Closed Doors and Open Prayers

I don’t want to take anything from anyone,
Except their idols,
And the years wasted
Tending abandoned temples
In a darkened land,
The shadow proves the sunshine.
I lay in the sensate awareness
As a frangible child
And supine in a puddle
You drown.
Addicts bite
When you touch their stash
Of chemical responses
As graven images
But You led me out,
And taught me to stand.
Men prescribe the wrong medicine;
The true remedy of which
I’m living proof
Is hidden in plain sight:
Bold faith in Your word,
Untethered to the weights
Of human compensations.
Life’s too brief
To preach to gnashing teeth
And hands clasped
Over ears that refuse to hear,
And You lead me out again-
I will not forget
Where I began, why I am here,
All these years after my death
Redeemed by Your kind intention-
Grace as a burning coal
Forcing motion
Enabling no sins, but
Crippled legs learn to stand
Inside their infirmities;
I run to eternity,
And on the way to Jerusalem
I do not pack the household gods.
I strip the altars I find
In the lofty places
Right under Your nose,
Because You’ve tenderly shown
They are foul death to us all.
There’s an organic soil
Cultivating health,
And overlooked by the self-wise,
The self-absorbed, the self-made men
Whose structures pave the soil
They grew out of,
And I don’t fault them all;
I hand them over to their desires,
And Your wisdom.
I strip away these layers…

And what remains?
Fish on a beach.
Sweating alone in a garden.
Sandals road-worn.
A family found.
Moments planted, not hoarded.
Life abundant in micro-units,
And may I follow You-
Lay down my own nets,
Take up my cross,
And pound the earth
With willing feet
Bearing out the gospel
As You did.

If You are willing,
Make us well.
Lead us.
Defend us.
Teach us to resist assault,
Temptation, and inertia,
Stepping forward in intimacy:
A second language
Far from fluent, but framed in affection-
Teach us, Teacher.
We strive to bow the knee
To You alone,

God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

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