E’er expanding space cannot contain you.
There you stand with flesh and blood and sinew.
My life doesn’t look like I thought it would at this point. I’m learning to be thankful for that.
Give me a love for people,
For runny noses and achy heads,
For homesick widows with empty beds,
For orphaned children who long for homes,
For refugees on a strange sea’s foams,
For unwashed sweaters and hole-filled shoes,
For ears weary with unhappy news,
For feeble bodies both young and old,
For hearts white-hot and for hearts now cold,
For neighbors nearby and far away,
For friends who go and for friends who stay,
For enemies who have not earned peace,
For captives awaiting their release,
For those who share my blood and my name,
For names I would prefer not to claim,
For fallen minds that think much like me,
For souls with whom I still disagree,
For happy voices singing their songs,
For those I fear because of their wrongs,
For tongues I do not now understand,
For both innocent and guilty hands,
For those remembered, those forgotten,
For both highborn and misbegotten,
For image bearers in ev’ry form,
For the lost, the fervent, the lukewarm.
Give me a love for people.
Have you ever caught yourself arguing a point not because you believed it but because you wanted to win a debate?
Six guys from college have kept in touch consistently over the last number of years. Cade, Dustin, Jeff, Kevin, Will, and myself have shared encouragement, accountability, and laughs through seasons of difficulty as well as seasons of joy. Last year, they challenged me to write a blog post or a poem on any subject of their choosing for each of their birthdays. This year, they collaborated on a poem for mine. I suggested they write about the brotherhood of believers, using our group as an example, and I’m excited to share their work with you below.
No man was meant for the hermit’s Operation
How some men will stand the opposition of wormwood
No man was meant for the pure role of heroic.
Binded by the Lamb’s blood running through our veins.
A fan of these, as well as soccer.
Go hand in hand like Joe and witty.
A man like Joe, there could never be another.
How then must these truths be taken?
None other than creating mancation!
A dream to most
We created a weekend of chaos, I must boast
But in the Cross that is
For it is no credit of our own, this work is simply His.
The game playing,
coffee drinking and steak eating will fade.
But this brotherhood is fraternal.
It cannot be broken, for this bond is eternal.
•HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JOE THE WALLER•
Today, my message may be a bit redundant. I want to highlight a point that almost everyone I read or listen to on the subject of writing seems to say: if you want to be a writer, you need to be a reader. Among the exhortations given to aspiring writers, the call to read is one of the most consistent, and for good reason. And while I know the idea verges on the cliche, I also know it took me far too long to actually understand the importance of reading in the life of a writer.