Every so often we put the breaks on debating theological positions and share an experience, a song, a rap (Dwayne), or some poetry. I’d like to share a bit of a journey my family has been on. Hope you don’t mind.
I have four amazing children. They all grew up as missionary kids in a cross-cultural context. Half my life and most of my kids’ lives have been spent outside the United States in the Middle East. As our kids approached their eighteenth birthday, their Mom and I would settle on a ‘life-gift’ that captured each child’s call, gifting and personality. Our oldest daughter’s gift was a ‘compass’. She’s a therapist now. Our oldest son’s gift was a ‘cymbal’. He’s a worship leader on staff at a church in Texas. Our youngest son’s lift-gift was a special ‘magnifying glass’. He’s a composer (among other things), very focused. Jessica’s lift-gift was a ‘kaleidoscope’. She’s colorful, creative, adventurous and artsy.
Jessica left home a year ago and became a third-grade teacher in Beirut, Lebanon, at the same British school she attended growing up there as a missionary kid. And while there she met and fell in love with a young Syrian gentleman, Samer, a musician/artist.
There are a lot of words floating around in my mind that express bits and pieces of what I feel about Jessica’s journey, and those words haven’t yet all fallen into place to form meaningful sentences. But I know this much — I love my daughter without condition. And I don’t think I’ll have any trouble loving Samer as unconditionally as I have my own children. I’m looking forward to welcoming Samer into my home and heart.
Each of our kids has his/her own poem I wrote for them. I’d pleased to share Jessica’s poem here. Hope you enjoy it.
Your Eyes Tell Blue To Be —
Jessica, your eyes tell blue to be
And form the skies for sailors set to sea;
From your hair gold acquires its fair hue;
And your tears when shed become the morning dew;
Where‘er you trod the sky is a cathedral made,
The ground beneath your feet a pew within its shade
Where weary souls, bowed low in offered prayer,
Find sacrament and grace imparted there.
Earth’s finest moments do within your smile combine
And in your eyes colors all rest until you bid them shine
By gazing on a world whose heavy darkness weighs it down;
The joys it finds become upon your brow a crown.
Oh how can this meek poetry of mine proclaim
The beauties that lie restlessly within your name?
Shakespeare set you first upon Venetian streets*
Where he with a more sacred text by far competes;
For Holy Writ describes the wealth which your name frees,
The treasure of our knowing that Jehovah sees**.
From your first days you saw within all colors charm
And could by no means bring the smallest thing to harm;
But when your touch or stroke of pen or colored brush applied
No darkness of the mind or heart could ‘ere abide,
But all would spring to life and take its final form
In celebration of life’s pleasures there adorned;
Oh sweet child! You have brought a father’s heart such rest,
Safe from life’s storms I am with you locked deep within my chest.
When first in Venice it was said, “All that glitters is not gold,”
Who could have known the truest treasure would be just to hold
Within my arms the art and beauty that you are and in your eyes to see
The place where God decided to bring blue to be.
* The first appearance of the name “Jessica” in English is in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.
** “Jessica” is the Anglicized form of the Hebrew ‘yiskah’ (the niece of Abraham, daughter of Haran, in the book of Genesis). It means “Jehovah sees.”