CROSSES IN GRAVEYARD

REASONS TO DIE



they told you that there is no future - no way out of 
this darkness but you cling to the hope that someone 
hears your cry

REASONS TO DIE

she thinks about death/often she imagines an exit shaped like a gun or a handful of pills it's not because of what's been done it's because of things not done the words never said the face never stroked the shoulders never hugged she doesn't really need a reason to die she needs a reason to live Luke 1:78,79 "Because of God's tender mercy, the light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace." greenbar separator

WAVES

the first wave buries you maybe it was a word or someone ignoring your cry for help so you tumble on the sand rolling in a watery grave but you don't die the second wave is lost love broken promises 10 feet high and cresting your heart pressed against the ocean floor by blue/green hands liquid fingers named pain and suffering your skin turns to porcelain your heart becomes a stone you die inside but your heart keeps beating a drummer to remind you of the loneliness and cruel rhythm of this world there is another sound that awakens you a voice still and calm like the beating of dove's wings in turquoise sky the words are love the message is hope the Son of God gathers the shattered pieces of your world and makes a new creation but only if you ask. Psalm 143:4 "I am losing all hope. I am paralyzed with fear." greenbar separator

SHE CRIES

a tear drop forms then flies away before anyone sees it inside inside she weeps tough girls have to be strong while they die on the inside a tear drop forms then disappears water and blood wings and sun a tear drop for everyone of the big girls whose eyes are gates that hold back the flow moon and cloud stars and wind a tear drop forms and blows away down the hall down the street to the feet of the Saviour wet with tears to the place where the tear drops flow to the place where wounded girls go to cry greenbar separator

CORPSE

i was dead inside until You touched my heart i was a corpse until You awakened me all hope was gone love was only a word now there is a reason to live. Psalm 147:3 "He heals the brokenhearted. He binds up their wounds." greenbar separator

CYCLES

deadly loops memories and reactions spin so fast your heart breaks don't go there but you go there where they carved you and you feel the searing thrust of yesterday's daggers greenbar separator

RELEASE

He calls your name He opens the loop and you fall into His hands peace for madness an unfair exchange you cannot pay greenbar separator

HEALING

the tears pool as He reaches in deeply the mind the heart the soul transforming absorbing light you do not understand but you know. Psalm 119:116 "Lord sustain me as you promised that I may live! Do not let my hope be crushed." greenbar separator

SANCTUARY

there must be a corner in helltown where the dark hand does not reach there must be a place where we can hear angel wings brushing away our tears into You/into You we can go. Psalm 119:25 "I lie in the dust completely discouraged. Revive me by your word." greenbar separator

VOICES

i heard a sound like gunfire but there were no bullets my heart was pierced but there was no blood it was only words that wounded me i heard a new sound like rushing water but there was no stream it was words that healed me. Isaiah 50:10b "If you are walking in darkness without a ray of light trust in the Lord and rely on your God." greenbar separator

THE CRUSH

this life can grind you into powder fine dust caught by the wind Jesus catch me in the crush before i scatter in the currents. Psalm 34:18 "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted. He rescues those who are crushed in spirit." greenbar separator

BODYBAG

somebody put my heart in a body bag but it kept beating for love for love for lack of love no one knew i was already dead only You could see inside and if not for the touch of Your nail scarred hand i would have died completely. Psalm 68:6 "God places the lonely in families" greenbar separator

WOUNDS AND CURES

cuts in the soul/everyday from every angle impossible to dodge this blade this reality holes in His brow/in His back in His hands and feet impossible to ignore the price the cost of the cure. Proverbs 17:22 "A cheerful heart is a good medicine" greenbar separator

6 SHADES OF BLACK

can you understand the spirals that some people live in black circles black circles black circles spinning like corkscrews the healing voices cannot be heard the love does not penetrate the depression God love God love God love is the only thing that breaks the spiral descent into arcs and shadows walls that grip and twist 6 shades of black only shattered by the crimson glow of Saviour's blood can you understand can you understand can you understand when people disappear Isaiah 63:9 "In all their suffering He also suffered, and He personally rescued them. In His love and mercy He redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years." greenbar separator

HEARTFELT CRY

deep within are hidden screams and bottled tears/fears and memories fears and memories the hand of God reaches deeper still to heal and comfort to heal and comfort Isaiah 51:14 "Soon all you captives will be released! Imprisonment, starvation and death will not be your fate." greenbar separator

SCARS

is there a body count for those who die on the inside there are wounds that no one sees it's not the bullets that kill me it's the loneliness and fear the only blades that scar me are pain and isolation the noise you hear is the explosion of a broken heart. Isaiah 51:5 "My mercy and justice are coming soon. Your salvation is on the way." greenbar separator

FALLING

someone shatters me so i fall fall into your arms someone wounds me so i bleed bleed on your lap the hands that catch my tears belong to a King the scars in the center belong to everyone. Deuteronomy 1:31 "In the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you just as a father carries a child." greenbar separator

THERAPY

these are the things that make me scream these are the things that make me scream these are the things that make me scream WHEN MY HEART TUMBLES IN THE SHADOWS WHEN HARD WORDS CUT PATTERNS IN MY SOUL WHEN THE WEIGHT BREAKS MY SPIRIT these are the things that make me scream these are the things that make me scream these are the things that make me scream WHEN MY MIND EXPLODES WITH FEARS WHEN ANGUISH BURIES MY PEACE WHEN THE DOOR LOCKS BEHIND ME these are the things that make me scream these are the things that make me scream these are the things that make me scream WHEN THE CAGE BECOMES SMALLER WHEN THE CLOUDS DESCEND WHEN YOU LEAVE ME IN SILENCE these are the things these are the things these are the things. Psalm 71:5 "O Lord You alone are my hope." greenbar separator Jesus run your fingers across the scars on my heart and read the patterns that describe a past haunted by pain Jesus trace a circle around my soul and try to contain the things that have been done Jesus build a fence around my mind and try to keep the thoughts from penetrating stop the shadowy beasts from entering Jesus catch the hard words spoken knock them down before they pierce my skin be a shield around me be my protector healer saviour. Psalm 91:16 "I will satisfy them with a long life, and give them my salvation." You are not alone. Your life has value. Pour out your heart unto God. He will catch your tears. He will heal your wounds. He will strengthen your mind and renew our spirit. There is hope for you... greenbar separator

THE POET

I first met Shawna through her poetry. A friend gave me more than 10 pages of some of the most personal and gripping verse that I had ever read. It was dark, honest, painful and without pretense. Her story began to unfold with each new stanza. Many people keep their pain deep inside, afraid to let anyone know the depths of their suffering. For some poetry is a beautiful release. They can let their deepest emotions loose through the keys of a word processor. I arranged a meeting with Shawna at the radio station where some friends and I produced a weekly show that was designed for those who live in the shadows. We had read Shawna's poetry on the air and the staff and listeners were gripped by it's intensity. We needed to meet her face-to-face. She was quite shy, but agreed to sit in the studio during a live broadcast. We did not want to probe, but were very interested in learning the story behind the words. Over the course of the next few months she willingly shared her life with us. Her purpose for doing so was not vanity nor exploitation, but rather so others who had suffered as she had could know that someone had made it out safely and had become healed. Eventually she gained the courage to let us tape her voice to be played on later programs. We gave her free reign to say what she wanted. Her words were calm and soft. Everyone in the studio stopped what they were doing so that they could listen. Minutes into her story we all were holding back tears. She told us of waking up in a hospital room after an unsuccessful suicide attempt. It was not a cry for attention because she had sawed her wrists, not just knicked them with a blade. She was stunned, disappointed and weary. Life was unbearable and all she wanted to do was exit this world. As she lay in her bed with bandaged arms, she felt the soothing voice of God speaking to her heart. He told her that He loved her and that if she would let Him, He would heal her from the inside out. He instilled in her the will to live, the strength to face the pain and the courage to deal with the things that had driven her over the edge. Shawna's recovery took many months. After two years she felt that most of the damage within her soul was repaired. Step by step she climbed out of her personal hell. One of her most gripping comments was that the healing was the hardest part because she had to meet her personal demons head on. Memories of an abusive husband tormented her. God gradually released the grip of the past that had clawed deeply into her spirit. I believe that there are hundreds of thousands of young women like Shawna who have been beaten down by pain to the point that their will is completely shattered. Many successfully complete their exits into eternity. Many more are planning to check out permanently even now. They are our sisters, our daughters, our wives, our neighbors, our co-workers or maybe you are in this position. Those who are driven to make serious suicide attempts often have no way of clearly defining what they feel. The walls of life have closed in so tightly on them that they feel suffocated by the reality of their circumstances. Shawna was pushed over the edge one inch at a time. Pain's momentum pressed her to the point that she could not even comprehend hope or victory. She quietly slipped deeper and deeper into a realm that was too great for her to overcome. Shawna tried to numb her pain in many different ways. The pleasures of this world offered only temporary peace from the heartache. I believe that the whole time she was spinning out of control that God preserved her life. The Bible states that He knows us even before we are born. He sees the things we go through even before we experience them. God is not the source of the evil that surrounds us, but He is the One that gives us the power to survive the storms. Shawna tried to survive on the basis of her own strength, but it was not sufficient. Shawna's doctors told her that she should have died. They were amazed that with the amount of blood she lost that she still had a pulse. She had survived by the grace of God and she knew it. Her life would now become His. It has been many years since that fateful day that turned from near tragedy to the beginning of a complete transformation. Her rescue was not temporary. Several years ago I had the great pleasure of watching Shawna and her new husband get married at a park. She had clear eyes, a beaming face and was filled with pure joy. Though it was not expressed openly, many of us there quietly wondered about how our lives would have been less complete if she had been successful in her suicide attempt. Each time I looked at her I saw a living miracle. It all began with a handful of poetry that gave me a glimpse into a most dramatic testimony. Her poems are too personal to be printed here. Hopefully she will one day compile her works for the public to view. As for now, we can see what the Apostle Paul wrote about many centuries ago. He stated that we had the potential to become living poems. I have seen with my own eyes what he was talking about.