Summer’s End

Summer’s End

by Julie Sumner

The whole earth hums:

Radiant photons, waving in a plumb

Line from the livening sun,

Leave light strewn recklessly–

Honeyed gold to glaze September’s endless

Blue skies, and the bees focus

Their frenzied gazes, searching the

Beatific face of every last summer-flown flower

As if it were a lover, whose rosy scent is sweeter

In the light of her imminent departure.

With Tears

Mark 9:23-24 NKJV Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

“With tears”….Isn’t it amazing how just nine letters can communicate such a depth of desperation that it’s palpable? This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible, but yesterday was the first time I noticed those nine letters. This detail of the man’s soul is absent in many modern translations of the Word, but the King James and New King James versions retain this notation. It reminded me of Peter weeping after he denied Jesus three times, or of Mary weeping and washing Jesus’ feet with her hair and tears, and Jesus weeping at Lazarus’ grave and in the garden of Gethsemane. When people come to the end of their own hearts’ sufficiency, tears are in order.

The father of the child, who was possessed of an evil spirit that the disciples had not been able to cast out, also still confesses faith in Jesus despite the failure of his followers. A faith, that however imperfect and doubting, still enabled the man to be able to approach Jesus, and to reveal a brutally honest assessment of himself, “I believe; help my unbelief!” In this utterance, this father speaks for all of us flawed and human beings. It brings him to tears, this desperation of knowing that the one thing needed was one he couldn’t find in himself–a fullness and assurance that Christ is for us. And this is how Christ finally works in the father and the child, casting out the evil spirit and restoring the boy to his father. In Ephesians, Paul tells us that even our very faith in Christ as our Savior is a gift (Ephesians 2:8), and only when we come to the end of ourselves, usually with tears, can we realize that Christ longs to give us faith in the surety of his nail-scarred hands. We come weeping to a Savior who also weeps.

The Peach

The Peach

by Julie Sumner

As long as–

There is a drop or two

Of juice

To weep from this drought-hardened

Late season peach,

A little sweetness, a little softness

Coexisting peaceably with

The adamant crunch of unripeness,

The whole imperfect thing

Still murmurs

Summer’s glowing goodness.

The Brilliant Cut

It’s amazing the color hidden in a seemingly colorless beam of light. Many thanks to Nita Andrews and her wonderful Creative Lectio class for inspiring this one. If you would like to know more about Nita and her work with creativity, check out creativelectio.com.

The Brilliant Cut
by Julie Sumner

A light beam traipses its winsome glimmer
Across the circle of stone-still facets
Shaped in the sky’s fashion of kites and stars,
It falls–shatters its soul into spectrum,
Red sailing on as far as violet,
Everything in its path painted to life.

The Clerk

Sometimes, the most unlikely people remind us of our shared humanity.

The Clerk
by Julie Sumner
The young clerk searched for the word like it was
His grandmother’s wedding band, round with life.
Finally finding it, he spoke it well,
Shining the syllables to keep it whole,
“Honor-that is the right word-honor.”
Honor was not the word I expected
From the clerk in the Men’s Shirts department.
The light between us angled into gold.
I saw the part of his neatly combed hair,
Flowered black script tattooed on his fingers-
Words becoming his flesh day after day.
I searched for the word in my heart’s attic,
Finally finding it, I spoke it well,
Shining the syllables to keep it whole,
“Thank you-that is the right word-thank you.”