“Not that I have already obtained it
or have already become perfect,
but I press on
so that I may lay hold of that
for which also I was laid hold of
by Christ Jesus.
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do:
forgetting what lies behind
and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal
for the prize of the upward call of God
in Christ Jesus.
Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude;
and if in anything you have a different attitude,
God will reveal that also to you;”
Philippians 3:12-15 NASB
Your forgiveness flows
In fathomless depths
And I sink below
Brought to breath
By the oxygen of grace;
Where bitterness defaced:
The place unseen.
A sudden turning;
A fresh beginning.
Like shattered glass,
Like broken bastions
Of empires past.
Ocular scales shed to ground,
Questions falling each alone,
Like wilted leaves, soundless
Before Your Holy throne
I tremble and forgive, subdued.
I confess and boldly stand-
Because if faith pleases You,
Let it guide my hand.
My reluctance dissolves
In view of Your glory,
You choose to involve
Blind-me in Your story,
And that will ever be enough
Nay, more than plenty-
I let go; I give up-
I beg You to send me
To love, to serve, to proclaim, to suffer,
For the glory of Your name.
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance
and the sin which so easily entangles us,
and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith,
who for the joy set before Him endured the cross,
despising the shame,
and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12:1-2 NASB
Leave a comment | tags: Faith, forgiveness, Jesus, Obedience, purpose, release, Revelation, serve, truth | posted in Passion
She writes, she dreams,
In dark carnival scenes
Mad-toothed barkers, twisted mirrors,
Remorseless, deathless terrors
In suspended animation-
I shared in her damnation:
It’s all true, in sideways shards
Where truth leaves truth marred
Where mothers’ lips fuel hearses;
Where mothers’ tongues drip curses
And hunger puts its fist in baby-bellies
And the cold pulls warriors to felled knees,
And bruises, like tribal tattoos, shine
Flaunting hell in knuckle-designs
Barkers estimating height, and weight,
And every flaw, sin, or mistake
Stench and stale smothering
Tender skin succumbed to stings
Of ruthless consumption and defacement:
Run-down rides in broken-down basements.
And she writes with teeth still piercing skin,
Like goodness died, and carnies win,
And I need You to be You again-
The unchangeable God: the same
Yesterday, today, and always.
Leave a comment | tags: abuse, emotion, emotional, Home, homeless, Memory, mental, mother, neglect, physical, PTSD, sexual, Sisters, spiritual, truth | posted in Pallor
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.
Leave a comment | tags: appeal, christianity, cross, darkness, Faith, forgiveness, Home, humanity, light, Poetry, Prayer, redemption, Thief, truth | posted in Praise
A morning lingering into day,
In waking, walking paralysis
Our finer natures overlaid
By an interlocking antithesis.
Waiting with breath abated
For any signal to divine
If affection is reinstated,
If value is reassigned.
Late afternoon I went to work
For You, to finish what I started
Not for favor, or fear of shirking,
But because the work is imparted
And I had the time to do it.
When I left, You began to speak
My fears are falsity-conduits:
I’m only in trouble if You are weak.
Then You reminded me
I’ve been gifted unspeakable devotion
A God who desires, who seeks,
Who set time in motion
To rescue me, to hold me close.
Your love rained on me all afternoon,
I saw You greater than the foe,
And somehow I’ve been hewn
In Your image,
Which is anything but hollow.
You alone set me to pilgrimage,
And equipped me thus to follow.
I began the day waiting to forget,
These frailties fading into embers,
But You reminded me You’re not done yet,
And what I need most is to remember.
Leave a comment | tags: christianity, Faith, Faithful, humanity, Life, Poetry, truth, Work | posted in Passion, Praise
All my life I’ve heard
Who I ought to be,
What I must deserve,
And how I should believe
And believe, I do
From the core of who I am
Whatever facets I eschew
Change not the slightest gram
Of the rock that won’t erode,
And the hand that can’t release-
I know that I know that I know;
I believe what I believe.
Then why don’t I conform?
This I cannot say.
The world, to me, feels worn-
And an infantile display
Of youthful promenading
Feathers flaunting wide
A ballad of blinded pride.
I don’t have the energy,
Nor the desire,
To bow to pop-liturgy
Or lift myself higher-
All my oddities abound,
I see they keep me alone.
I wander the hard ground
Ever out of home-
Even these I speak of plainly
I do not dream as accusation
The lone state that pains me
Is of my own creation
Unwilling, or else unable,
To put aside where I am bent-
I don’t fit into the label-
Does that mean I can’t be sent?
Yet in my diminished condition-
Here am I.
Beyond trend or tradition,
I ever testify.
It all boils down to these:
I am, I exist as I, and I believe.
Whatever else they may say of me
Cannot negate these three.
Leave a comment | tags: christianity, Faith, History, Individuality, Life, Odd, Poetry, ramblings, Religion, testimony, truth | posted in Passion
He loves you.
Quietly I came these many miles,
In the dark and nameless,
Wringing out my smiles
In shameless complacency
To hear someone say to me,
“He loves you.”
He’s been saying it for years.
Too good to be true some days,
But that can’t undo His decision
Who am I to appraise
His vision of devotion
Or the ocean of His patience
I’ve been swimming in for years,
For the glimpse, the whisper,
“He loves you.”
Leave a comment | tags: christianity, Faith, Life, Love, Need, Poetry, ramblings, truth | posted in Praise
I close my eyes
She appears again, in the haze
Of spent years and separate ways
And tears bent to earth.
Her moment torn open,
But she no longer remains
In the flowing wounds, the stains-
Her broken fragments of being.
I close my eyes,
And they’re ever kneeling
In like condition: healing,
A foreign concept- a mythical beast.
Love, a foreign language,
A muscle rarely-used,
A notion much-abused
And deeply mistrusted.
I close my eyes,
And open my heart in prayer.
You brought me here from there,
And I was too blind to remember the route,
But I remember You,
And the day I learned love was tangible,
And I could receive it,
And I could give.
Leave a comment | tags: grace, great commission, healing, Jesus, Love, Poetry, Prayer, TPC, truth | posted in Passion
And has there ever been, from birth
Any moment, or breath,
Some collision of word, or flesh,
That was ever anything of worth
Without You wrapped in it?
We dig our gardens, our graves,
Passing our rote to little minds,
Studying tides, and stars, and all kinds
Of grasping, assuming we’re saved
By our tasks and do we miss You?
Let the floods commence
Eroding our mud breaches
Folding in on what we teach is
Our greatest recompense:
The surviving members of creation.
You will come with mighty roar
Like the oceans we adore
And our proud knees will drop
And our hard hearts will stop in our proud chests
On the dry shores of our vested interests.
Will we forget our complex knots?
Our webs of assent, the tangles
Of all the wisdom we’ve mangled
And all the lies we’ve bought,
Even so, Lord Jesus, come.
Leave a comment | tags: christianity, Faith, Life, philosophy, Poetry, truth, Wisdom, Work | posted in Passion
Here sits the castle of my soul,
Touched by rot and ruin,
Cramped and narrow,
Housing doubts, fears, confusion
Standing room only
This aged mansion
Can’t hold the immensity
The vast expansion
Or colored intensity
Of a summer sunset.
Man from clay,
But here I lie, on earthen hill,
My corridors splay
Insufficient to fill,
To swallow the ground beneath
Incapable of cleansing my stains,
Or repairing my breach,
Created: I cannot contain
These elements beyond my reach
Beyond my reason
But even they have a first:
God’s handiwork unfurled.
He fills to burst the
Confines of this world
That cannot contain Him.
And how small am I?
Woven in the womb’s darkness
By His delicate design
And omnipotent sparks
Of fragility and fate
And I ask Him to abide
In this broken abode.
I ask Him to hide Himself inside,
This God I know
Of fire and radiance
I ask Him into this crumbled pittance
Decaying more each season,
Because denying Him admittance
Is no small treason,
This Creator who can neither be contained,
Nor ever moves He in vain.
Leave a comment | tags: christianity, Confession, Faith, Life, Poetry, St. Augustine, truth, Work, writing | posted in Passion
I’ve succumbed to this infirmity,
Like spiritual leprosy,
Slipping beneath the pallor,
Aching in my joints:
It only hurts where I bend.
And I’m numb again,
My nerve-endings fall mute
But I have called to You
And You are willing.
I hold my breath.
Still on my bed, like stone death
And my fears crush my feet,
Clinging like gasoline and smoke
Paralyzed under the weight
Tormented by what I can’t escape
And I can’t get up, get away,
I can’t crawl to You,
But You will come; You will speak.
Tossed in feverish apparitions,
Bound by my inhibitions
Fueled with burning skin
And thought and imagination,
What is true, objective reality,
And what is birthed inside me
In the flame and misery
Of these spiritual infirmities?
But I believe You’re able:
Touch these hands
Set this fever to flee
So I can stand, so I can see
So I can serve Yours as You’ve saved me.
Leave a comment | tags: Bible, christianity, Confession, Fear, function, God, Hope, Jesus, Matthew, Poetry, Praise, Prayer, Rhyme, transformation, truth | posted in Passion, Praise