Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Long Delay


     A quick note before the poem—this was a school assignment based upon Milton's On His Blindness. If you have never read it, you can read it here. The assignment was to write an original poem based on the style of a poem that I'd memorized, expressing similar sentiments. I had previously memorized Milton's On His Blindness and the words "They also serve who only stand and wait" had been an enormous encouragement as I considered the prospect of staying home next year and taking the year off of school. I wrote my poem with the same rhyming pattern and idea. Here is the result.


On His Blindness

'When I consider how my light is spent
      Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
      And that one Talent which is death to hide
      Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
      My true account, lest He returning chide,
     "Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?"
      I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, "God doth not need
      Either man's work or his own gifts. Who best
      Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed,
      And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
      They also serve who only stand and wait."'

~John Milton

Thursday, January 26, 2012

so as to hear..

"Steadfastness, that is holding on;
patience, that is holding back;
expectancy, that is holding the face up;
obedience, that is holding one's self in readiness to go or do;
listening, that is holding quiet and still so as to hear."
~S.D. Gordon, Quiet Talks on Prayer 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Stern Command

"Come and die," he says, "that thou may live."
and stubbornly we cling, we hold to faded dreams,
tattered bodies of death, worthless things.
While all the time there is the full life He will give.
"Come and die," he says, "that thou may live."
will I have the courage to give,
like heavy packs from tired shoulders to His
able back, my life? to die?

Thou knowest, Lord, only.

Temples of Mankind

The world, with every passing hour our mettle tries.
“Worship me!” each pagan god doth cry. The air
Is rent with silent desperate hurts; each aching care
Given o’er to worthless things. Crushing weight upon us lies.
 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Immanuel

"Be near!" we cry in
desperate voice to Christ whose
name is "God with us."



Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Glass Cage

You have built around me
A glinting cage of glass,
Which I dare not touch
But peer from as you appraise
Me from the exterior.
I look better behind this façade,
But ache to reach out my hand in order
To grasp yours, watching the glass
Shatter and shower to the ground.
I wish to limp out, scratched
And scraped and weep on your shoulder,
Stretch, walk, stumble, run, dance,
Without the glass to confine.
But with passing remarks and
Silent cues we are steadily reinforcing
The glass until it is crystal, the crystal
Until it is diamond,
And now I have become the very
Glass itself.
                A mask, a beating heart within
       A body of glittering diamond.


O Lord,
       break me.

Under The Mercy

     "We are, I think, so made that our greatest happiness is in doing God's will. If I am right, those who rebel against God do not find either joy or happiness, except momentarily, for they are rebelling against happiness itself. There is only one fountain of joy...I should not have found that happiness, that exaltation, had God cast me off as the disobedient sinner I was. Instead, in His mercy, He patiently drew me back to Him.
Thus it is that I know that my life, and all lives, are under the Mercy."
(Sheldon Vanauken, Under the Mercy)

     I love the idea that we are under the Mercy of God. One of my favorite psalms is Psalm 46, "God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in trouble..." When we begin to understand that our lives are sheltered beneath the Mercy, that in Christ we have a solid rock, a refuge that will stand when all else falls, we will have the context that comes with the fear of the Lordthe understanding that we are part of a bigger story.
     Somehow, I hope that my words, or poems, or thoughts, will help you to glimpse in some way another part of the story. I hope they will remind you that you are always under the Mercy.

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