Lost Beloved

This morn­ing, as I prayed ask­ing God to bless Raina, ful­fill her, give her hap­pi­ness, heal if heal­ing is need­ed, and seek her if seek­ing is need­ed, I real­ized that I referred to to her as my Lost Beloved. It got me think­ing and I real­ized that I have been using this epi­thet for a cou­ple of months now as God has grant­ed much heal­ing of heart.

I real­ized that I haven’t giv­en up on God’s abil­i­ty to restore my mar­riage, I’ve just turned the whole thing over to Him, and what­ev­er He decides to do will be the best and most ful­fill­ing out­come, whether that means a restored mar­riage, a new mar­riage, or liv­ing out a remain­ing life­time of singleness.

I believe I’ve final­ly decid­ed to stop being crip­pled and bro­ken. I’ve come to the point of cast­ing off the crush­ing bur­den I’ve car­ried for so long.

Three years ago, near­ly to the day, I com­posed a poem as part of the heal­ing and deal­ing process:

Boxed it All Up and Put it Away for Good

No longer strewn across my life, men­tal dross to trip and fall.
Reminders of the long ago, hang not upon each wall.

Gath­ered in a card­board box, packed and ordered well.
Flaps fold­ed in and inter­locked, form cor­ru­gat­ed shell.

Place upon a stor­age shelf, away from thought and mind.
Dis­card­ed not, dis­turb­ing not, from now till end of time.

That was a nec­es­sary step then to cope and func­tion because I ‑was- crip­pled and bro­ken and I was trip­ping and falling and injur­ing myself over and over.

I’ve had the box open once since then and I think that too was nec­es­sary to bring me to the point where I am now, at Peace. The re-open­ing was recent and I did­n’t beat myself up because I gave myself the grace to grieve again as part of the heal­ing process. Now I real­ize that I was­n’t griev­ing as I had in the past, and I was­n’t trip­ping; I was say­ing farewell.

Farewell not just to my Lost Beloved, but to all of my hopes, bro­ken promis­es (the ones I broke as well), lost hap­pi­ness and bro­ken dreams, all tied to her in con­nec­tion, and around my neck as a millstone.

I’ve said farewell and I’ve found des­per­ate­ly sought after peace which I had nev­er hoped to find. I did­n’t believe it pos­si­ble. I think I’m ready to close that box and this time, seal it shut with tape. I may one day throw the box away, but I don’t by any means wish to for­get what had been up until 7+ years ago the best and most reward­ing por­tion of my life.

I’m open now to new best and most reward­ing portions.

My fin­ger is now unadorned.

She is lost, to me. I have found myself, and only by God’s lov­ing grace. I don’t know what’s next, if any­thing, and for now, I’m not fussed. I like it here. It’s so much bet­ter than where I have been previously.

’Іοϋλίαν ποθω*


Farewell Hug

Five long years, wish­ing for just one thing
Dream­ing, imag­in­ing, yearn­ing. Knowing.

Know­ing each friend­ship offer­ing meant, to me, more;
Meant more than would per­mit accepting.

Each, refused in love, to take unfairly.
Sneak attacks not withstanding.

Resolved nev­er to accept with­out ring;
That sin­gle, soli­tary, most yearned-for thing.

Till today, blessed event, joy-filled radi­ant smile.
On beau­ti­ful hand a beau­ti­ful ring.

Par­i­ty achieved deep within.
Offered. Accept­ed, at last with­out sin.

The first the last.
A fond­est farewell.
A new desire kindled;
Bene­dic­tion of blessing;
Prayer for all joy.

May God bless and preserve;
New life togeth­er in Him.

Chris­t­ian Pud­dleglum Ran­som Harper
Decem­ber 19, 2015 

*Until today.

Update: Jan­u­ary 17, 2017. I’ve had this as pri­vate for a while but decid­ed to just let it be what it is and make it pub­lic. I thought about remov­ing it all togeth­er as it’s not tech­ni­cal­ly true, ‘The first the last’. I’ve been hugged and hugged hard and hugged back a lit­tle, and endured/enjoyed sneak-attacks, and near­ly been knocked on my keester by the won­der­ful unre­strained exu­ber­ance. The won­der­ful thing though is the endur­ing truth of the line “at last with­out sin.” She’s like a crazy lit­tle sis­ter now and I can enjoy spend­ing time and con­vers­ing with her and her hus­band. God blesses.

I Want to Fit into My Birthday Suit

Oh I was much cuter than this even!
Oh I was much cuter than this!

I want to fit into my Birth­day Suit.
It used to be small and soft and cute.
It fit like a glove with room in the boot.
Yes, I want to fit into my Birth­day Suit.

I could buy an ensem­ble off Sav­ile Row;
Dou­ble-breast­ed with waist­co’t; gold but­tons in row;
Fash­ioned and tai­lored with savoir-know;
It’d cost lots of mon­ey and con­tain all my dough.

Gone are the days when first it was fine;
Now stretched, dis­tort­ed, all bezi­er lines.
The vol­ume inte­gral I can­not define.
Rem­i­nisc­ing my sal­ad days [pureéd], when first it was mine.

Stretched thin in places, and dart­ed midway;
Taut on the ends, sup­port cate­nary sway.
Avian foot­prints imprint both my eyes;
and invert­ed horse­shoe lack­luck­sters my smile.

Twice the compliment;
Allot­ted just one.
My beard-hold­er’s doubled;
With more like to come.

Fur­ni­ture Dis­ease, diag­nosed not in time;
No treat­ment or ton­ic may halt the decline.
Grav­i­ta­tion. Migra­tion. Direc­tion? The floors;
What once was my chest, occu­pies now my drawers.

I sup­pose I’ll just have to love what I’ve got;
Con­tent with evi­dences of bat­tles well fought.
Sure, right, tat­tered, bat­tered, in places threadbare;
The darned thing a patch­work of sewn notions of care.

The elbows gone shiny; cuff but­tons not there;
I know not the when, less know I the where.
Rum­pled and crum­pled with creas­es and tears;
Rump fab­ric well felt­ed where pos­te­ri­or meets chair.

I real­ize it now. I have all I’ve sought;
A life­time of love, won­der­ful mem­o­ries wrought;
My Birth­day Suit giv­en, but this one, I bought;
I don’t miss what I once had, near much as I thought.


Boxed it All Up and Put it Away for Good


No longer strewn across my life,
Men­tal dross to trip and fall.
Reminders of the long ago,
Hang not upon each wall. 

Gath­ered in a card­board box,
Packed and ordered well.
Flaps fold­ed in and interlocked,
Form cor­ru­gat­ed shell. 

Place upon a stor­age shelf,
Away from thought and mind.
Dis­card­ed not, dis­turb­ing not,
From now till end of time. 

Redeem for Joy (unfinished)

Redeem for Joy (Work­ing title, work in progress)

An econ­o­my estab­lished, most fragile;
Nay Smith, nor Fried­man, but God.
Bespoke of His heart, when time became time;
In gar­den where feet divine trod.

A bal­ance con­trived by holy design;
In pairs to be joined one to one.
Nev­er again to be sep­a­rate, till death us do part;
Togeth­er until life is done.

Untouched it would remain perfect;
The GDP both joy and life.
These prod­ucts; har­vest of such union;
When man doth cleave he to wife.

Now enter a ser­pent most deadly;
With him lies and cor­rup­tion of heart.
Emo­tions, desires, self­ish­ness inspires;
That serve to tear them apart.


And here inspi­ra­tion fails me… I’m think­ing that it may be that in God’s econ­o­my, we are giv­en but a sin­gle mar­riage token to wise­ly invest. I see in Gen­e­sis that God estab­lish­es Man and Woman and Mar­riage… all a sim­ple straight­for­ward plan for which He had to make Man and Woman. I see that man devi­at­ed from that plan often in the Old Tes­ta­ment by prac­tic­ing plu­ral­i­ty, but nev­er ever does God endorse that devi­a­tion, and usu­al­ly in every exam­ple there’s a lit­tle moral­i­ty tale of that devi­a­tion caus­ing no end of heartache and trou­ble. When Christ speaks of mar­riage in the New Tes­ta­ment he basi­cal­ly says, “The mod­el you were giv­en was…” and then quotes the estab­lish­ment of mar­riage from Gen­e­sis. He men­tions that because of your hard hearts, devi­a­tions were tol­er­at­ed (but nev­er endorsed… mar­riage was nev­er ‘rat­i­fied’ to include man’s amend­ments). The the addi­tion­al treat­ments of this top­ic by Paul speak of the ide­al and then he goes on to pro­vide some per­son­al thoughts on how to han­dle the prob­lems that come from sit­u­a­tions that fail the ide­al… He takes pains to say that he’s not speak­ing words giv­en him by the Holy Spir­it, so even that advice is not ‘canon’ or mod­i­fi­ca­tion of the orig­i­nal design. I real­ly strug­gle with this top­ic… espe­cial­ly because near­ly the entire world tells me that I’m dead wrong on this, but I keep com­ing back to these things in scrip­ture that seem to me… to me… to say otherwise.

Unbegun Symphony of Promise

Hand Dirt Seedling Gift Refrain:
They saw the har­vest inside me.
They saw what was not there to see.
Pur­pose which God embed­ded within;
Cre­at­ed with promise to be.
The seed the farmer rejected;
Hull and husk long fall­en and gone;
The sur­face pit­ted and battered;
Dis­card­ed, deemed worth­less and done.

So small the seed hold­ing promise;
Which for lack of nur­ture and sun;
For rich soil nev­er embracing;
Ger­mi­na­tion nev­er begun.

Giv’n them­selves as His instrument;
Samar­i­tans on the stark lane,
Upon which lay, dis­card­ed kernel,
Hope­less. Wretched. Con­sumed by pain.

God’s sor­row-filled heart apparent;
The song He put there unsung.
Yearn­ing to see the seed planted;
The pre­lude well writ­ten begun.

Redeemed by hand of a stranger.
Exam­ined through lens of God’s love.
Found there what oth­ers were missing,
Hid­den in quo­tid­i­an shell.

Warm embrace of earth enclosing;
Show­ered with unde­served love;
Radi­ant grace of acceptance;
Infus­ing the core from above.

Slow­ly the shell starts to soften;
New growth break­ing free from within.
The process now set into motion;
God’s sym­pho­ny of joy begins.

Secure roots of hope descending;
Sup­port­ing as shoot starts to raise;
Bursts forth from cocoon­ing seedbed;
Lift­ing dicotyl arms in praise.


This is writ­ten as a poor attempt to express bound­less grat­i­tude to my friends and fam­i­ly, the love and accep­tance of which, have tak­en me from the bro­ken, hope­less, joy­less, and rather feck­less man of recent past, to some­one who is begin­ning to embrace life and full of joy and the knowl­edge that God has a pur­pose for him.

A dear friend of mine, Allena Volk­say Yates, blessed me by putting this to a tune, which may be heard here.

Looking Back

Look­ing at him the way she used to look at me.
I knew that look was only for me.
Could only then be for me;
Could only ever be for me.
That look told me that I need nev­er doubt
and would nev­er need to seek or fear again.
The words under­scored and rein­forced the look.
The look is no longer turned upon me.
I look upon the emp­ty void, and I sorrow.

It’s good to be able to share this here on PoaM in the now and indeed, be able to Look Back and see the ter­ri­ble hurt I was expe­ri­enc­ing then, whilst being able to Look Now and see the heal­ing God has blessed me with, and hav­ing con­fi­dence as I Look For­ward that, even if there are more such sor­rows, there will be more such love, heal­ing and blessing.

Tatterdemalion Mended

Left but vapor, will-the-wisp in air.
Tat­ter­de­malion rem­nants; trans­par­ent, ethe­re­al, hard­ly there.

Gath­’ring in what’s left, a soul misplaced;
A scrap, a shred, a cast-off trace.

So light, insub­stan­tial, in hands cupped safe.
Away from harm in Sav­ior’s grace.

So gen­tle must the gath­er be; Crush not to dust, the frag­ments frail.
Care­ful. Find each tiny piece.  Over­look but one and fail.

Nur­ture spark in tin­der bed, fuel for growth now being fed.
Gen­tly blow, give life by breath. Fan the flame that coun­ters death.

Place back with­in the hol­low shell. Seam the tear. Mend it well.
Mas­sage full well ’till felt to beat. Restored now soul and heart complete.

My heart may not remain bro­ken with God’s heal­ing touch.

Con­tin­ue read­ing “Tat­ter­de­malion Mended”


    Play­ing at house; pre­tend hus­band and wife.
    If this works out well, we’ll make it for life.
    And if it unrav­els, at least we had fun.

                                                              Did­n’t we?
    We said pret­ty things to cap­ture a heart;
    Sin­cere for the moment, play­ing a part.
    The thresh­old passed, no path­way back.
    Joined and committed.

                                                            Weren’t we?
    But where have you gone? The fan­ta­sy lost.
    Sum­mer’s warmth over, panes crazed with the frost.
    The silence now speaks, in deaf­en­ing voice.
    But we’re still in love; still each oth­ers’ choice.

                                                             Aren’t we?
    Fun while it last­ed. But mov­ing ahead.
    Find­ing new play­mates to pre­tend to wed.
    What we had was spe­cial, no one could replace.
    Our dream plays again.

                         Now with­out me.
    Anoth­er wound, to hide deep inside.
    So many scars, tears of flesh, tears of eye.
    Betray­al of heart; pain rend­ing wide.
    But we’ve healed.

                                                            Haven’t we?
Inspired par­tial­ly by Joshua Har­ris’ “I Kissed Dat­ing Good­bye” and “Does Any­body Hear Her” by Cast­ing Crowns. June 23, 2011
I don’t usu­al­ly wri… I ‑don’t- write poet­ry. This rather came on it’s own. Not fan­tas­tic prose, but it was mean­ing­ful for me. June 27, 2011

[I guess I did start writ­ing poet­ry after this first out­pour­ing. I don’t know if it’s good, but it makes me hap­py and it helps to take it out and fash­ion some­thing from it rather than leav­ing it block­ing things up inside. July 30, 2013]