Popping up on “Purpose”

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Teenagers

Teenagers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Monday night I was asked to read a Spoken Word piece for the Mosaic group at Trinity. I showed up early for rehearsal, and as I sat waiting for the group to gather I asked, so just how many young adults do you have attending here? Well, around 60, leader Storm Moore told me. Hmmm… that’s quite a few, I thought. And then the inner voices started and the anxiety started and I began to feel like a fish out of water because, really, what does a middle aged poet have to offer to these kids… I mean, really?

Until I started listening to the lyrics of the music set as they did their run through (did I mention Trinity is my local faith community here in Kelowna?). Anyway, turns out Mosaic, a gathering for the 18 to 28 year old set, is about ‘doing old school yet still relevant church’. Supper, conversation, music, learning… them and me. Me, delivering up a spoken word piece on “Purpose” because they asked. Me being scared and full of self-doubt…

And then the words and the music washed over me and I found myself, on the inside of me, on my knees in awe of God. Have a listen to this song… “Awakening” and tell me… does it move you like it moved me? Specifically these words were the ones that put things into perspective for me…

for you and you alone, awake my soul, awake my soul and sing

for the world you love (the young adults at mosaic, each and every one)

…let your will be done in me (in my poem, my voice, my heart)

So, I waited, I breathed in the words of the song, I opened my hands, let go of my fear, and asked God to do what he had to with my small offering, and when the time came for me to share my poem, I walked up to the microphone and spoke;

Purpose

Lesley-Anne Evans, SGD

One thing this poem will NOT do
is answer all your questions
it won’t tie up loose ends in a pretty little bow
and say, “There, there you go.” No.

Truth is, we ALL have questions ~ like
Who is God?
Who am I?
Why am I here?
What is my PURPOSE?
Questions that jam up inside us, stop us
from making a move.
We are immobilized by FEAR
want to get it absolutely RIGHT.

I believe God is less interested in RIGHT
than we are. He’s more interested in
what lies BENEATH our choice ~ our INTENT.
And that’s what PURPOSE is.
PURPOSE is intent.
PURPOSE is the reason why.

The Book says GOD has a PURPOSE.
A John 3:16 purpose to SAVE THE WORLD!
The loving, giving, dying, soul-saving
divine purpose of God
God the SEEKER
God the RESCUER
God the REDEEMER
God the LOVER
God who finds his deepest JOY in WHO we ARE
and WHY we do what we do
more than WHAT we do for him.

And when we choose God, when he saves us
GOD’S PURPOSE becomes OUR PURPOSE
World savers, God lovers, God glorifiers
Witnesses to all humanity
tellers of HIS ~ STORY.

The confusing part for us
where we get twisted up
is in the PRACTICAL
the WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and HOW
we live our God purpose out.
We want facts. Details. NOW.
This or that, here or there, where oh where…
We take eyes off GOD, looking for
precisely WHAT to do FOR Him.

What if our PURPOSE is
to choose ~ SOMETHING?
Based on what we know of GOD
Based on what we know of OURSELVES?
Something YOU and GOD decide.
GOD knows YOU best. And you know
what you DREAM about
what makes you ANGRY
what makes your HEART BEAT faster
what is uniquely YOU?
(If you don’t know yet, take time and find out
get away, get quiet, pay attention, ask GOD
and WORK it out.

With God PURPOSE, God INTENT
an ORDINARY life is far from ordinary.
Every act, loving God and others, is SIGNIFICANT.
Like building a house. Feeding the homeless.
Teaching English to new Canadians.
Writing a computer program.  Writing a poem.
Or going for Gold, like this guy who ran, ran fast.
He said God made him to run fast.
He said he felt God’s pleasure when he ran fast.
And he told everyone. When he won the Olympics he said so.
That simple.

THIS is what God wants for YOU, THIS is what gives God PLEASURE
you giving back what He’s given you, WHO YOU ARE
your unique personality, talents, treasures, experiences.

WATCH and SEE what GOD does with a LIFE like that!

And, now there are echos… here in me. Maybe in others. I love how God loves us, so specifically, so bang on personal, right when we need it most.

A purposeful ‘pop-up-poem’… yes.

Lesley-Anne, SDG

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Popping up on South Pandosy, Kelowna, B.C.

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English: Alexander Blok's poem 'Noch, ulica, f...

English: Alexander Blok’s poem ‘Noch, ulica, fonar, apteka’ on a wall in the Dutch city of Leiden (corner Roodenburgerstraat/Thorbeckestraat) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, as I already mentioned, I set out on a September, sunny afternoon and went down to a local village area to read spontaneously to people I met. First time out my stomach was flipping… first person I asked said , “No I don’t have any time for that.”

I was careful to say I was not selling anything… sometimes I think I over-explained! I tried not to intrude, yet have a certain assertiveness about me. I tried to look friendly, yet not overly so. I tried hard 🙂

And, as I walked and as I risked, I met people who were willing to stop and listen for a couple of minutes while I read to them. I took a couple of different poems with me, tried to choose the right poem for the right person based only on my visual assessment of them… now that’s risky too! And I had a couple of conversations that came out of the reading. One about creativity, the other about the persons own realization that to stop and listen was not what she wanted to do, but when she did, she recognized a need within herself to slow down and pay attention to things other than work and her next appointment. And I didn’t try to draw out anything from these people… they shared their thoughts readily. One fellow challenged me on why I was doing what I was doing. Another creative type suggested it would be good to allow the listener to read along… that it was a bit difficult to follow just by listening to the words. Hmmm… really good stuff… great feedback from real people.

Here’s the poem I read most often.

Thoughts on dogs that get out of the yard

Lesley-Anne Evans

You came back. It could have been worse
like the sound of brakes, teeth
on shattering glass, could have been last gasp
flesh on metal. But, you came back smiling
tongue lolling like it was all a walk in the park
darkness no limit for eyes that glowed
in my flashlight beam another time
you went missing in the orchard after supper.

They say you don’t get the dog you want
but the dog you need. What do they know.
Like I need tongued welcomes, tracks
on Berber, eyes watching forays in the fridge.
Like I need chest pressed angry late night drives
’round the neighbourhood, cold hand squeezing
squeaky toys out windows, heat turned high.

You indulge in romps of freedom while I conjure
you drowned in a neighbour’s pool
you impaled on new house construction down the street
you riding in a stranger’s car, someone who is certain
they’ll do a much better job of keeping you safe at home.

Today we strapped a cow bell to your collar. We’ll hear you in the dark.