Love Unreturned



Wrote this song somewhere between Phoenix and Seattle on Southwest jet headed for home after being gone a week.  It’s a rather somber song.  But somber is OK sometimes, too.


Love Unreturned

I See You there

I stir inside

I reach

And cold you turn away

I must be wrong

I try again

It’s true

My love is unreturned

Now kind your face

When my heart’s stone

You try so hard

To win me back

All safe with you.

It’s trust again

I reach

And cold you turn your gaze.

I must be wrong

I try again

It’s true

My love is unreturned

Cello (This is you, Annalee:) Think soulful baltic sad and tears sounds with piano

We must be wrong

We try again

To stop

This dance of no return


Here’s to today, taking love gestures from the others around us:)





Billboard Hiding

Sitting on a bench alongside my friend in a sundown park, people, they are everywhere and we watch.  Watch the milling about, the comings and goings.  A group of boys silently step out of the overgrowth, walking slower than boys going any place at all, more silent than any collection of guys together on any August evening. And without a billboard announcing drug sales and drug use, 7 boys let the entire park in on what they’d been up to.  Hiding. 

I know this hiding.  Our kids start young.  Round eyes watch through soft blond lashes, little arms tight behind back.  I peek round the little hider.  Melted blobs of green, yellow, orange, red.  Warmed M&M’s concealed behind brown smudged lips and chubby fists.  It’s hard not to laugh just a little.  It’s cute at 3.  Not so cute thereafter. 

What if boys and girls of all ages came right out and stated:

“I use drugs and sell it to my friends.”

“I sneak your credit card number and use it intermittently so you won’t notice”

“I prefer porn to people”

“I cheat on my taxes”

“I live in more of a house than I can afford so you will think I’m important”

Honest, and still not helpful enough.  I’m thinking it’s not the lie that feels so worth hiding.  It’s the action.  And why, with all the variety of ways to think about life, with a wide range of taste in popsicle flavors do people choose to hide and lie about certain behaviors rather than just say “I’m grape, you’re strawberry”?  Maybe lying is used for avoiding trouble.  The law doesn’t support kids snorting coke in bushes.  Doesn’t support streakers.  The baby doesn’t want M&M’s taken away. 

And still, at times we hide because we don’t like and don’t approve of the way WE act, and don’t want anyone who isn’t doing what we are doing to see us act the way we act. 

Shame is a thing of the eyes.

It’s eyes catching the action of another person’s shame.  Eyes seeing bottle downed.  Eyes watching as item is lifted.  Eyes that make pretese hiding so ridicules.  We think no one can see our pretense, and then we parade it out for all.  Never knowing.

What do I hate about my own actions?  What do I think I hide from you – that indecent piece of me I’d rather die than let you see?  The hiding I do is a waste.  I’m not hidden.  I’m announced.  The knowledge of good and evil.  The garden gift we all share.  To see the shame of another, no matter how much we try to conceal. 

Let my eyes be used for loving, no matter another’s shame I see.  Let my own eyes notice my own shame – with purpose in mind.  Let me allow kind eyes to peer into who I am, those healing eyes of knowing and loving anyway.


Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked.  Genesis 3:7

Jesus looked at him and loved him.  Mark 10:21.

Holy Wind

Words are useless.  I can tell my son how much I love a paper he’s written. He can take what I’ve said and think I’m saying he usually doesn’t try.  I can tell my husband how much I’ve missed him.  He can hear from those words that I’m angry he’s been insensitive about the amount of hours he spends away from home.

The topic of speaking in tongues has been a divisive one.  This past week I spent some time in the book of Acts and was taken back at the immense waste of time we’ve helped ourselves to at being right – all the while missing the point.  The squabble has been foreign language (seen by the counter as a way to feel superior) versus an unknown language of angels (seen by the counter as demon possessed blathering).  Did I adequately rock the boat?

Everyday I can be speaking the very language you speak, and still you hear one thing while I intend another.  You can hear arrogance, gibberish or hate, when my heart is attempting to speak love.  From the same country.  Same costumes.  Same topics.  And still each spirit requires something slightly different to make it’s way from head to heart, and taken with trust.

I have often thought of how much time I spend covering topics my clients already know in the mind, and yet struggle to transfer from head knowledge to heart knowing.

The heart – a home for hatred and love.  

Hopelessness and security.

Fear and peace.

Irritation and patience.

Nastiness and kindness.

Badness and goodness.

A calloused heart and gentleness.

A free-for-all and at times self control.

The Spirit rolling up sleeves is God’s power that clears out one and grows the other.

Both sometimes exist together.

Both can’t thrive side by side.  

I don’t know about you, but I need the language of angels to speak for me.  How will I know when I open my mouth that I love you with my words?  How do I know I speak of the Lord honorably with my very human mouth.  Jesus could see this would be a problem (I’m thinking time with Peter and knowing what I’d be like enforced the need:).  Jesus told his followers to wait for and expect a gift the Father was sending.  The gift wrapped in wind and fire.  Wrapped in power and God Himself was the Holy Spirit.  Jesus explained what the gift would be used for.  He told his followers the Spirit was needed for witnessing. Witnessing far and near. When the Holy Spirit finally arrived, all the folk in town who happen to be from many different parts of the world heard in their own language the marvelous things that God had done.  Notice they didn’t hear doctrine in their own language. They didn’t hear the most Godly political views.  They heard the marvelous things God had done.

I could never do my job without Holy Spirit intervening.  There are too many variables.  I take too many chances.  I might speak words that cut into my client like a knife.  I don’t have a library of hateful words used against them all their life long.  A kind word from me might have been the evil word used before said perpetrator destroyed it all.  Everyone has their own story.  My youth pastor spoke a beautiful text over me one Sabbath morning. One equally beautiful Sunday afternoon he used my innocence to pleasure himself and destroyed my world. How could the verse below harm anyone?

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,

neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,

neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,

will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  

Romans 8:38-39.

How would anyone know not to speak those words to me without dumping adrenalin through my body?  They wouldn’t.  Which is why we all need the Spirit to intercede for us, through us, and between us.  Even in our prayers, the Spirit needs to make sense of our arrogance and blathering.

 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.

We do not know what we ought to pray for,

but the Spirit himself intercedes for us

through wordless groans.

Romans 8:26

Spirit Groan.  Spirit language.  Earthly or heavenly it be, without the Spirit making sense of what we say, we hurt each other.


I wrote a simple chorus based on Act chapters 1 and 2 and combined it with “His Strength is Perfect” by Jerry Salley and ‘I Need Thee Every Hour’ by Robert Lowry.

I can do all things

Through Christ who gives me strength

But sometimes I wonder what He can do through me

No Great Success to Show

No Glory of my own

Yet in my weakness

He is there to let me know….


Holy Wind, please come to us

Fill this house with Spirit

Holy Wind alive with words

Heart will finally hear it

Now we know the warmth of You

In our frozen places 

Holy Wind, Holy Wind

Holy Wind come near

We can only know

The power that he holds

When we truly see how deep

Our weakness goes

His strength in us begins

when ours comes to an end

He hears our humble cry and proves again

Gathered here together now

Let the wind consume us

Gospel words in other tongues

Holy Wind move through us

Now we know the warmth of You

In our frozen places

Wind of Spirit form our words

Words we’ve never known

His Strength is Perfect

When our Strength is gone

Fill this house with Spirit

He’ll carry us when we can’t carry on

In our frozen places

Raised in His Power the Weak become strong

Holy Wind Move Through us

His Strength is perfect

His Strength is perfect

I need thee, Oh I need thee

Every hour I need thee

Holy Wind, Holy Wind

Holy Wind Come Near

bY lisa boyl-davis
May 11, 2016

The Hunt for A Perfect Valentine Gift


Valentines Weekend.  I can’t find the right gift for Adored Husband.  He’s the friend I’ve been married to almost 25 years now.  Can’t come up with the very thing that would let him know how much he means to me.  It’s not that it’s been perfect between us.  No that’s not it at all.  But when I really need him, all that’s put aside.

Thyroid cancer has been the latest bump in our road.  Just stabilized from the breast cancer that threw our world a year ago.  Right when I’m getting my new line of work in place. When our 6th grader is trying hard not to bomb classes.  When so much is happening for Adored Husband at work he needs to be there 24/7.  When his health is not that great, and needs extra exercise and rest and….

And he takes me to the dozens of appointments, rough edges and all.  Grills the Dr’s to make sure they haven’t missed something.  He can’t bear to have me cut up for no good reason.  He kisses me goodbye as they move stretcher down hall to tiny surgical room where everyone is joking and I’m just the thing on the bed to work on, but to the guy they left down the hall, I’m the pain in his chest, the hot tears moving down his face.  I’m out, and when I wake up, am sick and he’s there. 

He’s there when behind the surgical site I hemorrhage and swell huge, pain surging from a controlled 4 to a 9, passing out they tilt head back fast, throbbing.  Calls are made to contact the surgeon.  After a time he leans down and whispers a prayer in my ear and they rush me off to yet another surgery. 

He’s there again when I’m taken back.  I’m groggy and sick and vomiting.  I don’t remember much but him being there beside me.  He sleeps with me in bed, propped up high, no way for his comfort – the hospital has no cot, no recliner – is on stand by, every space and bed filled to the gills and so he sleeps beside me. 

Days and nights they blend together.  Feeling brave decide to walk.  I walk, my hand holds on to his arm.  He walks too fast, and then slows down.  Making jokes that I will be taking Mt. Hood soon. 

Another day another night, he stays close by.  An allergic reaction to Morphine.  White cold warning that I will soon be passing out, I throw up and he is there. 

IV sites they blow, one by one… and finally a pic line that hurts deep every time they pump me with more, he stays near by, and believes me when I say it hurts.

The throbbing shocks… feels like I’m hooked up to electric chair.  I ask him if he can feel the shock too, when he holds my hand.  He can’t. 

Some days, when I get stronger, I talk him into going for the children, napping at home a bit, collecting his strength, and each time he returns, even late enough a security guard has to let him in.  Nights of little sleeping, and still he stays.

He falls apart first day back, at nothing that mattered at all.  He is sorry.  It takes me a while to remind myself he’s worn under and needs to recuperate. It’s his turn to know I’m close by.

Strength returns, and Valentines Day approaches, I think cards are not the best representation.  Neither are flowers. Because no gift is messy, not raw enough to symbolize real love.  I think I’ll give him a kiss.