About randamir

I pastor Grace Presbyterian Church in Kernersville, North Carolina which locals fondly refer to as K-vegas -- the town not the church. As D.T. Niles once said, "I am not important except to God."

Thoughts on the Eyes we Use

I read a piece this week titled, “The Eyes We Use” on Shigé Clark’s Substack that moved me. The article and title got me thinking about my daughters and my wife, @jenpedwards who have been though so much. I want them to know that I see their beauty. 

I am also grateful for Shigé’s vulnerabilty and honesty. Oftentimes what happens when we step out, people are inspired and what we make ‘exponentializes.’ All this is to say that if there is anything worthy, credit goes to Shigé, if there is any fault, it is mine. Thank you @shigewriting!

The eyes we use
To devour the food we will not eat,
To possess the beauty we will not reflect,
To stare at glories we will not behold,
To judge what we project,
Do not see all that yet 
Deserves seeing by the eyes we use.

The image you hope is beheld
Is not the one that shimmers
Through the surprise laugh,
Or the breaking smile 
That makes your eyes squint and close.

You, may say to yourself, I’ll pay for those
In the wrinkles of the old, 
Or the feet we call crow’s.

Will the tax of smiles leave you
Fearful of the payout someday?
Will the prodigality of laughter leave you
Wishing you could wash them away?
Will they leave you sad 
When the eyes you use tell you, 
You look old?

Your body’s image does not matter
It cannot see.
It does not see what we see:
The soul shining from within—
That is something to behold.

It’s your eyes I see.
And in them, youth, weariness, the playful one,
Who looks shocked but in whose eyes
I see neither shock nor surprise—
Only fun.
I see in them the kindness and forgiveness 
That makes me drop mine.
When I have none
In my eyes.

Open then and look at me.
In your eyes is Immanence that
Winks back from eternity,
When you shall one day behold 
The Face of the sunrise smile
That has waited long to
Welcome you in benediction.

I wish you could see you then.
You’d be both proud and 
Humbled for the vision.
To see you that way:
As I see a glimmer of that you today
With the eyes I use

Valentine’s Day

unidentified photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

According to an account [of Douglass’ birthday celebration] in the Washington Evening Star, the event was held on February 28, 1888. After the other dignitaries spoke, Douglass took the stage as he twirled his glasses.

“I understand from some things that have occurred since I came in that you have been celebrating my seventy-first birthday. What in the world have you been doing that for? Why Frederick Douglass. That day was taken from him long before he had the means of owning it. Birthdays belong to free institutions. We, at the South, never knew them. We were born at times: harvest times, watermelon times, and generally hard times. I never knew anything about the celebration of a birthday except Washington’s birthday, and it seems a little strange to have mine celebrated. I think it is hardly safe to celebrate any man’s birthday while he lives,” Douglass said.


Twenty Word Tuesday

Through the fall, I have been participating in a weekly poetry project called Twenty Word Tuesday which appears mostly on Instagram and via the hashtag #twentywordtuesday. It was begun and has been moderated by Charissa Sylvia who is herself and exceptional poet and writer. You may follow her on Instagram HERE.

Here is a piece I wrote at the beginning of October which was inspired by this beautiful 120 year old chestnut tree I came across while walking one afternoon.

Standing here
I begin to believe
It would be enough
If all I left behind 
Were the trees
I’d planted.

Randall Edwards 2022

And here is another twenty word poem written in response to what I think is my enneagram personality type. Piglet may be the most enneagram six there ever was, and the title is, Six.

You asked me for 
my Enneagram number,
And I replied, 
“There are so many ways
This could go wrong.”

Randall Edwards 2022

Wisdom’s Call

Here’s a sonnet for Sapientia which is December 17. It draws its inspiration from Proverbs 5:7-23.

Now sons, listen to my words, do not stray
Or linger at loose love's door, nor forget
My words; do not fall, become Folly’s prey,
And pour out your life in bitter regret.

But stray here, browse among your lilies’ love
Along green banks ‘twixt passion and promise
With your dear, your secret highland dove
Who is your well's fullness, spring, and solace.

Why then my heart, do you wander exiled
In furtive fancies from wild wood to wold
Why, where eas’ly deceived and beguiled,
You languish in lostness, lonely and cold?

Here I am, Lord! You see and ponder all;
Make me love Wisdom, delight in her call.

© Randall Edwards 2023