To embody the heart of Jesus is a great and perennial longing. More difficult than can be imagined, like Paul, what I want and what I do are opposite. The Lord is gracious in this matter. He helps me—albeit against my hardened ways. Oddly, I find myself shape-shifting in & out of Jesus’ heart.
I wipe steam from the mirror and our eyes meet
me watching myself washing tweezing & squeezing
inspecting between brows the skin of doubt the crease of conviction
Why just this afternoon my magna cum laude version of tough
love showed up at Third and Division just off the freeway where I ignored
the sign of need the backpack & pup & cigarette butts
me staring straight ahead headphones wedged in with the wax
and the far-away devotion of old-time hymns Theology is an organ
grinding away in my brain I call it knowing
as Vonnegut opined the essential proof of God
is music however ridiculous I find it to open a window & give
my left ear bud to that man Who does that But this was me
in Africa me ignoring warnings tips omens Untroubled that handouts
draw a greedy crowd I gave in & gave out shillings I touched lice-filled
hair and animals slept with no mosquito net Protect yourself Save yourself
meant losing my camera that first day in Kenya As if erased at last
I could give live without record be of no account I found myself
and good Good for about 17 days
The featured image, “Kenyan Sunrise,” is courtesy of Lancia E. Smith and is used with her glad permission for Cultivating.
Poet and visual artist, Susan attends to image: water, sky, faces, flowers, and birds, oh the birds, where the language of beauty heals and anoints. Beauty ever provides when life feels bereft.
Susan’s traveled to marvelous places worldwide and worked in Kenya with Spring of Hope International. Now Susan and husband Dana live in Spokane WA. Married 47 years, they have four children and 22 grandchildren (and yes, she finds that number rather shocking too).
Publications include Slender Warble (2020); In A Strange Land: Introducing Ten Kingdom Poets (2019); and a chapbook Scarab Hiding (2006). Susan is founder and past editor of the journal Rock & Sling.
Rarely disappointed and almost always happy, Susan’s not afraid to look at the dark side. She frequently cries in the goodness of worship. Susan has cancer—multiple myeloma. And for the bounty of this life she gives thanks.
A Field Guide to Cultivating ~ Essentials to Cultivating a Whole Life, Rooted in Christ, and Flourishing in Fellowship
Enjoy our gift to you as our Welcome to Cultivating! Discover the purpose of The Cultivating Project, and how you might find a "What, you too?" experience here with this fellowship of makers!