Monday, March 28, 2011

Flood me
with your presence
bring me
to your light…

too intense
for shielded eyes
there I
lose my heart

pat spreng

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I was thinking about the different kinds of wounds today.  I’ve long since come to understand that we are all living as wounded souls in one way or another. Everyone has a deeper story, and nothing is as it appears on the surface.  I thought there must be as many different processes of healing as there are wounds.  And, for as many times and ways I have tried to heal myself, I know the one constant that remains in any true and complete healing, is the One true Healer ... God.  No matter how many times I have foolishly rejected His way, His faithfulness to heal us comes in as many different forms, time frames and processes as the wounds themselves.  We have only to call upon His name.  But the timing is His… and there’s the rub.  I cannot count the times I have called upon His name only to find that He has said “wait,” and my vending machine mentality of God seems to get jammed.  How many times have I impatiently said “I want it now,” and, for lack of the desired Divine response, taken matters into my own hands?   … as though I could do better.  Forgive me, Lord.
I was reminded of my mother’s ‘open wound’ healing after her surgery to remove her large intestine when she was 87 years old.  Her abdominal incision would not heal.  It had become abscessed and the infection nearly stole her life.  When the doctor explained the repulsive process of the open wound healing, I was aghast.  I had never heard of this before.  Aren’t all incisions just sewed shut?  The answer was no.  My immediate response was to reject this form of healing.  Painful. Disgusting. Too long. Unacceptable.   I did not know that some incisions must literally remain open and very gradually heal from the inside out.  The process of continually packing, cleansing and nurturing the wound several times a day would require constant care and supervision. 
So, it is no wonder how deeply moved I was when I read this prayer of Mechthild of Magdeburg, a medieval mystic nun from the 12th century.  To me, her words will remain in my heart as a vivid reminder of the way Christ himself will lay into our open physical, emotional or spiritual wounds to heal us the way only He can do.  We have only to ask, and wait.
            I will tear the heart of my soul in two
            And you must lay therein.
            You must lay yourself
            In the wounds of my soul.” 
Mechthild of  Magdeburg

1 Peter 5:10 (JB Phillips)
... and after you have borne  these sufferings a very little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to share his eternal splendor through Christ, will himself make you whole and secure and strong.  All power is his forever and ever, amen!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

For my friend Sabrina...

In sympathy
Oh Lord,
with loving words
I hold this one
up close
to Your face…
the one whose
heart has broken
with sadness pouring out

Carry this one today
as  memories
flood  the heart…
and unwelcome grief
invades the space
reserved for

Comfort this one
with your sweet love
and assurance
that You are
as  the Giver
of this gift…
that,  for now,
appears to be lost,
but  will be
given again
one day
in paradise…

where no one
is ever

©patricia spreng

Friday, March 4, 2011


I love to stay in  places
that people never go
drinking in…
the things You’d have me know

then staying there…
and watching
listening just for You
resting, waiting…
yearning to paint
with words,
and praise
and more

to show You that
I’m thankful
love You

patricia spreng

My heart overflows with a good theme;  I address my verses to the King; my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
Psalm 45:1

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


"Forgiveness" Vatican Museum Rome, Italy
puzzle  pieces...
what  we  need
to understand the
broken heart
which  drives
the actions
and  those  words

puzzle pieces...
what we need
to understand the fears
behind the tears
where cracks
and crevice start

the  pieces  will be  found
if  we listen  past  the  pain
to  fill  in  gaping holes
of   misunderstanding 
can  be  found
if  we surrender  all the pieces
that were never  meant  to  fit

His Peace 
fills  any hole
to make the picture

©pat spreng


Lovepats... maybe this would be a good time to explain the title.  My name is Pat and my last name begins with the letter "S."  That's easy enough, right?  So naturally, if I had a CB radio, my handle would definitely be "lovepat."  Even though, I supppose that name could be misconstrued; I fondly remember my mother's lovepats.  As a mother of 10 children, she could calm any distraught child with her simple embrace, her lovepat, and a "there, there, now."  So, "lovepats" bring me a certain amount of comfort and I share them with my children and the people I love.  Lovepats simply speak a language of love and comfort. It's all about the touch and the connection.  Lovepats encourage and say "everything will be alright," and "I love you."

As I looked up this word in the dictionary, I found it didn't exist.  That was discouraging.  Well, the word "pat" is defined.  It has many definitions as a noun, verb or an idiom.  Among other things, it is an expression of encouragement... as in a "pat" on the back. 

I remember when I was very young, I looked up my name in the dictionary.  Imagine my dismay as I read "patty... a small, round slab of meat."  I was hoping for something a bit more endearing, if not sophisticated or glamorous.  Nope, a small, round slab of meat.  There it was.  Now, thankfully, it was not a self-fulfilling prophecy and I came to understand the beautiful meaning of "Patricia" the female form of the latin word "patrician" meaning a person of nobility or high rank.  Alright then, 'nobility' had a certain elegant ring to it, and I was pleased.  But the fact remained, that growing up in my catholic school, there happened to be 4 of us 'Pats' of different genders in one class  There was a Patty, Patsy, Trish, Patrick, and I got stuck with being called "Pat."  The only people who called me 'Patty" were my Mom and Dad.  It was a charming term of endearment and I secretly cherished it.  Other neighbors and family friends liked to call me "Patty Duke" or "Pitty Pat" but that was just for fun.

For the purpose of this blog, I hope you find my words encouraging... like 'lovepats."  I hope you somehow sense through my "LovePats" that everything will be alright, that you will find we have a lot in common on this journey as we travel through the dailyness of living.  That you will find yourself, as I do, comforted and loved by a very Great God... no matter what.  I find joy in bringing you LovePats.