Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick #GreatPhysician

And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
Luke 5:30‭-‬32 ESV


love display

innocent lamb
led to slaughter
our punishment
poured on Him
because of love
His body torn and broken
raw & ripped open
He died in our place
took our shame
bore our weakness
sin and sickness
pierced arms stretched wide
blood tide flowing from your hands and side
removing sins
inviting us in
embracing the broken

spotless lamb

perfect sacrifice

He hung in the sky
crossbeam lifted high
hope realized
love displayed
crimson droplets fell
splattering thirsty earth
the holes in His hands
make us whole
all our shame erased
by grace
He’s the answer to our soul—

trickles of blood
droplets of mercy
breathed his last
(it is finished)
temple curtain torn in two
earth shook
rocks split
tombs opened
the dead breathe again
raised to life
victorious one
walks out the tomb,
setting us free
victorious King
fierce Father
beautiful Savior
waterfall of life
galaxies of grace

He hung in the sky
crossbeam lifted high
hope realized
love displayed
crimson droplets fell
splattering thirsty earth
the holes in His hands
make us whole
all our shame erased
by grace
He’s the answer to our soul—

God’s wrath for our sins
poured on Jesus—
Just and Justifier
finally satisfied,
now we’re His bride
washed white
adorned in beauty
holy, set apart for the sake of God’s glory

He hung in the sky
crossbeam lifted high
hope realized
love displayed
crimson droplets fell
splattering thirsty earth
the holes in His hands
make us whole
all our shame erased
by grace
He’s the answer to our soul—

if i ever doubt God’s love
the cross forever seared
on my heart
reminds me
of truth
my one true love
now we’re His bride
washed white
adorned in beauty
holy, set apart for the sake of God’s glory

mental ride, part 3

two paramedics wheeled me to the tall grey mental hospital. blurry paperwork, scribbled signature, an indefinite smile on my face. checked in, locked down.

another patient confronted me; I acted back. bubbly nurse lady escorted me to the quiet room, bolting the door shut. small chamber with padded walls and lone bed. kneeling, I cried  for love. my stomach folded and my mind raced figure eights through quick sand, oasis, ocean, and space. it travelled at record speeds, incomprehensible and lost. a realm unknown to man, I forged new frontiers—insanity disguised as genius, brain deceiving itself. my slow body slumped on the floor.


woe when my brain and body eventually matched up.

mashed potatoes


chocolate milk

hairnet lunch lady smiled

scooped carrots

man tranquilized mid-meal


 I observed outside world through window dotted with tint. a foot clinic. roads. trees. birds dancing midsky. mountains crisp against dull blue backdrop. 

after each meal, we walked the unit. digging a trench in the linoleum floor, the other patients and I circled the ward. beautiful nature scenes, oversized and framed, lined the outside of the narrow hallway. the wall pattern: door door waterfall door door forest door door mossy rocks door flowers door door pond. My mind escaped the trapped place, traipsed out into the brilliant scenes. fields and flowers, passing hours upon hours in the desolate plain. waiting for it to rain. or snow, some form of precipitation. I wanted participation in the bright symphony outdoors. my soul choked in the hallway. desert spread through my throat. seven days enclosed in stained off-white hospital walls, my brain’s off switch slowly flipping to on. I missed fresh air the most.

like a cat trapped in carrier, I clawed, silently asking how do I get out of here?

I scrawled notes with the golf pencil and tiny notebook provided:

charge nurse: Charolette

Med nurse: ?

take meds

ask Tim for help

schedule on wall

follow schedule

take showers

I found my brain in the water. the scalding drops seared my shoulders crimson. I scrubbed my scalp for the second time that day. the warm sensation soothed a body disconnected from brain, brought mind down from spaceship ride, touching to earth with a soft pouft.

tales from mania, part 2

sirens raced out like morning light on fast forward, quickly waking a sleeping plain.  they interrupt air and quiet, causing dog hair to raise and people to pause and pray. I never thought I’d be be the cause of such commotion.  two men—one tall and brown haired, the other round with a big laugh—strapped me onto the raised, roller emergency bed. they wore bright, rough coats and spoke gently. they strapped me down, with my Bible on my lap. their big black boots thumped down the hospital halls as they wheeled me away.

the lanky one sat in back with me. he hooked me up to a vitals screen. question marks blinked on a couple panels.

ah yes, of course. I’m dead. that’s why the medical gadget can’t find my pulse! HaHA! inner smirk.

“thank you for carrying me,” I said.

“not a problem,” said the medic. “you’re the lightest thing we picked up all day!”

because I’m not here! I’m dead!

two paramedics picked me up and wheeled me off to the back of an ambulance en route to the mental ward. they performed their duty, with grace. my body strapped down, speeding away, meanwhile my mind went on vacation to the Milky Way where stars twirled in deep dark empty space, where lost thoughts shot like pinballs or shooting balls of bright gas, disguised as truth. my own world where I could play and not be chided for saying I died. in my mind, life left my mortal tent long ago.

emergency encounter, part 1

Another girl in the basement of the Emergency Room, broken and maimed by life—like me–sobs and quakes in the corner of her room. She steps out. Wails. I step out. Her bloodshot gaze shoots through me like a bullet.

“Hi, my name’s Annabeth,” I say.

“Charolette,” she says, extending her snotty half gloved hand. I shake it. Her body shakes too, racked with withdrawal, shocked at benevolent touch.

She tells me her story–the equivalent of cobwebs and oil spills, cosmic rush then electrocution and detonation. Hot tears drip from my eyelids, mingling our pain. My throat swallows tightly as I look at the wall.

What can I say?

I reach my arms around her crumpled shoulders, pull them near. We stay caved inward for minutes, like birds landing after working hard and long to stay in the air.

“Can I pray for you?” I say.

Her nod is barely noticeable yet monumental, like beavers high-fiving after constructing their first high rise. I offer a short, sincere petition to the Maker of stars. She leans in harder, squeezing my heart pulp. We let go, touch down in hospital world.

She turns and shuffles back into her area, but not without a smile. The gentle upward curve softening her cheeks and eyes says thank you deeper than words ever do.


Poking out slick upside down bowl,

Leathery legs

Mosey towards me

Turtleback time


Through swirling clouds

and purple velvet skies

Turtles zoom when their toes

Leave ground

Horizontal wind

Blasts sharp on skin

Birds fly beside

Until leave atmosphere behind

Turtles bounce Elvis beats

On swamp radio 105.3

Turtle rides costs a seashell, a penny, and a hug

Grab shell, I’ll meet you beyond earth

Star treks in twinkling corridors

Ocean skims with dolphin fins

Turtle shell rides explode expectations

Taking anyone anywhere

They last 5.5 hours

Unless you’re 4,

Then you can soar

Till your heart’s content.

The Way

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. Proverbs 16:25

The Bible warns us of going our own way. It even says the way seeming right to us leads to death. Leaving my way and submitting to God’s way has been a long, slow process for me. God Himself has plucked me off the road of destruction and given me a new path. For a long time I thought I knew better than God (most humans think this). Still do think I know better in some ways, if I’m honest. Thank God for grace! And for continually correcting me, pursuing me, loving me.

Psalm 25:4-5a is my jam:

Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me.

The Bible says Jesus is God’s way.

“Let not  your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one come to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on  you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:1-7

Left on our own, we all walk down a road with a cliff at the end. Falling off the cliff means leaning on our own understanding and disobeying God—sin. Sin leads to death (Romans 6:23), hence the cliff drop. Thankfully, God pursues and provides a different road, one that leads to Him. The road is Jesus. The map to that road is God’s Word, the Bible. God’s Holy Spirit is constantly calling wayward sinners to the Way by grace.

If there’s breath in  your lungs, there’s still time to turn from your sin and believe in Jesus. 

Will you trust Him today?

All the ways of a man are pure in their own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. Proverbs 16:2

Lord, thank You for weighing our spirits. Lord, we don’t realize that our ways are impure. Praise You for being merciful. Thank you for loving us and sending Jesus to die in our place. Help us, Father. Search us. Show us the ways we don’t trust you. Show us our offensive ways. Lead us in the Way everlasting—Jesus. Amen!

whoever has ears to hear…

Close your eyes. Listen. 

Till the thoughts spill out your mind onto a blank canvas of quiet.

(this takes time. stillness requires patience…)

Listen. Until time hits the brakes, until tasks fade.

and you simply are.

Busyness melting away, distraction destroyed.

When the fabric of your soul mirrors glassy motionless water and its weaves loosen, allowing things like grace and love to settle in.

Hear God’s whisper beat a song on your eardrum.

See the wind waltz with branches and leaves.

Breath inflating then deflating chest,

lungs no longer vacuum bags full of stress and soot,

but hopeful clouds with rain cascading down, evaporating up—a refreshing cycle.

Look up, heart.

and listen.

Pause the music. stop the tv chatter. listen.

Quiet’s uncomfortable…

(but do comfortable people grow?)

Quiet like a cave. like planets gliding through deep dark space.

Quiet like the forest, save for birds and trees.

Listen—hear the earth’s cry.

Stop long enough to be woken up.

World broken. world bleeding.

In our innermost chambers, we all know

we weren’t made to drown

but to soar!

Look at this dirty and disgraced, sad and out of place bluegreen marble.

Broken homes, broken bones, tear drops, break ups, death.

Suicide, flooding, miscarriage, abortion, murder.

Divorce, cancer, disease, loss.

House fires, gossip, lies, overdoses, pain, scars.

Look at the news, at a  young child’s tantrum, inside you.

The fact that dust collects on ledges

and shelves proves

this world’s fallen.

Since the the first human sinned, all inherit infection.

That minor chord creating discord in each human

longs to be restored.

Some look to sex. others, a bottle. others, a cigarette.

Some cut, some shop, others eat or go to people.

Regardless of how you deal, we’re all seeking a filling for the black hole in our soul.

I’ve looked to ideals, I strove for perfection.

Created me-centered dreams that—if they only happened—would solve my being’s puzzle.

I idolized marriage and a husband.

“he’ll fulfill me,” I thought. “I know it!”

After 26 years of looking to people and grades, dreams and ideals, perfection and travel… I sit next to you on this 5 second bench called life, testifying: it’s all empty. Whatever your “numb”-er of choice is (alcohol, food, drugs, sex, tv, busyness, social media), it’s all the same and it’s not working. when you slow down and listen, you’ll see… empty.

And if you try to stop sending your hungry heart down that same dead end road, it’ll only go down another. Transferring heart throb from one idol to another is a maddening hamster wheel of meaningless unrest.

The Bible says our hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately sick (Jeremiah 17:9). The answer is not behavior modification, we need intervention to be saved from self destruction! And we’re completely incapable of doing so ourselves. We are born disobedient. Since the garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve chose to disobey God, death entered the human race and we’re infected with this sickness called sin.

Here’s where the hope comes in.

A Saviour is necessary—someone who saves those who cannot save themselves (everyone). This is accomplished through grace. God’s holy. He cannot be in the presence of sin. Because He loves us, He sent His only Son, Jesus, to be the bridge between us and Him.

God is also just. As a just judge, He cannot allow our sin to go unpunished. When Jesus died and rose again, He bore God’s wrath for our sin. Like the animal sacrifices in the Old Testament that foreshadowed Him, Jesus is the spotless lamb. The once and for all sacrifice, Jesus bore the punishment for all who believe in Him. Now each person, if they choose Jesus as their Lord, are invited into His very near presence—what every heart longs for. This isn’t a light matter… to have a Lord means total submission, every thought taken captive to scripture, each moment surrendered, life. laid. down.

Ultimately, it’s all about God. Everything. Even the cross is for His glory.

Close your eyes. Listen. Do you hear?