An Eagle can Soar: A Poem about Sin, Redemption, and Wonder

An Eagle Can Soar

Time after time, wicked scrape after bloody fall,
I ask, “How is there returning from this?”
I return to the most fundamental of all:
This world has a place where ruin and redemption kiss.

Yet that is not the most fundamental,
Why or how does such a place exist?
How can shattered, battered, tainted souls be gentle?
How, with so much sin and sadness has redemption kissed?

Greatest bliss, fundamental elations:
Christ has given life and limb for me,
All the while I knew Him not nor saw His patience;
But now I see the broken chains fly free.
And I am home amid the tempest of the sea.

The Promised Rest: A Poetic Analysis of the Christian’s Ongoing Struggle

This bitter war does rage within my heart;

Good and evil fight with tooth and nail.

This battlefield was bloody from the start.

Can my guards destroy those who assail?

Will my heart in its sole purpose fail?

 

With each new day the clamor does upkeep.

While my lungs have breath it has no end.

In morning, day, and night it does not sleep,

Daily fighting, fresh scars does it send.

In this life this battle has no mend.

 

Without a breath, with failing, weary eyes,

Keep the fight with zeal; there is no choice.

With slashing, blocking, kill these evil spies.

They will block your ears from God’s sweet voice;

Being bound, you will no more rejoice.

 

Resist their chains with weapons from God’s hand,

Still they tighten, mocking all the more.

This enemy is far too great a band.

Chains are heavy; do not play the whore:

Set your face on Christ, that Refuge sure.

 

I love the chains; do capture me once more!

Worship once again the crafts of man;

I miss the way I bowed to them before.

Running back to deeds from which I ran,

Running back to Egypt, if I can.

 

Within Mitzrayim, bound now like a dog,

Mercy working in my heart, I cry.

I cry to Jesus sinking in this bog,

Knowing ears do not ignore my sigh,

Care-filled ears  which listen from the sky.

 

With plague on plague the city is destroyed;

Leading me, my Shepherd is most grand.

The Pharaoh-of-my-Sin is much annoyed,

Chasing while I walk on driest land.

Rushing in, the waters crush that band.

 

Now Christ is leading to the Mount I know,

Granting me the Law by His great love,

Assuring, Father’s pardons there bestow.

‘Mid flashing fire and smoke, O Holy Dove:

“Keep me always near Your throne above!”

 

The Mediator sprinkles me with blood,

Cleansing reddened sins now white as snow.

A wretch created from the lowly mud,

I who hated God as my great foe,

As His son the love of God now know.

 

Once more I journey on to Canaan fair;

Cloud and Fire guide me on my way,

With light by night and shade from burning air,

Eating of the manna for each day,

Safe am I, if yet I do not stray.

 

My pathway lies through lands of burning wrath;

Enemies abound just up ahead.

With burning heart I walk this narrow path;

All the pilgrims share my Christian dread:

I know I will yet search for other bread.

 

Alas, my victory is certain still,

Not because my soul has yet been good,

Nor yet because of any human will,

But because the Lord once died yet stood;

He has won where no mere man yet could.

 

The Lord, my rock and strength in times of trouble,

He is my salvation; in Him I deeply trust.

The Lord alone reduces men to stubble;

He will keep my armor safe from rust,

Making haste to Canaan through this dust.

Wanting: A Literary Analysis of Men in Desperate Need of a Personal God

The monotony of your life lifts a moment.

You look around realizing you are walking past the same graveyard you see on your way to work every day. Since you have never noticed it, it is as if you are seeing it for the first time.

You see a beggar standing at the corner of the graveyard holding a sign which exclaims “wanting.”

With this one word he is communicating the state of his being. You hate him for it. For this beggar has dared to cast his burden of want onto you.

You know you must either throw this ugly burden back to the earth or help him carry his want.

You hate him for forcing you to this decision.

What right has he?

None.

You throw his want to the ground and walk on.

The next day you accidentally catch sight of him holding the same sign, “wanting.”

He is very thin and his clothing is well past worn.

You scoff at his condition and blame him for it. As if it is fault his body compels him to want food, to want water, to want covering.

You kick the burden of want you left there yesterday and walk on.

The next day you see him again holding the same sign, “wanting.”

A twinge of compassion plays at your heart. This time you stop to look at the burden of want at your feet.

It is dirty.  You tell yourself someone else will help him. And on you walk.

For a while you take bliss in ignoring the man and his sign.

Every day you step over the burden and avert your eyes from want.

Slowly the man at the graveyard wastes away.

You know but will not let yourself think that if his bodily needs are not met, he will fall into the grave stretching before him like a shadow.

This time, you trip over the burden and are forced to face the want.

If his want is not met he will fall into the grave. However, there is another want which neither of you know. It is the want of the soul for Christ, and this grave is deeper than the grave his body lands in, for it reaches eternity. If this need is not met, he will sink into a land where his body and soul will never stop wanting.

You quickly get back up and walk on.

Today something has changed. Today he is watching you while you watch him want.

This time you pause. You cannot tear your eyes away from him.

You tell yourself the same things you have before. That he’s not really wanting. That it is his fault he’s wanting. 

But still you cannot tear your eyes away. And so you watch him want. You watch him want to death in this moment.

He gives you one last pleading look and falls backward into his waiting grave.

His sign falls above him and lands at the head of his grave.

That one word which killed his body and his soul is now his gravestone “wanting.” You turn away from the sight with relief, your soul divided no longer.

But what’s this?

You turn to find you are on a corner of a graveyard.

You feel you are holding a sign facing people who you are depending on for your life.

You slowly look down to see that it says,

“Wanting.”

Panic wells inside you. You cannot escape. Your body decays and something else, your soul.

You long for something more than bodily needs.

You are trapped; forced to rely on the mercy of another who might respond to your sign “wanting.” Time passes and you grow weaker. You look behind you to see the grave ready to catch your corpse.

You force yourself to stand so more people will see your sign. You feel the pull of the grave growing stronger.

The hope which keeps you from yielding to its pull wanes.

You look up to see someone watching you.

They move toward you and give you bread, water, and the truth of Christ’s salvation.

You taste the bread and drink the water glorifying Christ.

Right before you succumb to the pull of the grave, you look down at your sign and realize that it now reads,

“Satisfied.”