Wonder

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Don’t be like the rest of them

This poem is really meant to be read out loud. Exactly as I pictured it, speeding and slowing and rising and falling like water tumbling smoothly over rocks but instead, instead the best I can do is type it out, divide it into lines, and hope that some shred of its music is retained.

Don’t be like the rest of them, darling.
Don’t listen to those voices.
You could fall or you could fly
but either way you’re in the sky so
darling, don’t let the stars in your eyes
be taken away
by the voices that say “no”–
no, don’t let them fade!
When it feels like you’re striving
and you’re all on your own and you’re trying,
oh, you’re trying so hard and you still dream of flying
but the world
keeps you chained.
Gravity
makes you stay.
Caught up in the fast-paced
never-ending race
and you run till you’re red in the face
but it’s all in a daze
until one day you wake,
until you wonder,
until you choose to try going the opposite way.
You’re a salmon
struggling upstream, carving your way through the crowd
so many voices ring loud, saying
Hey
Wrong
Quit
Can’t
Failure
Foolish
Incapable
You’re never going to make it.
And then you start to believe it but no
No, if you keep on going
the crowd keeps on swimming away
swept by the current but you–
you’re standing,
standing on top of a mountain
that you dared to climb
because you realized
that it’s worth it
to try
running the opposite way.
Don’t be like the rest of them, darling.
You could fall or you could fly
but either way you’re in the sky
and I believe you, will, rise
to the heights
and dance
with the stars that are
reflected in your eyes.
Please–
please, don’t lose that light.

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What’s in a Name?

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What’s in a name?
That which we call a rose, by any other name,
would smell as sweet.

A Sky Full of Stars. Maybe you thought of the Coldplay song, maybe you thought of Les Mis, maybe you thought of Van Gogh. That’s what came to my mind, anyway, but maybe I’m just a little too artsy-fartsy.

Whichever way, none of these was the real reason.

In Philippians 2:14-16, Paul writes:

Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and pure, children of God, above reproach in the midst of a crooked and depraved generation, among whom you shine like stars in the universeholding fast to the word of life, so that on the day of Christ I will have reason to rejoice, because I did not run nor toil in vain.

The world that we live in is hard. The world that we live in is dark, cold, confused, lost, fake, empty, temporary, and unfulfilled. The world that we live in is broken. Its people are broken. Including you and me. Our world, our nation, our generation, is twisted, and depraved, and lost. And broken.

Two thousand years ago, in the midst of all this brokenness, there came a Savior. A Healer, a Light, a Leader, a spiritual Revolutionary. A God with skin on. A holy perfect being in a broken, twisted world that is falling apart, no matter what kind of cover we put on it, no matter how many lights and billboards we fill our cities with. He came into that, with a radiant, radical love that knew no boundaries.

And we killed him.

Yet, even that–even sin, even death, even that overwhelming darkness–couldn’t stop this man. He went to hell and back for his broken heart for this broken world and rose again so we could see–darkness isn’t everything. There is a victory, there is a triumph, there is something so much greater. And that is what we live for.

That’s what everyone is looking for, you know. We’re all searching for something. Maybe we’re just looking in all the wrong places.

This man’s name is Jesus, and one day, he’s coming back.

And for now? For now I’m following in his footsteps, covered in the dust from my Rabbi’s sandals.

A star, viewed in our sky, from the ground, is a tiny thing. Some you would hardly notice. But when they’re all out together–they light up the night in a blazing galaxy, a visual symphony, burning with that inner spark we see magnified a hundred times in the light of our sun.

That’s me. And that’s you, too. That’s our generation. I’m done with striving after worthless things. They’re only pacifiers–they may make a baby stop crying for food, but it doesn’t satisfy the hunger. I want to live, to truly live. And there’s only one place I know where I can find truth and life.

Together, we can light up the night.

–Bre