So I finished final eight of eleven this afternoon and then went straight home to pack a bag and head to the Starnes'. It's funny--I come here as often as I possibly can, to this home with nine children under the age of fifteen. I come here to be a part of a family--I'm the 10th kid, by now. But I think I come for other reasons, too. I think I come because my soul feels connected here, like there's a part of me that deeply desires a family of this size, a house-life of this sort. There are many places I could go to "get away" from the hustle and bustle and exhaustion and chaos of nursing school. I choose to come stay with a tribe of eleven, where a two-year old asks me to read her "Miss Frizzle" for the thousandth time and an eight year old nestles close on the couch trying to sound out the big words in one chapter for an entire hour. I get studying done during the day when they're upstairs doing school, and the oldest brings me lunch and snacks. We gather around a table set for 12 for breakfast and dinner, and everyone helps clean the kitchen no less than 8397 times a day.
The wash machine and dryer are always turning.
I just woke up from a 23-minute nap. Upon awakening, I had no idea where I was or how I got here or what day it is or why it was so dark outside. I'm the kind of girl who falls asleep in 4 minutes and has a night's worth of dreams in the next 20.
The couches here are so comfortable. And so old. Which is most definitely why they are so comfortable. I don't even bother trying to read upon them, anymore. It's futile.
Before falling asleep, though, an email came in from my Email Poet Friend. I read it a few times and got all teary eyed and the Voice Inside said: "time to write that post." It's a piece I've been churning and contemplating for quite some time, now. For years, really.
Email Poet Friend said, "hope your exams are done and you are in the woods somewhere."
Let me say three things.
First, my exams are not done. I have three left. I am being tortured.
Second, I will soon be in the woods somewhere, as I can think of ZERO place I'd rather go than Straight to the Woods once finals are finished. In the woods, around campfire, is where I rest. The air is fresh and the roads aren't paved. Yes, I will head straight there.
Third, one of the greatest gifts in all of life is having People "in my court" who know and get me so very well. To be Known is the deepest desire of all of our hearts, yeah? The Father knows us. And that should be enough. But it sure is nice to have people-with-skin-on Knowing Us, too. This Email Poet Friend is someone I've never even hugged in real life.
Yet with a single line he has proven that he Gets Me.
In the woods somewhere.
After a grueling round of finals.
That is me.
Thank you, Poet Friend, for proving that you Care by showing that you Understand. I learn so much from you.
The Poet went on to explain that on July 27, I sent him a "novel" (aka a very, very long email) mentioning inter alia that my church in Oregon split in half before I moved to Texas. "Those words and thoughts stayed with me," he said. "A very bad poem came out of my brain, I wrote it, chucked it. The other day I woke up at 4am and this, with a few changes here & there, came tumbling/spewing out. I warn you: this might be a total piece of crap. You won't hurt my feelings if you delete it without comment. The working title is: Our Church Has One Foundation."
Well, good Poet. Let me tell you. Your poem is not only not a piece of crap; it is a masterpiece. And I'll be damned if I don't listen to that Voice saying "now's the time to write that post." So, thanks. I wouldn't have Listened if you (a self-proclaimed atheist) wouldn't have sent this along.
Friends, I give you this poem very tenderly--like a mother might hand a kitten to her toddler child and say in a sweet voice "gentle now; hold the baby kitty softly; tuck its paws in tight; make it feel safe..." I will publish Part 2 of this post tomorrow--the part where I say words on this poem and all I've been contemplating for so long. For now, mull this over for the night. There is much Truth in these lines, and I wonder if we'll all recognize a bit of ourselves in its depths.
We are the hands and feet of Christ.
& the good poet
hey, i'm jordan.
i write here because i think our words are worth sharing.