Relief

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One of the godliest men I know is scheduled to have open heart surgery on Wednesday. This current situation follows a number of other medical issues including eye problems, cancer, diabetes, and some mystery symptoms that remained undiagnosed for years. He’s followed the LORD faithfully for decades, serving his church and his family well. He could have been bitter, angry, or hardened at the fact that, in spite of his faithfulness, he hasn’t had much relief from difficulties. But he wasn’t. I talked with him yesterday, and he was full of joy, peace, and concern for others. Something changed how he viewed his circumstances.

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Its Full Effect

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O clarifying lack of clarity,
O beauty of this brief bewilderment,
O need that drives me to the firmament,
Grow faith in unfamiliarity.
Let suff’ring sear my sin but not my soul,
The stone-turned-flesh be softened by the flame
And purified of all not for the name,
That what is partial now would be made whole.
Endurance marks the path to character,
And character to unashamèd hope,
Sure of the unseen God by his seen grace.
We know in part, see but a car’cature
Till faith’s perspective (holy periscope)
Becomes our sight and we see face to face.


Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash

Thanks to Milly for her feedback and suggestions during the writing of this poem.

Give Me a Love for People

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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.


Photo by John Simitopoulos on Unsplash