Shadows

Why do the shadows look bright, almost blood-red?
Strange hues of orange, like fire dancing in the dark
Remind us of the forgotten, whose blood were shed
And of fires we stoke as attack dogs keep up the bark

We forged strange friendships on the altars of deceit
Broke up alliances with those who cared how we fare
So when shadows light up, and we’re feeling the heat
We should not ask each other: “how did we get here?’

Joseph

Though a solitary wanderer lost in foreign lands
Yet stayed true to the culture of my native home
The blessings of my father were far much greater
Than amazing bounties found in everlasting hills
Eminent among brothers, a prince among sons
Humbled by circumstances; loved by my father
I found unusual favour with my Father above

He who brought me out of a dungeon so I could
Sit on thrones and teach wisdom to noble men
Makes for a wondrous tale every time it is told
Though depressing as I wandered through it all
And this births my message to every generation:
Hold on to faith as you go through the process
My name is Joseph: a fruitful bough by the well

Altars and Wells

One common thread we quickly observe as we journey through the story of the Jewish patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – is their devotion to basic principles that underpin their lives. These men were primarily farmers, owning and raising livestock as well as cultivating the ground. And they were often on the move in search of greener pasture (literally) or better farming conditions. But wherever they went, there were two things they always did: raise altars of prayer and dig wells of water. These two actions have great significance for us now as it did for them then. Let us explore further…

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Pain

In the throes of pain,
Nothing else matters more
Than the irresistible allure
Of good ol' sweet relief.
"Make it go away; make it
Stop and never start again"
You scream in agony.

Your words turn to gibberish
As the universe fades away
Surely would pay any price
To loose the gripping hold
Of pain, as neural connections
Send signals to your brain:
"The dam is almost burst".
 
But soon as pain is gone
Its memory starts to fade
And its gravity dissipates
What was a "live-or-die"
Becomes a "we-survived"
As people boast of victory
Over the struggles they had
 
Though never forgotten
Yet never as forceful
The only power it holds
Is the fear of its return
Which we easily relegate.
Pain loses its potency
Once it is gone away.

Toyin Taiwo, Sep 2020

On Loving People

The greatest treasures anyone can ever have are people. We are also the greatest trials we can ever experience. I write today to ask you to value the gift of people in your life, to pray for them and nurture them. Loyal and supportive, reliable and faithful, dependable and honest – people with the right disposition are the greatest blessings you can ever experience. The reverse is also true – people with the wrong disposition are the worst experiences you can ever have. And so, a crucial life skill we all require is the capacity to discern people rightly and respond to them correctly.

Continue reading “On Loving People”

Haiku

I first read about Haiku (a short form of Japanese poetry) a few years ago and became fascinated with that style of poetry. I spent a good deal of time trying it on and even encouraged a few friends to try their hands on it – the outcomes were quite encouraging. I have recently tried to write a few more and I thought I’d share them here.

Thin sheets of ice are
Melted by the fiery heat
Of an angry sun
 
Reddish desert sands
Blown around by endless winds
Thirsty for the rain
 
Yellow petals lure
Through the charm of their perfume
Hungry insects near
 
Dark and rainy nights
Old men reflecting at dawn
Precede brighter days
 
The wisdom of youth
Coated in dazzling colours
A sight to behold 

I look forward to hear what you think about them. Till next time, take care and bye! 😊

P.S. The header picture is a reference to a scenic hiking trail in Hawaii, named “Haiku stairs”. The stairs and the poetry style have no relationship whatsoever. It’s just plain coincidence of language. Or maybe not…

Photo by Chad Greiter on Unsplash

A Prayer for You

Hello, dear friends! I wish you a happy new month of September. I’m grateful to God for the gift of life and the blessing of family and friends. I am especially grateful for God’s gracious gift of eternal life, freely given to those who believe in Jesus Christ our Lord. May His name be praised forever. As though in a flash, eight months of the year 2020 have flown by, and we are now set upon the last few months of this extraordinary year that has brought the most unprecedented changes to our lives.

I want to encourage you to set out this new month with determination and devotion to pursue whatever your heart is set on. Do not dither, waver or be idle, but act with commitment and give your best. As they say, procrastination is a thief of time, and time waits for no man. Great things are achieved when we commit to action, one day at a time. COVID-19 has been a great disruption, but our lives go on, and many are making progress. Whatever your hand find to do, be sure to do it wholeheartedly.

This is my prayer for you – that your hand will be strong to perform the tasks God has called you to, that your vision will be clear in times of uncertainty, that your perception will be accurate in the presence of deception, and that your heart will fully embrace all that you are called to do. I pray that God’s Holy Spirit will order your steps into His perfect will, and that you will look back on this month with praise to God. All of this I ask in Jesus’ precious name. Amen. Have a blessed month ahead of you!