For Cee's FOTD, June 27, 2021: See the beautiful red dahlia on her site!
Oceans away from me in India, doctors mark the dead, the funeral pyres burn ceaselessly. Just yesterday I heard India has become the first country to exceed 400,000 coronavirus infections in a 24-hour period. More than 3,500 deaths were also recorded during the same period.
Wayward my fluttering thoughts fly across the seas
Distracted with worry for friends and family;
Yet borne on anxious wings my prayers fly straight to Thee,
O God, pleading Thy compassionate mercy.
When in the concatenation of bells that toll
I stop at dusty pools of ghost-bearing scents
The rains having come and gone, ashes remain
The acrid smoke of the dead stings my eyes
Choking the young, ridiculing the old
I turn away to the bowers of forest glades
Where You await storing love’s incense
And I like a wanderer home at last
Stand strong in Your warm embrace
Escaping the dragon of the past
To rise with You to eternal joy.
For the listener, who listens in the snow, And, nothing himself, beholds nothing that is not there and the nothing that is. — Wallace Stevens, “The Snow Man”
There ought not to be anything but that my mind has ordered it so —
So I had been taught — for the mind is designer
Reality but the by-blow, bastard child that diminishes as I diminish
But that the Emperor of Ice-Cream has clay feet
Which stand on eternity’s threshold eyeing a feast.
There the bread and wine of Thy design
Grain and grape sweetly lies upon the tongue
To “taste and see the goodness of the LORD”
Yet nothing tasting if not sanctified by Thy Word
Blood spilled and body broken
Spoken gospel of love heard by a few
Who once nothing being are born in You
Till nothing become sons and daughters
Alive to You.
Laura at dVerse asks us to address paradox as a matter for today’s “Poetics” prompt, including using as a starting point and/or epigraph the above Wallace Stevens quotation. Click on Mr. Linky for more and join in!
When I first saw, “Servant,” the #JusJoJan prompt for today, the first thought that popped into my head was, “Christ Jesus,” and then the words of Phiippians 2:5-11*(see below). My quandary? M’s prompt word: “Twin-engine turbines.” But it proved to be a blessing in disguise as it gave me the shape of the story: a parable. Serendipity!
Our Life, His Work: A Parable
–What are you making, child? the Servant asked.
Everywhere metal sheets and rotor blades lay in a tangle of wires.
–See this twin-engine turbine? The boy held up a photo. My 3-D printer makes it simple.
The boy looked around before answering.
-Well, it’ll just take a few days, maybe weeks …. maybe months …. His voice trailed away. It looked simpler when I got started. But somewhere along the way, I lost track of what I was meant to do.
He took in the tangled mess around him and finally the shiny aircraft in his photograph. His face fell.
–Well, now, said the Servant, it will be a grand thing when it’s done. Maybe you could use a little help. Mine, for example.
The boy looked up, his face suddenly alight with hope and renewed confidence.
–Really? Will you help? Please.
The Servant looked down at the expectant face, his own lit with Love.
–It’s why I came, child.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.Philippians 2: 5-11(ESV)
Michelle's January 3, 2021 Writing Prompt: "Twin-engine turbines" Linda's Just Jot It for January 3rd, "Servant"
In the church she felt only marginal comfort
A stranger alone in the pew
In the corner a man was praying
Modeling silent admonition:
“Be still, and know I am God.”*
The grace and joy that washed over her
As all sang and the gospel was proclaimed
Made her thankful for this time to worship
And that she had decided to stay.
*Psalm 46:10:”Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
Sammi's Weekend Writing Prompt #190, "marginal" 31 words
Linda's Just Jot It January, "in the corner"
Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-sitting-on-bench-1217250/
Deuteronomy 7: 9 — Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.
Ephesians 1: 3-4 — Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.
Psalm 27:5 — For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.
I’m lonely without You, Lord,
though all the world be mine
the city’s blue-gray skyline
the starry twinkling host
I need to know you near me
Your love-light in my eye
the fragrance of your Spirit
the sweetness of your Word
somewhere I took a wrong turn
I chased my own desire
a world of smug contentment
but lacking peace of mind
I know you never left me
so I feel you all the more
when I’ve turned my back to you
your tender love ignored
I don’t know why I do this
leave you, then come back
as if I never knew You
as if my faith were dead
returning then I seek You
repenting of time lost
joyous to talk to You, Lord,
and walk with You again.
Freedom is Soul Food
I see the white picket fences with gardens galore
“Healthy, wealthy, wise,” to you they implore
To follow their ways of crooked desire:
Forget narrow ways and the cross on a spire
When you can live like a king and master of your fate
Living it up with all you can eat on a plate.
But there’s more to life than living behind
White picket fences with gardens they design
A prisoner you’ll be to all that they crave
No freedom you’ll have to serve the God who can save.
“You gotta serve somebody,” the old crooner sang
He got it right and to amazing grace he ran
‘Cause freedom is soul food and nothing satisfies
Like breathing free in Christ with a soul that never dies.
Immense and free
The wind beneath me
Jouissance of gravity
A new life convergence
Soaring with the water
An overflowing hope
To carry the air
Unbounded by fear
Released by Your grace
Love's radiant beauty
Dancing in me.
Photo by Joel Valve (Unsplash) for Sadje's What Do you See (For the visually challenged reader,the image shows a girl dancing under the jets of water of a fountain, which are meeting above her in an arc.)