You have pressed my brokenness between Your palms
and made of me a new kind of ordnance,
dense, weighty, deceptively simple and small.
You heft me from hand to hand
with fierce joy,
enjoying Your work,
savoring Your plan.
I am the stone in the slingshot,
the sickle in the field.
I am a bullet in the chamber
waiting for a spark,
I am the arrow held between Your fingers,
eager for flight.
slow-building, mundane pressures
push me into a mold I don’t like.
voices, high and low,
talk me into a corner I didn’t choose.
God’s tireless chisel
crumbles me into a shape I don’t understand.
my desires fracture
and fly out from me in all directions.
the path winds, and wanders,
and fades into the blank horizon.
my strength continues to burn.
it burns right through me–
and leaves a charred, crackling hole.
my feet continue on, purposeless,
with a blind, stubborn perseverance.
yet I move along,
tired eyes on top of clumsy feet.
I’ll get where I’m going.
I’ll get somewhere, anyway.
i cannot change the world,
i cannot heal it,
i cannot even fathom it.
i am glad
that i cannot understand.
if i could, i imagine
i would only
cradle my head in my hands.
i thank you God
for my light yoke,
for my small piece
of the puzzle.
i am sorry
for my anger,
for the blank stare,
for the heart-numbness.
i thank You for Your patience
and Your grace,
and most of all
i thank You for today,
for one more day,
one more chance
to figure it out.
in the blackness
all I have is Your hand
so don’t pat me on the head
and tell me it will all be all right
don’t shrink my head
and tell me to try harder
don’t tell me I’m not enough
don’t tell me I’m just fine
tell me the truth
take me away
lead me to the heart of the matter
tell me who I am
show me Who You are
hack apart the root of my sickness
let me out of this cage
take me somewhere open
help me to breathe
give me back my voice
set me in a safe place
lead me out
hold onto me
don’t let me fade away
please speak to me
because in the blackness
all I have is Your hand
Presently, my day is measured out
In tablespoons of coffee,
And entries on the punch-clock.
Input sweat, output bills,
No slack, no overflow–simple.
But…I’m not simple.
It’s just a disaster
When I try to pour my big, messy self
Through the clean little funnel
Of work and society
And all that blah blah blah…
Where I chafe myself against the box
Of a carefully selected
“In time, the stubborn ox
Doth wear the yoke.”
Well fuck that.
Who made the yoke king, anyhow?
One man’s mistake, a millenium ago.
Thanks for all the thorns, Adam.
They don’t make life suck, or anything.
Later on, another Man came along
To take those thorns upon Himself.
I put my hand to the earth
And strive with brambles and weeds,
It takes the starch right outta me.
Is the sweat of my brow a consequence
Of the first man?
Or obedience to the second?
A bit of both, I think,
And when I run for the hills
I can’t hear myself think
For all of Creation groaning,
And even the empty prairie sighs
For lack of rain…
Boxes, lines, angles.
Cages, walls, corners,
No one put me in this pen
God set me on the Earth and said
“The world is yours.
Get out there and dominate it.”
I scratched my head,
Scratched lines in the sand,
Said “I’m good, thanks.”
And God said, “For fuck’s sake.”
He gave me a world without walls
And it frankly scared the crap out of me.
So I built my own walls,
And I see the world
Through grimy window-panes,
Through boxes and lines and limitations.
I say it’s all good—
But it isn’t , really.
I’m a coward in a box
Of packing peanuts.
And bored outta my goddamn mind.
I remember as a child the afternoon sky growing dark as twilight
beneath the shadow of summer thunderheads,
and dashing out to play in fields
of tall yellow grass and crackling bracken.
breathing air thick with the smell of storm,
drinking wind that fretted the wilted heads of wild flowers,
I and the whole earth with me seemed to sigh
with the expectation of rain.
now that I am older, I hear You calling me
to walk again the open, windy places,
to step out of safety and into the storm,
and find that I am not made out of sugar and salt.
I am not some chill, frightened thing
to hide in a hole from the beauty and violence
of whatever Your hand lets fall.
no, I am like the trees that sway and dance under the tempest,
I am the drought-thirsty earth hungry for water,
I am a violet stretching upward to catch each drop and draw it in—
I am Yours, and I am not afraid.