Quietly

There are places we go
That forever stay
There are feelings
That leave with no goodbye
And it’s in the midst of these
Indefinable points of
.     latitude and longitude
We grieve
.     quietly.

In the smallest smiles
And words unsaid
Lie the broken chords
That will never be tuned
And in the discordance
The sustained hum of harmonies
.     straining for resolution
We thrum
.     quietly.

So step beyond the pale
And drink to the moon
Toast the holy, silent night
With unsung screams of
.     fractured dreams
And listen
As the universe leans in
And sings with you
.     quietly.
-ijs

***
author’s note: Forgive the weird formatting with the floating periods. I couldn’t figure out how to indent single lines without indenting the entire paragraph, and when I tried to “space-bar in” a blank space instead, the lines just ended up going back to left-justified. So if anyone out there knows how to indent single lines, I’d love to learn some WordPress magic.
Thanks!

Gravity

gravity

Some day gravity will die
The moon will break her bonds
Deserted beaches left haunted
Abandoned
Gaunt
And echoing the sun’s flaming
Dying
Symphony
A blood-red catastrophe
Of grandeur
Saturn’s rings shattering
Splattering
Stardust across the galaxies
The morning star will wink
Flutter
Stutter
Never again to awaken
The sandman will empty his glass
Spilling soulless grains into oblivion
But in the infinite obsidian
Lost meridians
I’ll dream again
Because I’ll never stop falling in love with you.
-ijs

Amanda’s Army

photo 4

Sometimes life sucker punches you in the face.

Live long enough, and it’ll happen to you. Except the thing is, most of us think it’ll happen later in life … or at least next year, next month, tomorrow … but not today.

I’ve only met Amanda in person a few times, but I love getting to watch as she helps lead worship at my church. She never fails to bring a humble spirit of love and graciousness. It’s never about her or her prodigious talent; she always points everything to God. And so it was shocking to check my instagram one day and see this post—

photo 2

So here goes. This is me exactly 1 week ago. I was having some digestion issues so I went in for a colonoscopy. When I woke up the doctor, with tears in his eyes, told me he found a large tumor that was probably cancer. Thursday they confirmed it…..cancer. Yesterday they found spots on my liver and ovaries that they are going to test and if they come back positive then I’ll have Stage 4 Cancer…. I don’t have health insurance so trying to navigate paperwork and money has been a little overwhelming. But strangely through this whole process I’ve had peace. My God is still in control. My God always has and always will take care of me. I do pray for healing but more than that I pray that Satan does not get the victory and that God would change lives through this story. ‘For what Satan meant for evil, God meant for good.’ This is just the beginning of a difficult but beautiful road.
Let’s start walking :)”

I was stunned. The post came just days after she had been up front leading worship. That Sunday looked like all the rest to me; no hint of anything wrong. Nothing. Just the same vibrant spirit.

photo 5

Watching her journey these past few weeks has floored me. I’ve gone through my own share of pain, but I’ve never had a doctor look at me and say “cancer.” I’ve never heard a stranger start the clock ticking on what remains of my life. But somehow, she keeps pressing on in the Father’s love, sharing posts and encouragement.

photo 3

If you’re in Nashville this Tuesday, come to Cross Point Church. Natalie Grant will be hosting a benefit concert to help cover Amanda’s medical costs. (If you can’t make it, check out the link here where you can support her online.) Other artists performing include Mark Hall (Casting Crowns), Mandisa, Dave Barnes, Building 429, Plumb, and Danny Gokey. It’s a testimony to Amanda’s spirit—not to mention talent—that such a huge gathering of support has surrounded her.

Keep on, Amanda, we’re marching with you.

photo 1

A Sailor’s Song – short film

Life. It’s full of beginnings and endings. It’s fluid, ever changing. Grab the moments that mean something. Hold on to them.

This gem was written and directed by Shea Sizemore. DP: Brent Christy.