His Hands and Feet

I wrote the first half of this poem during my Mission Trip to India this summer – July 2010. It was inspired by the extreme poverty that I witnessed there and the overwhelming sense of sadness and hopelessness that I felt for the nation’s dire situation. The second half was written when I returned to Canada and was praying to God for His Answer to the pain that I felt for the people of India.

God faithfully reminded me that His Grace is Sufficient (for ALL things) and His Power is made Perfect in our weaknesses (2 Corinthians 12:9). God loves EVERY human being, and does not want a single one to perish. We are called to spread His Love to the darkest corners of the earth. We are called to be…

His Hands and Feet

Has our God turned His back upon this place?
Does He withhold His Mercy and His Grace?
Does He not hear their prayers or see their pain?
Does He not care that their tears fall like rain?

It breaks my heart to see a need that cannot be fulfilled,
It hurts my soul that children’s dreams are slowly being killed,
A hopelessness pervades the air and suffocates my breath,
I cannot bear the destruction, I can’t escape the death,

It fills the streets like a thick fog, a blanket of disease,
A desperation calls my name and brings me to my knees,
I cry to God, ‘Why am I here? What did you bring me for?
I cannot clothe the hungry! I cannot feed the poor!

What difference can one girl make in this lost and lonely land?
Can one life really change the world when guided by Your Hand?”
I close my eyes and hold my breath and wait upon the Lamb,
And then a still, small voice whispers, “My precious child, I AM.

I AM Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord that will Provide,
The Alpha and Omega, I’ve never left their side,
I AM the Lord Almighty, their Faithful El Shaddai,
I hear my children suffering; I see every tear they cry,

I AM Abba their Daddy, a Strong Tower for the weak,
I AM the King of Kings, and the Redemption that they seek,
The Author of Salvation, the Beginning and the End,
Their Protector, their Redeemer, their Creator and their Friend,

And you my precious daughter have a calling, don’t you see?
What you do for the least of these, so you do unto Me,
As you love others in My Name, I’m working out My Plan,
You will be My Hands and Feet, you will show them who I AM.”

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Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones…

… But the power of life and death is in the tongue (Proverbs 18:21).

Not quite the rhyme you remember hearing in school. The truth is, words are not simply random combinations of syllables and sounds. Words have power. The Bible says that “the words of the reckless pierce like swords” (Proverbs 12:18). The analogy is unmistakable; words can cut deep.

I’m sure we are all able to relate to this truth. An angry word from a trusted friend, a hurtful comment from the one we love. The expression ‘stabbed in the back’ didn’t come out of nowhere; words hurt. Sometimes, words can be so painful that we’d rather be injured physically than damaged emotionally. Often, our bodies heal more quickly than our hearts do.

Unfortunately, we’re all guilty of this offense. Each of us has spoken in the heat of the moment, against our better judgment; our words leaving a trail of destruction in their path. It can take years to repair what a few seconds of cruel words can tear down. Negative, critical words can have disastrous, long-term effects. The child who grows up hearing they are worthless, stupid, ugly and good for nothing will likely have considerably lower self-esteem than the child who has been told they are precious, wonderful, beautiful and significant. What would you rather hear? Whether we are aware of it or not, we are deeply affected emotionally by the words we encounter in our daily lives.

We have all come into contact with people who exude negativity.  They are always complaining about something, speaking ill about someone or making constant negative remarks. These kinds of people are  exhausting to be around; they seem to suck the life right out of you. On the other hand, it is remarkably refreshing to be in the company of somebody who is full of gratitude, and edifying words. The Bible tells us that “the words of a good person give life, like a fountain of water and the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Proverbs 10:11, 12:18). An encouraging word has the power to restore hope; an expression of love can heal deep wounds.

We have been given a great gift in the power our words possess, but as with many gifts comes a great responsibility. “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin” – Proverbs 13:3. The next time you are tempted to lash out in anger, take a moment to consider the significance of what you are about to say. The power of life and death may be on the tip of your tongue.

No Matter What the War

I wrote this poem five years ago but decided to post it today in commemoration of the many soldiers who risked and lost their lives fighting for the freedom of our nation. May we never forget their sacrifice and may we never lose hope for a brighter tomorrow.

No Matter What the War

With every blink of an eye, another bomb explodes,
Another child dies from lack of nourishment or proper clothes,

Another nation cries for help, shouts for justice, begs for peace,
Another desperate prayer for the guns to finally cease,

Another family with no food, another anguished plea,
Another army’s men advance, another glimpse of World War Three,

But even through the endless threats of battles that may soon begin,
No matter what the war without, our hope comes from within.

Another President’s address another lie is told,
Another life is lost to gain more money, oil and gold,

No mercy, no forgiveness, it’s an eye for an eye,
There has to be a better way; each of us has to try,

There’s unity in love and peace, if we all take a stand,
The power to move the largest mountain will be in our hands,

For even when despair is thick and optimism thin,
No matter what the war without, our hope comes from within.

We must believe in humanity, that there’s joy hidden beneath the pain,
We must believe that hope exists, that the sun will shine after the rain,

When we do our part to save the lost weak, feed the hungry, help the weak,
The power needed to change this world; it lies in you and me.

2005

When the Earth Shakes

1:45pm, June 23rd, 2010

It was a normal Wednesday afternoon. I was sitting on the couch watching TV and checking my facebook when all of a sudden, an extremely strange sensation came over me. It was subtle yet undeniable; my body was gently shaking… but I was very much sitting still. Our human nature is to be afraid of the unknown and this was definitely true for me that day. Nothing comparable had ever happened to me and quite frankly, I was terrified. My mind began to race; was I having some type of mild seizure? Was I losing my mind? (And I mean that relatively literally); I was truly scared.

As it turned out, I was not having a seizure; I was experiencing my first earthquake (and hopefully my last). The fear quickly transformed into relief and shock. Fortunately, the earthquake was not severe and didn’t result in any serious injuries but there remained a distinct sense of dismay nonetheless. Earthquake? In Toronto? Things like that didn’t happen in Toronto. No, earthquakes happened in far away countries, to strangers; not to me, not in my city; my home; my refuge. But it did. And it really made me think.

Through this experience I have gained a new found, deeper compassion for the people of Haiti, Chile and all other countries that have experienced devastating earthquakes and other disasters. When I felt my body shaking, I felt an acute sense of panic even if only for a moment, and I was perfectly fine; on my comfortable, leather couch in my two story, air-conditioned house. What if my home had crumbled before my eyes, all my earthly possessions were destroyed and life as I knew it was changed forever. What then?

It was a painfully clear reminder of how fragile and temporary this life really is. I cannot tell you how thankful I am knowing that no matter what tragedy may occur on this earth, my life does not end when the world does. When I felt the sharp pang of initial panic I immediately turned to God. I prayed, “Jesus, please help me, I’m so scared”. Psalm 27:1 says, “The Lord is my Light and my Salvation so why should I be afraid, The Lord protects me from danger- so why should I tremble?” Even in my moment of fear and uncertainty, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace knowing that God is the one constant in my life. Regardless of how drastically my circumstances may change, God is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). And nothing can separate me from His Love.

“Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). God is our ultimate Strength and Refuge, “So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.” – Psalm 46:2, 7.

In light of all of the devastation that’s occurring in today’s world, take a moment to reflect on your life. What do you cling to when your earth shakes?

Clinging to God,
Tasha xo

To Pee or Not To Pee?

That is the dilemma I struggled with for five long hours while I tried in vain to distract myself from the rapidly growing urge to use the washroom.

Let me put it into context for you: my first time in India, 50 degrees Celsius, 99% humidity, at a children’s orphanage, no flushable toilets within 20 km. Instead, there was what the missionaries have lovingly coined the “Squatty Potty”; a glorified hole in the ground.

Call me a princess if you will but I had never in my life urinated into a hole and I hadn’t planned on starting any time soon. So, I crossed my legs tightly and debated whether or not the perils of this makeshift washroom were worth the distinct possibility of my bladder actually bursting.

…Let it suffice to say my bladder is still in tact.

To Tissue Paper and Hand Sanitizer,
Tasha xo

~ Have you ever experienced anything awkward or totally outside of your comfort zone while traveling in a foreign country? Do tell! ~