Posts Tagged ‘Poetry’

Psalm 1 speaks of the one who is blessed, whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and he meditates on it day and night. It says that this person will be like, “a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season…”

I’ve often taught that using the concept of at different times in our lives, we are in different “seasons”. We don’t serve when we are in our 60’s the same way we did in our 20’s, but “fruit” is still being produced.

There’s another thing that happens in different seasons of our lives – and this has more to do with “life” than it does with age. Some seasons are just plain harder than other seasons.

Twenty years ago Joe and I went through one period in our lives where we attended more than 12 funerals in 18 months. These were all family or extended family or church family. That was a tough season.

We seem to be in another “season” now. It seems that everywhere I look, someone I know has cancer or another debilitating disease – many of them are very serious. When we went through that season before, I wrote the following poem…. and I’ll have to admit, the thought about the wall crossed my mind again this morning…


Building that Wall Again

On July 11, 1996, we received the news that my aunt (whom we affectionately called “Gran”) was diagnosed with cancer, throughout… then I sat down and wrote this poem.


“When I was a child

I spoke as a child, I understood as a child

I thought as a child.

But, when I became an adult

I put away childish things…”*

Or did I?


In 1969, I was 15 years old

When my uncle died.

He was my Mother’s closest brother

And he was my friend.

And it hurt.


Then I decided

That if I built a wall around my heart

And never loved

That I would never be hurt… again…

So I did.

And it took many years to overcome that mentality

To be able to love again.

But I did.

I should say, with God’s help, I did…


And today I am an adult

With all the entrappings of adulthood,

A home

A husband




But in the past year

I’ve been carrying a weight

That has about worn me down;

A mother-in-law with Alzheimer’s

But that wasn’t enough it seemed

The past 5 months

Have been one long bad dream…


I’ve lost an uncle

And an aunt

And a very sweet friend.


And now, I’m thinking about building that wall again.

I’m thinking

About building that wall again…


But it’s too late

I already love too many people…


©1996 Betty Newman


*Scripture from 1 Corinthians 13:11


(PS – Little did I know when I wrote that poem that over the next year, Joe and I would lose more than a dozen folks from our “blood” families and Church families… It was a very difficult 2 years…)

(PPS – today – 2017, I am holding to that “Blessed Hope” that is promised in the scriptures. As Job said, “I know my Redeemer liveth…” And because He lives, I can fact tomorrow… and today, too.  Amen.)



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Friends often post picture of sunrises or sunsets on Facebook. Every time, I am reminded of this poem, written when I was in my early 20’s. I haven’t painted in a very long time, but still, I often look at things and “think color” such as “Thalo Green” or “Burnt Umber” or “Cadmium Red”. I guess that part never leaves…


The Heavenly Artists’ Guild


In my mind’s eye

I have never known anything

more beautiful

than a sunrise or a sunset.


Vibrant hues from red through blue

to yellow and virgin white,

Christening our newborn day

saluting another’s night.


And nothing would be better,

than on that Judgment Morn,

To have my Savior say to me,

“Well done, thou good and faithful servant,

you have been faithful over a few good paintings,

I will make you artist over many…”


Then to take me by the hand

and lead me to a distant hill,

where I would be painting sunsets

with The Heavenly Artists’ Guild.

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You can find this in front of Thorngrove Christian Church on Carter School Road in East Knox County.


This poem was written in the late 70’s – long before our sons were born – but I just imagined how it might be…


A New Understanding of Christmas


It’s probably all been said before,

and I really don’t want to be a bore,

But, Christmas to me

and what I feel,

is so very, oh, more real

than anything that could be said.


Being a woman, I think of Mary,

bearing the Babe

and having to carry

the responsibility and all the while,

she was little more

than a child herself.


Was she afraid, so far from home,

and knowing no more

than she must have known?

Was she afraid that silent night

bearing her child with only the light

from the star for assurance

that God was there

in person and prayer

Father and Son as one?


I guess I’m a dreamer, but I tend to see,

how things would be

if it happened to me.


I wonder if

I could endure

the pain, and then still be as sure

that this was God’s plan for my life

to be a mother before a wife,

I wonder if I could.


I try to grasp how it must have been

in the cold damp barn

when a bunch of men

shepherds they were

reverently knelt

and quietly beheld their Savior.


And later then the wise men three,

coming, oh, so far to see,

the Mother and the Child

The King

the Promised One

The Messiah.


I’m sure then Mary softly smiled

and looked down gently at her child

The Savior of the world to be

but right now so tenderly,

He was her baby.


Somehow, looking out through Mary’s eyes

brings a new understanding of Christmas.



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This is not specifically “Christmas” but more “winter”, but as many others, we are praying for all affected by the fires and other disasters in our beloved state.



When Winters Come


I love the mountains in winter

when you can see its soul.

No leaves to hide its feelings

no brush to take control

of the depths.


Every curve and every contour

every rock and log that lays

Seems devoid of all deception

bearing wide as if to say…..


“Here I am, as you now see me.

I’ve stood the test of time and pain

Burning wildfires, greedy loggers,

blight and drought, torrential rains.”


“Much like you,” the mountain tells me.

“When winters come,

(and winters will).

Hold fast the truths that lie within you

Prepare your heart

with ‘peace, be still’”


“Make sure your roots are deeply grounded

Make sure your paths

are well defined.

Hold the strength of your convictions.

A peaceful soul

will help you find,


that Spring will surely come again.”


Betty Newman ©2002

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