An open poem to survivors: hope has a name

Above the fray.

Above the screaming.

Above the hurt, the fear, the unknown, the uncontrollable, the unattainable, the shame, the injustice, the loneliness, the brokenness, the pain, the shame, the voicelessness, the powerlessness, the rage and the outrage, the frustration, the desperation.

*HOPE*

has a name.

One name above all names.

It’s not a vote or a man.

Not a woman or a stand.

Not a charge.

Not a time.

*HOPE*

Has a name.

A name above all names.

A word.

THE word.

One that raises the dead and heals the wounds and salves the infections and opens the eyes and stops the bleeding and calms the seas.

*HOPE*

Has a name.

One name.

One.

Name.

JESUS.

Sunday puddles. A poem.

*******

I parked in the middle of the giant puddle 
on purpose. There would be

no way of getting away from it, no way

to avoid the slosh and splatter. 

But I didn’t care.

I Just wanted to remember what it felt like to be 

careless. Not in the sense of neglect, 

but in the sense of casting aside the baggage 

of 

brokenness that makes me 

pinched and mean and more 

like the things that broke me 

than who God formed me to be,

before.

Before the pain bent me.

I parked in the puddle, dressed 

in my Sunday best, so I could 

remember the joy and stand straight

in His sanctuary.

********

“For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace…” Romans 6:14 (ESV)

Meet the characters of How Sweet the Sound: Princella Harlan

All this month, I’m introducing various characters from my novel, How Sweet the Sound. Today I’m introducing the colorful Princella Harlan, matriarch of the Harlan family.

Order a copy of How Sweet the Sound today to learn more about her and all the characters in this lower Alabama story. Available at this link and wherever your favorite books are sold.


*****

Life has its rules.

Rules made to be kept and not broken.

Family rules.

Society rules.

Rules of nature which, like the sureness that the sun, rise and beckon the scrawny limbs and chartreuse leaves of the pecan trees to lengthen and unfurl.

Rules which hold things together, like the earth which pulls and keeps the ivory orb of the moon from flying off into space.

Rules meant to keep secrets in, and never let them out.

As matriarch of three generations of the Harlan family, Princella Harlan has rules, and she makes sure everyone keeps them.

Until one day, the wind blows.

The cradle rocks.

Boughs break.

Hell breaks loose in Bay Spring, Alabama, where the Harlan name is etched in on the town water tower, and everyone within a stone’s throw can see it flaking and fading away.

Can Princella’s hardened heart be redeemed?

Will her rules save her?

Or will something–or someone–set her free?

*****

If you’ve read How Sweet the Sound, what did you think about Princella? Share your thoughts below (without giving away any plot secrets, of course!).

*****