The Live Like It Matters guest post this month is by Toya Poplar. We’re in a writing group together. God has used those gatherings and her wise and loving words to get me through a difficult time of fear and doubt. Over and over again, her words came back to me as I crawled up, what seemed to me, a mountain too high.
I climbed the mountain and have more to climb. I know God, in His mercy and grace, will continue to use her words to remind me of the truth. To point me back to Jesus…the One who is with us in the valleys and on the mountains.
This was originally posted on Our City On A Hill, July 22, 2016. Toya’s poem and prayer matter even more today. Let us pray together.
Lord, Make Us Like Our Kids
by Toya Poplar
Diversity can be a great blessing; it makes the world around us come alive. Sure it comes with challenges, but it also offers us strength. Seeing the world only in black and white creates a dull and lifeless image. Choosing not to see color at all makes us blind to someone else’s reality. Embracing the color around us with its various textures, depths, and contrasts can create a beautiful picture.
When I think of the relationships, kinships, and friendships that I have, I’m reminded of a quote by Dr. King,
“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”
This photo brought me joy a few years ago when my friend posted it to social media. This week when it showed up on my timeline, I cried. The world around us has changed so much that I can’t help but be concerned about their future. I wrote this poem partially for them, but mostly for us. Enjoy!
For Our Children’s Sake
I am praying for their tomorrow based on the sorrow I feel today.
I am praying that we adults will take notes from them as they play.
They share and forgive freely, may we learn to do the same.
Their time together is dreamy; they don’t call each other names.
If they do it’s something silly and they all begin to smile.
Before long they are all laughing, no one has to go to trial.
Unless we become like them, we don’t get to go to Heaven.
Lord forgive us of our sin; purge out all the leaven.
The yeast of anger makes fear rise, and in turn, we react.
The yeast of hate makes us blind, and we see only white and black.
The yeast of deception makes us forget how lovely color is,
With its different shades and hues, Lord, make us like our kids!
When a child gets hurt all play comes to a halt.
Their first concern is safety; their last concern is who is at fault.
Once fault is determined, it is for the sake of forgiving.
Once the apology is accepted, they shake hands and go on living.
Wouldn’t it be nice, if adults did the same?
It’s time to wake up and stop falling for the devil’s games.
He knows that a house divided simply cannot stand.
He stirs up division and confusion to execute his plan.
No one wins in the end if we all take Satan’s bait.
Will you please join me in praying, for our children’s sake?
Thank you for reminding us through your word that our wrath does not work your righteousness. We want to know you intimately and serve others intentionally. Replace rumors of war with a hunger to worship. Give us hearts to help and forgive us for speaking words that hurt. Pardon us for allowing pride to override compassion. Thank you that your grace abounds over sin and that mercy triumphs over judgement. Let love be our highest aim and cover a multitude of sins. Remind us that we are your Ambassadors and forgive us for the times that we haven’t represented you well. We wish to truly be that city set on a hill that shines bright for the whole world to see. Forgive us for broadcasting, when we need to tune in. Forgive us for exalting ourselves, when we should be exhorting one another. We want to know you deeply; we love you dearly and need you desperately. Help us to become like little children, so we can inherit your Kingdom.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)
“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.” Deuteronomy 30:19 & 20 (NIV)
Thank you, Toya. Let it be.
Toya does good and necessary work for the Kingdom of God. She is an author, speaker, and lover of lipstick. Married to her best friend and high school sweetheart, Melvin Poplar. They are the proud parents of six of the coolest kids in the cul de sac. Toya is the author of the Amazon Best-Selling journal, Stop Write There. She is a community advocate who promotes racial reconciliation by hosting diversity dinners. Toya enjoys fostering environments in which people get what they need from God and what they don’t know they need from each other. For more information on Toya visit www.toyapoplar.com
Here are two opportunities to join her work for the Kingdom and learn from her: Save Our Sons Huntsville and Notice and Nurture.
Black or white, wrong or right, poverty or privilege, it takes a village. Save Our Sons is a place where believers fight for one another, rather than against each other. A place in which panel discussions are dialogues and not debates. We believe you can’t change the culture by complaining about it, but you can change it by creating a new culture. SOS HSV is a safe space to share potluck, poetry, and perspectives.
Join us on June 9th, at 7 pm for a LIVE panel discussion that explores fatherhood & sonship.
Search: Save Our Sons Huntsville on our YouTube channel to watch LIVE
Join Our Private Group: on Facebook
Join our mailing list: saveoursonshuntsville.com
In this small group, we won’t strive to find answers, we will seek to remove aloneness. Be seen, heard, and handled with care while learning to listen closely and do the same for others. Join us on Wednesday, June 10th as we learn the language of empathy. (Registration required, materials included in the cost of registration.)
- learn new skills
- make new friends
- heal from past hurts
- remove aloneness
To register: ToyaPoplar.as.me