But Who Am I To Thee?

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I am a novelty to most,
A treasure to but two or three,
One face amidst history’s host,
But who am I to thee?

I am an upright man to most,
A sinner to but two or three,
One saint amidst the sacred host,
But who am I to thee?

I am unworthy, more than most,
A traitor to the one-in-three,
One soul amidst a sinful host.
Oh, who am I to thee?

I am a son because the most
August of sons rose morning three
With freedom for the captive host,
For he was truly thee.

I am yours to the uttermost,
A slave no more to two or three,
One voice, known, singing with your host.
E’er more am I to thee.


Photo by youssef naddam on Unsplash

Limits

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I cannot do it all today.
I cannot do it all.
In spite of what I think or say,
I still will fail and fall.
But time will ever slip away
And stress will foster disarray,
And so I cannot help but pray,
For I am very small.
Yet in my weakness, you display
Your holy wherewithal
To keep me on the narrow way.


Photo by Vlad Kutepov on Unsplash

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.

The Means and the End

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True, hopes deferred may make hearts sick,
But so may hopes fulfilled.
And comfort for a smold’ring wick
May not be what it willed.
For often hopes transfix upon
The means, and so detach
The running from the marathon,
The sewing from the patch.
And what was meant to foster growth
In fear and love of God
Becomes instead a broken oath
Upon the paths we trod.
Tis better far to see the gifts
In light of he who gives
Lest graces be turned into rifts,
Nouns turned to adjectives.
Remember heaven ne’er forgets
Its own. God e’er shall be
Sure hope in spite of fears and frets,
The anchor in the sea.


Photo by Kirill Pershin on Unsplash

A Prayer to Abide

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I want to walk with hope though there be sadness.
I want to be at peace though there be war.
I want to remain sober in the madness.
I want to trust, not knowing what’s in store.
I want my life to testify to blessings
Surpassing the self-pity that I feel.
I want to stand in spite of second-guessings.
I want my love to be alive and real.
I want my joy to show through circumstances,
Joy drawn not from my circumstance or sight.
I want my setbacks to serve your advances,
That, in the darkness, I reflect your light.


Photo by Anjo Antony on Unsplash

The Secret

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Contentment is not found within a lack
Of ev’ry good and perfect gift bestowed,
For some with no possessions answer back,
Embittered by what ne’er to them was owed.

Contentment is not found in much excess,
In temp’ral pleasures, comforts of this earth,
For some see all their wealth as somehow less
Than adequate to validate their worth.

The secret lies not in the circumstance
But in the hope held by the seeking soul.
Events tempt t’ward despair or bid us dance.
In both extremes, the Lord retains control.

Nothing in history has e’er sufficed
To satisfy our souls save only Christ.


Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Thanks to Maci for her feedback on this poem.

The Ache for Hope

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My friend Atley and I watched Brightburn on Saturday (warning: spoilers ahead). We both enjoyed the movie, but we noticed that the movie left us feeling a bit gross. Granted, that’s not uncommon for horror movies, especially in an age when the horror genre seems to lean heavily on gratuitous violence or sexual content to capture attention. I typically don’t enjoy (or view) such movies. But Brightburn was different. While Atley and I pointed to a few instances of unnecessary gore in the movie, Brightburn left us uncomfortable not because of what it included but because of what it lacked.

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Proverbs 1

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My boy, beware the moral poverty
Of those intent on feeding discontent.
The end of all their labor is lament.
They die in lust for blood and property.
Remain not an antagonist to truth
Nor love the follies of your fallen state.
You need not face the unrepentant’s fate,
For wisdom offers hope to humble youth.
Know well that you will never know as well
As he who rules reality with love,
So hallow him and turn a list’ning ear.
Invite instruction and commit to dwell
At wisdom’s fountainhead. Heed God above
And rest within a state of holy fear.


Photo by Joshua Fuller on Unsplash