Saturday, March 24, 2012

Through Lenten Lands

In this waiting is becoming ..

I shuffle-walk the desert of my questions
In the too-long season, the dreary, dark-grey dryness,
Checking the sparse map constantly, for fear I’ve gone astray.

Who said Celestial City was an easy stroll?

I would be swept up in Your love
In the great tide of the wind, that soars above the mountains,
Buffeted by wonder,
Screaming glory-praise into the wild, wild air.
But first I must grow wings.

Or heart-whole gathered in the gentle of Your care
Healed into certainty, resting in Your arms,
Needing no other lover in a world entire;
In the shelter-shade of knowing I am home at last,
Washed in that river.

But I am not yet come.

The stones of this world’s hurting crack against my feet.
I shrink from the sun by day and the moon by night,
Lest they illuminate
The wide stretch of my terror –
As if talking makes it so.

Forgive my folly.

These hands .. these hands ..
These hands – they cannot build
A house to be the dwelling place of God:
Built from the building blocks of stony hearts,
This only foolish hardened heart I have.
Better to tear down walls of my pretence,
Better to stand alone in scouring wind,
Face down the maelstrom of my brokenness,
Better to stand till I am forced to kneel,
Better to kneel till I fall in despair,
Until I know You are already there.
Here in the pray-er, and here in the prayer.

What did I think? That I’d come waltzing home,
Lurch, leaden-footed in my lovelessness,
Bringing my bleating hell to heaven’s halls:
Complete in incompleteness, armour-clad
With self’s excrescences and all befouled?

But still Your rain falls gently on my soul,
Washing the while I wait in Lenten Lands,
Until this pilgrimage has run its course.
In desolation, but not desolate.
For here, for me, Your table is prepared,
In presence of my neediness and pain,
In presence of my doubt and striving fear,
Till I am present with You once again.

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