To The Ones Who Suffer; I understand in part.

Morbidly, malignantly self-conscious. Condemned.

Who can rescue me from this body of death?!

I work so hard to keep others from knowing how terrible I really am.

And, I am fearful of others seeing me and condemning me.

Yet, I am so sure they know already and I am already damned.

I have standards that I do not understand.

I do not know where they came from.

I know some: but I am the one who is tormented by them.

Pain, grief, anxiety, sadness, guilt, shame…

And, the list could go on.

I condemn myself and am convinced that I am without value.

But, I try so hard and fall so short, and confused.

Others, I am sure, see the worst of me, which is all of me.

Those who treat me well and love me must be blind or delusional.

I am drawn to that which confirms my damning picture. Even to consider those things confirms I am without value and condemned.

Yet, I believe other things, too. I believe in God. I believe that God purchased my redemption.

Why do I have such turmoil?

My soul cries out.

My tears go unshed and build into mounds of oppression.

Yet, I keep up the smile lest I betray my darkness and let others see me.

I keep everyone from really knowing me, including myself.

Is there one who sees me objectively? God?

He must be embarrassed. He must want to thrash me. I sure do.

Yet, I hurt and I believe in Him, but it is not rock solid. It is like I depend on me vs. Him.

Oh, that it were rock solid. I could stand on the immovable.

I try to stand on myself, my perception of who I am.

That is only shifting sand and shadows. It does not work.

Oh, God, help me to experience you and know you more deeply.

Who you say you are; not what my morbid, malignant self-condemnation sees.

Lord, keep the thief from stealing, killing, and destroying. Protect what is yours.

And, help me to be your willing accomplice for good and healing.

Richard L. Brewer

05/03/2020

Darth: May the 4th be with you?

Many thanks to my dear poet friend, Mark (MT). His inspiration led to the following creation (adulteration). He gave me permission to piggy back on his creation. I am most grateful to my dear, dear friend.

Luke Ponders His Fate

I heard the sound of Darth,

His voice was echo-like and raspy.

As were all the sounds that surrounded.

This seductive, chasmic expanse.

Luring me to stray from being mindful.

Of the power of Darth.

The continuously lurking and killing kind of Darth.

The stomp of the elephant would be fast and final.

Darth’s taunts are blunt, brutal, yet conniving, even attractive.

Darth can sound like the tender trill of the chickadee.

To listen and heed is the continuous erosion of vitality.

Me, an accomplice of Darth?

I could readily see me succumb to the raspy lure of Darth.

What will be?

It is decided by me.

Me thinks I have no courage.

So, I succumb and hide under my pile of dirt

and close my eyes to the world.

My choice.

And, then the voice in the still of the Garden:

“Adam, where are you?

Richard L. Brewer

4/30/2020

PANDEMIC

Pandemic.

Deadly potential.

Isolate to lower the curve.

Social distancing: an oxymoron.

Covid-19.

From the bat cave.

H5N1.

Blame it on the birds.

H1N1, S-OIV. 1

When pigs fly. And, the swine flu.

COVID-19. Worse than the others?

All, thrust upon us.

Threat?

Disaster?

Opportunity?

All and more?!

COVID-19.

Power beyond what the eye can see without an aid.

Tiny but mighty.

Vulgar virus.

What does vulgar mean?

At least two dictionary definitions:

“Explicit and offensive; coarse and rude, and
Characteristic of or belonging to the masses.”2

Both explicitly fit.

Consequences yet unknown.

Dire predictions and messages of hope.

Hope: confident expectation.

New normal?

Old normal?

Maybe both.

The message of the resurrection.

Old and new.

From the foundations of the world.

Opportunity for transformation.

Threat, disaster, opportunity.

All true.

It is Easter.

And, hope still remains.

Richard L. Brewer

April 11, 2020

Psalm 39:7, “And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.”

Romans 5:3-5,”We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

  1. From April 12, 2009 to April 10, 2010, CDC estimated there were 60.8 million cases (range: 43.3-89.3 million), 274,304 hospitalizations (range: 195,086-402,719), and 12,469 deaths (range: 8868-18,306) in the United States due to the (H1N1) pdm09 virus. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/2009-h1n1-pandemic.html
  2. https://www.google.com/search?q=defintion+of+vulgar&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS882US882&oq=defintion+of+vulgar&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l7.6339j1j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&safe=active&ssui=on

“Where did you get that!?”

I remember the weekly trips to the grocery store. It was a family adventure. I remember walking down the aisles and, for a break in the monotony, making sure I did not step on any cracks on the floor. With such little feet, it was easy to stay within the tiles. I remember the aroma of coffee after it was freshly ground. You could buy the beans and grind it before you left the store. I also remember marshmallows in boxes. Chips, too, and soda in returnable bottles.  But I stray from my opening question. “Where did you get that!?”  Let me explain.

Treats were just that: treats. A bag of candy was a treasure. Three little boys to share a bag of candy. I do not know if mom and dad ate any at all; but I figured that whatever was in the bag, 1/3 belonged to me.  Anyway, my older brother apparently was not much of a candy eater. My younger brother was a candy consumer. It was essential to have a safeguard, or the candy would be gone within a day or two. That disturbed me and not just a little. I was incensed. The candy was gone and not because I had eaten my third. It was gone because my younger brother knew neither about fractions nor sharing. Egregious. I am sure I complained, but I took things into my own hands.

As I have already shared, I figured a third belonged to me. And I counted out my third and hid it. My own personal cache. That way, I was assured that my third was protected, and I could enjoy the candy for an entire week. It was a grand and successful scheme. My younger brother never found my hiding place, and I made sure not to retrieve any candy when nobody was around to divulge my hiding place. It worked brilliantly. It also became fun, a bit of a taunt against my younger brother. He would see me eating some of my portion and would demand, “Where did you get that!?” I would reply that it was part of my share, he had eaten his, and I consumed with nary a sense of obligation to share. There was not a bit of guilt either. He could had proportioned his third like I had. It was his fault he had no more to savor. He likely consumed more than a third of the candy, but my third had been secured, and I was not going to share any of it with him.

So, what is my point? Why do I need one? We are amid a COVID-19 pandemic and have been ordered to engage in social distancing. Memories arose and I elected to type about them. I could claim that my point is the importance of limits and boundaries. That would be valid. I could confess that I enjoy gloating about my success at protecting my third and taunting my younger brother. That would be valid. I could confess that I was selfish. But, I won’t. I think I was justified. It has been fun to reminisce. I still like candy. I still have tendency to want hide to the treasure. I will share but am still mindful that if I am not careful, someone will eat more than their fair share. The danger now? If I hide it, I may never be able to find it. When I stumble across it, it is likely stale. Stale is still better than not finding it. It is also a pleasant discovery, and I find myself asking myself: “Where did you get that!?”

Despair

I have had the privilege of spending time with people who have struggled with life. Some of those have felt so desperate they have contemplated suicide. Not that they wanted to die, but they felt so hopeless and despairing they contemplated suicide as a way out of their darkness. I attended a seminar recently. Suicide prevention was the focus. As I pondered suicide the following spilled out. It is raw and essentially unedited. My poetry, if that is what is called, is like singing in the shower.  It resonates with me. I imagine it will also resonate with others My heart goes out to those who find themselves feeling helpless, hopeless, and hapless. Hope? Suicide closes that door. May those who need hope, find it. Find someone you trust and share with that trusted other. Dare to reach out. Dare to be that trusted other.

Dare I not

Tattered.

Shattered.

Scattered.

Have I ever mattered?

Death where is your sting.

Bring it on!

I have longed for it.

Despair.

Life?

Hardly.

Like I was killed and not allowed to die.

Where?

What?

Whom?

Trapped!

Despair.

Yet, hanging on.

Why?

There is less?

There is more?

Even though crushed.

Still a desperation for hope.

Is it within me or beyond me?

Maybe both.

Perhaps the beyond.

Then the within.

More than synchronicity!

I hunger for it.

The pangs are potent.

Dare I hope to eat?

If only I could turn the stones of life into bread.

But bread alone is not enough.

But I crave it.

I crave drink, too.

Jesus said, “I am the bread of life”.

Jesus said, “Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst”.

Tattered.

Shattered.

Scattered.

Have I ever mattered?

Dare I risk eating?

Dare I risk drinking?

Dare I not?

Richard L. Brewer

02/05/2020

Grim Reaper?

Grim Reaper?

Waspish.

Hornetish.

Hoodwinker, he.

Like a window peeper.

Not wanting to be seen.

But, with a grim purpose.

The sting prepared.

But, what?

The sting is only temporary.

That one was prepared.

No true death.

Only transition.

From one slim sliver.

To the never-ending.

Eternity with Him.

Grim?

Only from this side.

Reaper come!

Richard L. Brewer

9/19/19