Friday, October 17, 2014

glad hope

Do not fear.
God is near,
nearer than a moment’s breath,
closer than the truest friend in death.

Do not fear.
God is here,
a solid path under your feet,
the sun above to warm the day,
the star ahead to guide the way,
behind you in mercy,
within and without in grace.

Are you brokenhearted?
There is a healer.
He is the same
one who made clay
and you are a masterwork
in the making,

and he is shaping
something new
with love moving his hands
and a song swelling
from the depths—
he sings from the gut
strong and sure.
The words have ancient weight
but the tune is ever-new.

These notes you hear,
this music,
is how God breathes
new life into dry dust.
When the pitch is low,
God mourns with you.
He suits the song
to the times,
a companion in sorrow.
But eventually,
when we are fully alive,
we will rise with
God’s wind in our lungs—
souls filled with glad hope.

Look! There is a child
dancing and laughing.
Do not fear.
God is near.

glad hope
a poem by troy cady

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

sister wisdom

Yesterday I posted a prayer that went like this: “Sister Wisdom, teach us that one humble prayer is greater than countless proud thoughts."

The prayer elicited this response from someone who knows me well and whom I respect greatly: “When I read your post this morning I was wondering, where you got ‘Sister Wisdom’?  I've never heard that phrase used and I thought God was the source of all wisdom.  I don't always get things, or I’m getting slower in my understanding, so I'm just asking.”

I thought it was a good question and I thought others might like to hear my response so I’m sharing it below. I hope it helps!



Thank you for asking your good question, Bev.  I especially appreciate that you didn’t just come out of the gate with accusations of “Heresy!” J

At the outset, I must say…I agree with you: a prayer addressed to “Sister Wisdom” doesn’t seem quite right, does it? I suppose it might feel to someone like I’m praying to a God other than the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Rest assured, that was not my intention. So…why address a prayer to ‘Sister Wisdom’?

I must confess, it’s an artist’s prayer—which is to say it is a prayer in which I took artistic license. I only hope I did not take too much license. That said, here’s where it came from…

The prayer was inspired by my reading of King Solomon’s book of Proverbs yesterday. In chapters 1-9, Solomon personifies the quality of wisdom by using feminine imagery:

“Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares…” (1:20)

In chapter 3, verses 13-18 we read another passage in which wisdom is personified as a woman. Again, in chapter 4, verses 5-9 we find the same.

With that in mind, we come to chapter 7 and in verse 4 Solomon writes: “Say to wisdom, ‘You are my sister,’ and to insight, 'You are my close relative.'”

Primarily, the expression ‘Sister Wisdom’ is derived from this verse and from the anthropomorphic images of wisdom prior to this.

To be sure, Solomon is using poetic imagery here but it is an image he uses consistently and Jesus even uses it when speaking of himself and John the Baptist: “But wisdom is proved right by all her children.” (Luke 7:35)

After instructing us to call wisdom “our sister” in chapter 7, Solomon returns to the theme of “wisdom calling out” in chapter 8 with these words in verse 17:

17 I love those who love me,
    and those who seek me find me.

That “sister wisdom” would say that we should “love her” and “seek her” seems strange to our modern sensibilities. “Whom should we love and seek but God alone?” we might ask. “How can this be Scripture?” Well…it is poetry.

The chapter goes on to personify wisdom in terms that seem even more striking. Again, the words may sound heretical to us. The poetic device is made more effective by the shock of it, by the seeming-absurdity of the expression.

Observe carefully in verses 22-31. This is wisdom speaking again. The words “me” and “I” refer to “her.”  To identify with the shock of this text, it might help if you imagine in your head that it is a woman’s voice you hear:

“22 The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works,
    before his deeds of old;
23 I was formed long ages ago,
    at the very beginning, when the world came to be.
24 When there were no watery depths, I was given birth,
    when there were no springs overflowing with water;
25 before the mountains were settled in place,
    before the hills, I was given birth,
26 before he made the world or its fields
    or any of the dust of the earth.
27 I was there when he set the heavens in place,
    when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
28 when he established the clouds above
    and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
29 when he gave the sea its boundary
    so the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
30     Then I was constantly at his side.
I was filled with delight day after day,
    rejoicing always in his presence,
31 rejoicing in his whole world
    and delighting in mankind.”

In speaking about the text, we are constrained to say, “Wisdom says that the Lord brought her forth as the first of his works. She was formed long ages ago, when the world came to be.” That said, in the early church, that first line of this passage would have raised some eyebrows—as if wisdom is somehow distinct from the Father of wisdom. “I was given birth…I was constantly at his side…” she (wisdom) says.

Those lines in a different time would have been condemned right alongside the heresy of Arius.  Of course, the wisdom of God is not literally some child that was given birth by God at some point in time prior to the earth being formed, but Solomon is using a poetic device to help us understand how God and wisdom go hand-in-hand.  

That is where the prayer addressed to Sister Wisdom comes from. It is a poet’s prayer that is trying to take into account what Proverbs is saying: “We never find true wisdom without finding God and we never find God without finding true wisdom.” The two go hand-in-hand. To seek wisdom is to seek God and to seek God is to seek wisdom. The prayer to Sister Wisdom is simply an expression to convey this but I also wanted to employ the same feminine imagery Solomon uses.  So…I am sorry if it caused offense or mislead anyone.

That said, I do find it interesting that Solomon uses a feminine voice to portray wisdom. He could have just as easily used a masculine voice. I do believe this should not surprise us, because this male/female way of describing God is something we find right from the beginning. 

In Genesis 1, in the creation account, we are told that to be made in the image of God is to be made as “male and female.” Both sides together image the Creator. That means there is a male/female aspect to God. We have seen that Proverbs 1-9 bears this out and there are other texts that do so, too.

While it is true that most of Scripture employs the pronoun “he” in reference to God, properly speaking God’s self-description is not gender-specific because it is verb-expressed.  A key text is Exodus 3.

Moses asks, “Who should I say sent me?”

God answers: “Say I AM sent you.”

Again, it should shock us that God defines himself as a verb (we tend to think of God as a noun). But, because our language is so limited, we tend to use nouns and the pronoun “he” when we refer to God. I just did it in the first sentence of this paragraph. Notice: “…God defines himself as a verb.”  

But verbs are not gender-specific. They include both male and female. He can run just as much as she can run. With that in mind, notice the dissonance in Genesis 1.

“So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.”

Do you hear the dissonance? To be sure, the text says ‘in his own image’ and ‘he created them’ but in the same breath it says God created them ‘male and female’. So, somehow, to be made in the image of God is to be made male-and-female. Both-together image the Creator. That is what the text states. But the limitation of language constrains us to pick a pronoun to reference God and the pronoun of choice happens to be ‘he’.

This is not to say that I think we should start referring to God as ‘she’ all the time now. Indeed, Jesus taught us to pray ‘Our Father…’ and that is good enough for me.

But, inspired by Solomon’s poetic description of wisdom in feminine terms and…keeping in mind that wisdom and God go hand-in-hand and…keeping in mind what it means to image God and…taking into account God’s self-description in Exodus…I took the liberty of addressing God as “Sister Wisdom.” I do not think there is a separate entity from which wisdom springs other than God our Father, but the poet/artist in me felt it was fitting to address God as such.

Once again, I hope this does not cause offense or lead anyone astray. At the same time, I do hope the prayer serves to strike a new chord in us about how incredible and mysterious our Maker is.

Thanks for understanding.


P.S. I am convinced that it is God’s both/and nature that confounds us on many fronts. He is both…

…near and far
…grace and truth
…Almighty and gentle
…at work and rest
…perfect in holiness and forgiving of sin

I notice that our tendency when speaking of God is to lean one way or the other. Indeed, my daily prayers bear this out from one day to the next. Some days, the words that form in my heart when addressing God are very formal; other days, I seem to be addressing God the Carpenter who visits me in my workshop.

From time to time, I have folks write me…asking about certain prayers. I can tell they are wondering if I’ve somehow “lost my way.” And…I have noticed that the prayers that elicit questions from others all fall into the God-is-near category. For some reason we are okay with a God who is high above and holy but not a God I would see stocking shelves at Walmart.

Yet that is precisely the gospel that Christians proclaim. The wonder of Jesus is that by him God came near. To understand the gospel properly, we should hear dissonance in that phrase: God came near. God came near.

This is why I started PlayFull…to help us appreciate the both/and nature of God, to live in the tension of it. Even the name of our organization Play…Full bears this out. It is misspelled on purpose. There is a fullness to play and a freedom (like play) to fullness that we often miss. The goal of PlayFull is to help us live in the tension, the art of that both/and. “To play from the inside-out.”  

Earlier I said that God defined himself as a verb. The wonder of it is that God is not only a verb, he is also a noun. It is both/and. If God were only a verb, we would not be able to know him personally, objectively. If God were only a noun, we would not experience his movement…we would not know him subjectively (which is the crux of Christianity). He is both verb and noun.

That said, the best we may be able to do this side of eternity is to address God throughout the course of our lives one trait at a time. That is a limitation of being human, though God himself is completely unlimited. So, in my prayers I will address God as “Divine Love” or “Creator” or “Beauty” or “Joy of all joy” or “Gentle Lord”.  None of these expressions completely define God but all of them are true in their own way. Sister Wisdom is no exception to that. It is a form of address that says, “Wisdom and God go hand-in-hand. If wisdom invites us to call her ‘sister’, I may address God as ‘Sister Wisdom’.”

Today, however, I could have just as easily addressed God as “Brother Jesus”. To be sure, Jesus is Lord and addressing him as a “Brother” seems presumptuous, but…if we are God’s children by faith and Jesus is God’s Son, then Jesus is our brother—so the expression would be justified even though it is limited.

That said, the statement ‘Jesus is Lord’ should, in its own right, shock our ears: the name Jesus was just as common in first century Israel as the name ‘George’ is today. Imagine claiming ‘George is Lord’ to someone today and we will begin to understand more fully the scandal intrinsic to authentic Christianity. It is both universal and particular at one and the same time.

I do hope you don’t think I’m off my rocker now. On the contrary, I feel as though I’m discovering God all over again these days. He is so big and mysterious! Thanks, again, for understanding.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

the sabbath clock

When you step into one of the children’s ministry rooms at our church you’ll see a large wall-hanging, prominent in the space. It looks like a clock but there is only one hand. In place of numbers and minute-marks are blocks of varied colors: purple, white, green and red.

There are more green blocks than any other and only one red block. The purple and white blocks always adjoin each other and there is a curious sequence of white blocks that feels to me like attention-getting laughter, unstoppable and overflowing.

It is definitely a clock but…what kind of clock could this be? Some people call it the “church clock” but I prefer to call it a Sabbath clock. Here’s why: it tells time by days of rest.

The children are both fascinated and frustrated by this clock. Each week they get to move the hand one block, but that is all. Time on this clock does not move very quickly. In fact, it is downright slow! Some children have made their peace with that while others invariably want to move the hand 4, 5 and sometimes 12 spaces at a time. I suppose adults are that way, too.

The Sabbath clock is a patient clock. Mostly, it is patient with people who are impatient. Never mind, try as we might to speed up what the clock wants to form in us, she will not be rushed. We can try to move the hand more, but that will not change what color marks the day. The Sabbath clock is always true, never too fast and never too slow. We do not control her; she is like the sun that way.

The Sabbath clock tells a story we’re in but it is not primarily our story. It is the story of God-with-us. It is the story of a surprise guest named Jesus. We waited and waited and waited for this guest until it seemed like we were waiting for Godot, the visitor that never comes. The surprise is that when God came, he came as a big God in the disguise of a little God. Jesus is the Godot that shows up at the end to make a new beginning. The story of Jesus starts small, as small as a baby—small, but new.

The story of the Sabbath clock goes on to include celebration, revelation, and Pentecost—both immanence and transcendence.

In a word, the story of Jesus is a Sabbath story. This clock tells a new creation story. That is why Christians changed the day of observing Sabbath from the seventh day to the first day of the week.  Something new happened and happens on that first day of the week. What was dead rises. What is dead rises. What was renews to become what is and is to come. That is why the Sabbath clock marks time differently. It is a clock of past, present and future. We will never be able to tell time outside this clock. In fact, strictly speaking, it is a clock that does not even tell time—it tells eternity, which is beyond time.

Yet somehow we meet this eternity in our time and place, like Christmas. We meet Sabbath in the here and now but, properly speaking, Sabbath is more a place in time than a time in place.

I like this Sabbath clock because it reminds me that God is God and I am not. It reminds me of things that are beyond my control. It reminds me of a story in which I’m swept up, in which we’re all gathered like children in a full-circle hug. 

I like this clock because it reminds me to slow down. I do not need to be in a hurry, because…God is not limited by what I can accomplish in a work-week. God’s work is restful. God’s work is Rest.

I wonder if you’d like a clock like this in your home? I wonder if you know…it’s already there, whether you realize it or not. Look for it. The Sabbath clock might be hiding in a closet somewhere, silently smiling, full-faced, waiting to be found. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

high five for five highs at five guys

Over the past year, our family has made friends with a young woman named Hanna. We have come to call her our “adopted daughter” because in many ways she is like Heather and in many ways she is like me.  Last night, we went to Five Guys and she ordered a burger like me: plain. After years of ribbing by my family for living a “sauceless existence” all my life, it makes me happy knowing there are other people like me in this world!

Our family has grown accustomed to talking about our day’s “highs and lows” over dinner and, because it was my birthday yesterday, Hanna asked me what my top five “highs” were from the last year. I had to think about it a little bit. To be honest, I had been working in the garage almost the whole day so my brain was a bit numb.

When I collected my thoughts, I came to realize just how good God has been to us this past year. I thought I'd share it here, in case you find it encouraging. Here are my five highs for the past year, in the order I gave them to Hanna last night.

1. PlayFull:  This is the new non-profit I’m starting, whose mission is to “help people and organizations play from the inside-out.” I'm not going to post a link to it in this article because I don't want this to seem like a commercial but I cannot say nothing about it, so bear with me as I mention a few things I love about what we do and what is on the horizon.

I am joined by a board of directors that I simply love and we offer many services such as coaching, team building, marriage counseling and training for those in ministry to both young and old.

We are also developing original resources that currently includes a prayer book (in the works) and a series of Scripture stories that feature hand-crafted art objects. This way of presenting the stories enables us to help people take a closer look at God and God’s work…past, present and future. We offer one-time events for large and small groups called PlayDates and this month we will launch our very first PlayGroup, in which groups of people gather together regularly for the purpose of learning and growing through play.

Since this time last year, we’ve developed three of our Scripture stories. Our creation story has been told several times now to various groups ranging in size from four to about 90. In fact, last October I presented the creation story to a youth group and just weeks ago one of the youth in that group cited that story as a highlight of the year for them! Teenagers are not an easy audience for me, so that made me smile. Last spring, I also had the opportunity to tell the story to a new church in Indianapolis and it was encouraging to see the leader of that church take its message to heart.

Over the course of the year, I’ve also had the privilege of coaching and training leaders in ministry. This, too, has been a joy. I’ve been able to help a leader who wrestles with anxiety begin practicing a spiritual discipline called “practicing the presence of God.” It’s something that comes from Brother Lawrence, a monk in the 17th century. I’ve found it invaluable for my own growth so I invited the young man I coach to begin practicing it. He did, and about six months ago, he made a big decision that is helping him lead a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle.

In one of our coaching sessions, I asked him, “Why the change?”

He said, “Well, I’ve been practicing the presence of God and this is where it lead. Thank you, Troy.”

In addition to that, recently I’ve been honored to help a couple face some hard things in marriage. It has been encouraging to see their willingness to engage with some difficult issues, to recommit to building a strong marriage that will stand the test of time.

There’s much more to share but suffice to say it has been a true privilege to get PlayFull up and running and off to the races. I’m grateful.

2. Hanna: I suppose our initial bond with our new “adopted daughter” was…the Chicago Blackhawks. J But, over this past year, we have grown to love and cherish our friendship with her in ways I cannot fully express. She brings beer, bakes goodies, does her laundry at our house, shares meals with us, prays with us and laughs at my jokes. What more could an adopted dad want? J

Last night I did not know that Hanna was coming over so when she stopped by my heart leapt for joy. I felt so loved and special that she would take her Friday night to spend time with an old fart like me at Five it’s even more amazing that lately we’ve been doing a lot of Friday-night visiting with each other. We have pizza together and last weekend she helped me cut out some felt pieces for a kids craft we did at church that weekend. It has been a privilege to be there for her in ways I can: helping her dig her car out of snow, assembling an island in her kitchen and planning to help her with a cork board project she has in mind.

One of the things I admire about Hanna is her commitment to help the poor. Last night, she spent the better part of an hour talking with a young man who has recently become homeless. She took him some food and just offered simple conversation with him as a path to friendship. She helps run a food pantry at our church and she tirelessly gets up early on Saturday mornings to volunteer there. I wish there were more people like Hanna in this world. It would be a truly better place!

Hanna, I’m glad we live in the same neighborhood and I am so glad we’ve become family together.

3. Grace Church: There are many things I love about this church. We started attending in the spring of 2011. Our first Sunday there they sang a song that was a favorite of ours when we lived in Spain. Since our move back from Spain in 2010 we had never heard it played properly, but that Sunday at Grace…the worship band just nailed it. Heather and I looked at each other like, “What?!” Folks at the church were clearly a creative bunch. The pastor seemed like “the real deal.” We learned she liked to simply be called by her name, Mandy. This made me smile; no gimmicks—just an honest love for imperfect people and a passion for God. We felt like it was coming home. So, we kept attending and…this December will mark two years on staff at the church.

This past summer, Mandy was on sabbatical for three months but she returned to work on Wednesday. So…on Thursday we had a staff meeting to reconnect. Betzy prepared a special breakfast to mark the occasion: baked French toast, fresh fruit and a quiche with ingredients in it I’ve never heard of and certainly cannot spell correctly. Technically, Betzy is the office manager at the church but she is so much more than the title indicates. She is truly a pastor, always serving sacrificially and willingly.

She is cheerful and creative. She loves to laugh and throws unforgettable parties. She has a background in Christian education, so I value the wisdom she shares as one pastor to another. She has keen insight on Scripture: last month she taught on the story in Acts 6 where the apostles formed a group of deacons to care for the needs of widows and Betzy highlighted aspects of that story I’d never seen before.

Chris is another person I love working with here. Time and time again we will be talking about different ideas regarding how the church can align itself more and more with God’s good heart for the world and her people. And…time and time again I find myself looking at him like I’ve just discovered my long lost brother. We laugh together and I love how easy it is to relate to him.

And, then there’s Josh: I am not kidding, I think this guy is probably the best youth pastor I’ve ever seen. He is passionate and fun. He is committed to truly “making disciples of Jesus” and I admire how he is handing on what he’s received to others.

As we ate breakfast, Mandy asked us what we are thankful for. “This team, this church,” I said—and I meant it. “I’ve worked with a lot of teams over the years and I think this is the healthiest team I’ve ever worked with.”

“Why?” they asked.

I think a large part of that is a direct result of Mandy’s leadership. She strikes a good balance between structure and flexibility and she grants us the gift of trust. She trusts the decisions of her team and solicits input. I never have to worry about double-speak with Mandy. What she says to you is the same as what she says about you when you’re not there. She is hard-working (she deserved her sabbatical, believe me) and she does not get anxious when things don’t go as desired. It is a joy to work for such a gifted, humble leader and with such a gifted group of servants.

4. Meaghan and Nicolas: What can I say about my wonderful children? It is hard to put into words just how proud I am to be their dad.

Last spring as Nicolas finished 8th grade we were surprised he won an award: most improved student during middle school. Those who know Nic know that school has not always been easy for him. As a dad my heart goes out to him because he works with all his heart at whatever is set before him. If he wants to be someone’s friend, he gives it his whole heart. When I ask him to help around the house, he gives it his whole heart. As he engages with school work, he gives it his whole heart.

He has a dog-walking job now and he is reliable and trustworthy with it. On Thursday he was delayed because our car was in the shop for a repair. When we finally got home he called the woman he works for to let her know he was sorry because he would be five minutes late. I admired the way he honored his employer by being conscientious and thoughtful like that.

Both of our kids are trustworthy. Some time ago Heather and I were out and Meaghan and Nic called us to ask if they could watch a movie that was rated PG-13. I suppose that most teenagers would not even bother asking Mom and Dad about something like this. What’s more, I imagine if there was anything in the movie that was questionable, most teenagers would likely hide it. Heather and I just laughed at how open and honest they are. When they do anything that they know is not good for them, they always tell us about it and we talk it through. We never have to wonder about them hiding or sneaking around, trying to get away with stuff behind our backs. That is a gift.

And, Meaghan…she has a persevering spirit and a keen mind. She is friendly, sacrificial and servant-hearted. Since we’ve been at Grace church she has served as a helper in Sunday School and this year she is a teacher for the lower elementary children. She is a leader at school and has been involved with a number of clubs. She loves God with her whole heart and…is a responsible driver! I’m happy about that.

Last night I told her how hopeful I am and how eager I am to see where she ends up going to college. I am sure good things are in store for her.

5. Heather: This part is an example of why we use expressions like “last, but certainly not least” and, yes:  “I’ve saved the best for last.” If there was ever anything in my life that I ever did right it was this: marrying this wonderful, wonderful woman. We were made for each other.

In times when I’ve been doubtful, worried or fearful about life, I never have to worry if Heather will be there, standing with me, ready to understand, extending patience. She is hard-working and intelligent. Her mind is quick and sharp; her heart is soft and loving. She likes to laugh and has a gift for sarcasm. She carries herself with dignity and is an incredible mom. The other day Meaghan asked to talk especially with Heather about something that was troubling her. What a special bond Heather has nurtured with her kids!

She goes the extra mile and opens her home to welcome all kinds of people. It is amazing to me how open she is with our home. We have had all kinds of people living with us over the years and we still do!

I love her cooking, I am amazed at what a voracious reader she is and I love sitting on our front porch together. Her love for dogs makes me smile and I even enjoy hearing her tell certain stories and use expressions that are unique to her…for the umpteenth time.

She is quick to encourage others and she is a woman who loves God with her whole heart. I admire her commitment to worship God by being good to her body.

She has a light, a spark in her eye, that makes my heart beat faster each time I see her.  

She is my best friend.

These are the five highlights from my year. I’m thankful and I hope that there is some sliver in here that you find encouraging. My belief is that God has been good to us not because we’re good but simply because God is a good God. As God has been good to us, I’m sure you know of ways God has been good to you. I invite you to take some time to thank him today.



Friday, October 3, 2014


Today is my birthday and I spent the better part of it cutting out wood figures for a story that will be told to children this Sunday at church. It is the story of Levi, the tax collector. We also know him as Matthew.

Jesus calls Levi to follow and that is what he does. Later, Levi throws a party and a bunch of his friends are there to celebrate. Jesus is there, too. There is not a single person there at the party whom church-folks would call “holy” or “righteous.”

When some religious leaders object to Jesus hanging out with them, Jesus replies that it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. That is why he came: to be near regular, imperfect people.

As I carved and cut, sanded and leveled…the power of the story struck me in a new way. I identify with Levi. I, too, am far from perfect. I, too, am just a money-grubber. I, too, need saving.

And Jesus comes near. He comes so close, he moves my hand to flip the power switch on my scroll saw. I sense him next to me, smiling, as I carve several goblets, fit for partying. Sawdust confetti scatters through the air and he laughs with pleasure.

With company like this, what room is there for doubt? His friendship cast out the fear I was nursing.  He knows how to heal because he knows what it is to be wounded.

I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

no more burdens?

Jesus came to lift burdens from the weary and oppressed, yet the church as we know it has become a place of added burden to so many people.

What has become of us? We are preoccupied with our own survival. In self-preservation mode, the church shares with others only as much as will ensure the church’s own survival. The rest is held back.

But Jesus came to offer rest and he held nothing back for himself.

May the family of Jesus grow to resemble him more and more. May the church of today learn to offer true rest and hold nothing back, absolutely nothing.

Lord, forgive us for adding burdens on those who are weary and oppressed. May our only offering be life, fullness of life.


Saturday, September 13, 2014


You are the beauty in awakening
and my comfort in the evening,
patient in suffering
and hopeful in waiting.

Hold still.
Let me look at you, my love.
Your lips…delicate, curved petals.
I see a splash of baby’s breath,
a tiny accent hiding deep
in the color of your eyes.
Your face, a one-of-a-kind vase,
matchless in form
with shades of mystery.

Hold still.
Let me look at you.
I only want to behold you, Beloved.

a poem by Troy Cady
for Heather