Friday, February 26, 2010

A Wayfarer's Canadian Anthem

Most people know that the Canadian national anthem begins, “O Canada…” But do you know the rest of the lyrics? With all the buzz over the Vancouver Olympics, I believe that today is the perfect time to share them with you.

Actually, I have to admit these lyrics aren't the official ones. I had a little fun rewriting the lyrics. This version is specifically intended for those of us who are silly enough, smart enough, or adventurous enough to vacation there.

A Wayfarer’s Canadian Anthem

O Canada! Your highways stretch for miles.
They’re threatening our over-eager smiles.
We fear the road shall never end;
but just when we are sure,
our guide begins the tour.

O Canada! Across your prairies wide
I feel a rhythmic rocking side to side
as grasses wave and breezes blow.
I’m feeling mighty sick.
Oh Dramamine, come quick!

O Canada! Your cities buzz with life—
museums, shopping, fine restaurants, nightlife—
best seen in summertime, of course.
Your fashion, culture, art
are modern, hip, and smart.

O Canada! Your famous people shine.
Joannie, Patrick, Toews all skate so fine.
Shania, Keanu, Celine
are but a dazzling few
who tip their hats to you.

O Canada! Your wilderness is wild,
and there I feel as if I’ve been exiled;
cumbersome pack upon my back
while path grows winding, steep
for miles before I sleep.

O Canada! I’ve glimpsed your creatures fierce:
brown bears and loons whose cries my eardrums pierce,
your fearsome goose and mighty moose.
Mosquitoes large as crows
eat me right through my clothes.

O Canada! Your rivers and your streams
run clearer than the visions in my dreams.
I pray before I take a drink
that parasites are dead
and there no moose have tread.

O Canada! O Canada!
O Canada! Forgive this tribute lame
O Canada! I love you all the same.

~by Sharlyn Guthrie

I’m participating in Fiction Friday today. Please visit The Veil Thins for links to more great fiction.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

When She Sees Me Face to Face

I can’t help it. I am in awe of the technology that is available these days, even to regular folks like me. I would never have guessed, for example, that I would be able to have semi-regular Sunday evening visits with my darling baby granddaughter who lives a thousand miles away.

I’m speaking of SKYPE, or course, a modern marvel in communications. Not only can I hear sweet Selah coo and squeal during these hour-long sessions, but I can see her, too. I watch her jump in her Jenny Jump-Up,

watch her eat baby food,

see how she wiggles and squirms in her daddy’s arms.

I’ve seen her new teeth as they come in, and I’m told that I will be able to watch her crawl during our next visit.

The photos I am sharing here are of Selah, in Texas, taken with my computer’s camera from my living room in Iowa. Isn't that amazing? I often remark that she seems to be looking right at me, but my son believes that she is really looking at the video of herself. (sigh) Oh well. I should be satisfied, shouldn’t I? What more could I possibly want?

Actually, I do want more. As wonderful as it is to spend such precious time with Selah (and her parents, of course) on SKYPE, it also fills me with longing. I want so badly to hold her in my arms, to kiss her chubby cheeks, and to play “This Little Piggy on her stubby little toes. I want to snuggle with her as she dozes off to sleep, and be the first to greet her when she awakes. No amount of Skype time makes up for face to face, skin to skin Grandma time.

As I’ve thought about this, I have been reminded of this verse:

“Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” I Corinthians 13:12 (NIV)

This verse describes a little of how I feel about my SKYPE sessions with Selah. It also makes me realize, however, that the same is true of my relationship with God. As great as it is to know Him, I only know Him in part for now. Someday, however, I will know God fully. As my creator, not bound by the laws of the physical world, God already knows me fully, so the revelation will be solely mine. What a mysterious, marvelous truth! What a day to anticipate!

Lord willing, I will get to see Selah in person next month. I am so looking forward to that day! We will cuddle and sing, play, read books, and go for walks for an entire week. Maybe she will begin to know and recognize her grandma, and just maybe she will actually remember me when she sees me on SKYPE once again after we all return home. Well, I can hope, anyway.

Grandma loves you, Selah!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Oh, to See What Uncle Benny Sees

by Sharlyn Guthrie

The phone call announcing Grandma’s death came as unexpectedly as a cold north wind in August. Grief, Death’s cruel step-sister, was of necessity detained.

“Who’ll look after Uncle Benny?” I called, catching up to Daddy.

“We will, of course.” Daddy’s reply fell like a courtroom gavel, firm and final.


Uncle Benny, the oldest, but most child-like of Daddy’s brothers, lived with Grandma in the small two-story bungalow three blocks from our house. Grandpa had died years earlier, before my birth. I adored my playful, good-natured grandma, but I can’t say I really knew Uncle Benny. He rarely spoke to anyone but himself, and moved constantly about the house grazing walls and furniture with one hand, like a trolley on its cable. His eyes gazed upward, pulling his lips into a slight smile. I once asked if Benny was blind, but Grandma shook her head. “Benny sees so well, he sees things that most of us can’t.” Sometimes I squinted up toward the ceiling, straining to see what glorious sights he beheld.

Uncle Benny meticulously arranged bottles of bubble bath, lotions, and soaps by graduated sizes on the bathroom shelf. I enjoyed moving them around just to see if he’d notice. He was quite astute, returning each to its proper angle and station within minutes of my meddling. Perhaps it was a cruel game, but at least it was an interaction between us.

The most remarkable thing about Uncle Benny, however, was his ability to play the piano. For several hours each day he performed songs that were his alone. His limber fingers waltzed effortlessly over the keys as his upturned head wagged back and forth. His music delighted Grandma and her frequent visitors.


The phone call sent Daddy and I racing the three blocks to Grandma’s house. We found Uncle Benny talking loudly into his flapping hands, while a neighbor attempted to soothe him. Uncle Benny had pounded on her door and led her back to the chair where Grandma still slumped over her open Bible. Daddy probably wouldn’t have taken me along if he’d been thinking straight. The scene was at once alarming and reassuring. It changed me in ways that only death and real life can.

Daddy made some phone calls, and then turned to his brother. “Benny, you know where Mom went, right?”


“She’s not coming back, Benny. That’s just mom’s body in there –an empty shell. She was just sitting there talking to Jesus this morning, and I guess He told her to come on up and join Him and Dad. That must have been an invitation she couldn’t refuse. I sure wish I could see her now. She’s in Heaven, Benny.” Benny still stared into his hands, but calm had settled over him like a cool, swelling shadow. “I wonder what the party is like. Do you think they’re dancing, Benny? The angels and Mom and Dad –they must be having a grand time. Mom will be telling them whether the music is good or not, just the way she always told you.”

“Oh Benny, I miss her, too. I don’t know how we’ll manage without her, but we will.”
Daddy didn’t see me poking my nose around the doorframe. He and Benny were locked in an embrace, tears streaming down both of their faces.

The doorbell rang, and the coroner entered to validate what we already knew. He was followed by the funeral director, who carted Grandma’s shell out the front door and into a hearse.

Daddy chose to stay with Uncle Benny at Grandma’s house while making plans for the funeral, believing that gradual change might be easier for all of us. By the day of the funeral, Grief had arrived, along with many sorrowful relatives.

The service was solemn, unlike the rollicking Grandma I remembered. Soothing scriptures and details of Grandma’s well-lived life were unfolded slowly, thoughtfully. Friends and relatives dabbed with tissues at the corners of their eyes. After the benediction was read, Uncle Benny rose and strode to the piano.

We shifted uneasily in our seats, uncertain what to expect. Then, from the piano wafted Uncle Benny’s newly composed song –the sound of angel wings. It straightened our shoulders and lifted our chins. It drew our eyes upward, and our lips into a smile, like his. Tears of joy flowed freely down our cheeks. And for once I saw what Uncle Benny saw –a vision of Heaven so warm and welcoming I envied my Grandma and Grandpa who surely were dancing there.

I wrote this story for the Faithwriters challenge for the topic "uncle." Although it is fiction, it is based on my memories of some very special students I worked with many years ago, and their wonderful families who knew they were blessed to be entrusted with their care.

Sherri Ward at A Candid Thought is hosting Fiction Friday today.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Sheep's Tale

A Sheep's Tale
by Sharlyn Guthrie

I often wandered willfully
too near the rocky edge.
That’s how I lost my footing
and landed on the ledge,
entangled in the briars,
held fast by doubt and fear.
The Shepherd called with ardor.
I pretended not to hear.

The enemy approached me
dressed boldly in sheep clothes.
I smelled his acrid odor
and glimpsed his pointed nose.
His raspy voice implored me
to view the grassy glen
where lively lambs romped blithely
outside his wild wolf den.

The slopes were too confining.
I yearned to kick my heels.
I ventured to the valley
to learn how freedom feels.
I went just for a visit.
I never planned to stay.
The enemy enticed me
with his lies along the way.

The Shepherd kept on calling
and I started to look up,
but the enemy entreated me
to drink from pleasure’s cup.
The last of my resistance
dissolved before my eyes.
Pleasure dulled my senses,
silencing the Shepherd’s cries.

The valley was more dismal
than it seemed from up above.
I missed the Shepherd’s surety
and his tender words of love.
But how could I return to Him?
The climb was rough and steep,
and I’d surely face the judgment
of the other mountain sheep.

Then I fell into a pit
and sunk deep into the slime.
The walls were high, and wet, and slick
…too difficult to climb.
Others sneered and scoffed at me.
My wool was foul and torn.
Nights were filled with terror,
and days with cruel scorn.

There my shepherd found me,
in that lonely, shameful place.
He reached down through the muck
and drew me into his embrace.
At the stream he healed my spirit
and washed me clean and pure.
On the rock-hard path of righteousness
he set my feet, secure.

My rescue cost a hefty price
I found out, to my shame.
The wounds my shepherd suffered
left deep scars that bore my name.
Still, he held a celebration
when at last I reached the fold.
He will do the same for you.
That is why this tale was told.

“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” Psalm 40:2 (NIV)

Today I am joining Ann Voskamp for Walk With Him Wednesday. The topic is "Sinners Repenting," -fitting for Ash Wednesday, don't you think?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Good Gifts

I was taught as a child to be grateful, to politely accept every gift offered to me, and to thank each gift-giver, usually with a hand-written note. Gratitude is an excellent thing for children to learn. As a teacher of three to five year olds I regularly encounter children who haven’t yet learned to be gracious. When presented with a gift at school someone is likely to say:

“I don’t like _______s!” (fill in the blank with whatever is being offered –dinosaurs, dolls, grapes, cookies)

“I don’t want that one. I want a red one.”

“I already have one of those.”

“That’s for girls (boys)!

Granted, these children need to be instructed in the art of gratitude, and I am quick to correct them, but most of them are just being honest, as children that age tend to be. Very simply, they have been presented with something they have no need or desire to have. In other words, they don’t perceive the gift as a good one.

Throughout most of my life I hadn’t given much thought to the subject of “good gifts,” but I vividly recall a time when my husband’s parents wanted to give us a recliner. They told us to go to the store and pick one out, which we did. They had given us an estimated dollar amount, and we found a chair we liked that cost quite a bit more, so my husband approached his parents with the proposition that they could pay the amount they had in mind toward the recliner, and we would pay the remainder. I’ll never forget his mother saying, “No, we want to give you a good gift, and that would only be part of a gift. We will give you the full amount for the chair you chose.”

I remember at the time feeling ashamed that we had been so greedy, but I also felt very loved. Although my in-laws have both been dead for many years, we still own that chair, and it still symbolizes to me what a good gift is. Not only did that gift affect me as a receiver, but it caused me to go to Matthew 7:11 and consider what constitutes a good gift. “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

What, I began asking myself, constitutes a good gift? I believe it is characterized by these five things.

A good gift is given with the receiver in mind. Sometimes, when children bring birthday treats to school, they bring what they most like, along with a little party favor. For example, girls will often bring princess cupcakes and bejeweled rings. Even at age four many boys don’t perceive princess rings as good gifts. Understandably, the birthday girl thinks these are wonderful gifts. In all honesty, however, this is an example of a gift being given without much regard for the recipient. Many passages in Scripture remind us that God thinks about us and knows us intimately. His gifts are personal and for our own individual good. “The LORD remembers us and will bless us…” Psalm 115:12a (NIV)

A good gift is complete. My in-laws insisted on giving us the complete gift of the recliner of our choice, and I learned so much more from that one act than the value of a good chair. I learned the value of love, of good parents, and of good gifts. God doesn’t do anything half-way, either. He is all sufficient. “And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 (NIV)

A good gift is given with no strings attached. Because we are human, many of us give gifts expecting reciprocation. We often feel indebted to one who has given us a gift, and vice versa. Parents sometimes remind their children of the good gifts they have given as a way of demanding good behavior in return. God’s gifts to us are based solely on His grace. He makes it clear that we could never earn the priceless gift of salvation. “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy…” Titus 3:5a (NIV)

A good gift costs the giver something, whether it’s money, time, effort, or pride. Have you ever had someone give you a gift and then proceed to tell you how cheap it was? We received a set of China from a family member as a wedding gift. Had it been wrapped in tissue paper in a nice box and tied with a bow I would have at least known that it cost the giver some thoughtfulness, care, and effort. As it was, it was given to us in a cardboard box, with the yard sale price still affixed -$7.00, and the giver of the gift constantly reminded us what a “steal” their purchase was. Is it any wonder I never treasured that gift? God’s most precious gift to us was costly. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son…” John 3:16 (NIV)

A good gift is timely and timeless. Our oldest son expressed a desire for a remote control airplane when he was young –not a $19.99 model, but the $400 -$500 kind used for sport. It was beyond our means to buy this for him, but knowing his desire, I kept finding various token planes, remote and otherwise, to give him as a way of showing that we hadn’t forgotten or ignored his interest. He was an adult living on his own when I last gave him a small airplane, and he kindly let me know that his desire for a remote control airplane had long since abated. The gift would have meant the world to him as a ten year old, and the impact of receiving it would no doubt have lasted a lifetime, but it meant nothing to him as an adult. He had different interests now, and he also understood the value of money.

God’s gifts are timely. When we are sorrowful, he often gives us reason to rejoice. When we are hurting, he brings comfort. When we need correction or character building he allows us to experience difficult situations to mold us for our ultimate good. And His most precious gift, the gift of salvation, couldn’t have been more timely. “…when we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (NIV) It was also timeless. “…God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” I John 5:11b (NIV)

So often, like some of my preschool students, I find myself rejecting God’s good gifts to me, or accepting them half-heartedly:

“But God, I don’t like having to learn patience and dependence on you.”

“I don’t really want tranquility in my life right now. I want excitement!”

“You want to bring a new friend into my life? I already have more friends than I can keep up with.”

“You want to give me a Sunday school class? But I’m not a gifted Bible teacher.”

Like my students I sometimes need to be instructed in the art of gratitude. I need to remember Matthew 7:11. I need to remember that my Father, God, wrote the book on good gifts; that every gift from Him, regardless of how I perceive it, is good. And I need to receive every blessing, every trial, every opportunity as a gift from the One who spared nothing to give me what He knows is the very best.

Today I am participating in Monday Manna, hosted by Joanne at An Open Book.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Natalie's Glasses

by Sharlyn Guthrie

Children chattered noisily, attempting to decipher the messages imprinted on each conversation heart. My kindergarten class had just finished playing a phonics game in which the tiny Valentine treats served as rewards. I had never seen my students as enthusiastic about learning to read, so I congratulated myself on my stroke of genius.

Natalie approached me, her hand outstretched. “What does this one say?”

“Why don’t you try to read it?”

Standing on tiptoe Natalie tugged on my sleeve. When I bent close, she whispered in my ear, “I don’t know how to read…I don’t have glasses.”

Uncomprehending, I furrowed my brow. That’s when I noticed several children, candy hearts in hand, crowded around Keegan, the only proficient reader in the class and the only other person besides myself who wore glasses. I smiled as the meaning of Natalie’s words became clear.

It wasn’t hard relating to Natalie’s misperception. I could recall asking my grandmother to read me a story when I was a child. “Let me fetch my reading glasses,” she had replied, heading for the stand that held her Bible and newspaper. After reading the story Grandma had returned to the kitchen. Then I carefully tried on her reading glasses, hopeful that they would work for me. Instead, the words in my storybook grew fuzzy and I felt dizzy. The memory made me smile.

Now here I was, attempting to teach five year olds how to read. The job was often challenging. Today had been encouraging, but on other days I wondered if we were making any progress at all.

If only Natalie were right, and a pair of glasses could make all the difference in the world…

“It’s time to practice reading,” I notify my class.
“First I’ll see that sixteen pairs of glasses have been passed.
Next take out your books and turn them to page twenty three.
Please put on your glasses. You will find it easily.”

Sixteen children flip and then land promptly on the page.
“Ready? Let’s begin.” Each student’s interest is engaged.
Flawlessly they read with meaning and expression.
No one hesitates throughout the reading lesson.

Now my classroom duties have greatly been reduced
More time’s left for play-doh and playing “Duck, duck, goose.”
I rejoice and call it a reading revolution.
Students stumped by phonics now have a quick solution.

News of the wonder glasses spreads across the nation.
Soon there is no need for special education.
Next the lucky lenses bring good fortune to the poor.
Streets once ruled by gangsters grow safe and calm once more.

Countries where the children can’t afford to go to school
are given vast supplies of the educator’s tool.
The benefits of reading, now clear for all to see,
have philanthropists distributing the spectacles for free.

Missionaries use them in the spreading of God’s Word,
Enabling folks to read, who before had only heard.
Miracle reading glasses –an educator’s dream…

“What’s this one say, teacher? Teacher? TEACHER!”

“Oh, I’m sorry, Tyler, I must have been daydreaming. Let’s see if you can sound it out...but first, put on your glasses.”

“But teacher, I don’t have any glasses.”

“Oh. Then we’ll just have to do it the old-fashioned way, won’t we?”


“Never mind.”

Today I'm participating in Fiction Friday, hosted by Yvonne at My Back Door. Visit her blog for links to more great fiction.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

His Undying Smile

I smelled him before I saw him. His putrid body odor caused me to pause from writing my grocery check and glance behind me. He smiled through caked yellow teeth; a big, broad, open smile. Morsels of several past meals remained pasted in his ragged beard. Weeks -perhaps months had passed since his hair last saw a comb. Not one square inch of his clothing was clean. Even a scrub brush could not have removed the layers of dirt from his hands.

Repulsed, I turned back to my check writing and hurried to get out of the store, away from that disgusting man.

His smile pursued me. It followed me home. It haunted me. Even now, as I type, it peers back from my computer screen.

The following day I sang with my preschoolers, “When I’m kind to you, I’m kind to God. When I smile at you, it’s shared by two…”

Such a simple gift a smile is, such a basic pleasantry. I teach my three and four year olds to always return a smile. But I didn’t. I denied the scraggly man in the grocery store his one request. In offering his smile to me, he invited my response, and I looked the other way. What would a smile have cost me? Half of a second; the minutest exertion of energy; a quick prayer; a major shift in attitude? This price I stubbornly refused to pay, like the rich ruler who clung to his riches; only what I refused to give up was a simple smile.

Now here I sit, thinking about what it means to love like Jesus loves, his smile is all I see; not Jesus’ smile, but the smile of the man I snubbed in the grocery store. He reminds me that I still have a long way to go to truly love like Jesus loves.

The love of Jesus is free. It does not discriminate. It isn't always convenient, or pretty, or fun; but it is often humbling. The love of Jesus is unaffected by dirt, grime, and odor. How do I know? Because when I was still a filthy, smelly sinner, more repulsive to God than that man in the grocery store was to me, Jesus did more than smile. He died for me.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (NIV)

I come to You ashamed today, Lord. Please forgive me for my selfishness and hypocrisy. Rid me of the pride so firmly implanted in my heart. I want to be like you, Jesus -to love like you, no matter what the cost. Let me learn by Your example to give freely to others what You have so freely offered to me. Amen

Today I’m participating in Walk With Him Wednesday. Please visit Ann Voskamp’s blog for links to more posts on “Loving Like Jesus.”

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Picture of George and Ruby

I chose to share this true story for Fiction Friday today because Valentines Day is drawing near, and this is a love story of sorts. It was only my second entry in the Faithwriters writing challenge in April, 2006! I hope you enjoy it.

The Picture of George and Ruby
by Sharlyn Guthrie

Willard and George were admitted to the nursing home as roommates on the same day. I was there, finding just the right spot for Willard’s lift chair, labeling his clothing, and seeing to it that he was as comfortable as possible, because Willard is my father. While moving to a nursing home is never easy, spending the past month in the hospital was worse, so with resignation my father began to familiarize himself with his new surroundings and with his roommate, George.

Almost immediately we discovered that the two roommates shared a liking for talk-radio programs. Relieved that this pastime would be equally enjoyed by both men, we began seeking other commonalities. George lifted a large tattered Bible from his nightstand. Grinning, my father pulled his own well-worn Bible from the bag I was unpacking. I smiled, breathing a prayer of thanksgiving for the Lord’s provision in these smallest of details.

The conversation turned to family, and we learned that both men raised only daughters, no sons. My father’s eyes welled up with tears as he told George about Bernice, his wife of sixty years who had passed away just nine months earlier. George expressed his condolences, but then his eyes brightened. His wife, Ruby lived here in the same nursing home! George explained that she needed more care than he, so she was in a special room down the hall. He used to come and visit her every day, but for several months now he had been unable to drive, so his visits had been less frequent. He seemed elated that he would again be seeing her daily.

At dinner time I watched amused, as George and Willard shuffled off to the dining room, walkers extended in front of them. I observed their matching height and slight build, and noted that each of them wore a plaid flannel shirt. George fastened his belt high above the small paunch of his stomach, while Willard avoided the belt problem altogether by wearing overalls. They made quite a pair! Again I thanked God for so quickly providing my father with a companion.

George and Willard continued to enjoy each others’ company, but the indelible vision I have of George was witnessed by my husband and I one evening as we passed through the large sitting area on our way to visit Willard. My husband tapped my arm and pointed across the way.

On this particular evening George was seated in an armchair wearing a white shirt, with his black slacks characteristically pulled up under his armpits. His thin, unruly hair had been slicked back along the sides of his head. His normally gray, sunken eyes sparkled and a gentle smile warmed his opaque face. For next to him sat Ruby.

Ruby, wrinkled and disheveled, dressed in pajamas and a floral duster, had been positioned and tied into a tall straight-back chair with wheels and a tray. Her head drooped onto her chest, and her eyes were closed, drool coursing down her chin. It’s doubtful that she knew George was beside her. But George beamed, reaching up to hold her fragile hand in his, exulting in the presence of his beloved Ruby.

My husband and I reverently paused to take in the sight, and then continued down the hallway. It’s a sight we will never forget. Though we have attended countless weddings and anniversary parties, listened to hundreds of love songs, and watched dozens of romantic movies, the picture that best captures the essence of enduring love is a picture now seared in our memory …the picture of George and Ruby.

Thanks for stopping by! Joanne is hosting Fiction Friday today at
An Open Book. Please visit her blog to link to more great fiction.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Fragile Bowl

by Sharlyn Guthrie

Life is great, the day is bright, I’m feeling satisfied.
It often seems that’s just the time my faith is sorely tried.
I’ll stretch a little higher, maybe now I’ll reach my goal.
My fingertips have brushed, and now dislodged the fragile bowl.
In an instant confidence comes crashing at my feet.
There it lies in shattered slivers, threatening my defeat.
One moment all I strove for was nearly in my grasp.
In haste it was destroyed before the next moment elapsed.

This scene has been replayed, and now I ache with a desire
To sweep the pieces up and drop them in God’s blazing fire.
His skillful hands mold broken shards into a vessel healed,
Each more exquisite than the last, His workmanship revealed.
The fire is hot, the process sometimes painful and severe;
But with each trial I’m learning better how to persevere.
When at last my vessel glistens, completed by His grace
I want to see more clearly the image of His face.

Exulting in my circumstance so tragic, yet assured
I find in Him the strength I need to patiently endure.
The confidence restored is in my Savior, not my self.
Tenderly I place it on a not-so-distant shelf.
Resplendent in its beauty, when I look at it I see
A reflection of my Master where my handprints used to be.
New hope expands within me, stirred by the Spirit’s breath;
A hope that never disappoints, and fears not even death.

(Based on Romans 5:3-5)