Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Humble Pundit

The Humble Pundit
©2016 Susan Noyes Anderson

The world does not depend on me, I know.
I am no expert here, no talking head.
My currents drive no universal flow.
Wisdom will not go missing when I'm dead.
A smart plan could be made outside my view.
Minus my blessing, good might still be done.
Opinions formed without me have held true.
Speech may have merit ere I have begun.
Believe me, of my failings I'm aware.
(Though in all fairness, they are oddly scant.)
I am no sage, of course, and yet compare…
Most think in scribble; I think in Rembrandt.
Without my presence, mankind would endure.
But would it thrive? Of that, I am less sure.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Love of God: Terror in Orlando

The Love of God: Terror in Orlando
©2016 Susan Noyes Anderson

Religion is no bullet in the night,
no savage spewing of self-righteous might.

Truth is not verified by lifeblood shed,
nor does proof correlate with tallied dead.

Judgment belongs to God and God alone.
Belief, our gift to Him, is ours to own.

His people look on others with His eyes,
heartbound to love and honor, not despise.

God will not justify ungodly deeds,
committed to indulge our basest needs.

His goodness shuns the darkness, shines the light.
And every soul stands sacred in His sight.

Humility proves stronger than the sword.
Evil for evil earns its own reward.

God is not served by cruel, unyielding creeds.
The way is His; in peaceful paths He leads.

Then let us fill the measure of our birth
by walking in God's footsteps here on earth.

For we are His; to Him we shall return.
Love is the lesson each of us must learn.


Praying for the families of 49 young Americans, shot and killed in Orlando. 
Praying for our country, too…and a world that seems to have lost its way.

Such utter and reckless disregard for the sacred nature of human life is a tragedy, 
one I fear we will see more frequently in years to come. 
May we find better ways to face an uncertain future together, 
in love and in unity, refusing to become less than we are 
in the struggle to preserve all that we have been and are meant to be. 

We can and must seek out the light and stand in it. 

"Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, 
until the day of the Lord come…" 
D&C 87:8

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

On Hope

©2016 Susan Noyes Anderson

The cynic in me flirts with gloom
when something makes me grieve.
But I don't let it rent a room.
HOPE is what I believe.

Down is an empty feeling;
looming shadows chase the light.
There's much to gain from healing,
not a lot to gain from blight.

It's rather simple, all in all.
Each person gets to choose.
Half full? Half empty? Stand or fall?
We own it, win or lose.


"I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe love is stronger than death." – Robert Fulghum

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Hope Lost, Hope Found

Hope Lost, Hope Found
©2016 Susan Noyes Anderson

The heavy desert heat
assaulted her,
shut down her cool,
absorbed her essence,
stole from her the
right to breathe.

It beat her down,
ran out her sweat,
forged salty rivers of regret,
offered no respite
cool or sweet;
mercy the forfeit.

Faith melted,
trickled into sand,
sank deeper than
her sun-seared hand.
Left thirst unsated.

Her plight, in purple
mountains framed,
subdued then claimed
the fight within.
Broken she bowed,
her end avowed.

The day was lost;
the angels cried.
Her spirit, vanquished
from inside,
yielded to pain.
But then...the rain.

Hope born again.


Hope warms my heart,
especially in the most trying circumstances.
It comes most often, I believe, in God's tender mercies...
like cooling rain…
and living water.

"For the Lamb…shall lead them unto living fountains of waters;
and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."
Revelation 7:17

"…And the same shall be in [them] a well of living water,
springing up unto everlasting life."
D&C 63:23

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Rise Up

©2016 Susan Noyes Anderson

"You're the worst decision I ever made,"
he said. It nearly knocked her dead.
She'd given him her heart so long ago.
She didn't know how much that gift would cost
and she had lost herself. She wasn't faultless…

But she was not less.

She only felt less…less than the woman 
she had been. She'd conjure up that girl again.
It wasn't easy. Stung by the words that left
his lips, the vicious slams, sarcastic quips,
she cut him no slack...battled her way back.

God, help her stay back.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Love Is Patient; Love Is Kind

Feeling a little out of sorts last week, I wrote this poem to myself.
(I think it worked!)

©2016 Susan Noyes Anderson

When wells of love in me run dry,
and I no longer see
the cup of living water
kindness offers up to me;

When anger veils my tender view,
and shadows dim my soul;
When I feel cheated of my due,
and giving takes its toll;

When those around me seem to merit
naught but martyred sighs,
the answer is to look upon them
with our Savior's eyes.

My vision, through a darkened glass,
is blurred by shades of pride.
His charity, if I but ask,
will light me up inside.

Compassion is a gift of grace,
born in humility.
May I seek Christ in every face
and find His love in me.

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

What Greater Love than This?

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What warms my heart as Easter approaches is the thought of how deeply the Savior loves us. I am  grateful for His sacrifice and the eternal blessings it affords God's children. Happy Easter to one and all!

©2016 Susan Noyes Anderson

In ancient times Christ walked upon the earth
as Son of God, a man of flesh and bone.
Some loved Him from the moment of His birth.
Some came to love Him after He was grown.
Too many loved Him not and wished Him ill,
their recognition swept away by pride.
With hardened hearts, inured to Father’s will,
they cast His holy Messenger aside.
A heretic they called Him and a fraud,
impugning Him by cunning word and deed.
But snares of man stand useless before God.
Whatever gains were made, Christ chose to cede.
For He had come to earth a debt to pay,
and evil set in motion His great plan.
On Calvary, He gave His life away
to seal the immortality of man.
His gift to all was Resurrection Day.
The sinner and the saint would rise again!
Christ burst the tomb; the stone was rolled away.
Death lost its sting; the grave would yield all men.
The price was paid and sweet redemption won.
But Christ’s atonement offered even more:
to dwell in Father’s presence through His Son,
who marked the way and opened wide the door.
What greater love than this eternal life?
Our Savior bled and died to call us friend.
His are the arms that carry us through strife.
His is the grace that brings us home again.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man 
lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


photo by Damien Derouene

©2016 Susan Noyes Anderson

Your every move is cagey, I suspect;
and thus I am a trifle circumspect
in interactions co-opted by you.

It's true. You are the barefaced bane of banes.
That I must keep my eye on you explains
my sheer distaste when I must take that view.

I see the games you play. Oh yes, I see.
And I shall counter each one warily
until your sound defeat signals we're through.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Love Note

©2016 Susan Noyes Anderson

She loves him with a love profound,
but not that well-expressed.
The sweetness sings inside her heart 
but rarely leaves her chest.

She is too plain and he too fair.
How dare she seek his favor?
Ah, but he smiles…traces her face…
seizes her lips to savor.

She rides a seesaw of emotion,
coupled, yet alone.
Behind her dusky eyes she yearns
to be more fully known.

Unnerved, she pens a love note,
words that she has longed to say,
traps them inside an envelope,
kisses it on its way.

Written in response to a picture prompt from Tess Kincaid.

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Saturday, March 5, 2016

On Faith, Fear, and Friends Held Dear

Elizabeth Stone once said, "Making the decision to have a child…is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." How true these words are, for there is no vulnerability quite like that of being a parent.

Today I learned that the son of a dear friend has been diagnosed with stage IV adrenocortical carcinoma. This is a rare form of cancer with a poor record for survival, and I am having a visceral reaction to the news. A good portion of my angst is rooted in love and compassion, of course, but I'm also aware of a smaller yet powerful portion of personal fear. This wonderful young man grew up with my own children, and I am suddenly reminded that life offers us what it will, and none are immune to the repercussions.

I often find myself wishing these "reminders" would never come around, even though I understand their importance in the grand scheme of things. Each time they do present themselves (in my own family or in the families of others), I know with everything in me that faith is the best and most healing response. Calling upon the Lord and trusting that His plan is a better one than any we might devise is pretty much the only way to move through struggles and challenges with any degree of peace and even happiness. Thankfully, my friend's family is fully cognizant of this, and so is her courageous son. He is determined to do everything within his power to be cured, relying upon the Lord for the rest. His goal is to love his wife and continue to raise their five children to adulthood; and he will, God willing. But that's the rub, isn't it? God must be willing.

The simple truth is that having the faith to be healed also means having the faith not to be healed. And that's where the fear comes in. Experience has taught me that prayers for physical healing are not always answered in the affirmative. (Happily, it has also taught me that prayers for spiritual healing always are.) My prayer for my friend is that her son will be made whole, and I am joining my faith with hers. If that is God's plan, it will happen…and I am hoping against hope that it is. In fact, I intend to keep petitioning Him for that result until such time as His will is made known. I know He will listen to the pleadings of my heart and hers with a compassionate ear. I also know that whatever He brings to pass will be the right outcome. My friend knows that, too.

Knowing that doesn't necessarily keep the fear away. Submitting to the Lord in all things can be hard, especially when it comes to the survival of those we love. Fear will always come knocking…even for the most faithful...and that's okay. We can forgive ourselves for not being perfect and resolve once again to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not unto our own understanding. God knows the end from the beginning; surely we can trust Him to get it right. As the apostle Paul said, "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strenghteneth me" (Philippians 4:10-13). I know this to be true, even if I don't always enjoy the process.

The following is a poem I wrote years ago, while in the midst of a health crisis of my own. I thought I understood then that acceptance was a necessary component of faith without fear, but apparently I am one who needs frequent refresher courses. Perhaps I am not alone in that...

©2003 Susan Noyes Anderson

If ever earth and sky should spin away
and love and truth lie crumbled at your feet,
when all around and in you cries defeat
and hope and faith seem merely words to say––

Say nothing; hear Him whisper to your soul:
"My peace lies in acceptance, not control."

"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,
shall keep your heart and minds through Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:7

Sending love to my friend and praying earnestly for the healing we all hope for...

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