Burning my Hosannas

Hosanna! 
Hosanna! 
Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord!


I remember…
hands raised in praise
the streets filled with people
shouts of joy
“blessed, how blessed!”

months go by
discouraged and tired
the heart is weary
“why, Lord, why?”

how I’ve failed
what I’ve done
what I’ve not done
all the ways I’ve wandered…

Remember you are dust…

 

tonight I burned my Hosannas
remembering the ways my heart has wandered
the cross I wear on my forehead tomorrow
will be a sign
that I remember
and I am wandering back…

Perspective is Everything

IMG_1916

Somewhere over Indiana… I think.

That momentary darkness
A burst of blinding light
The morning walk around the neighborhood
A hellish commute to work
Perspective is everything

Finding a piece of the puzzle
Learning a new bit of my reality
Asking, for once, the right questions
Trusting God enough to wait
Perspective is everything

Rising above your circumstances
Walking on and getting closer to your goal
Seeing around the bend
God giving you hope to hang on
Perspective is everything

It’s worth it
You’re worth it
Hang on
Hold on
Perspective is everything

I Will Hold Your Story

In my work as a chaplain, I am privileged to listen and reflect with those who are brought into my circle of care. I am not the only one who listens to these patients. Nurses. Social workers. Physicians. Nursing assistants. Even the food service and environmental service staff! We all are part of the patient’s journey towards wellness. We provide services, relieve pain and pressure, and make sure the patient’s and family’s needs are heard and met.

Sometimes in hospice work, however, we do not have tasks we can do. We provide the gift of Presence. Of listening. Of hearing and holding stories. It is a privilege and a blessing.

 

Patient

© 2011 Medill DC, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

I Will Hold Your Story

When the time comes, I will hold your story.
I will listen to the words you do not say.
I will honor the memories that spring to mind,
suddenly, wildly, impetuously,
as if they must be remembered.
They must be said aloud or be forgotten forever.

When the time comes, I will hold your story.
I will laugh with you
(even though it hurts to laugh)
until the tears rolls down our cheeks,
and we gasp for breath,
As if you will never laugh again.

When the time comes, I will hold your story.
I will hold mementos and souvenirs.
I will cherish photos with you.
I will look at faces from your youth,
faded on paper, but not in your heart.
I will help you speak their names.

When the time comes, I will hold your story.
I will honor your faith.
I will celebrate the loves of your life.
I will clean my cheeks with my tears.
I will lift a glass in memory of your life.
I will remember…
And then some day,
Someone will hold my story, too.

When the time comes…

Rev. Deb Vaughn, 6.8.2016

Autumn Alleluia

2012-11-05 07.04.33

Autumn Alleluia

This fleeting moment

when leaves turn, one by one,

from green to gold and orange,

I stop and take a breath.

Japanese maple

Life drifts by,

the moments blur

into days, into weeks, into years.

I stop and look up

and offer a silent Thanksgiving

for all of the good gifts

God brings.

DSC_0465

Even in death,

even in times of painful change,

even when there’s nothing I can do

to stop the blur of time,

I offer an Alleluia

a simple praise

such goodness

such beauty

such joy.

Amen.

Soft Falls The Night

Soft Falls The Night

2014-08-12 19.54.07

Soft falls the night
and in the deepening dark
I hear the peeping of the frogs
the softening whine of crickets
and the palms rustling and rattling in the breeze.

The noise accelerates,
as if to beg.
Perhaps the sun will slow its course
and give a few more moments of daylight.

But no.
The darkness spreads
and for a moment,
I forget the light will return,
the sun will fill the eastern sky
and poke into our windows.

The Light will come.
The Light WILL come.

Soft falls the night
and I
stand in wonder, watching, praying, worrying
for those who forget
the dawn.

Where Does Your Memory Go?

IMG_0066

Where Does Your Memory Go?

I was once asked the question,
“Where does your memory go?
When you can’t remember who you are,
Or what you know?
Where does your memory go?”

“I don’t really know,”
I said with a smile,
“Does it bother you to think
That one morning you might forget
Who you are or where you parked the car?”

There was silence.

And then,
“No, I think I would be sad
If I couldn’t remember my my family.
If I couldn’t remember their names.
If I wanted to sing a song
Or recite a poem
Or dance a waltz
Or tell you that I love you.
And when I couldn’t remember,
I wouldn’t know what I forgot.”

“But I would know,” I said,
“And I would miss your stories and your laugh.”

“I will always try to laugh, then,”
came the reply,
“For laughter needs no memory,
Only someone to laugh with me.”

~Deb Vaughn

After The Storm

rain

It stormed last night
The wind and rain woke me
(or perhaps it was the cats,
running for cover in a panic!)
This morning I found
the air was fresh,
the heat abated,
and the dewy aftermath of the storm
beaded every surface.

How true it is
that storms in life come,
overwhelm and panic,
and soon after
there is quiet and peace,
and reminders of what we saw.

For the debris from the storm
is still there,
awaiting composting
or perhaps some heavy lifting,
but the raindrops
offer a blessing
and a benediction
that yesterday’s storm is done.
We can walk through today’s
knowing that Peace, Shalom, will be ours.

God is gracious.