Friday, July 25, 2014

Phoenix Foxhole Prayer

Eastward loom mountains of cloud
spreading at the top
hammered by a stratified atmoshpere
into anvils above us
loaded with bolts to hurl
down at the desert
and bunkered with billions of rounds of ammunition
in God's blessed rain.

Will we be bombarded?
Please God we may.
It is hot here.

Sovereignty is Comfort and Comfort is Praise

The heart aches when 
friends slip through your fingers
as God draws them away
to good and glorious things
and reminds you
that neither they,
nor you,
nor anything under the sun,
is yours,
but Christ.

And they,
and you,
and everything under the sun,
are in His hand.
And who shall snatch them away?

The road between us may grow longer
(and hotter and more desolate)
and the years will roll away down the hill
towards the bottom of time,
and children will grow
and faces will change
and eyes will grow dim
and death may even intrude himself on our fellowship,

but

thanks be to God for grace inexpressible,
bursting with glory and thoroughgoing joy
in the face of Jesus;
in the bride of Jesus,
in the temple of the Triune God,
in the light of the Lamb,
we shall meet again,
if not before.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Variations on a Theme by Chesterton

"Bigotry may be roughly defined as the anger of men who have no opinions." - G. K. Chesteron, Heretics

It's not so very difficult
to know more about folks than we do.
They usually tell us,
plain as day,
what they think and how they feel.
Sometimes even in words.
If we would just remember
how there is a brotherhood of man
(one curse, one doom, one earth to till),
and more than that, one image in us still,
despite the filth and foul and pain,
the mark of God before the mark of Cain.

Can we remember that we are the dust?
And would we treat co-heirs of dust like dirt?
What reason will we give to God,
much less to them
we've trodden down,
when we all meet in death or border towns?

So if you want to disagree, then listen.
To shut your ears would be a mad disgrace.
Nobody's asking of you blind acceptance,
but simply take a look before your face.

It's not just Shylock who can bleed or weep,
no, every man and woman has the skill,
and will you shut your heart and nation still?

Will you shut out and shame the poor who clamor
for the crumbs from the table,
as though we were the master?
Or will you ask them in, and ask about their health,
their family, their work, their Lord and Savior Jesu Christo?
You will find them men and women, children, too.
You will find them kind, and cruel, just like you.
You will find them much more willing
to shoulder a burden and walk another mile
for you, for their friends, family, or nation (old or new).

And when you have known them to be men,
women,
and children,
after God's own image,
sometimes after God's own heart,
will you still shut your own?

It is one thing to love justice, as it has been defined by the comfortable.
It is quite another to love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Upon Reading the Poems of Guthlac of Crowland

I had not heard of that heaven-hardy holy man,
who stood fast, firm against the blast of fiends and foes,
a suppliant, head-bowed and hand-clasped, begging of his Lord,
the Ward of Heaven, who stands, his hands upraised,
pierced long ago by Pilate and the Jews,
sly-stained with his blood, "on us and on our children".
Not otherwise are we, so often galled by grace,
our race, reared raging 'gainst the Lamb, I AM,
but checked, choked, charged with sin, acquitted,
not by might nor power, piety, or pity, but by love,
caught out by Christ, sought by soul-savior Son,
so that we beg of him, tear-torn and tired by sin, "O God,
your blood be upon us and on our children!"

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Post-Communist

It is a land where nothing is anybody's job anymore,
yet God keeps the lights on
and waters the grass.