GraceWays: Poems of Good News

Linda C. & Paul K. Moser



I find myself
alone again,
without hope,
without peace,
without love.
I have reaped
my own fruits,
and they kill.
I kill myself.

Still, You come
in my trying and
in my dying.
Again You find me
in my cold tomb
and lead me out.
You revive me.

I find myself
with You again,
with Your Hope,
with Your Peace,
with Your Love,
even with Jesus.
He saves me
from my killing
even myself.


Today is alive
with a breath not my own.
It comes to me now,
even me,
even now.
As a gift,
it comes,
this life that I breathe.
As a gift,
it comes
not from me
and I live.

Out of love,
out of love,
has the Giver breathed life.
This gift, this life,
is now mine,
even mine.
Who am I,
to have life?
Who am I?
I am loved.

Love brings me life
from the One Who gives all.
This gift has no price
it is free, just of grace.
From the Best,
life flows down,
now for me.
I am blessed.

I give thanks,
simple thanks,
in the face of my debt.
I lift praise
to the Giver of life.
For in thanks of this love,
I can breathe.
I can live.

Another Way

This will of mine is killing me.
It drags me through the world.
I never tire of wanting more
when all I want is empty.
I need a place to rest,
to let this will of mine be still.

You lead me to a quiet place
where nothing can be hidden.
I tell You all I want and fear.
I plead in fitful bursts.
I want this life to be my way.
I want my will be done.

You listen very carefully.
You know my plight, my pain.
You too have struggled in this place,
with anguish sweating through.
Yet willingly and faithfully,
so beautifully
You showed
just what it is to live and love:
You let Your will be His.

So now here in this quiet place,
Your stillness bears its fruit.
This will of mine is killing me.
I can't deny this truth.
Your witness stops me in my tracks.
You show another way.
I won't begin to live until
I say:
Your will be done.

Being Free

In freedom can I turn to You.
In freedom can I leave.
In freedom You have given me
the Life in which I breathe.
So often do I run from You.
So often do I leave.
So spacious is Your heart of grace.
So precious is Your Love.
How wonderful You are to me,
so that I might be free.

Be Lord

Be Lord of my waking,
as dawn it shines breaking;
the first breath that I take
in the day of Your making.

Be, Lord, my fresh start
in the depths of my heart;
all the Joy that I sing
knowing Love never parts.

Be Lord of my smiles,
in my tears and my trials.
Be my Friend for all time,
Who in Grace reconciles.

Be Lord of this prayer,
which so seeks to share,
some small way to say thanks
for Your Life in me here.














Beneath the ice, so cool and smooth
there lives a radiant blush.
It sees the world through frosty haze
and wishes it could gaze and move
closer, nearer.
Clearer seems the world below of dark and muted color.
So long in fear it hides its warmth from touching any other.

Above the blush so warm and crimson,
the ice it makes a silent prison.
The world it sees through steamy trance
and wishes it could dance a season
stronger, farther.
Harder seems the world above of birds and stars and trees.
Harder still within my heart does love so desperate freeze.

Do come quickly, warmth of Life,
before my hope grows cold.
Within the ice, so hard and cruel,
love’s blush will lose fuel.










I walked a long time
struggling, seeking,
always alone.
Each time around
the same circle,
sometimes faster,
sometimes slower
I fell inside.
The circle got smaller
until there was
no place
left to go.
And I kept on walking.

From nowhere
You came.

I walk a long time now
struggling, seeking
always with You.
Now it's Your circle,
and it goes everywhere.
When I fall,
I fall into You.
I can walk freely now.
Always with You.
Thank You.


Your angels are throwing bricks at my heart again.
Wake up! they cry in vain.
The impact crushes
the blood it gushes
My dreams are red tonight.

The demons are poking sticks into my pain again.
Dream on! is their refrain.
The rules confound
and I am bound
to die.
My hopes are black tonight.

Your flames are bringing licks of life again.
Stand up! You cry like rain.
The love it burns
my heart returns
to You.
Tonight, there is a rainbow.







Warm is the morning,
signaling the Lord.
Warm is His Love,
pointing Above.

He showers His Love
even on me.
What Love is this,
coming to me?

Who am I,
to receive such Love?
No, whose am I,
to be shown true Love?

I'm not my own;
nor am I at sea.
A price has been paid,
even for me.

Whose am I?,
I must ask anew.
For Love has come my way,
and nothing did I pay.

I can only give thanks
in the face of my debt.
I can only admit
that His I now am.

Extraordinary You

In the quiet of my heart
hear me
reach for You
in the ordinary things.
Seldom is my heart so still
that I can see You calling
in the falling bits of snow,
in the kittys' sleep,
in the kettle's urgent scream,
and the rising swirls of steam.

Only You can soothe the burn
that crackles in my heart.
Only You know where it hurts
and why I cannot smile
So as the day is blessed
with all the ordinary things,
hear me
reaching out for You
to pour You
into me.


Nothing is calm
or settled or sure.
So broken are things between us.
So broken and far.
So broken and sad.
So broken, so torn
and nothing is calm.
I've ripped at the seams of Your love
with my ways.

Nothing I do
can stitch the deep ache,
the scourge in my soul
needing You.
And I try everything.
Please? — (maybe this)
Please?— (maybe that)
Please. — (but it's worse)
Please! — (even worse)
My threadless needle only leaves
more holes.

Worn out and torn
by my ways that don't work,
I still ache.
Now angry at You
for the distance I keep,
yet wanting You ever much more,
I am humbled.
My enemy hands have broken our ties.
And as I assault You with all of my striving,
You dare to befriend even me.
With threads of forgiveness in true lovingkindness,
I am made whole and set free.


You give me Love
though I take credit
for Your gifts.
You keep on giving
despite my taking.

You give me Joy
when I am hopeless
in the dark.
You are my Light
when I am dark.

You give me Peace
when I fear losing
what's not mine.
You give me Freedom
when I am bound.

You give me Life
though I die trying
to rob You.
As my Friend
You die to dying,
so I can live.










Why should I think my life's a gift?
It isn't clearly obvious.
This life is full of grief and woe,
in general, it's quite strenuous.

Oh sure, there are the pleasant things,
like rhythms deep and even.
But why should I conclude from this
that life to me's been given?
A gift should not, along with gain,
bring to me such fear and pain.
A gift should make me smile and say
that someone cares for me today.

The gift of life is just a box
all wrapped in darkened paper:

If You decide to pass it by,
the gift cannot be valued.
If You reject its ugliness,
it will become unglued.

If You decide to open it,
the gift will have no end.
If You unwrap it patiently,
inside there is a friend.

It is not lovely packaging that
counts so much in giving.
It is the loving in what's given,
and received with heartfelt meaning.

I must conclude my life's a gift
not just because it comes for free
I must conclude that You give life,
because You bring such Joy to me.



Fail I must
when I want
and work hard
but do not get.
I worked not enough
and was good not enough.
What it takes, I did not have.
I fail.

Grace comes to me
and I receive
but not earn.
Free is this gift,
this life brought to me.
No other way do I have.
If I work not enough
and am good not enough,
still grace comes to me.

By myself I only fail.
By grace I only live.
Grace never fails.










You call me out of darkness,
from the silence of my fear.
Out of precious love you call
and into life.
I hear.

I hear. I hear.
But still this dread.
This awful space that
silence makes to
mourn its dead

I will not listen anymore
to words and words and words;
to sounds at once enslaved to hearts
and yet set free from love.

I will not listen anymore
to silence not from You;
a silence full of emptiness
where hope cannot break through.
I hear the sound of broken glass
its shards they pierce my fear.

My heart in desperate deafness
now might finally hear You near.


It's very simple.
I need help.
I am:

I need help.
I cannot give it.
Only One can.
Jesus is his name.

What's my problem?
When I am fearful,
You bring peace.
When I am weary,
You bring rest.
When I am angry,
You bring mercy.

I do not know why
You love me so.
And I do not need to know.
This brings peace too.
I can rest in the wonder
of the Joy You bring
in You,
just because
You love me.
And You are You,
not me.


If I am lost without You,
there is no me to find You.
when I reach out in the dark,
You are not there.
Without hope,
I still reach.

In the silence I hear,
it’s for my own good
how You are.
No wonder I don’t
I can’t see my own good
in the dark
when I’m lost,
without hope.

Here I am, Lord.
Let Your hope
find me.
Befriend me.







It's never easy when You come
to call me out of hiding.
Such shame and guilt surround my heart,
the darkness feels like home.
And yet I know I must come out.
There's nowhere else to go.
This hiding place imprisons me
and stifles every breath.

You call to bring me into Light,
to cleanse me of my guilt.
My fear betrays my lack of trust.
You come to set me free.
You find the broken places
that my hiding covers up.
You find the very heart of me.
You want to be my friend.

So awesome is this gift of Grace
for me so undeserving.
How can I not but run to You
and finally end my hiding?


There is a hole
so large in me that
can dare fill it.
There is a hole in
that echoes hollow, dry.
I want much more than
But holes seem all there are.

There is a hope so strong
so raw that
can dare kill it.
There is a Love so deep
so true that
lives through it.
I want much more than
Your Love is all there is.


On this day, a child is born,
to dwell among us, tired and worn.
His birth it offers hope and peace,
for lives of joy that never cease.

The Father sends a precious thing -
the kind of gift a child would bring.
By grace He pours from heavenly towers
a Love that with Him can be ours.

He only wants us to return
the Love we could not ever earn.
All we need is to receive it,
Thank you, Lord. We praise your Spirit.

Because we feel this awesome story,
you and I can live its glory.
We can seek to love each other
as first He did our heavenly Father.

He is here forever more.
He was also here before.
Christmas Day is always now.
Let us celebrate its glow.

John 3

In the dark
even wind does not know
it goes;
it blows.
It just flows away
blustered and
scattered and

In the light
wind is clearer and
freer and
to water, to Spirit;
to Life without limit.
Wind blows and
it goes and
it flows as
Love grows.

Be born to the Sonlight
instead of at night!
The darkness will hide
your heart
deep down inside
from you.
But then you can't live
and be free in the Spirit.
Let love embrace you.
It can't if you fear it.

Just Mercy

Cry out in praise and pain reJoicing!
Shout with tears of fear and Joy!
For the Lord can hear our voicing
in the tumult of our hearts
in the hope that always starts
when we just reach out for Him,
calling desperately:

Come in!
Free me from the mess I've made
with Your word, Your touch, Your gaze.
With Your fierce compassion scold
and Your piercing Love enfold.
Punish me with boundless Grace
and bind me with Your Mercy.
In Your judgment let me stand,
whole, forgiven, free —
Your friend.









Let Us Know

Everywhere I look I see
the world demanding more of me
more to know, to strive, to be --
and all I want to know is You.

All I want to know is You
and how You love me like You do.
And how You take my brokenness
and turn it into gold.
And how You change my darkest days
into a hope that lasts.
Oh Jesus how You love me
how You love me
let me know.

Everywhere I look I see
empty eyes surrounding me
people dying of despair --
and all we need to know is You.

All we need to know is You
and how you love us like You do.
And how You change a broken heart
into voice of truth.
And how You love us through the pain
and promise always to remain
Oh Jesus how You love us
how You love us
let us know.

The Mirror of Silence

I caught a glimpse of my empty heart
in the mirror of silence today.
I turned away, afraid.
Its chasms run deep;
its chambers divide
me from You.

I fill my heart with the noise of the world.
It echoes and bounces off fear hardened walls.
Would that I rather be filled with
illusions that shadow
Your light in the silence?
I am numbed by the noise as I run to escape.
And I'm trapped.

Would that I linger
just once
in Your sight;
in the silence of me
as You gaze!
Would that I hear that
Your voice calls me Home
my silence is peace
my echoes rejoice
my mirror reflects only You.













Within I look
to a heart undone
in stress, pain, and cries.
Nothing here satisfies.
Everything dies.
This world’s comforts,
they leave me cold.
I need more.
Power I need
to be lifted up
above this world
of dying and death.
More than anything,
I need One who loves
even me in my dying.

More than this world
can offer, this is my need.
More than it can give,
I need this to live.
For this world
I was not made.
For its Maker
was I made.
Only for Him.

Strength comes from beyond
all I have here.
The One who loves me,
He is my strength
even in my weakness.
In love on the cross,
His power hides fully.
His Love holds His power.
More than we need.


I cannot hear Your peace today.
The storms are madly raging.
The swell and burst of fear and pain
have drowned my ears for You.

But I will wait and wait to hear,
Your quiet, gentle whisper.
My anxious heart awaits for You
and I will hear again:
again the sounds of stillness near
and comfort from within;
again Your Voice,
and warm embrace,
that leaves me
at peace.

Do not let me hear again
until my ears are clear,
until the waves break
on my heart and shatter
every lie.
Until I'm quite prepared to go
with You through every storm,
do not let me hear again.
Yet keep me in Your arms.


Be, Father be,
for me all that I see,
my closest
my dearest

Wherever it wants, blows
Your Spirit of life.
Wherever it wants.
O please, let me live.

Darkness blinds all of my days.
Clouds cover my shameful heart.
I want to see clearly;
to breathe You
each word.
I want to be freely alive
Your child in
death’s world.

In Your great mercy
dear Father, I pray,
give me Your eyes like the Son.
Let them shine through to You
so that others see too.
Let the dread set before me
disperse like the wind,
so that everyone knows,
it’s for Joy that I live.











A tiny seed lies dormant waiting,
waiting for the soothing rain.
Pickled once by time and tears,
the words of love are all it hears.
The dirt around it, parched and dark,
will not admit it needs rain too.
Full of good, but dried up, riches,
it likes to fill-up graves and ditches.

One day the rain it comes at last
The porous dirt it quenches fast.
A toughened hull will take much longer,
soaking in the precious water.

A growing seed lies swollen waiting,
waiting for the rain to thank.
Showered now with joy and dew,
it will become itself anew.
The dirt it shines with newfound gladness
filling pots prepared for flowers.
Both renewed by living Water,
they can grow in thanks forever.


Smiles come in many kinds.
Some tease.
Some deceive.
Some are anxious.
Some are timid.

The Lord's smile,
it doesn't tease.
It doesn't deceive.
It's neither anxious nor timid.
It blossoms from Love.
It's the smile of true Joy.

Joy's smile has no secret.
It's honest and true.
It offers a faithful friend,
a friendship that will not end.
It's the smile of Life,
inviting us to live in Love.

Joy's smile offers peace,
the peace of true friends.
It offers comfort and rest,
removing walls of division,
inviting us to learn to love.
Joy's smile is Jesus.
Give Your smile to him,












So as the sun it shines so bright
so as the day is new
so as my heart it breathes and skips
and longs with dreams of You

so too the trees they sway and sing
the glory of our Lord
so too am I released at last
from pain's dark deadly grasp.

So when will I begin to dance?
So when is healing through?
So when can I begin to know
and feel that You are You?

So soon as every breath I take.
So soon as every whisper.
So soon as I will just slow down.
Right now.
So soon as now.


In a spirit
I walk,
either Yours
or my own.
In Yours I love.
In mine I don't.
In Yours I'm free.
In mine I'm not.
In Yours I endure.
In mine I just fear.

You paid the price
for me to draw near,
for me to be Yours.
I need nothing more,
just Your Spirit now mine.
I need You to live.


The stories I told myself
about how it did not
matter whether I
or whenever the universe
got around to it.

The stories always ended.
But I kept going.

They always hid my
deepest knowing:
I can't
I can't
I can't
I did not know
I did not have to.

And now I have these
great big scars
that only One can see.
And they remind me that
I can't
I can't
I can't
He told me
I do not have to.

His story does not end.
And I can keep going.















Too weak am I
to live alone.
Even my breath
is not my own.
As a gift I live,
not on my own.

Weak I am
not only in body
but in spirit too.
The good I want,
I don’t always do.
The bad I hate,
I sometimes do.

My spirit fails me.
Relief I need
from all I am.
Hope I need
in place of despair.
Love I need
instead of fear.
Strength I need
from One who frees.

I look for strength
where it is not.
It comes to me
as gift, not as bought.
The One who loves,
here is my strength,
even in my weakness.


My way always,
that's what I want.
My way fully,
that's what I seek.
My way above all.

All the world,
it should be for me.
All the world,
it should go my way.
All the world,
it should be mine.

But my way fails.
Again and again.
Frustrated am I, even crushed.
The world, it levels me.
I'm not in charge.
I'm brought low.
My way, it dies.
So do I.

Another way I begin to hear,
even the Way of Another.
Invited am I from within to love,
to let go of my way.
"Follow Me,” says He,
“the better way of My Father."

Love comes close.
Nothing to lose do I have.
My way I let go
and then become new.
Thanks does too.
His way is now mine.
Your will be done,
not mine.
Better is Your Way.
Come what may.


To the Lord,
I owe everything.
For the Lord,
I have nothing.
Nothing but a heart of thanks.
He gave me that too.
Take it, Lord.
Let me live.

All He wants is all we have:
all we have been given.
So much have we been given.
Our grateful, faithful, joyful hearts,
they make him smile.
In his grace it is enough.
In thanks, it all goes back
to raise him up in praise.
In thanks,
we cling to him.


I waited today
for my life to begin.
But somehow or someway
it was late, or just me.
Today I would wake up and
know that You're there.
Today is Your love.
Today You are here.

Today is the day that
I won't have to grasp
at the hope You have graced.
I won't have to feel now
my heart, once again,
shrink in horror and pain — at the time.
I won't have to drown in a
million of instants.
I won't have to die —
at the time.

Time, as it taunts
and time as it lures
and time as it stops
— yet my heart
breathes and yearns —
cannot care.

Where is my life?
I don't find it here.
Today is not here.
And yesterday's gone.
Please, please
do come soon.
I am all out of time.


I don't want to be here
in this sad and leaden place.
I'd like to go so far away
beyond fear and disgrace.
I'd like to leave the world behind
so it could never touch me.
I'd like to feel safe just this once,
where breathing doesn't bruise me.

You tell me I'm supposed to stay,
to trust You and obey.
You'll give me everything I need.
And I just want to leave.
Yes I just want to leave.


I'll stay though I am torn.
I'll stay though I am tired.
I'll stay though living makes me cry
while parts of me are dying.
I'll stay because You want me to,
though I can hardly move.
I'll stay because I'm nothing good,
I'm nothing without Love.

I want then just to live with You
forever where You wander.
Where You weave a tapestry
of grace
that heals our hearts.
And so each time You touch me
with words and holy kisses,
tears of thanks and freedom flow.
Once safely, I am Home.











I carry dirt
without and within.
I bring trouble
wherever I go.
Where I am,
there is grief.

I wash myself
but am not clean.
My trouble within,
I try to clean.
It only hides
deeper within.

The One who cleans,
on His knees He comes.
He bows low
to reach even my feet.
He washes me clean
even within.
Who am I?

With mercy He cleans
and forgives even me.
He wipes away shame
and even my guilt.
He leaves me new,
as I am cleaned from within.
Renewed by mercy,
my heart turns pure.


Seek out a place within me, Lord,
a place to make Your stay.
My spirit cries,
Come in!
Come in!
Do not remain outside —
I cannot live without You in,
You love me from within.

I cannot live apart from You.
The outside leaves me dead.
I draw from the Deep within,
where Deep calls unto deep.
The Spirit moves me from within,
to nudge me toward Your love.

Will I receive?

I invite the Spirit in.
New life within me stays.
I become Your dwelling place.
Your Home is now mine too.
Even mine.

With You

Born from love we move and cry.
Little hands reach out
to touch peace.
Little legs run off and return,
wanting welcome.

Where is the peace now?
Where is the welcome?
Reach – run – return –
to nothing.
No more.
I give up.
Take it.

Take it up
Make it Yours
Make it new
Make it still
Make it stay
in Your welcome
Your peace

Alive from love we move now in love
Living hands reach out
to greet peace
Living legs let the heart
take its rest
with You.



Word, words, words.
Talk, talk, talk.
Where do they lead?
What do they yield?
Endless is their name.
Weariness, their fame.

Words take over,
filling my life,
even my soul.
They promise knowing,
hoping, growing,
yet —
love finds no room.
I am empty.
Life sags, and I drown
in too many words to live.

The Word of God
is no word at all,
but the Son of God’s Love.
Jesus is His name.
Life, His fame.

The Word comes
not on His own
but for His Father
and even for me.
All I need He reveals
for love and for life.
With love beyond words,
He gives Life.
He gives Love.
He alone.

Now I know.
I can love.















You Come

I suffer from lies
again and again.
They whisper as You shout
and shout as You whisper.
They make me demand
things I don't need.
They hurt me with
cruel accusation.
They make me blind
to things from Your hand.
They kill me.
And I stand by and listen.

I think You owe me
the things I want now.
My anger rises as I
demand even more.
My anger rises against
the lies.
I blame you.
It chases away
any thanks I owe You.

Still, in compassion, You come
to me in my lies.
In love's anger You come.
You uncover them all
and open my eyes.
You lift me up
where I can see
You and what's true.
My lies kill me.
You rescue me from suicide.

You Knew

You knew I would fall
so far down
so far low.
You knew I would drown
in my tears.
You knew I would try
everything to escape me,
You knew I would die
in the end.

You knew I would try
everything to resist You.
You knew I would run
from Your touch.
You knew I was scared
when Your arms first
embraced me.
You knew I would fall


Of myself,
I have nothing,
not hope,
not peace,
not love,
not even breath.
By myself,
I have nothing.
I die.

With You,
I lack nothing,
not hope,
not peace,
not love,
not even breath.
With You,
I have everything.
I live.

Let me be Yours,
just Yours.