and even his words.  “God is here.  His presence is evident.  Take a look around you:  what do you see?”  Reading these words makes heaven seem a little closer.

~

From Ty:

It is hard for me to imagine trying to sincerely believe that this world and everything in it is all that there is …  There is no way that this just happened by chance.  A greater power, obvious to me, definitely had a hand in creating all of this.  One of the things I do not understand is how someone could believe differently.  To think that something as fragile yet as powerful and complicated as the brain was not crafted carefully by a higher power is crazy.  It does not make sense to me.  God is here.  His presence is evident.  Take a look around you:  what do you see?  All the way from the intricateness of a cell all the way to the expansiveness of the universe, He is obviously involved. 

 
“God is so good.” Ty Osman II
Click here to read Ty’s tweets – @TyOsman
~
 
 
 
This past Friday, I had the sad honor of speaking at the funeral of young Ty Osman. 
 
Four questions I addressed:
 
1. What would Ty want you to know?
“I never tasted death.  I moved from life to life.”

2. What would Ty want you to do?
“Remain aware that what matters most is a person.”
 
3. What would Ty want you to feel?
“Feel and believe that God passionately loves you.”
 
4. Who would Ty want you to be?
“Be someone who practices being in the presence of God.”
 
These are four moments that I shared in connection with each question:
 
1. The moment Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11).
 
2. The moment Jesus revealed he was aware of the sick woman (Mark 5).
 
3. The moment Jesus compassionately said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid, only believe!” (Mark 5:36)
 
4. The moment I sat with Ty at midnight and I listened to him share  his heart (July 13, 2011).  I told Ty that if I had five minutes to live, and could only tell him one thing, it would be this:  “Go into your room and close your door and pray to your Father, who is unseen …  Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”  — Jesus  (Matthew 6:6-8)
 

Here are three things Ty focused on each day:
 
 Kneeling to pray.
Reading the devotional book the Jesus Calling.
Listening to God by reading the Bible.
 
You are invited to develop these spiritual habits in your life. Many people have been inspired by Ty’s life and faith and are now adding Ty’s routine to their day. 
 
Ty Osman II leaves us a legacy of joy that he is living right now.
 
~
Our hearts are broken
Ty Osman our beloved
Has gone – left a gaping hole
Our grief overwhelms
How can you heal the pieces
Of our souls that are shattered

We don’t understand
Why his life was taken now
We are angry, sad and torn
Who gets the blame here
We thought you would protect him
Where were your angels this time

I did protect him
I gave him what he wanted
A life eternal
His purpose fulfilled
He has made my presence known

I knew him better than you
I loved him more than you did
I made him in my image
Just like I made you

I never promised
That  you would not see trouble
What I promised you is this
I’ll never leave you
Death cannot destroy your life
You believe in me, you will not die

He heard my calling
He listened to me as a son
Ty spent time with me

We would daily meet
He struggled with perfection
He thought he must be good
For me to call him my son
I met him in his weakness

He chose to believe what mattered most.

The memories that we have
Treasures that last forever
Living with moments of joy
The look in his eyes
 
The joy that he shared
With passion to serve others
A young life that saw
The vision of love for all
Compelled by friendship with God
~
 
                                      Ty Osman
 

Bill Frey – A Gift

March 4, 2012

A friend is a gift
He was always glad to see me
No expectations
No plans for my improvement
Rejoicing in our friendship
 
With light in his eyes
Giving joy and acceptance
Generous and kind
 
Special history
So many loved him dearly
A giver not a taker
A wise man who knows
What matters most in this life
The value of a person
 
I watched him live it
First Bunny, his beloved
Melissa, his child
His friends he made feel special
Those who worked with him honored
 
Compassionate and faithful
A true man who sought the best
Loved to laugh and take pleasure
All in his presence
 
I have some regrets
I did not avail myself
Of more moments of his friendship
But one thing I know
We both shared a deep bonding
That is eternal and real
 
One promise he knew
Death would not be the winner
Love was much greater
Defined by the Christ who died
Who rose victoriously
 
He was not afraid
Bunny was there to comfort
Missy held him close
A sacred moment for them
As in peace he breathed his last
 
This tender moment for them
Will always be in my mind
Bunny on his chest whispered
“I love you and it’s O.K.
You can let go and go home”
 
February twenty ninth
His dad, Carl, died on that day
He knew that this was the day
He was not afraid
We all hated this process
The angels were all around
 
Bill was covered with God’s love
Surrounded by his dear friends
Held close by his beloved
Angels attending
 
Terry S. Smith
March 1, 2012
The Psalms I was meditating on as I wrote these thoughts were: Psalm 4; 34; 91; 103; 119:50 and John 11.
~

Remembering 9/11

September 11, 2011

 

There are many stories of kindness and heroism rising out of the tragedy of September 11, 2001, but you don’t hear many stories about the dogs that helped in the search for survivors.  On a recent trip to New Hampshire for the Heartbeat Retreat, I met an impressive man, Gary M. Jobes.  Gary was one of the fireman called to help with the rescue efforts.  He told me a story about the search and rescue dogs looking for survivors in the wreckage.  His words touched my heart, and I wanted to share the story he told me with you. 

~

Rescue Dogs

 

The dogs moved through the Twin Towers, looking and searching.  They were trained to find living people.  The dogs were confused and disoriented because no living people were to be found;  they were only finding the dead.  The firemen quickly started hiding so that these highly trained dogs could be rewarded by finding someone alive. 

 

The dogs spent long hours searching, and their paws became cut and burned.  The firemen were approached by a shoemaker who offered to custom make leather boots for each dog to cover their injured paws so they could continue to search.  Each dog had its own fitted boots and a number so the shoemaker could make a new set as needed.  He created the protection the dogs needed to do their job.  The firefighters, dogs, and shoemaker worked together as a team to help our country on the tragic day when 2,974 hearts stopped beating. 

 

For the Hurting 

The shoemaker gave

A gift with no strings attached

An example to follow

 

His only desire

Was to give all that he had

To save the lost ones

And give the compassion needed

 
With appreciation to Gary M. Jobes for sharing this story.  (Used with permission.)  First posted September 11, 2009
 

Hope

April 23, 2011

To read the true story this poem is based on click here.

~

Mary and Martha

Their hope did not come

When they wanted Him to come

They were grieving and broken

 ~

Jesus disappointed them

He did not come when they called

He did come with a surprise

With power and love

 ~

He came to them right on time

To teach them new things of God

They knew He was their good friend

They knew He was God

 ~

“Your brother will rise to life”

His presence revealed this truth

He wept when He saw Mary

He knew her name well

 ~

Yes, He knows your name

He also weeps for you now

He knows your story and your grief

He is here for you

 ~

He asked for Mary

She heard Martha whispering

“The teacher is calling you”

To come and see Him

 ~

He is calling you

Do you hear His whispering

His voice can be heard

Use both heart and mind

And focus on His story

~

Dedicated to our special family friend Michelle.

First posted on my daughter Sara’s blog “A Spacious Place”.   


Your Beauty

March 23, 2011

~
Please cherish your life story
Your familiarity
Blinds you to your own beauty
You must look closer
 
It takes a paradigm shift
A change of lenses to see
Pain as being a part of
Beauty in your life
 
It is in the silent night
There is a whisper of love
Heard only in the stillness
A quiet thunder
 
The chaos was a great gift
Looking back I clearly see
The pain caused me to search out
Love searching for me
~
© Terry S. Smith
First posted July 16, 2009
~

Healing

November 22, 2010

~
Who is this God, my Father
He is mighty in power
No limit to His insight
His understanding
 
He heals the brokenhearted
And He binds up the wounded
He knows the number of stars
Each of them by name
 
Listening and gentleness
Understanding your story
Then focusing on God’s story
You’ll find peace and hope
 
Come out of the pit
Open my eyes to what’s true
The unfailing love of God
Will be my delight
It’s where I place my hope
Lead me to those who are seeking
 
Each person is free to decide
But He will sustain the humble
I have chosen to listen
Focus on true love
 
I need wisdom & insight
I seek it with all my heart
I’ll define myself
By the one who gives me life
Who demonstrated His love
 
© Terry S. Smith
October 30, 2010
 
Reflections written after mediating on Psalm 145-147.  “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”  Psalm 147:3
~

Souls refined

June 22, 2010

~
Life’s pain is like a furnace
The soul is refined by fire
Hope is born in the process
Joy is discovered
 
Those of us who know the pain
Who still live in it today
Can listen and understand
And offer new hope
 
© Terry S. Smith
Dedicated to A. Thomas
~
 

fountain of life

May 20, 2010

~
I have found a “spacious place”
Where I am delighted in
I can be still and ponder
The truth that gives life
~
It’s a simple thing
But it will require focus
A time to be still
~
The dawn’s secret joy
I discovered years ago
In the morning watch
~
I listen in stillness
Wait in anticipation
Knowing the presence of love
I’ve learned to practice
~
Prayer is not a “religious thing”
It is a fountain of life
It’s a communion of love
Between two who love
~
My soul has languished
Inside I’ve been desperate
I’ve wanted to know answers
I’ve looked with intent
I’ve found there is a place
To stand where there’s certain hope
~
Everyone needs to be heard
I have found this through the years
Your story is important
You are what matters
~
© Terry S. Smith
April 17, 2010

Written after meditating on Psalms 66-70 and Proverbs 14.  My daughter’s blog: A Spacious Place, inspires me. 
~

What I often hear ….

April 23, 2010

~

“I am so busy
I cannot hear myself think
If I slow down I’m afraid
Of what’s inside me
If I stop I’ll hear the voice
Of the brokenness in me”

“Where can I go with that pain
Who can listen to my story
Do I dare bring it to the light
The hurt and the shame”

“No one really knows
Does anyone really care
Is there someone I can trust
Who will not bring judgment
Who will choose to listen to truth
And be willing to forgive”
  
I know what matters
It’s the person before you
Who’s looking you in the eye
Listening with care
Loving with no strings attached
It’s a gift beyond measure
  
© Terry S. Smith
April 23, 2010
~