Tag Archives: Prayer

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.


The Defense Rests

I stood before you
Pleading my case into the offended silence
Assuming no able mediator
Would intervene in the violence,
The waste, the butchery,
And the endless consumption
Framing my identity and
Crippling my function
But the unthinkable happened, as I unraveled
Spilling confession where I noxiously sinned
The Judge handed me the very same gavel
With which I should have been condemned-
Mine to beat upon you, and the past,
To damn, or to set down free.
On it, engravings of our trespasses:
Killing you was killing me
And how deeply I considered it
With no one left to save-
Allowing my embitterment
To seal our ashes together in the grave
But what would be left behind
If I razed our souls to damnation?
We would both produce in like kind
The offspring of condemnation.
And the Great Judge pointed to a battered face
Hanging bloodied on an unearned cross
His wheezing body dripping grace
On the gnashing teeth of the lost.
I set the gavel down.
Where is the path forward?
What kind of future can be found,
Or excavated, or forged
After all these crimes between us?
My demon is my brother is my priest
And it is treasonous
To refuse your release.

So I release you,
But not to freedom.

We, neither of us, move autonomously
Outside the constraints of our pardons
We must not live dishonestly,
Sowing what separates and hardens
But pursue good, each for the other.
I sought you once, for help getting me through
The tragedies in each collision of breath
But you instead became the catalyst that got me to
A reality higher than death
And I am grateful for your diversion,
Your oppression and extortion,
Because in your exclusion and aspersions
I found that, in Him, I am more than

A Conqueror,
And so are you.

We are blood, and able to stop shedding it
Putting down the blades of our desires and expectations,
What we’ve been revering or regretting
Before cutting into the next generation
The same slavers’ irons
That have clapped us both in chains
Don’t you likewise yearn
For freedom to change?
And you are free
From the past, from your sins
I release you;
Go and make your amends
By sinning no more
Become the man you were created to be:
Serve the least, stand for
We who cannot be heard, the weak
Lost under the grumbles.
Walk in bare feet, be true:
Stand in honesty, humbled,
And I will stand for you.

A companion piece to:
https://viewingcamelot.com/2017/04/13/the-defendant-rises/


Complexity and Complicity

Forgive me my ancient remedy,
My overthinking, my overwringing
Each moment into a cacophony
Of strained, offkey singing

When I feel overwrought.

You gifted me to look inside,
And underneath, and from afar
A gift to see conclusions implied,
To guide my wandering star

By unknown charts and graphs.

Your gifts preserved me
I’m thinking on them oft again-
My years now stretch to eight and thirty:
You discipled me in lone places when

I wasted so much trying to join a club.

Disciple me again in this foreign land
I use this overthinking
To try to understand
When my engagement started sinking

Into the deep barrier of me:

To find the ladder back out-
I can feel another cistern
Of grief, and anger, and doubt
And I know I must return

To the spot, to break open the earth

I want to be angry,
Because I know if it’s not true
I enslaved myself to agree,
To believe them over You

And there’s nothing left but to repent-

Which I know I will do,
But I thought they held the keys-
They didn’t permit me pass through-
And now could it be

It only mattered who held the Truth?

It only mattered who the Truth held?


Grace Upon Grace

So many thanks are due:
He was drunk, a little cruel,
I poured my heart out to You-
Two days later he was through
Waking up beyond the brink,
Beyond what I could ask or think,
Pouring endless streams of drink
Unsolicited, in the kitchen sink
And telling me he’s through.

Thank You.

Then the day sobriety
Painted in dark antipathy
Lesser aspects of his epiphany-
All points converged against me
And I drove out to meet with Yours.
Even as I prepared their open door,
The good was caught in a downpour
And I prayed You’d move as before
When You parted the Red Sea.

And You did-
Thank You.

Then, tired and alone,
I returned to my home,
To a mood unknown,
I repented in groans
And I prayed for peace.
I stepped inside, hung up my keys,
And he wrapped his arms around me
A moment of masterpiece,
Two woven; two atoned-

Thank You.


The Thief

Did he steal heaven too?
Hanging there, despised,
Hearing words his equal spewed,
His wounded gut felt the lies-
Fear God! Is it not clear
Who owes, and who gives?
Death is raging ever nearer;
Despair is wrenching as he lives
But he has seen a glimpse,
And hopes enough to beg-
His hobbled life limps
To the end of broken legs,
And he cries out, “Remember,”
In one desperate act of faith,
“Remember me!” as slumber
Slices through his days
And in the closed fist
And throes of agony,
Hanging by the wrist:
He met the Prince of Peace

How his heaviest, darkest hour
Must have also been his brightest.
In the suffering grip of evil powers,
He finds his weightless rest

The Light overcomes the darkness:
His worst hour becomes his best.


Knock Knock

Here is what I know:
There was a judge, an infraction,
And a widow who would not let go
Or succumb to distraction.

Here is what I know:
Jacob took hold, wrestling,
And would not let go
”Until” he said, “You bless me.”

Here is what I know:
You’ve told us to pray,
And I refuse to let go
Until You have Your way

In this heart,
In this family,
In Your house,
In this city,
And beyond.


Heavenly Father,

Is this design or dysfunction?
I feel tired through my core,
And do we go it alone?
It comes with no compunction,
Knock-knocking at my door:
This beast that chewed my child-sized bones.

But the memories, stale
With scratching fingers,
Cannot change who You are
I fight exhaustion, often fail,
But You ever linger
Both near and far.

I don’t trust where I began,
And I can’t know where I may end,
But You are the Ancient of Days.
No one plucks me from Your hand
When You have called me friend,
And whispered Your higher ways,

To lead me through this maze.