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This is Man

flesh and blood do not make man
he is wildly and ever alive
never ambivalent or fleeting when fire and flood collide.
Man bids farewell to the shifting steps of boyhood. 
His ancient blood leads him not into abundant whims and brief adulation
but a man is daring in times of sudden catastrophic overture
he rarely counts the costs of self
he knows the greater portion of history
in seconds of dooming fate
a man strikes hard– the perilous tide
never recoiling, rarely denied
he is the forest of will and hope of humanity.
he looks to truth not voluminous data.
he fights darkness not deep introspection 
He is far more than the cunning seeking harlots
Man is alive within himself 
standing, fists clinched against injustice
he strides toward the catastrophe of the fallen
He is often alone
away from the raging masses
and the scent of the cruel and houses of inebriation
sober and kind
slow in speech and purposefully incited by God.
Ah, this is man!
clarity is his cloth and virtue his mantle
earthen counsel judges him and finds him to be a perplexing steward
tending the gates of covenant like a holy bandit
guarding his truth war-like and primeval.
He expels the treacherous and will raise high the roof beams of his salvation
Man holds secrets and yet never speaks double of anyone
his voice clear and strong, never waivers
and yet he grows and learns, repents and repairs
Ah, this is man!
from dust to sudden pearly triumph his power encompasses the span of a beating heart 
he is the worshiper, the tremulous one who gains newness every morning bright or dreary.
He is never more a man than when he says no with yeses all around.
he is never more triumphant than when he is captured by the holy passions of life.
Ah, this is man!
Not a lusting lunatic compelled to fantastic never-wills.
Man is much more than male
more than job, or dream, or pastime. 
He is reborn on the backside of deserts
adorned in camelskin and water
He sings in prisons.
He whirls the deathstone at gawking giants
He hammers out a new beginning before deluge and dawn
He will not bow to king
He will not seek recognition
He refuses the lures of his great lasting hunger when better fare is beyond him.
He crushes stones and slaughters lions
He mocks the false gods of the mainstream
He falls and rises.
He conquers and restores
He can be beaten, harassed, bloodied, and mocked
But he will never refuse the call to adventure
Ah this is Man!

Mysterious Peace

There is a mysterious peace when you have been left with only Jesus.
when there is desolation and pain—
when the burden is greater than you thought you could bear—
when the darkness gathers around you—
even after goodbyes are said—
He is the faithful friend who is ever beside you when all others forsake you. He is above every present sorrow and every personal struggle. He, too, has walked the paths of brokenness. He, too, has stood beside graves. He, too, was betrayed and conspired against. You share commonality and kinship with the author of the universe.

He placed His mark on you. He claimed you as His own. He looked through the crowd. He found you and said, “This struggling child is mine.” He is enough to fill your empty cup and to calm the storm within. He can be heard if you allow Him into your silence. He can be seen in the sunset of each dying day. Closer, He will be to you—Pulling you closer into His grace… With every struggling moment, when you desire Him more than the fallen world’s rotting junkyard of futile aspirations and empty pleasure– He will be more than what you imagined He could be. And you would have never known the depth of His love so deeply if you had never suffered so greatly.

What Happened Here?

if you asked what happened here
my reply brief and sure would be:
i tasted loneliness and found it pleasing.
i dreamed of God and washed the floors.
i listened to nothing and everything that surrounded it.
i swam at midnight and watched the moon gazing over the louisiana clouds.
i wailed and no one heard but the perplexities of the owl and possum.
i was never more alive and never more dead.
it was transcendent.
it was holy.
it was the best time of my life. 
(reflections from 1982)

To Be Known

There is so much more to You
The ways of mystery and hiddenness
The pain of testing like the threshing of the wheat.
The crowning of each day with the setting sun
The movement of the wind
The waves of sea
And yet the greatest joy of my life
Worthless as I so often am
is this:
You know me
Every part of me
The emptiness in heart of me.
And I am face down in wonder
Put together
Torn asunder
Even when I lose my own identity
You find me, the one I’m meant to be
This is all I ever hope to be
O to be known by Thee!

The Love of God

His love is perfect.
It never fails me.
His love knows no limit, no barrier, no faltering weakness
His love is for me.
Wrapped in grace and tied together in time.
Hidden, a treasure worth more than any riches on earth.
Promised before my birth.
It consumes me
His love is every bit of what I need today.
It redeems my yesterday
My confidence for tomorrow
His love is infinitely abundant
It floods my world with hope.
It brings laughter when I should be paralyzed in fear
And when I weep He collects every tear.
His love is near.
So intimately connected, this love is.
Even in days that I feel rejected
Emotions neglected
His love assures me I am accepted.
My course is corrected
His love will carry me through
His vow is sacred
His word is true.
His love is all I need.
He makes all things new.

Far Beyond Imagination

He’s far beyond imagination

the heights and depths of all creation.

By His word the villains fall

He’s far above creation’s all

His reign is perfect

His words are true.

This Lord of all I’m going through

The Holy keeper of the key

the mystery grand: Great One in Three

The plans He made will never fail

In everything He will prevail

A warrior for the souls of men

Destroyer of the weight of sin

His blood is life unto my soul

Not in part, but in the whole

The skeptics doubt. The liars scheme.

Yet still his truth- a cleansing stream.

He speaks in every native tongue

The voice from which the stars were flung.

Why do I doubt His plan for me?

For He commands eternity.

Let truth be told. He is my King

The air I breathe. The song I sing

In His hands my fears are slain.

 

Neediness

He is fathering me
even in the days I cannot see
Through every trial I face.
He is there even in my disgrace.
Every lonely, broken place.
I am held together bone by bone
and I do not walk alone.
How my neediness has grown.
In my aging days I have come to see
how completely dependent I must be.

The Stuff that Warriors Dream

This warfare for the Hero’s bliss

What thing is valued more that this?

it supercedes the stoic state

the frowning face of folly’s fate

The quest for truth, “The Shining Next”

the simplied in life complex

For all I see in beauty’s good

I dream of life lived as it should.

For I am not the plodding type

I dream of dragons in the night

Of captivating, high romance

that rises from each circumstance

Where good men overcome their foe

Where heroes fight to overthrow

The strongholds of the darker schemes

THIS is the stuff a warrior dreams.

What Could I Compare You to…

What could I compare you to my old friend?
What could I know better than the memory of you.
The one to see me through
To hide the thought of you
in a small brown paper bag
concealed in my head
the vision of the summer’s shine
the smile so kind
the hopes resigned

You were worth every tear you caused
all recordings of the past you paused
the moon in all it’s glory
knows little of our story and yet there you were
in all things new
survivors few
from the past of your delicate mind
The smile that slew the serpents of shame
and gave me breath again.
And so I remember because I am the only one
who saw certain things about you that no one could claim.
this is my undiscovered fame.