When you slice open your own fragile heart and it bleeds thin, splayed-out with feeble words, it leaves you exposed, limp, clinging to the Lord all over again. It’s safer to tuck these words away quiet. But God doesn’t call us to safe, but to trust Him.
We will not understand everything we are called to endure, but we are called to endure by faith. We are to “hold fast to the hope set before us.” The Gospel of Jesus Christ always brings hope to those who live by faith.
Todd Anderson, a master wordsmith, offered encouragement to this weak vessel, by proclaiming the power, beauty and hope of the gospel to me in poetic words. Weaving pieces of the journey I shared last week, with the glorious truth of the gospel, Todd, verse by verse, shifts our gaze to the sovereign Giver and Sustainer of life. To God be all the glory.
With Todd’s permission I share his poem:
Shall we Close Up?
In the night the empty halls,
Encased by grief and stifling walls,
House the husks of mortal hope,
Slumping bodies, fraying rope.
In a room an open heart
Beats a weak and paltry pulse
Doctors frantic, slowly scrape
Calcified and concrete crust.
Sitting down or standing up,
Husband, gutted, holds a cup,
Paces in the quiet room,
Sweats against the coming doom.
Past the time for closing hours,
Anasthetic wearing thin,
Each try wrung of all its powers,
“Shall we close up, let it win?”
Fields of the sun, gouged and grim,
Lay quivering with chaotic vim.
Here Celestial host battered,
Countless Angels’ glory shattered.
In a garden the serpent slid
False dreams upon mortal minds,
Miscarried truth before ‘twas free,
Broke the golden crown of life.
Waves of murder, streams of blood,
Conjure morbid, raging flood.
Swelling up with mortal pleasure,
Pain and sorrow without measure.
Skyward in the brilliant dawn,
Man constructs himself a name.
Tower vaulted high by brawn,
“Shall we close up, disperse their fame?”
Surgeon shuffles through the door,
Scans the sorrow of the floor,
Finds the spouse with reddest eye,
Utters softly, “she may yet die.”
Some miracles are bound by grief,
Wrapped, as diamond, with base stone,
Lift us up to bring us low,
Taunt with tendrils of sweet breath.
Nothing left but time and night,
Clutching hand and drinking fright,
Emotions dancing like a jig,
Visions of a hole to dig.
Here, so alone, so alone;
Betrayed. No. Betraying her love.
This bed, this chair, and the great unknown.
“Shall we close up, forsake the dove?”
Olive sap and ancient trunk,
Watch as sorrow, deeply drunk,
Breaks down the soul’s last defense,
Presses the blood with dark suspense.
Trapped, as on a precipice,
The nerves rebel and will not act,
Clutching the dust upon the hill,
Drops of crimson doubt fall down.
The cup, which bitter to the taste,
Likewise causes the soul to waste
Away in acrid, lonely vaults,
The doom of dooms for fault of faults.
Here, so alone, so alone;
Forsaken. No. Forsaking: undone.
This branch, this tree, and the great unknown.
“Shall we close up, betray the son?”
One on a tree, one in a bed,
Both counted as those next to dead,
Both watched with grim intensity,
One bound to set the other free.
One, deserving of a tomb,
Rose, with hope, to sputtering life.
One, deserving of a throne,
Descended, despairing, to the depths.
Both wandered in those hidden days,
Healed, through time’s grey, lonely ways.
Both, through their wounds, became a cure,
Caused those around them to endure.
Lives destined to bring forth peace,
Through many anxious dangers tread.
Though we, yet still, must decrease:
“I shall close up, no more tears shed.”