On a Nail by the Door

I cower before the idol I have built: empty, hollow, without feeling or words.

Yet She grips me in her iron clutches; chains and shackles of distress and distaste held tight in the hands that I made.

Still she smiles and holds out a Turkish delight…

for one second the treat melts in my mouth.

Oh Joy, Oh Elation – GONE!

Now arise the whips of defeat and guilt.

This idol deals the blows with skill and ease.

She knows her instruments …

She forged them with the fuel of my fear, my anguish.

My soul rages with bitterness.

Why must I be overcome?

Why must I give in?

With each question comes the crack of the whip at my back.

Where is the key to these chains and a fire hot enough to melt the idol of my desire?

Do I give in and become a willing slave, following her every whim?

Do I continue to feed the emptiness, the bitterness of my constant defeat?

It would be such a relief to stop feeling this guilt, to stop caring.

Instead I would give my all to this temptation and empty my mind of all else.

She will soon consume me.

She is hollow, She is hungry.

In a short time I will no longer exist; instead this idol will stand in my place.

Wallowing in the land of what could be…

I STOP!

It is an empty, ‘could be,’ without time, purpose, glory, or honor.

A life without life.

Purpose and determination rise up in me

My deflated body fills with a power not my own.

As the whip comes down I reach, I grab.

I tear it from her hands.

No whip, no shackles.

They fall to the ground

I weep for joy

GRACE IS MINE

HE died for me, I AM FORGIVEN.

HE knows my mistakes, remorse and struggles.

HE knows, and still LOVES me, still DIED for me, still chose me for HIS OWN.

I stare down the idol of my own making.

her eyes return my look

“Go and never return,” I quietly command

her mouth turns up at the corner as if in amusement.

“we will see,” she says and saunters towards the door.

I move towards her, but she is gone.

All that is left are the chains and whip hanging on a nail by the door.

By T.Lazt

Sometimes we struggle with sin, its not a, “I only did this once” situation. Some times it becomes a bad habit or an addiction. We build an idol and become a slave to it. There is no freedom in addiction; we are compelled to give in, it feels like we have no choice. Freedom is found in Jesus Christ, he has freed us from our sins. I am not saying it will be easy to break the addiction or habit, but it is possible with Jesus. When we come to him and recognize his sacrifice we receive his Grace and forgiveness. We are made new, the old is gone the new has come.

So if you are fighting, you feel tired and worn as though you will never get out, I say don’t give up. Keep trying and rest in the Grace of Jesus Christ. If you a perfectionist like me, don’t be too hard on yourself. In Jesus we are covered by his grace and his sacrifice. When we beat ourselves up we make things worse, the enemy wants to bring us down and we comply by hating ourselves for our failures. That is not God the Father. Our Father loves us, he loves us so much he sent his son Jesus Christ to die for us. He wants to give us new life and freedom. WE ARE LOVED! I still find it hard to believe that the Almighty God loves me, even with all my failings and imperfection. Yet it is the truth. So have hope, have courage, and persevere but most of all rest in the grace of Jesus Christ.

Reference: Grant, Johnathan. Divine Sex: Compelling Vision for Christian Relationships in a Hypersexualized Age. 2015, Brazos Press.

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In the Woods

Take me to the woods

Take me away from this concrete jungle

away from the screaming voices,

machines that never stop

lights that don’t turn off

Please leave me in the woods

Where the wind rustles through the leaves

the only light comes from the full moon.

the only voices are the hooting of owls and the chirping of crickets

Take me away from the gibbering voices that ring in my ears

Away from the smell of chemicals and waste

Leave me where the air smells sweet and clean in the morning

Where the birds sing in the sun as it shines through the emerald foliage.

Take me to the woods

A balm for my aching heart among the shifting light and wild things

My soul is weary of the city where I love the people

and miss the wild places.

-TLazt

The Girl Outside my Window

The girl outside my window screams

I want to join her

Screaming on and on

Releasing all the feelings pent up inside of me

To let the world know that I am hurting

I feel anger, frustration

But I am an adult

We don’t scream out loud

My insides scream

My muscles scream

I am envious of the girl outside my window

I done even know how I would begin

Once I started would I be able to stop?

Would I fall apart?

For what is really holding me together?

Unshed tears and Unvoiced Screams

-T. Lazt

A Glimmer of Hope

Watch what you give me

Don’t give me a scrape of cloth

because I’ll make a dress.

Don’t give me a stick

because I’ll make a bonfire.

Don’t give me a straw

because I’ll make it into gold.

To you they might seem nothing

but when you give them to me they become hope.

I only need a glimmer of hope to make a fire.

So watch what you give me

because  I make dust into mountains.

By: Theresa Lazt

Don’t Ask Me How I’m Doing

Don’t ask me how I’m doing today.

I’m sad.

I’m tired.

I’m leaving.

It’s time to say goodbye.

I don’t feel cheerful.

I don’t feel excited.

Right now I just want to stay here.

I usually love adventure, but not today.

Today I want peace, blue clouds and sunshine.

I don’t want to feel this ache, this fear.

I’m leaving this place.

I’m leaving my friends.

I’m going to a new place.

I’m going to new friends.

In time I will feel better

But today I just feel sad.

So please don’t ask me how I’m doing today.

You might not like the answer.

By: Theresa Lazt

New Friends

There is nothing as refreshing as discovering a friend in a new place.

Explosions of laughter

Ripple through a lonely heart

Still aching for the familiar in a foreign land.

Hugs are exchanged,

Thoughts are shared

About  ourselves,

About life,

About God.

Coming from different places

Yet finding similarities,

Shared experiences,

Shared feelings,

Shared dreams.

Finding friendship in a new place is the beginning of making a home.

A smile of greeting

Fortifies a quivering heart

Now glad to be in a foreign land.

By: Theresa Lazt

Pierced at the Door

Pierced at the Door

“But if your servant says to you, ‘ I do not want to leave you,’ because he loves you and your family and is well off with you, then take an awl and push it through his ear lobe into the door, and he will become your servant for life. Do the same for your female servant.”  – Deut. 15:16

“Come in,” the Master said to me. I was nervous. I had a request. My hands, cold and clammy, were clutched in front of me as I entered my Master’s study. The small room always filled me with awe; it was so neat and full of interesting oddities. I very rarely was asked to clean it, but it was my favourite room because I always felt the Master’s warm presence. The shelves were filled with little treasures from around the world. On his walls hung pictures of every man, woman, and child that worked for him, as well as some drawings given to him by the servant’s children. He hung them beside the works of art done by foreign artists and was more likely to take down one of these famed paintings so that he could put up another child’s masterpiece.

“Come take a seat.” He motioned to a comfortable chair in front of his desk.

I sat down on the edge of the chair and wondered, “What will he say when I ask? Will he refuse?”

I jumped when he said, “Would you like a chocolate, or some tea, or both?” He held out a box of exotic chocolates, each a work of art in their own right. “Oh, I couldn’t, they are all so beautiful…”

“Now, don’t be shy. I know you like chocolate. Please try one; they are very good. I recommend the sparrow shaped one. It is a very dark chocolate and with sweetened Chai tea it is particularly good.” I reach out my small rough hands and pick up the sparrow chocolate he suggested. The Master filled a beautiful porcelain cup with tea and after putting a bit of cream asked, “One lump or two?”

“One, please.”

He placed the cup in front of me, “Please eat the chocolate before it melts in your hand.”

I was so caught up in my own thoughts I had forgotten the chocolate I was holding. Its beauty was already ruined by the warmth of my hand.

“Oh, sorry.”

I popped the chocolate in my mouth and then regretted it. I had wanted to savour it. Now it was gone, but not before I tasted how truly wonderful it was. It just melted in my mouth, so rich and creamy, smooth like silk on my tongue. Without thinking I started to lick the last of the chocolate from my fingers.

The Master smiled and held out a napkin and the box of chocolates once more. “I am sorry. I should have made your tea first and then offered the chocolate. You should have another. Try the tiger one this time. It is also good.”

The tiger had gold paint on it. I couldn’t take something so valuable, so I picked up one shaped like a frog. The Master looked surprised by my choice and a little sad; I wondered why. The frog one tasted good, but not as good as the sparrow. The tea was delicious. The Master waited as I ate the chocolate and drank my tea. The atmosphere was so peaceful that I was soon at ease and settled further back in my chair.

After I had finished my chocolate and he had refilled my cup of tea, he asked me, “Have you enjoyed working for me?”

“Yes Master, very much.”

“Have you ever felt mistreated or unwanted?”

“No, never! I could never feel that way here!”

“Have I ever treated you with unkindness, or disrespect?”

“No! I have always felt that you treat me very well, better then I deserve.”

“Why do you feel I treat you better then you deserve? Don’t you deserve to be treated with respect and kindness?”

“Master, I am not skilled or talented like many of your servants. I am just a slave you bought out of pity.”

“Have I ever told you that was my reason? You have many talents and a great learning ability. You have sung in my halls many a night and have enchanted my guests as well as the other servants with you voice. Is that not a talent?”

“I only do as my master asks. My voice is not as good as others in your service.”

“Yet my halls would be lesser by its absence.”

“You are too kind, Master.”

“You have worked for seven years. Your debt to me has long ago been paid. Your time is up. You are free to go.” He placed a large velvet purse in front of me. “Here are your wages. I hope that this will help you start a new life.”

“Master, are you angry with me? Have I done something wrong that has caused you to dismiss me?”

“No. You have exceeded expectations. I only fear that you do not know your value, and might find it elsewhere. You should look in the bag and see your worth.”

I stood and opened the bag he had given me. Inside were many jewels, gold coins, and beautiful pieces of jewelry. I picked up an earring made of silver with a sapphire jewel hanging from it. “This is the wealth of kings! I am not worth this much.” I dropped the earring into the bag and thrust it across the table. “This is the first time you have been cruel. You make fun of me! I cannot accept this.”

The Master pushes the bag back towards me. “You are wrong. This is your worth. Your worth surpasses even what this bag holds. It would be impractical for me to give you your true worth, for you would not be able to carry it out of here. It is you who have trouble seeing your worth. I wish you to understand how much I have appreciated you and your work in this household. I am making no joke. I am very serious. This is just a token of how valuable you are and I am sorry to see you go. But it is the year of Jubilee and so all servants are to be let free. This is yours to do with as you like. Take it.” He entreats earnestly, closing the bag and placing it in my hand. Its weight is heavy in more ways than one.

“I do not understand…” I whisper.

“There are many things you don’t understand, but surely you understand you are free and may go where you please.”

“What if I don’t want to…” I say quietly, “Master, I want to stay.”

“Are you sure? Do you know what it means to stay?”

“Yes, you have been so kind and taught us all that you know of the Law and the Word. I would be your servant forever. There is no other master that would treat me so well. No other master would love me like you do and see me as valuable. I am loved here by the other members of the household and by you. Please let me stay.”

The Master picks up the box of chocolates. “Have another chocolate. Take the tiger one. I think you will like it.”

“Master, I do not understand…”

“Please, take a chocolate.”

I look at the box of chocolates. I don’t understand why the Master insists, nor why he desires that I take the tiger shaped chocolate, but this I do understand: this is a test and my choice will dictate his answer. I reach out my hand and pick up the chocolate he suggested. Slowly, I eat it, and it is by far the best chocolate I have ever tasted. “This is very good,” I exclaim.

“Do you understand now? I want to bless you and give you good gifts. If you feel this is the place you want to be for the rest of your life you can stay.”

“Thank you, Master!” My eyes filled with tears of happiness.

The Master takes the silver earring out of the bag and says, “Now, we must go outside.” I nod in understanding, I know what comes next.

Outside the Master proclaims loudly, “This woman has chosen to remain a servant in my household, of her own free will.” I stand beside the door post with my hair pulled to the side. David stands beside the Master, smiling. I smile back nervously as David marks a place at the top of my right ear. He then hands the Master a heated awl.

Taking the awl the Master asks me one last time, “With this you become my servant forever. Are you sure that you wish to do this?”

“Yes!” I proclaim loudly. The Master nods and then with one quick push, sticks the awl through my ear. The pain is sharp and I yelp. The Master quickly removes the awl and sticks the earring through my ear. It is done! I have promised to serve my Master forever and I am overcome with joy.

“Tonight we will have a celebration for all of those who have joined our family. Welcome, to my household, my daughter, my friend.”

By: Theresa Lazt

 

Quiet Reflections of a traveler

 

A quiet day in a strange place where:

outside, rain falls in a symphony on the pavement,

Pink flowers release the sweetest fragrance,

as umbrellas bloom on the walk ways.

 

Students huddle in pairs to escape the rain,

Chattering sprites they flit by.

Their language foreign to me, like percussion in my ears.

 

Golden flowers blow in the wind

Gracing the dark heads of passersby,

Glittering like embers in the dark.

 

Hot tea in a familiar cup,

breathes quiet peace of a far off home.

Quietly, I rest here hugging the familiar

whilst reflecting on the new world outside my window.

By: Theresa Lazt

 

Rest Required

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

A sneeze, coughing, hacking…

a tissue to wipe my nose once more

a red nose like Rudolf

a race to the bathroom,

 

will I make it?

 

little monsters scratch my throat

little candies to the rescue

lemon tea

long naps

 

early to sleep

eyes blurry, weary, awake

everyday harder than the next

ends in required rest

 

Must sleep

movies on the couch

many cups of tea, a mountain of tissues

my energy too slowly returns.

By: Theresa Lazt