Friday, March 13, 2015


The four eyed fourth grader
The bookworm in the corner
The fat girl with green hair
The skinny boy with skin fare
Picked last for kickball
First for chess club
These are the nerds, the geeks, the introverts
They wear hand-me downs
Eat mac & cheese
Mind their manners and always say please
They ride the pine, never to play
Hoping that tomorrow is a different day
But their break doesn’t come
The sun sets again
Another day gone
And no one saw them

…Redemption is yours

Invisible to the world around
Hearts broken within
But they hear the sound
Of the ones crying out from the valley below
This isn’t the end and one day you will know
The beauty that’s found in the depths of the soul
Oh the light will shine and the glory revealed
The heartache is gone
And the tears are restored
It was hell while it lasted
A shithole so it seemed
But the story is now and no longer unseen

…Redemption is yours

The ones in the margins
Rejected by all
Are the one’s on the inside
Who learned to stand tall
Hearts full of fire
Love for what’s lost
The ones who could never afford the cost
To sit with the rich kids, or the pack of the cool
For the broken and busted they learn all to well
That the margins are where you can always tell
The make of person is not what is seen
But ultimately is what’s hidden beneath

…Redemption is yours

The lovers of mercy
The one’s fighting for grace
Speaking for the empty
Only to be spat in the face
Their watery eyes are a deep abyss
The cries of their hearts reaching to the depths
They don’t see color or race, left or right
They stand in the margins and they shine their light
On the injustice of a world that is ruled by the might
Of the takers and makers
The strong and elite
The privileged and high class
But never the meek
Humble and silent and strong in heart
They stand on the side and they play their part
They wait for the day when the bell will toll
Spirits are lifted at the call of the roll
When creation looks to the margins
And all take a bow
The time has come
Your time is now

…Redemption is yours.

© Brian Jeansonne 2015

Sunday, March 1, 2015

This is Your Place

We walk thru city streets torn with war
Where bullets have been married to the gods we adore
Our schools are no longer places where kids can be safe
But now serve as graves filled up by those breathing hate
The cries of mothers for sons swept off into war
And daughter’s now slaves forced to take off their clothes
Stand strong, for this is your place

Our souls cry for peace
Yet our wills can only see thru blood shaded lenses
The smell of death and rage fills our senses
Injustice surrounds and vengeance courses thru our veins
But we know to fight the fight with the same fight
By flexing our might in order to fright
Brings temporary pause but ultimately leads us away from the light
Stand strong, for this is your place

Where the hooker and dealer, the addict and drunk
Where the black man and white cop, the athlete and klutz
Where the dreamers and wannabees, the 6 figures and sluts
Where we meet in that place, face to face and we see
There is no difference between you and me,
For they is we and me is them, there is only one
There is only us
So, stand strong for this is your place

Right here in the middle where blood mixes with tears
When the cries in our hearts fill our deaf ears
We run and we know that this can no longer be
We stand and we fight but our weapon is not
What is used by those who aren’t free
We cannot stand by, we can no longer reciprocate
For when we hate hate with hate
We shall invoke the same fate
A stone heart and blind eyes that cannot see
That if there is no you
Then there is no me

Stand strong, for this is your place.

© Brian Jeansonne 2015

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sunday Stories: A Beautiful Gift

Mr. Incredible
My 7 year old might be an artist. He has loved drawing since he was four. The thing is, his drawings aren't like most little kid drawings; his are actually pretty good. He has this creative side that simply pours out of him.

Last week, he drew a picture for the assistant principal at his school. When he took it to the office to deliver it, the secretary intercepted him and said that she would make sure the assistant principal got it. When the secretary looked at this hand drawn picture, she was intrigued by the detail of the drawing. She asked my son if he had ever taken art or was in the art program. Since we didn't even know the school had an art program, he obviously said, "no". 

This week, my 7 year old came home from school incredibly excited because on that particular day, he had been invited to leave his friends and the mundane normalcy of first grade during one period in order to go to art class. It turns out that the secretary took it upon herself to speak to the art teacher about the potential talent in this young first grader.

Some might say, she's just a secretary. That seems to be a nasty habit in our culture. I like to think however that she is one who empowers others. I believe this woman has has a beautiful gift, an eye, an ability to recognize the beauty and potential in others and do all that's in her power to pull it out of them. Whether or not my son excels in his art, I will be happy with all that his art teachers teach him along the way, but I will forever be appreciative and grateful from the deepest parts of my being for the secretary who took time to notice what is inside of my son and to nurture and encourage his young heart.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Stories: Doing What's Natural

He called me because he wanted guidance. I don't know him very well and wasn't really sure what kind of guidance he was looking for, but I love sitting down over coffee with friends, old and new, so we got together. He told me that he's been in recovery for close to 20 years and has an intense desire to see other people set free from the power of addiction to alcohol. He needed guidance from me - so he thought - when it came to how he was helping others get free. A few years ago, he and some friends began opening their homes to others who are in recovery to spend time getting to know each other and eating dinner together; something besides another recovery meeting.

Apparently, word got out about this informal dinner gathering and people started showing up like mad. Eventually, people who weren't celebrating any sobriety were showing up, sometimes drunk on the spot and desperate for help. It seems that getting into some of the hospitals around town is rather difficult these days as many of the detox units are overcrowded.  So, this man and his friends did what came natural to them. They decided to let those who were struggling through their addiction find refuge in their homes. Inviting them in. Providing a bed and food. Offering them a place and a community to detox with. Caring for them. And after 48 - 72 hours of detox, they are helping them get into programs where they might get the help that they need. 

At the end of our conversation, I asked, "What are you needing from me?"

He replied, "I just need guidance on how to do this."

To which I replied, 
"Well, you're loving on people, caring for them, preferring them and honoring them. I don't think you need my help. Just keep doing what comes naturally to you and keep following your heart."

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Stories: Pursuing Passion

Some people do. Some people are. I have a friend who is a dancer. Not an Aaron Rodgers kind of dancer, but a real dancer. For years, she has been working through and trying to figure out how to continue to pursue her hearts passion for dancing even though dancing does not necessarily pay the bills. For years I have been wondering...
'What's her deal? Dancing isn't cutting it, go out and find a job that will bring in enough money to support yourself, and then just dance on the side.'
Over the past 2 years, I have been on a journey towards identifying my own life passion and heart. Not so much a 'what I do' but more of a 'who I am'.

I have come to realize that you can't make yourself be something that you are not and you can't not be something that you are.

My friend is an artist. She is a dancer. It's not what she does. It's who she is. And so, for her, she has spent and will spend her days, her months, her years and her life 'doing' whatever she has to do to make ends meet in order to be able to continue her art, be true to herself and truly be who she is.

For this, I am grateful. So, to this friend, continue being you. You make a wonderful you. And may the rest of us continue to figure out who we are (and who we're not) and then be the best that we can be - no matter what the cost.

Monday, January 23, 2012

You Complete Me

The moment was a complete game changer in our relationship. I was moaning and groaning to my wife about things I didn't like about myself and things I didn't like about other people; complaining about this and worrying about that. At the end of my diatribe, I looked at Kristy and said 'I am such a terrible person.' I was making a joke. With all of the sincerity in the world, she looked at me and said, 

"Brian, you are not a terrible person. You just have a lot of issues."

She was not making a joke. She was dead serious. It was a game changer because at that moment, I came to realize much more of the depths of the love and life that we share together. Ours is a relationship where we are becoming more open and honest with one another, experiencing more trust and actually allowing one another to speak into the others life - kind of like real friends do.

In a day and age when Jerry's words to Dorothy is what people are looking for, it seems that we've actually been missing out on the true beauty of oneness. What if, being made 'complete' by another person is not the goal at all - or even possible for that matter?

When we look to another person to complete us, we in essence give that person complete power over us. When someone else completes us, we inevitably hang on every word that person says, looking for our value and worth. If they build us up we feel great. If they say something negative about us, even if it's true, it causes our world to cave in around us. This is perhaps one major reason why marriages don't last in our society.

What if, instead of looking to a spouse (or future spouse) to complete us, we looked to a spouse to be a partner in this life journey. Someone who we can be true friends with. True allies. As we work together to continue working through our stuff; knowing that we were never intended to 'complete' one another. A spouse certainly can make us a better person, but that actually only works if the relationship is authentic, vulnerable, filled with trust and love. That takes time, but seems to me - these days - to be much better than the cotton candy, 9th grade crush love we bought into along the way. And yes, for the record, I did like the movie Jerry Maguire and I might have gotten something in my eye during the 'you had me at hello' dialogue.

If you are married, does your spouse have the freedom to speak into your life? About your character? Flaws? How you come across to other people?

Married or not married, do you have others in your life who you have invited to speak into your life? People who make you a better person?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Stories: Chosen

My Kristy and I packed our bags and headed out of town for a 3 day retreat last week to spend some time with a number of friends who are sharing a similar experience of life, parenthood, vocation and life mission. One evening while sitting around the fire, we were talking with some new friends who have adopted a number of African American children. They were telling us a story about one of their son's who came home from school one day, distraught and said, 
"Dad, they are all making fun of me because I'm black and have white parents."
 This dad looked at his boy and said,
"You go back tomorrow and you tell those kids that you are adopted.You tell them that means that your mom and dad stood at that nursery window, surveyed the whole room full of babies and said, 'That one! We want that one, right there!.'.....and then you tell them that they were in that same nursery."
The humor was funny. But the overarching message of being wanted and chosen - well that is beyond beautiful.