Guest Writer: Tyler Jackson’s poem “Beloved”

I don’t want a fairy tale that’s sweet on the mind, but fades when the book closes
I don’t need curled up pages, binded by hardback covers on wooden shelves
I want petals penned in stone
literature so smooth it’s like a lullaby
Scripture so strong it sets fire to hearts closed up by the world
I want words written on flames that dance through fields of roses
I want graphite to flow through pages like an evening spring
I want poetry to hit so hard it leaves scars on the very parts of your soul you’ve locked away
I don’t need illusions and alliterations to unlock the chains you bind to your feet
You’re a child of wrath, living within the glory of darkness
so unaware of the brightness
I want to show you a different world
where literature isn’t just princes and witches
I’ll show you pages that were written in the sky, bright like stars and timeless like the universe
God breathed they say
Sonnets of love and sacrifice
just stories they say
But I tell you, I don’t believe in fairytales
So give me a reason why we hold the rambles of man as greater than the words inspired by one greater than all
For He calls you Beloved, is that not more wonderful than all the praises of man?

Tyler, a very talented writer and photographer, is a junior at Wheaton Academy. She went with us to Scotland in January 2015. This poem was written as she reflected on her time in a country that has such a rich heritage of Christian faith but now has so few who believe in and follow Christ.

Guest writer: Anna Lindus

Anna and Shawme

Anna and Shawme

Anna Lindus is a junior at Wheaton Academy. She was part of the team that went to Kenya and Uganda with us this past July. When we were in the Katanga slum in Kampala, Uganda, a little girl came up to Anna. Anna picked her up and carried her as we trekked all over the slum, visiting homes and praying with people. At one point, Anna whispered to me, “Is this okay? Won’t someone be worried about her?”

“News travels fast,” I told her. “Whoever cares for her knows she is with us, and they know we can be trusted because we have come with Pastor Wilfred. You are showing love to this little girl–and by doing that, you are showing love to others here.”

Not long ago, Anna gave me a poem she wrote about Shawme, that little girl. I think it is beautiful, just like Anna and Shawme are, and I wanted to share it here.

“Shawme” by Anna Lindus

Little hands wrap around my neck

and sweet eyes peer into mine.

Just three years old, her life is a wreck.

So young and small, she’s all alone,

having to face the world on her own.

She says no words, but speaks with actions and her gentle touch.

Abandoned, helpless, and oh so young,

In order to survive,

Anna and Shawme

Anna and Shawme

she must push her innocence to the side,

tattered and torn, it’s not just her clothes that are worn.

Her eyes say it all to me: she is as tired as could be.

But there is no nap time for her

Because time is precious, can’t I see?

Food is scarce and she is hungry.

Fighting hard to survive and belly expanding each day,

Little Shawme’s life is astray.

Little hands wrap around my neck

and sweet eyes peer into mine

as she tells me her story.