Thursday, April 27, 2023

Poetry Friday: Adoration

I went to grandson's classroom on Thursday to celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day. I donned my apron of many pockets filled with poems to share with the class. On the way home, I kept stopping to capture spring pics and felt inspired to write this ode to spring.  

Ruth, who blogs at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town, is hosting Poetry Friday this week with two wonderful poems about chairs and an invitation to pull up a chair and sit a while. Be sure to stop by and add your poetic fun to the round-up.



Any short jaunt

requires attempts

to capture beauty. 


The blossoms call,

our days are numbered.

Lime green leaves 

wave me over.

Brilliant red requires

me to stop and revel.

Camellias provide

a doorstop welcome.

Blue skies wrap  

me in wonderment. 

Spring surrounds

and envelops me

in marvelment. 


- Ramona Behnke

Saturday, April 8, 2023

SJT and Poetry Friday: Hymns of My Heart 

This month’s Spiritual Journey gathering is with Ruth 
 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche is hosting 
this week's round-up of poetic goodness
All are welcome each Friday as folks share poems, 
poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship.
Sorry for my late arrival on Saturday morning to Spiritual Journey Thursday and Poetry Friday. I have paid close attention to the events of Holy Week from the New Testament this week. Ruth invited us to write about Maundy Thursday or about the origins of one of our spiritual practices for Spiritual Journey Thursday. My first thought was to write about the weekly practice of communion or sacrament as it is commonly referred to in my faith community. Keep reading to see how I arrived at worship through music as a spiritual practice that has blessed my life.
One of my favorite movies, "Places in the Heart," is set during the the depression in central Texas. My mother lived through this difficult time as a child in southeastern Oklahoma. The scenes of cotton picking stick in my mind because my own mother used to talk about picking cotton. These scenes helped me see the reality of the arduous work of picking cotton. This depiction of hard work in the face of extreme difficulty during the depression, a time that my own mother lived through, seemed to be reason enough for me to love the movie. But it's the final scene that has stayed in my memory for almost forty years. Here's a synopsis of that scene: "The story ends, as it began, with community and in the midst of prayer. In a highly symbolic and imaginary scene, communion is passed among the assembled congregants at the church, hand to hand and mouth to mouth, between both the living and the deceased. The last line of the film is spoken by Wylie to Royce Spalding, 'Peace of God.'  The film closes with all the characters gathered together in church singing in unison."
As I watched this final scene of the movie, I realized that this community partaking of the Lord's emblems together stayed in my memory because of the music. As the scene opens, we hear the song, "This is My Story." And then as the congregation passes and partakes of the emblems of the Lord, we hear another hymn: "I Come to the Garden Alone," (a hymn sung at my father's funeral). Neither of these hymns is in the hymnals that I've known and loved my entire life, but they are stitched into my being from hearing my mother sing. I was blessed by a mother who sang hymns while she cooked, while she ironed, while she cleaned, while she gardened. The words of hymns brought solace and comfort and joy and were a living presence and testimony of my mother's faith in God.

Another key person who influenced my love of the hymns was Edna Wilson, our Sunday School chorister when I was growing up. Each month during Sunday School, we had a practice hymn. Sister Wilson made us stand up to sing and encouraged us to look up from our hymnals and memorize the words of the hymn. Hymns are one of my favorite forms of poetry.  I have a very large arsenal of hymns in my long term memory. 
As a child, I chose a favorite hymn, "I Stand All Amazed," as part of the program for my baptism. If you're not familiar with it, you might enjoy this performance by Tyler Perry with many scenes from the life of Christ depicted in the video.
During Holy Week, as I have studied the events of this significant week, I have been  encouraged to listen to more hymns throughout my day. What a blessing it has been to tune my heart to the hymns placed there by a mother who sang and by Sister Wilson who encouraged us to memorize the words! This Easter Sunday I'll be in the choir singing "Behold the Wounds in Jesus Hands" and  "God So Loved the World." I hope one of our congregational songs will be "He Is Risen" or "Rejoice the Lord is King." When you leave a comment, tell me if you have a favorite hymn stitched in your heart.

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Slice of Life: Haiku

 Gladness fills my heart

Colorful blossoms abound

Sunshine revival