Ebenezer: A Stone to Remember

Build an altar

Raise a stone

Dig a well

Do something, anything,

To alter the barren landscape

Of your heart

The monotonous stretch

Of your memory

Make a mark

To disrupt the linear, unchanging path

Of your trudge through the wilderness

So that when you look back over your shoulder

As you dig your toes into the soil

Of the Promised land

You will remember

Who brought you this far

Ex Nihilo

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There are days when I all I need

Is not to need

Sometimes my heart is a black hole

I take and take

Tell me, when’s it gonna be enough?

When I’m looking to be filled

by empty air

I’ll never be satisfied

So fill my heart with something real

Not some cheap imitation

Fill me so I can be poured out

So I can give for once

and look for nothing in return

You who created everything from nothing

Take this emptiness in me

and breathe

Make all things new

Even me

Samaritan

The well flows with water

but it’s empty for me

My parched lips touch the cup

And I drink long and deep

But it never fills me

Never satisfies

It’s not water that I need

But where is mercy liquified?

I keep drawing from the well

Hoping something new will rise

But it’s always just the same

And the longing never dies

Oh, come bend down close to me

Tell me everything I am

Lay bare my secrecy

So I can no longer pretend

That this water is enough

That my life is not so rough

That my heart is pretty tough

Tell me that you know

Every gross indecency

Every hidden part of me

Voice it plainly since I won’t

And set me free

Living Water, speak and say:

“Messiah – I am he.”

Speak Into Silence

Your pain rolls off you
Like the deep rumble of thunder
Across flat, wind-whipped fields.
As I sit across the table from you,
My own heart feels the reverberations.
And if I’ve ever longed for eloquence-
For my words to act as healing balm-
It is now.
But as I look in your eyes
And see the bleak despair,
The tinge of betrayal,
I am struck dumb, mute.
No words of life.
No comfort.
I wish I could speak what you need,
But it’s not my voice you need to hear.
And until He speaks
Gentle and low into your silence,
No other words will help.
So I sit and listen with you,
And together we can wait
Until we hear… something.

NPM: Not Yet

Let me not be satisfied

to the point of apathy, lethargy

It is the wanting that beautifies us

The longing, the dreaming

The hunger to be more

to be greater

to be filled

These are given us by God

to pull us out of ourselves

and into eternal joy

An endless pouring out

only to be replenished

This beautiful desire

for the glorious

will be fulfilled

But not yet

Not yet

NPM: Nothing Is Wasted

Every day I stumble

On the road to somewhere

My knees are bloodied

My palms scraped raw

But nothing is wasted

Every embarrassment

Every hesitation

Every doubt overcome

Every ounce of pain

And disappointment

It is all transformed

And used for my good

Nothing is wasted

 

Every day I push myself up

On the road to somewhere

A moment of fortitude

An exertion of will

And nothing is wasted

Every unseen victory

Every unspoken hope

Every secret generosity

Every well-done task

And unrecognized potential

They are all accounted for

And acknowledged by God

And nothing is wasted

NPM: Words Are Not Enough

Tonight the blank page is not my friend,

and all my words seem tawdry

when I try to talk about the things that matter.

Yes, I can describe the beauty of a leaf:

its gilt edges, delicate webwork of veins.

But I know of more than leaves and light

and those things, I cannot say.

I drop a stone down the deep well of my heart

and I hear, far below,

an echo, a splash.

There is a spring of fresh water there

but I cannot draw it up,

not with this leaky bucket of words.

There is so much I want to tell you

but I can’t get to the meaning.

So let me say one thing at a time,

and let me say it simply.

Today, I prayed

and someone was there.

And all I asked was,

“Do you love me?”

And despite everything,

the answer was yes.

NPM: The Sun’s Dawning

How we have fallen from grace!

Our glory has been diminished

but its glimmer remains–

in our ability to love

to sacrifice

to show mercy and compassion.

The fires have been banked,

the coals barely glow amid the ash,

and they will only be rekindled

if they are once again fed

by the Source of all goodness and truth.

Then the flames will be fanned to a roar

and the light of our lost, former glory

will pour out from us

like the sun’s dawning.

NPM: Apotheosis

He was made man,

So that we could be made gods.

To ascend to glory

as more than mortal

The mystery of dust

becoming divine

The thought is too much,

too bright to look at directly

But stranger still

than apotheosis:

the thought that Deity

caged itself in flesh

only to be torn

and beaten, spit upon

and slain

And all along he knew

he knew!

what we would do

all in his name

How often we,

self righteous demi-gods,

would stone and scorn

the least of these

And call it holiness

Apotheosis gone wrong

Pride has turned even this

and made us into devils

dressed all in baptismal white

Love grace, seek mercy

We can still be set aright