Victorious in Vulnerability

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I have delved into distrust
And drawn the drapes
Fearing fear itself
Instead of fearing God with faith

But I have grown weary of believing the worst
Instead of trusting the Father first
So never mind if people can see
I want the windows open, light covering me

I’ll be victorious in vulnerability
No other way makes sense to me
An open heart before their open eyes
Tearing down walls, discarding disguise

The only way to be seen and known
Is to let the light stream into your soul
Allowing your heart to be fully exposed
Allowing your fear to be dethroned

Let those without sin be the first to cast a stone
Or let them turn their backs for home
But the alternative is to suffer alone
And how then is His glory shown?

Love Fully Immersing

I’ve been needing to reevaluate
Where did we miscalculate?
And decide we need to validate
The criteria the world calibrates?

The Kingdom is about reversing
The worldliness we’ve been rehearsing
Exchanging endless striving and searching
For His love fully immersing

It is a gift that we receive
And some just cannot quite perceive
That we are saved by The One in whom we believe
Never by what we have achieved

Emmanuel

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400 years waiting for the light
In silence, blindness, no hope in sight
But faith doesn’t look to what is seen
While patiently and prayerfully awaiting the King

But we all, like sheep, have gone astray
We have turned, every one, to our own way
We have loved the glory that comes from man
More than the glory that comes from His hand

This reality should rattle us, until like leaves we fall
Yet after the fall is the rising, the Good News for all
For the Shepherd leaves the flock to seek the lost
Regardless of logic, regardless of cost

But before the rising, before the spring,
After autumn comes the birth of our King
An infant in his mother’s arms, a picture of fragility
Emmanuel, our Savior, embodiment of humility

 

I’ve struggled with sharing this poem.  (Correction: I struggle with sharing all of my poems).  This could easily be just the beginning of a long poem I would love to write  about the meaning of Christmas.  It sounds that way to me – like it’s just an intro.  But the words above came to me, and then when I got to Emmanuel, I was at a loss for words.  I simply don’t have them.  And isn’t that just like us?  To feel like we always need to add something more, like what comes naturally just doesn’t cut it?  I’m learning that my words will never be adequate, but Jesus is.  He is all-sufficient without any perfectly articulated lines from me.   My poem is an intro, and so am I.   I can introduce our Savior with my words and point to Him with my life, but I can’t save souls.  May we be content to marvel at His majesty this season, and may we experience the joy and exultation of what Christmas means for us in a real and personal way all year long.

Shared Space

img_7398The background of this town may not look like a work of art
The aging buildings, the worn out roads
But I’ve learned these sights and sounds by heart
And still feel there is more to be known

No majestic mountains or sparkling sea
Nothing of grandeur to draw people near
But something still captivates me
I know there is treasure here

Maybe it’s not so much about the place
But being face to face in shared space
Sharing stories and sharing hearts
The beautiful and broken parts

To know and be known
Walking shoulder to shoulder
And to see how we’ve grown
As we become older

What better worship than to wrestle for wisdom together
With love and longevity, what greater pleasure?
But this sense of belonging is just a taste
When the perfect comes, the partial will pass away

Awake

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“I hope that all the misery in the country and the world in general will deepen your hope for the kingdom of God, will strengthen your eschatological perspective, will make you more interested in the last book of the Bible, will make you more critical toward psychology and political sciences, will make you simple of mind and heart, make you pray more and love more and make your heart and mind open toward Him who is the Lord of life and who called us to transcend all human endeavors.” -Henri Nouwen

This has not been my default lately. It actually hasn’t been happening at all. In fact, circumstances of the world have hardened my heart and darkened my spirit to a point where I am sounding like a stranger. Why would the Lord allow such a coma of character? So He could shake me awake and stir my soul. “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you” (Ephesians 5:14). He is light, and if I want light, I need Him. Not every once in a while when I’m weary, afraid, overwhelmed, or confused, but every second, every hour, every day. I need His strength, His peace, His comfort, His decrees.

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm”
(Ephesians 6:11-13).

We can’t win without Him, friends. I’m done being fooled.

I’m catching on
And I’m not fond
Of who I’ve been

It’s more than doubt
I’m calling you out
We are not friends

Oblivious to your deceit
I drank deeply of a poison discreet
And my eyes began to close

You whispered suggestions
And overwhelming questions
But now I know

Disguised as assitance
You created resistance
To joy, peace, and capacity to feel

I would have let you win
But He stepped in
And crushed you with His bruised heel

(Genesis 3:14-15)

 

For Freedom

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It is for freedom that Christ set me free
But I keep choosing captivity
Finding comfort in confinement and familiar fences
Claiming liberation under false pretenses

I can’t cope with this consuming fright
That cages and controls my thoughts in spite
Of the covenant that confirms I’m cared for and called
Fully accepted and loved, though thoroughly flawed

Frustration fights fruition and I’m floundering in my flaws
Instead of abounding in the fullness that doesn’t come from the law
Clamoring for composure, clarity and calm
But You’ve carved my name into Your punctured palm