Friday, March 28, 2008

Truth at a Slant

I was reminded today of this poem by Emily Dickinson:
Tell all the Truth but tell it slant --
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth's superb surprise

As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind --
I was thinking about how God is constantly at work revealing truth as we are ready for it. This poem gives me the image of truth coming to us gradually, dazzling us as it is revealed. But if it came all at once, it would overwhelm. God knows what we can handle, and He is so patient with us. He has been dazzling me lately--giving glimpses of truth, then widening the light little by little as I'm able to take it in. Truth at a slant.

I've heard my sister try to explain to her 8 year old son (Karston) that her 5 year old son (Josiah) is not yet ready to understand an idea or concept because of his age and development. We're all like that. God waits. He holds on to it for us. Waiting. I always want to rush ahead and reach for what I'm not ready for. I want to run when I've just learned to walk, and I fall on my face. But I'm learning to slow down and trust God to give me truth at a slant, so I eagerly wait to be dazzled (and sometimes humbled by my ignorance when I thought I had it figured out already).

"In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:4-6

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Aftermath

As we view the bloodstained memories scattered across the battlefield
Too late we see the tragedy, the futility.

Why? Why couldn’t we see this war coming?
And when did we build barricades and take up arms?

The secret skirmishes in our minds provoked our true but unseen enemies
to wage the Three Year War.
In this war
there were no winners,
only casualties—
the Dreams, the Devotion, the Innocence, the Intimacy we shared
lay slain
by our faceless foes—
the Silence, the Apathy, the Resentment, the Fear we unveiled
too late.
Preoccupied by the grass on the other side, we didn’t notice as they flanked and surrounded.
They snuck in and mercilessly lay siege our existence,
once beautifully fused as One,
now brutally severed in Two.

Why? Why didn’t I see this war coming?
And when did you become too broken and bruised to fight?
I had only begun raising your flag
when you retreated, battle-weary.
Did you even realize I was on your side?
Too late I found you, playing dead to avoid a fatal blow.
You gave up long before I was ready to surrender.
So I fought
alone
too late
until finally forced to admit defeat.
Now I will fight no more forever and breathe a sigh of relief.
At last I’ll recover the wreckage and tend to the wounded in peace.

Why? Why don’t you see the war is over?
And when will you allow your blood-soaked face to be washed?
Released from my yoke as your Savior,
while prisoner of war you remain—hostage to Guilt and Shame.
Content as a captive, you avoid facing the raw ache of devastation,
rejecting the ransom that has been paid.
Overwhelmed with the arduous task of reconstruction,
you prefer to persist
in ruins,
a remnant of what used to be.
So I grieve the loss of my lover, who once I adored and enjoyed,
and I pray that his relic will find
that out of the ashes more beauty can rise
than that which I helped to destroy.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Balance

Confine passion
Restrain freedom
Tame obsession
Repress desire
Indulge moderation
Create Balance
If I were Home I would not need you


Far from Home my
Boundaries become barricades
Vulnerability prostitution
Humility heresy
Certainty pedantic
Holiness dichotomous
Contentment status quo
Failed Balance
When I get Home I will not need you


Love without fear
Commit without caution
Find the Pearl in the Field
Give all to possess it
Scorn Balance
As I glimpse Home I do not want you