December 27, 2014


To say I’ll walk in the light
Brings me joy and great sorrow
Because I can remember
And I am aware


When I walked in the darkness
I was blind and did damage
To myself and other ones
This is the problem


I lost some good friends
Who gave to me from the heart
I took and did not return
Give back the love gift
I know I’m hard on myself
That is still all about me


Growing up is hard
When one misses the stages
Others will suffer
Maturing comes through the pain
The trials and the hardships


What is good in me is this
I was looking for the light
Darkness is what held me captive
My tears called his love


Confusion and the chaos
Growing up was the challenge
Navigating the losses
Is what each must do
No one escapes the darkness
No one can hide from the light


Moments of silence
In the abandonment years
Came my life questions
Suicides, alcohol, grief
Love entered in little ways


Pinholes of light came
Little kindnesses given
A smile and a gentle word
Of affirmation
Were the surprising moments
Were embraced with great delight


Light brings the delight
Forgiveness breaks through with joy
For myself and the others
This love was revealed to me
Through the life of Jesus Christ


He led with real compassion
His gentleness drew me in
Religion orchestrated
Making sure he died


He died a horrible death
I cannot even fathom
The magnitude of this loss
Love it represents


He is my pinhole of light
My failure as a human
Is connected to his death
And resurrection


I have peace today
Forgiving myself right now
Forgiving others
Accepting the light of his love
And giving it to others


I’ll make no demands on you
We can be a reflection
But not the reality
God is near to love


These secret truths are revealed all along the way in the process of growing up and deciding to never give up! There is so much to learn on the journey and I hope to never stop learning. One thing I am determined to do is never stop moving toward the light even in the darkest hour. The movie “Unbroken” is a good example of light coming in the darkness and the power of never giving up. Love never fails. It must start with me and not the other person. Forgiveness opens the window of the human heart to the light of inexpressible joy!


“Delta Blues From Darkness to LIght” can be reviewed on Amazon and is $0.99 cents on Kindle. It is my story of the painful but hopeful process of continuing to discover light.


Two Emotions Experienced

February 15, 2014


As a Valentine gift, my book, Delta Blues: From Darkness to Lightis free on Kindle: February 15-16, 2014.


When I come into the light

Two real things happen to me

One of them is the great joy

The other is grief


The joy of being forgiven

The grief is the damage done

I meet the joy and sorrow

I’m broken by both


Looking back I can see it

I see the love that pursued me

I see the darkness I lived in

The joy and grief merge


I ask my children to tell me

What I failed to give to them

They are reluctant to say

They are being kind


But I know the truth

I could not give them something

That I did not have


I am forgiven

It’s ok to realize

I had direction

I did not have perfection

The truth can still help me grow


I live in my Father’s love

A gift I receive daily

We meet in private each day

His invitation


So joy and sorrow

Come with walking in the light

Love overcomes all


Hear his gentle words

He says, “Do not be afraid

My Peace be with you”


So sometimes I weep

With no language for the pain

For the hurt I caused

The compassionate Christ comes

Gives me His Holy Spirit


Yesterday I went to a prison to speak to the inmates as they begin a study of the Sermon on the Mount.  His words have brought me a way to practice how to live in the reality of both the sorrow and the joy.  His brilliant words practiced lead to real life.  They are using Jim Woodroof’s book ,“Famous Sayings of Jesus, that breaks open His teaching in Matthew 5, 6 and 7.


My book, Delta Blues: From Darkness to Light  is highlighted today on my daughter Sara’s blog “A Spacious Place”.

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.

Be still

August 2, 2010


Be still and know that God exists

He entered the world of pain

Became human, faced our shame

And said, “I forgive you.”


No sweeter words I have heard

Expressed with great compassion

There is One who understands

Who loves and forgives


He understands the deep pain

As the Father gave His Son

Was silent when they killed him

Sacrifice of love


He is closer than the blood

That is flowing through your veins

He is the air that you breathe

You’re held in His hands



When I cannot sleep

I will arise and weep with

A friend who will never leave

I know this by faith

It’s become certain and sure

His promise always restores


I will meditate

I’ll choose my focus today

I am worn out with groaning

My tears fill my bed

And I drench my couch with tears

My eyes grow weak with sorrow



The Lord hears my cry

He accepts my weak prayers

There is no language to speak

Unspeakable loss

I can only surrender

To the one who understands


Terry S. Smith

August 2, 2010

Meditations written after reading Psalm 1–8, Proverbs 2, and Romans 8.  Dedicated to the LaVelle Family.