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”.   

past wounds

April 9, 2011


Sue was my girlfriend

From the ninth grade to college

She was a princess


She lived in a huge mansion

Her chauffeur drove her to school

In her blue convertible

His name was “Shorty”


Life looked good on the outside

Sue was the oldest of five

Her father I rarely saw

Her mother stayed near


She was beautiful

But her world was sad as mine

Although hers appeared the best

Money hid the tragedy

It hid all of the emptiness

Suicide was the result


I thought we lived in two worlds

But later I saw the truth

We came from the same sad world

Relationships dark


We met in our woundedness

She was very kind to me

Our hearts were breaking with grief

With no words to speak


At eighteen we parted ways

Trying to hang on to love

She went to the Ivy League

I went to Ole Miss


Our letters were sweet

Our voices became distant

We could not sustain our love

It was not enough


My life fell apart

Despair became a doorway

Sue’s dad died by his own hand

We were both empty

My search led me to seek life

Her search led her to despair


Her depression led to her death

Sadness and grief crushed us all

Money could not fix the pain

Our hearts were broken

©Terry S. Smith   First posted February 20, 2010
 In memory of Sue, who died by suicide at age twenty-six.

The Hidden Treasure

April 8, 2011

In times of trouble
You have always heard my cry
You, O Lord, keep me safe
Looking back I see
The unseen love pursuing
Now seen and experienced
Looking back I see
Faces of those who loved me
And touched me with compassion
Her tender voice calls
Her gentleness and kindness
Holding me safely
In her arms with greatest joy
Childhood memory that runs deep
Her name is Ina Roseberry
The love in her eyes
Seeing me with compassion
Giving me courage
To hold onto the vision
Of the unspeakable joy
Her name is Sherrill Lynn “Mama Sherrill”
You gave me my heart’s desire
You have satisfied my soul
I hunger for righteousness
I will see your face
A promise given
The future is in the now
Your unseen presence
Unspeakable joy
My eyes are open to love
In silence I hear
Knowledge invites me to look
Faith provides the lens to see
© Terry S. Smith
April 5, 2011
Reflections written after reading Psalms 16-20 and Proverbs 4.

Extravagant Love

March 26, 2011


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

© Terry S. Smith
First posted August 5, 2009

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


March 16, 2011

I see your handprints
Looking back I sit in awe
Your gentle hand led
Me out of captivity
Into a world of freedom

In my anguish I cried out
There was no comfort for me
No one saw how desperate
How broken I was

I longed to find peace
To feel the presence of love
To find the understanding
Someone to listen 
My search born of emptiness
In the prison of my shame

A deep loneliness
A soul shattered by my guilt
With no one I could turn to
No language to speak
The years of abandonment
Unspeakable grief lingered

I felt like I was nothing
My failures condemned my soul
My heart confirmed my no hope
No one could help me

I remembered her
My grandmother on her knees
The joy of her love
Her delight when she saw me
The light of love in her eyes

The light I wondered
That twinkle of joyfulness
I knew God was real
I could feel him in her touch
I knew she deeply loved me

My struggle was to believe
That there was a higher love
My thirst to find out the truth
Find a way to live

She opened the door
Her kindness drew me to search
Knowledge is what I needed
My hunger increased
Something in me was driving
Something larger than my pain

I went to the mountain
Got a vision of the peace
Saw joy inviting
An invitation to love
To receive it and give it

My mom and dad were clueless
I did not know why they raged
Or why they could not see me
Now I understand

My search for insight
My longing to understand
My hunger to not repeat
Find a way to peace
Give my children faithful love
Created a great passion

This longing marked me
A fire to discover joy
A mystery ignited
Determination to know
How to be loved and to love

Meditations written after interacting with the thoughts in Psalm 77 and Proverbs 16.
© Terry S. Smith
March 16, 2011

The Calm

March 6, 2011


Looking back I see

Devastating decisions

That were destructive

My own and others

Forgiveness is what’s needed

Who is willing to give

Can my tears be seen

Are the cries of my heart heard

Looking back I know

In the stillness of the night

I heard a gentle whisper

“You are forgiven”

These words were sweet to my ears

Rooted in reality

There’s a place of rest

Where I found joy in the storm

The calm that brings certainty


© Terry S. Smith, First posted April 8, 2010



March 3, 2011


Those I loved were gone

I sat in the darkest night

Afraid, not able to speak

Alone and helpless


At the darkest time

No hope on the horizon

Light broke in the dawn


To live was my decision

There was fire in my being

Mysterious energy

Coming from within


My search became real

The path began to open

The pain was universal

Everyone’s lot

All around there were others

Searching to find what was real


It is easy to escape

And medicate all the pain

That is what my parents did

And gave it to me


Was I to repeat

And give this to my children

I decided, “No!”


I found a community

Of people wanting to know

Seeking knowledge and insights

How to be human


Searching is the key

Being honest and fearless

Not afraid to ask questions

Even about death

We’re at different places

But at one in our seeking


© Terry S. Smith  ~ First posted March 3, 2010


Real Joy

February 21, 2011


I do know real joy

Along the way I have found it

My greatest treasure

Drink deeply from this great joy

Practice its presence daily


What pleasure it is to wake

To joy in the morning hour (early dawn)

A joy much larger than pain

A love beyond words


Laughter is a good life sign

Good cheer the right medicine

For those we meet on the way

Lightness brings the light


I find great freedom

In living for just one thing

A joy to be told

I know it is a mystery

Ask someone who lives well

© Terry S. Smith
First posted August 15, 2009

Quiet Retreat

January 30, 2011

From Psalm 119: 97-104  in the “The Message”
The ditches and ruts
Avoid them – a full time job
Let me spend my time
Listening and obeying you
Your word is what gives me life
I will ponder and absorb
The counsel that you give me
My worries and fears will die
Your word gives me life
You gave me good directions
Your words are so choice and true
I prefer them above all
Because they give life
From Psalm 119: 105-112 in “The Message”
Your words clear the way
Throw a beam of light on me
My path illuminated
I can choose his love
I will concentrate on you
Do exactly what you say
I accept your forgiveness
And will forgive others
No one can compare
When I practice your teaching
With the love you give
Although I still feel the pain
The healing will come in time
Forgiveness is now
The healing will take some time
You are choosing to trust him
The one who gave his life 
Who arose up from the grave
To comfort, heal and guide you
Your words are a gift
Given in my darkest hour
I turn with my will
Choose to believe and practice
You promises come alive
I will concentrate on you
Your commands will be my joy
I’ll resist the evil one
I need your Spirit
From Psalm 119: 113-120 in “The Message”
My place of quiet retreat
Is your Revelation thoughts
Your words always renew me
I choose to believe
Total allegiance 
To your life definition
I shiver in awe of you
Your loving embrace
Open my eyes to see you
Meet me with your compassion
My words are mixed with Eugene Peterson’s interpretation of this Psalm.  I am deeply grateful for the work, time, and prayer that he took to translate the Psalms into the language of real life.  The reflections written above are words I believe and that give me life daily.  God is closer than the air we breathe.  He is saddened by the distractions that rob us of His massive, extravagant love, and the daily joy that he wants to give.  May His peace be with you.

God – shape my life

January 26, 2011

Most of these words are from “The Message”  because they describe the direction my mind, heart and soul are choosing today.  I choose to not trust my feelings for they deceive me under great stress.  Reflections come from meditating on Psalms 119:47-64.  Click here to read Psalm 119.
Let your love, God, shape my life
Exactly as you promised
Don’t deprive me of your truth
Speak and I will act

I’ll guard with my life
What you have revealed to me
Guard it now and forever
I will move freely
In the wide open spaces
Looking for truth and wisdom

I’ll tell the world what I find
I’ll speak out in the public
Speak boldly, unembarrassed
I’ll cherish your words

I will relish your counsel
I’ll remember what you said
Hang onto your words for dear life
Your words renew me

These words hold me in bad times
I am rejuvenated
By all your promises
Though people failed me

I’ve sinned against you
Lost my temper, acted out
I feel justified
Until I consider you
I am overwhelmed with grief

I have come to be restored
Your Revelation of love
Is much greater than my shame
Help me to believe

Help me on this pilgrim way
I come to you in silence
Your story delivers me
From my own judgment

I will pursue righteousness
Let your forgiveness rule me
Accept your gentle presence
Give as I’m given

Be gracious as you promised
Give me the gift of true faith
I am weak and so blinded
In my woundedness

I got my feet back
On this trail you have blazed
Your love rekindled the fire
And directs my path
I surrender to your love
May your Spirit give me words

I arise at night
To thank you for your kindness
For your patient love

You are all I need
With all my heart I trust that
Deliver me from all lies
Your Revelation calls me
To practice your Divine Love


How can I believe?

January 25, 2011

Why don’t I spend time
Being still and listening
My feelings deceive
God’s kindness draws me
I tremble at his greatness
I trust and hope in his love
I cannot imagine
God is tender and gentle
Strong and mighty in power
How can I believe
When my world is so shattered
I can see no hope
The darkness hides your great love
Where can I go and find rest
There is a place of quiet
A mystery that’s hidden
That is seeking to be found
Love found me searching
I fixed my eyes on Jesus
The one who knows how I feel
Who chose to be just like me
Gave me his Spirit
In my helplessness I come
I am broken and ashamed
With my fear and unbelief
Your love draws me near
I cannot deny
Who you are and what you do
I have seen you work
In my short time here
Sixty-eight years exactly
You found me seeking
You surprised me with your love
You came to me at my worst
For generations
You’ve loved us in our failure
History will bear this out
I will use my mind
God is pleased that I seek him
Trust him to keep his promise
Light came to me in darkness
Hope visited in despair
Peace came to me through one voice
Love came in quiet
Proverbs 18:21  
“Words kill, words give life
They’re either poison or fruit
You choose”
Psalms 86:11
“Train me, God, to walk straight
then I’ll follow your true path.
Put me together, one heart and mind then, undivided,
I worship in joyful fear.”
Psalms 86:13
“You’ve always been great toward me–what love!
You snatched me from the brink of disaster!”
Psalm 86:15
“But you, O God, are both tender and kind, not easily angered, immense in love, and you never, never quit.”
© Terry S. Smith
January 18, 2011
Meditations from Psalm 86-90; Proverbs 18; John 15; Colossians 3.


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

The heart of God

November 8, 2010

I see the heart of God
His passion overwhelms me
His despair was a choice he made
His heart turned to wax
It melted away in him
He felt no one heard his cry
He was poured out like water
He was all alone
He had no strength left
He lay in the dust of death
He was thirsty and broken
He cried out for help
People stared at him
Dogs surrounded his body
The lions came to devour
He was overwhelmed
I will not forsake my God
He did not despise my shame
He has seen my suffering
Not hidden his face
He heard me crying out for help
I’ll honor him with my life
The poor will eat and find rest
And be satisfied
I’ll kneel before him
One who chose to be like me
Proclaim him to those unborn
To my grandchildren
And their children I will speak
Our God, forever is love
© Terry S. Smith
November 5, 2010
Written while sitting by the fire, early in the morning, choosing to meditate on Psalms 20-25.

Fountain of Life

October 24, 2010

The fountain of life
Is for those who choose to hear
The One who gives life
Accept his unfailing love
Drink deeply from his presence
Extravagant love
Demonstrated and given
Yours to accept
Remember the story
Practice what he modeled here
Daily he drew near to God
And loved the wounded
Those who came to him seeking
Receiving his gentle touch
It is in giving
That you receive his blessing
Trusting that he has given
All his love to you
You must practice perceiving
Hearing his voice in silence
Renewed in mind
Accept that you are chosen
Beloved and holy
Then be clothed with compassion
Kindness and humility
Forgive offenses
As you have been forgiven
And above all love
It holds all things together
Let God’s peace rule your heart now
© Terry S. Smith
October 14, 2010
Written after meditating on Colossians 3, John 15, and Proverbs 14.  I am also reading Battlefield of the Mind, by Joyce Meyer.