– simple thoughts & writings &c. by Elizabeth Heimbaugh –

Tag: faith

Bedtime Hymn

Messina, Italy (Landscape)

Infinite Spirit,
in the caress of the night
I call to You.

Redoubtable Love,
my heart is full to bursting
at the sound of Your name.

Perpetual Peace,
my tongue is tied up in praises
of Your impossible grace.

When the soul has lost her way
in pursuit of wild things,

You summon her home
in tones as sweet as honey,
as soft as rain

And rock her to sleep
again and again.

The Relief of Not Having to Explain Yourself

Harvard Law School, NW Corner Building, WCC

So many things on the mind, so many questions to express, but always the difficulty in pouring out the thoughts in a satisfactory way.

One thing that makes me happy about God is that He already knows everything that happens in my life, down to the minutest of details, and including the thousands of little thoughts and inclinations that dash all around my mind and heart. What I mean is that it’s a relief not to have to explain to Him the reasons I think such-and-such, or to muddle through the work of describing a particular habit (or thought, or question, or desire) that perplexes or confuses or troubles me. In life, with other people, I often find it to be just too much work to explain something in the way I want to explain it—because it becomes a near-impossible task, trying to outline every nuance that will unambiguously illuminate the thing I’m trying to get at in the mind of the person I’m talking to (especially if the thing is important to me). The result is that, many times, I just avoid the topic altogether, and allow it to keep floating on in the private cavities of my thoughts. You see, even now I’m encountering the problem I speak of—because here I am, trying to articulate this property of God that makes me so happy, and I feel I’m not really expressing the idea well at all. Ah, but the effort is valiant in itself, no? Anyway, I guess what it boils down to is that it’s simply a relief to be known so entirely, so completely and thoroughly, by another Person, and to know that the intentions of your heart are understood, even amid the clutter of innumerable words, behaviors, gestures, and thoughts that would lead anyone else astray. This applies both when the hidden phenomena are good, and when they’re bad. (Because, indeed, there can be great freedom in letting your imperfections be disclosed, without buffer or polish or half-knowledge, to someone else.) And then, of course, there’s the beautiful fact that none of this—none of the tortuous confusions or stubborn bad habits—manages to surprise God; nor do these things ever provoke Him into accepting you even a little bit less. His calm acceptance of you gives you the steadiness and courage to, in turn, be calm and accepting with yourself. And if that’s not relief, I don’t know what is.

P.S. I wrote this entry while sitting in the student commons (just off the dining hall) of the Harvard Law School. I’m not a law student, but the building is nice and the food is good! See photo of fancy reading room, above (credit).

If You Forgot You Were Loved

Margherite (Daisies)

When the time is right
…..and you have the eyes to see
you will find that I’ve loved you
…..all this time
……….and even longer

But you weren’t seeking
…..in the places
…..I sought you
……….most intently

For you were waiting on some other
…..to make your path straight
……….and your lamp lit.

When it comes to Love,
…..there is no place
……….one can go
……………and be apart from the Beloved.

Indeed, in the Kingdom of Love,
…..the only direction
……….is told by the star of Light
……….that shines from the eyes of the One
……….you can’t forget.

Why have you been seeking
…..what is not lost?

When you find your way by faith,
…..the impossible becomes possible:

For suddenly you know
…..that you are loved
…..even in the absence
……….of so many things which you long to see—

Beyond such visibilities
…..the heart enters into a knowledge
…..purer and deeper,
…..dipped in the soft waters of truth.

If you could find me
…..by losing your peace,
what kind of love would that be?

No, the way of the heart
…..is gentle and kind,
…..a salve to the soul,
always blessing and wanting to bless.

Live by these words
…..and indeed you shall be
a man or a woman of great wealth:

For you will have won
…..the secret of life
……….which so many have labored to find
……….and failed to see,
…..when in fact the truth is simple and smooth
…..as a stone.

Forget the things
…..that complicate your soul—
there is no room for these
in a house full of light.

Be rather the one
…..who knows that all things
…..belonging to Love
dwell also in your heart—

Waiting there
to set you free.

Old & New Poems about Faith


A clear night
a boy is kneeling in the candle glow.

a starry crown is shining on the wall.

I see
it is a weightless place.

Twelve stars
light up the city church.

The boy
his mouth a little “o,” the small the songful face.

I am shamed
to think I sing the note.

A bird
flies in an open door.

No one
looks around to see a feather drop from high.

I gasp
aloud and in the dark, all chaos in the air.

You are the beat of the tambourine on a winter’s day.
You are the fleck of inspiration in the potter’s clay.
You are the song that makes me happy on a day that makes me sad.
You are the kindest word I ever spoke, the purest love I ever had.

All the saints have forgotten how to pray.
Their hands are folded in expectation.
There is so much goodness they wish to say—
But only silence, their consolation.

O gracious God, I shudder in the cold rooms
Where I’ve been sleeping, as the child
Who finds that sleep prolongs her dearest dreams;
And on the flow’rd wall I keep me staring,
For want of light or cheer or caring
Trifles anymore – the little bones
Behind my cheek are pressed against the pillow,
Waiting now a slumbrous breath,
And the faith I should be keeping.

Peace in your soul when the wind blows round
Silence that lifts you without making a sound
Love that enfolds you in the warmth of the night—
Grace that adorns you with beauty and light.