Breaking & Entering

The crime was simple. The loss was hard.
He took some jewels, but gave his heart.
He entered the home that he thought was vacant.
He never expected for them to be waiting.
But when he picked the lock and opened the door,
He made his way inside to something even more.
An older man had heard the noise and came to investigate.
He saw the shadow at the door and didn’t hesitate.
To the dresser drawer he ran and pulled the revolver out,
Walked back to the living room and aimed without a doubt.
They took him to the emergency room, but it wasn’t of any use.
They called his wife to inform, that’s when I got the news.

Written by Gail Brookshire
(published in Expressions, May 24, 1994 Issue, page 6)
(by the grace of God)
This poem was written at a time I was trying to understand why people I grew up with were getting into committing crimes. I wrote the last part with 3 intentions.
1. So none of my friends thought I was trying to glorify what they did in a poem.
2. To make sure no on else would think I was into doing that.
3. My effort to be sympathetic to the mothers and grandmothers of my friends who were trying to get my friends to quit committing crimes.

To Suffer (To Allow)

To suffer… to allow…
To endure somehow…
To allow God to work
And make us more…
To allow Him to increase
And us to decrease…
To allow His will to be
In allowing others to see
That allowing God to do
Saves me and you…
To allow the perfect One
To glorify His only Son…
To obey the One in control
That the 3 in 1
In us may be whole.
To suffer… to allow…
To endure… for now,
It won’t be long
Till all misery is gone.

6-17-11 Written by Gail Brookshire
(by the grace of God)
When I wrote this I was struggling with why God allows us to suffer, allowed His Son to suffer, and at the same time wondered why we use the word suffer to mean something as trivial as suffering a hot day when Christ and the disciples suffered true sufferings. In praying to God, he taught me the biblical definition of suffer is To Allow.
For example, when Christ suffered, He allowed Himself to be arrested, beaten, put on the cross, mocked, pierced, and to die a cruel death. He did it for you and me. ❤
God suffered too. He allowed His Son to leave home, to hunger, to be betrayed, arrested, beaten, mocked, pierced, and to die a cruel death. He did it for you and me too. ❤

Suffering Is Hard

Suffering is a hard thing to endure.
Complaining is an easy thing to do.
Praise God for his enduring mercy
That he has for me and you.
Friends can be discouraging.
Friends can lift you up.
God sends both when we need
His care and tender love.
Hope can be hard to see.
Despair can be hard to see past.
The friend we have in Jesus
Will not let our suffering last.
No one will ever care for us like him.
His arms are willing to hold.
When I stay embraced in his arms
I know that it is well with my soul.
6-15-11 Written by Gail Brookshire
(by the grace of God)

Did He Try?

“Gasp…”,
he heard her cry at night.
He jumped out of his bed
to see that she was alright.
She was holding her hand over her chest,
agony upon her face.
He pulled her close with great concern,
but held her with such grace.
Her eyelids closed as she glared at him
with fear behind her eyes,
but his heart went out to her with ache,
for his love felt through the disguise.
He gently laid her head upon
his shirt right off his back,
then ran so quickly to the phone
to report her heart attack.
He then returned to her side
and held her in his arms.
Hiding his tears to give her strength,
he waited for the sound of alarms.
They needed no more than see them
and knew that she had died.
How would they tell the man who loved her,
it was a waste that he even tried?

10-2-1990 Tuesday
Written by Gail Brookshire
(published in Expressions, May 24, 1993 Issue, page 2)
(by the grace of God)
This was poem won over a layout Editor that was very much a stickler and a gruff on purpose. She told me so with a smile after she read this poem while typing into the campus paper. She told me she knew that I didn’t plagiarize it like a lot of people were doing since I sat down in front of them and wrote it for a needed fill in the paper. She said I was real and talented, and that I almost made her cry. I was glad to know she didn’t really hate me. 🙂

He Needs A Blanket

“We could take him a blanket. To keep him warm, Mom,” the child giggles. “Why else would he need it? But, Mom, you know how cold he gets. If we let him go without a blanket, he’ll get sick. We can’t let him down. Why are you looking at me like that? You look so sad. It’s o.k., Mom. All we have to do is take him a blanket. It’ll be all right.What do you mean he’s gone?” The child smiles and cheerfully continues. “No, he’s not. He’s just asleep, but he needs a blanket. Let’s take his favorite one, the blue one. He’ll love us for it. No, he’s not, Mom. He’s not gone. Come on, I’ll show you where he is. Don’t forget his blanket.”
The mother takes the child to her brother. The child jumps out of the car and runs eagerly to her brother’s side. She spreads out the blanket, on the ground, covering every inch of the freshly dug dirt. She talks to her brother.
“Hey, Brad. I thought about how cold you must be and talked mom into letting me bring you a blanket. She wasn’t going to let me at first, but I told her you would need it. Look, it’s your favorite one, the blue one. I remembered how you said it always kept you warm. Oh and look… shhhh… don’t tell Dad, but I snuck his big blue pillow to you, too. Remember how you always waited for Mom and Dad to leave every morning, just to savor an extra hour or two of laying your head on it? You always said it made you feel better. I hope it makes you feel better now. I can’t believe they left you out here to freeze. They know how cold you get. If you get sick and die, I’ll never forgive them. I love you, Brad. I miss you so much. Please come home soon.”
The mother, with her head hung low, stands beside her child. As tears roll down her cheeks, she wonders how she’ll ever help her child to understand she’ll never see her brother again because he’s already dead.

1991 Written by Gail Brookshire
(published in Flight, Spring ’95, page 45)
(by the grace of God)
This little short story was written when I had lost a dear 19 yr old cousin to suicide.
I had no idea at the time that so many of the details would be so relatable to the loss of my baby brother who was killed 16 years later at the age of 37.

Unfortunately Right (Texas Flooding update #2)

Four days later, and unfortunately the expectations were right in that the death count went up from 9 to 19 (well last I saw on the news late last night). 6 of them were 2 grandparents with 4 great grandchildren in a van together. A son was the sole survivor.

Another loss in that count was an officer who was on h  is way in the early morning hours to help others. Also a well known and loved coach who had been a part of helping to rescue others. 

This devastation continues as the waters are still rising in some areas. Rivers and different waters have to take their course in going downstream, which adds more water to lower areas already flooded.

 I’m not sure why, but the National Guard and other Official Rescue teams coming to help stopped ALL rescues from continuing after dark, regardless of the urgency. I understand the threat. It’s just hard after watching local volunteers save thousands because they still went out after dark (as untrained rescuers).I thought our military trained for such things.

Another unfortunate right is the looting that unfortunately is happening. Some things are down right evil. News reports were warning and reassuring at the same time that individuals were going to homes impersonating immigration officers to enter and rob homes.

The good news is that Harvey is finally moving out of the area, and weakening considerably. There are also several different fundraisers and donations nation wide, including celebrities and major companies putting forth millions. Please continue to pray for Texas, Louisiana, and all those affected by Harvey, and on the way to help.

Calm In The Storm

Lord, what a dark night… a dark and dreadful night… but it was not my dark and dreadful night. I was blessed with warm and dry shelter. Those stranded in the dark and cold muddy waters were living this nightmare, along with their rescuers. Yet I could not leave that screen. I could not leave them. Especially when it was just volunteers left to help. The night was getting late after so many had been waiting for so long, and much more rain was on the way. The reservoirs and levees were going to release water to try to save them from collapse, yet there was no guarantee they wouldn’t anyway.

As I watched this for hours, my heart and blood pressure were up. I could hear voices saying stop worrying, it wasn’t good for me, worrying wasn’t going to help the victims. I prayed as I saw each rescue, and heard each group plea to help those still stranded. And those children, Lord, with little infants! How could I possibly leave that screen knowing children and babies were out there? I tried to reason that rescue efforts would take days. I knew I couldn’t stay awake like that anymore. That made me realize a lot of things.

When I was younger, my anxiety would NOT let me rest if I heard of turmoil. In some ways that was good. Others would ask me to stay with them through tragic times, or ask me to sit with their family or friend. Reliable and strong were the most common words I heard. But that was all you giving me the strength. At other times it seemed like a curse or a heavy weight to carry, that was absolutely taking me under.

Tonight, Lord, I felt calm in the storm. I was not less concerned, but I could feel my anxiousness give way as soon as I even began to worry. It felt so calming. That is the word that comes to mind. There’s nothing wrong with being calm during a storm. If volunteers were not calm they could not rescue. At times a rescuer is challenged by a frantic victim who becomes life-threatening. This made me pray for the volunteers.

Remaining calm allowed me to think… remembering being rescued in storms a couple of times… as a child… as a disabled adult (close to bed ridden)…  watching my mom suffer night and day for months… unable to ease her pain… expected to sleep in my bed right beside her… knowing any time she could pass. How cruel to close my eyes and supposedly my ears to her pain so I could sleep. If it weren’t for your grace and the medicines you allow, I would have not remained calm to do what was being asked of me.

You allowed these medicines to keep me calm, pray, and absolutely trust you. I just grabbed my color journal and calmly waited as I listened and learned. Sometimes to the news. Sometimes to you showing me all kinds of things about myself, and how far you and I have come. At one point, while in prayer you allowed me to fall asleep. In the past I would have felt like a monster, but now I understand I am human. You made the medicine and the calm feel like good friends. It was nice… to have good friends, and to feel good about it instead of feeling guilty.

There are many things I have absolutely no control over. I must choose to trust you. Thank you for the calm in the storm. You remind me of Matthew 8:23-26.

And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.