Winter Stillness

Just when I thought I could bear the grey skies no longer, the sun burst through for a morning of light at last! The brightness tempted me to open the storm door, and capture a photo of the sunrise, but “someone” had been busy overnight!  Isn’t it strange the way that shapes and forms can feel mischievous, as though they have a life of their own?  

And isn’t it strange how a glimpse of mystery needs no 
explanation to gladden a heart?  

Jack Frost

Jack Frost, blow and paint

The icy panes show a touch

 Sunlight, please reveal   
                        –Bettie Gilbert

 From whose womb comes the ice?
    Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens?”

These offerings today, are part of the #HaikuChallenge that has been issued by Ronovan Hester over at his site:

where the weekly challenge is set forth to write Haiku using his two word prompts. This week’s word prompts were “blow&please.” At first I was quite stumped as to how those two words could fit together, but it didn’t take long for a “window” of opportunity to present itself to me.    pardon the pun, couldn’t resist 🙂

But the next set of words flowed from a photo that I shared with a dear friend yesterday. A plant that keeps me going through the garden-less days of winter, Crown of Thorns is a pretty reliable bloomer. But just because it’s reliable, doesn’t mean it’s boring. I am always moved by the beauty that rests alongside the pain of this plant. Thorns are jagged along the whole stem, with hardly a space left open. But at the tip of each stem there rests such a fragile seeming, tender bloom.

Will my own heart find tenderness alongside the pain?

Crown of Thorns
Gentle thorns, I pray
Please don’t blow the joy away
Let the blooms remain 
 –Bettie Gilbert

And if you understand the Song of Solomon to be an allegory of the love story between our God and His People,
then He sees us as that beautiful bloom:

“Him: Like a lily among thorns, that is what she is;
        my dear is a captivating beauty among the young women.”

Song of Solomon 2:2 (The Voice)

 Oh what a mystery is the Love of my God!

I am linking today over at:
#TeaAndWordTuesday with Meg Weyerbacher 

27 thoughts on “Winter Stillness

  1. Bettie, these are both so beautiful!!!! The photos are perfect and the Scriptures you found are great. And the challenge to us all is to find the beauty and “tenderness alongside the pain.”

    I almost forgot about the haiku challenge this week. I've been busy at work with another “magnetic” poetry offering, which I hope to share soon.

    Blessings to you dear Bettie! Amazing work! xo


  2. Dear Gayl, I love reading the magnetic poetry that you and Joy create! Thank you for your encouragement and for cheering me on. I am so grateful for the way that God is bringing poetry from and to this place of stillness! I am still praying for full healing for you and your family, Dear Friend! Hugs and Blessings to you! xo


  3. Thank you for your kindness! Yes, isn't that plant amazing? They grow huge in the desert southwest, according to my friend who lives there. Thanks for stopping by!


  4. Oh wow, Bettie! Yes, what a mystery is the love of God! Frost patterns always awe me as I think of what a great Artist our God is. Each one is so unique. And the crown of thorns plant is beautiful. I have never heard of it before. I love your haikus and feel the longings in them along with you. May we find the tenderness of God's love alongside the pain! This entire post along with the verse really speak to my heart today. Thank you so much for this encouragement! Love and hugs!


  5. Dear Trudy,
    I am so blessed that you found encouragement here. Your thoughtfulness brings such a boost to my day, my friend! I love the way that you see God in nature, the “great Artist” that He is. And, I am so touched that you feel the longing in these poems–isn't God so good to meet us right there? May you be blessed with more of His Gifts today. Love & Hugs to you too!


  6. Bettie,
    I am in awe of your creativity with those two words — I don't think I would have come up with anything coherent! And of course, I loved your pun! haha

    I am sure a burst of sunshine through the gloomy skies was a welcome early sign of hope and spring and I know with January behind us, the march toward warmer seasons has begun, friend! xo


  7. Dear Valerie, And I am in awe of your photos and stories! I'm so thankful that God has let us share the thoughts He stirs up in our hearts! (even the puns! haha) Oh, yes, I am counting the weeks till Spring, and enjoying the sun, even if it's still cold for now! Hugs to you, friend! xo


  8. Dear Bettie, you blow me away with your beautiful photos and creative mastery of words! The haiku are stunningly good. Please write some more! And I think that's the only way I my tired mind can use 'blow' and 'please'this week! Like you, I looked at the prompt and felt stumped, though, thankfully, the Twittering Tales photo prompt did release a response for me.
    It's quite hard to view ourselves as beautiful blooms when we feel so wilted, but we need to remember that whatever our physical state may be, God sees us as fresh, lovely and radiant in His sight. Thank you for this needful reminder. I hope it will help you too, especially while you're feeling less well with a virus. Sending blessings, prayers, hugs and love across the pond! xox ��


  9. Your words are so potent. Small amounts packed with goodness and beauty are those haikus! This verse just amazed me. I know I must have read it before because I have read the Bible through many times…but you know how it is. His word is alive and you can read it again and again like it is new! Thanks so much for sharing this, friend!


  10. Dear Joy, Thank you for your kind words, but truthfully these photos are the gift of Grace, & I just snapped what God provided! I feel, still, as if I am stumbling along in this new venture, but enjoying every minute nonetheless. I agree with you that seeing ourselves as that beautiful bloom is hard on these wilting days. But when He sets beauty in front of me, as He did for these photos, I am in awe of how gracious His gifts are. Thank you for the way that you always bring cheer to my heart, Dear Friend! Blessings, prayers, love & hugs to you also! xoxo


  11. Dear Meg, Yes, I loved that verse also! I was searching for an ice verse in Job, that I knew was there, but the beauty of it stunned me this time also. God is the true poet, and Creator of Beauty, isn't He? Love & Hugs! xoxo


  12. Dear Debbie, Oh, yes, I am so glad that you understand about those moments of mystery that surprise us. I'm thinking of your color-changing roses now, and rejoicing in God's perfect timing! May you be blessed by His Presence today!


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