Miss You While You’re Here

Lately I’ve been thinking about
All the moments that we missed
When we’re younger we think we have plenty of time
And don’t think about stuff like this

We put so much off until later
But what if later never comes?
All tomorrows repeats of yesterdays
The future setting like the sun

I’m not ready yet to miss you
When I know that you’re right here
There’s so much I wanted to give you
Before my chances disappeared

Now it hurts that we talk almost everyday
And yet we never talk at all
Or that I battle with all these tempting thoughts
Not to answer when you call

Of course I want to be here for you
But it seems this is always where we’ve been
You telling me about how hard it is
While I listen on the other end

I look back and feel like a failure
I wish I could’ve spared you from some pain
But the best I can do is be a witness
And pray for something else to change

I still have hope that you’ll get better
That perfect love will cast out fear
But for now I’ll be grateful for what we have
Because I don’t want to miss you while you’re here
© Copyright 2020 Pedro S. Silva II

I wrote this poem as I started to think about how many conversations I have with my mom are about how to make it from month to month. We talk everyday. Sometimes multiple times a day. But rarely are our conversations about thing that I would like us to talk about. Because of all of the stress over the past few years, there has been a strain on the relationship. I’ll be honest and say that often I am acting like I am her parent rather than the other way around. I want her to be safe and make decisions for her well-being. I know how hard she tried to be whatever and whoever she felt she needed to be to make sure we survived growing up. That took a toll on her. And I know that she had huge dreams–most of which never got fulfilled. This is a wound in her heart.

She always told me that she wanted to leave my brothers and I with a legacy. What she meant was money. That hasn’t happened and it saddens her. She apologizes for not being in a better financial situation and asks me to believe in her that she can still pull it off. I want to believe, but… And now that I am witnessing her forgetting so much and yet still holding out hope for a miracle or for her “ship to come in” as she says, I feel a twinge of regret.  I ask myself, “If I knew we were going to end up here anyway, what would I have done differently?”

At first, I told myself I would’ve stayed in the military so that I would have my retirement right now and I could be working another job to provide for her. But then I look at my wife and kids and know that I had to take the course I did.  I then think that I should’ve chosen a more lucrative profession than being a pastor. But then, I was having a conversation with a guest at the church who is experiencing homelessness at the church and watching members of the congregation–to include children serving food and sitting with our homeless neighbors and I thought, “I am glad to be in this moment.” And then I thought, well maybe I was called to be a pastor for a season, but now that my mom needs me, I need to move on and do something else because my responsibilities demand it. And then I prayed and I felt the spirit moving me to be honest about how hard this is and to tell my friends. And so I did. And they stepped in and blessed my family and gave me room to breathe so I could figure out how to make the next best move for my mom. They showed me the truth of the teaching that says, “[God’s] strength is made perfect in our weakness.”

And so then in that space, I asked God what I could do differently for my mom. And in my soul’s language I heard, “Don’t miss her while she is still here. Because that’s what you’ve been doing. If you want to have different conversations with her, change the subject. Talk about the things that you wish you could talk to her about. If she misses it and repeats something else she just said, tell her you love her. Tell her your dreams and maybe she’ll get joy in knowing that she is a part of them. Have an unreasonable belief in miracles because you never know what might happen. And don’t forget, you are not in this alone.”

So if you are reading this, what my soul spoke into my life, I speak into yours. There are so many things in life that can distract us from the moments we are in–something to tempt us to forget that there is always the possibility of great beauty around the corner. In my weakness, I found strength in hitting my limits and reaching out. My hope is that in sharing what I am learning, it is blessing you all too.

With true love,

Pedro

A Friend In Need

They say a friend in need is a friend indeed
Or is it a friend in deed
Meaning a friend is one who acts as one
When another friend’s in need

Or maybe it’s the former one
We’re friends when we’re in want
But otherwise we give no others thought
Just to make it blunt

But perhaps it is more gray than that
Which makes it difficult to name
Because where self-sufficiency is idolized
To be in need is to be shamed

It’s really hard to put my finger on
As I examine my condition
When I’m aware enough to know I should ask for help
But won’t fully give myself permission

On one side, it’s because I don’t want help
I have learned so much from all my failing
But on the other side, I know that there’s sufficient grace
For those of us prone to self-assailing

Furthermore when I’m on the giving end
I always do what I can do
But when I’m on the receiving end
I do my best to just push through

But presently I am torn
This uphill battle seems unending
I could keep on trying to handle this
But in reality I’m pretending

I’ve always been good at holding burdens
But now my burdens are holding me
As I consider that I’m just a request away
From a space that feels more free

Well, if anything, there’s a lesson
These constraints I feel won’t last
And it matters little if I hear “yes” or “no”
Things will get better because I asked

© Copyright 2020 Pedro S. Silva II

I wrote this poem after wrestling with my thoughts about whether or not I should share a fundraiser I created for my mother to help ease some of the financial impact of her pending move.  This season has been really tender for me for a lot of reasons. Besides watching my mother succumb to the effects of a lifetime of stress and anxiety, trying to keep this pressure to myself has taken its toll on me and my family, both emotionally and financially. But it’s not all bad. This also has been a very creative season for me as I’ve tried to make sense of my own anxieties in light of my faith that when we are open, there is a solution to every concern. I’ve written poems that I never would’ve been able to write were I not translating what at times felt like overwhelming emotion. I completed a rap that I’m really proud of despite the fact that it has not yet brought in any of the money I’d naively thought it would. And in my social justice and community building work, knowing that I am personally impacted by so much of the challenges that we’re trying to ameliorate, has shaped my preaching and public speaking in a way that perhaps it would not if my family was more shielded. And finally, by putting this out here, I feel that it is on the path of healing the ill effects of the negative type of pride. And so here we are.

If you are reading this, I am asking you to consider contributing to this fund. All of the proceeds go to helping my mom transition to living with my brother until we can come up with a more sustainable solution. Thanks for considering this. No pressure and no judgment if you are not interested. I am just grateful that I received the courage to ask. The link to contribute is below.

http://www.plumfund.com/financial-hardship/lost-in-transition

I Always Feel Like Crying

I always feel like crying
But it doesn’t mean I’m sad
It means I’m paying attention
To the issues that we have

In my soul I see a vision
Oneness is our Way
But in my body I feel division
As I watch morality decay

I have prayed and prayed for comfort
But it seems it’s nowhere near
Until I accept that I can’t save this world
And release my brokenness with tears

I wish that I was stronger
But my weakness keeps me humble
I would love to never make mistakes
But I was put on earth to stumble

I see heaven’s door wide open
I call on all I see to enter
But I’m afraid that if I go in first
I’ll forget what I remember

I know that’s backward logic
But they say the first’s the last
So when I came here from the future
It was to finish off my past

I hope that I’m not losing you
By speaking in ways that are not clear
I just had to get this off my chest
In case I’m drowned out by my tears

© Copyright 2020 Pedro S. Silva II

 

Waking Up to You

Waking up to You is the why of my life
You are the Dream that stops my dreaming
You tell the Story of what many fear to know
And give every Word its truest meaning

You call to me to my deepest Self
By the Name only You can give
Whispering in so loud a voice
That gives the dead the choice to Live

Many of us say we know You
But Love says that that’s not true
Whenever we say You dwell in us
But can’t see our neighbor inside of You

Or when we make the least important things
The sandy ground of our foundations
Forsaking the Rock upon which You’ve built for us
The most enduring of habitations

We’re distracted by the attraction
Of getting more by giving less
We measure others by the scale of our selfishness
Then give ourselves credit when we confess

But despite all of this You love us
And that never shall decrease
Even when we deny Your Presence
By not seeing you in our least

And that’s the refining fire
You love us everywhere we go
Even when we use Your Name to tell our lies
And act like You don’t know

You are definitely some kind of amazing
I hope my soul can reach your standard
I give up my story that keeps me up at night
To awaken to Yours that’s so much grander.

© Copyright 2020 Pedro S. Silva II

Live Facing the Sun (For Bob Murtha)

In the life of each and every one of us,
There are many worlds unseen.
Perhaps motivations no one knows about
Or the push to fulfill dreams

Some have nightmares no one speaks of,
That if we knew, we’d have compassion
When they show up in ways we can’t understand
Or do things that are out of fashion

Some of us came to this place
Knowing exactly what to do
While others love the mystery
Of trying to fathom what is true

Some are neither here nor there
And can’t seem to call this home
Even when in a crowded room
They can’t help but feel alone

But then there’s those who are here and there
In them all these worlds are One
Being led they also lead
Ever facing toward the Sun

They have found the pricey pearl
Through the gift of truly giving
Leaving all worlds better places
Through the Presence of their Living

© Copyright 2019 Pedro S. Silva II

I wrote this poem in honor of a church member, Bob Murtha, who embodied a spirit of quiet grace combined with strong presence. My life has taken to a lot of places I didn’t ever expect. But the places I appreciate more than anything are the hearts of people who I never could’ve conceived knowing. I am enriched by it and grateful that God’s idea of the human family is bigger than what I can imagine.

Power Brokers

The power you have, we gave you

Now you fear we’ll take it back

That’s why when we ask you to represent

You take it as attack

In questioning your motives

We just want to make this clear

Ignoring those you don’t want to see

Will not make us disappear

For there’s nowhere we are not

Eternally we reside

We trusted you to steward life

Because we know that you can’t hide

Some people call it karma

When we reap everything we sow

We call it “Everything is One.”

As above and so below

So the gift of service we gave you

Comes from power we have loaned

Abuse it and the only power you will break

Will be the power that was your own

© Copyright 2018 Pedro S. Silva II

Love Punk

I’m afraid to tell you how much I love you

Because you don’t love you more

Which makes my love for you seem too much

And you refuse to be outscored

So instead of loving you more than me

You try to make me love you less

Thinking how can I love what you don’t love

Which leaves both of us depressed

So in order to protect us from me and you

I hide my love for you in the future

So we can feel we learned what we already knew

Since you only run when I pursue you

That’s why I leave so I can stay

Creating space just to get close

Believing I can love you all I want

Once you learn to love you most

© Copyright 2018 Pedro S. Silva II

Death Is Not a Failure

We all succeed at dying

One way or the other

Despite the value we place on holding it back

We have this in common with one another

Even Jesus couldn’t escape it

Though we say it’s a revolving door

He begged if the cup of death could pass

How much less should we implore?

For the living’s only reality

Is to live, and be, and move

Death appearing a contradiction

What can we gain

For all we lose?

Yet, Death is not an ending

Not a new beginning or a door

Nor does it ever take from us

Or give the peace we’re longing for

All we think it is it isn’t

Because we lack the point of view

To see it for what it really is,

We need a different mind to see it through.

One not born through separation

One complete in its perception

One that sees all things for what they are

Present wholeness without rejection

Such a mind must not fear death

In fact it’s grateful for its inclusion

For the only Death there ever is

Is the Death of our illusions

© Copyright 2018 Pedro S. Silva II

Stillness Speaks

Out of the stillness emerges the Voice that calls us each by our true name

And every name is Beloved

Mistaken identities are replaced

Forgotten callings are restored

The darkness that hinders light is broken through

And what is revealed makes all things new

Peace has always reigned

On the surface waves are crashing, but they are held up by still waters.

© Copyright 2018 Pedro S. Silva II

Maker in the Middle

In the center of all things

Is the One Who is All

From the infinitely large

To the infinitely small

Nowhere not the center

Even that which you call edge

Split the atom and there is fullness

There’s no space that you can hedge

There is no private matter

As far as matter is concerned

In fact matter doesn’t matter

Once it’s spiritually discerned

Reality is Oneness

This thought called two has never been

It’s the illusion of separation

Denying the truth of what’s within

We live, move, and have our being

In the One Place all things Be

Once we receive the “I” that sees this

There’s nothing ever more to see

© Copyright 2018 Pedro S. Silva II