Thursday, March 16, 2006

Wilting of the World

Autumn comes and goes but;
More often it comes. Nothing
Lasts forever. Trees are cut
Down and wilt and forests ring,
With the sound of chain-saws.
Everyone is mortal, no one,
Is victorious against Death's claws.
The leaves fall and are done.

Young become old and die.
Countries appear and war and fade,
Everything will eventually lie
Down. Things are always made
And Winter is where they are headed.
Nothing can escape the onslaught
Of the coldness and so they are dead.
The trees freeze, we are taught.

Spring is too often, too cold.
The leaves do not appear yet;
Though they should, we are told.
It is time for those alive to bet,
On what is diminished and done,
So far. It is possible to prolong,
The inevitable but there are none
Who can escape. They are wrong;
When they talk of summer
And of new and young. I cope,
But nothing lasts forever
And nothing ever will, except hope.

Again, with most of my poems, this was written a few years ago, this one during a slightly darker period... Not really sure what state I was in, but I felt like writing this as a frontal assault on what I saw as the insult that there was any good in the world. People like to blind themselves sometimes, and I well and truly did!

I would say that my situation in life, from a worldly point of view is much worse now than it was then, but there is a huge difference. I mentioned hope in the very last line; what is different now is that I understand what that hope is.

And it's not just any unfounded hope. It's the hope that never fails. The hope that is built on a solid foundation. The hope that anchors me and keeps me from going adrift. It is a hope that has become a faith. And that faith has changed my life and how I live my life.

For one thing, I don't write poems like this anymore! But this poem still speaks to me about how I was. About the fear and predicament that I was in and the feeling of helplessness that every person eventually discovers if they do not know God. There is only a hope with no substance, with no foundation. And so when the storms come, we can be swept away.

It is a constant reminder to me of the desperation that I have come from. I was lost without and now I am found. I was blind to God, but He opened my eyes. I pray that He will work in the hearts of everyone who reads this and that this poem will be held up as a mirror to the lives of anyone who does not yet know God, so that they can see just how lost they really are.

And with God's help, they will be changed. We must be born again.

Do not fear.

God is the one and only Rock that never moves. If our foundation is in Him, then we will stand. He is the anchor of our souls and though we have troubles in this world, there is nothing that can come between us and Him.

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-40.

We will struggle but God is in control and He will never let it become too much for us.

Do not fear the evil one.

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." Psalm 23:4.

We must fear God but not the evil one. Our fear of God should be much greater than any fear of evil. It says fear God and shun evil. Shun evil, but do not fear it because God is your protection.

"Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil." Proverbs 3:7

We must hate evil, shun evil and avoid evil, but if we fear it, we are suggesting that it is more powerful than God.

"Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the LORD a man avoids evil." Proverbs 16:6.

"To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech." Proverbs 8:13.

"'Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.'" Psalm 91:14.

This is what God says to all of us, no matter what dark place we find ourselves in:

"For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." Isaiah 41:13

Simply I leave you with these words straight from God: "Do not fear."

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Your Face

A smile hidden
Behind a beautiful face,
Bursting its seams
Trying to get out.
Let it escape
And smile for me.
Part those lips
And let it be free.

Your face seems strange
Looking so sad.
Hammered by the
Reality of the world.
Your face lights up
With your lovely grin;
Forget the troubles
Of our planet.

They don't matter,
Not to me or to you.
Your smile is dying,
But don't let it go;
It is my happiness.
When I see your face
Looking so glum,
And a smile bursts out
And you are full of laughter,
I forget the world and
I forget the pain,
And all I can see
Is you smiling at me.

A Day at Home

Sitting in the warm room,
Rain patters the cloudy glass
A symbol of the piercing cold beyond.
Warmth envelops me as I stare.
Cosiness covers my body and yet,
The sight before me chills my bones.
Amidst the comfort, I sneeze.
A snuffle, a sniffle while resting
In the hazy orange light.
I look out unto the night:

Dark now, a faint pittering of rain
Tells me what is happening beyond.
Miniature streams full of ambition
Run down the driveway together.
Pinpricks of light, street-lamps,
Or are they something else?
A dark form; the car just visible
And the sight seems to me so miserable.

The sickness ravages my head.
My throat burns
As my stomach churns.

The ethereal lights bring me back.
I gaze out the window
From my sheltered seat
Mystical, magical lights guide the way.
Brighten the road for the raindrops,
Showing them the way to freedom.
As I sit in hypnosis I shiver,
Imagining the coldness of the river.

Yet I am detached, removed.
In an obscure, sickness-ridden mind,
I want to be a glint of light
Among the millions, but I am held back.
My legs betray my demands,
My arms disobey and stay still.
As I sit in the warmth and heat,
The coldness is in here around my seat.

I wrote this poem a few years ago, at a time when I felt helpless about the world and my purpose in it. I saw other people doing incredible works for God and I was caught up in my own comfort and lack of responsibility. It was a form of paralysis. I recognised who God was but I wasn't able to do anything about it. I later realised that only God could do something about it, I just had to let Him. To succeed, I had to stop trying to by myself. To be free, I had to become a slave. To be victorious, I had to surrender. Which is what God made me do in the end.

So the paralysis didn't last, God moved me on. Shortly after that, I became involved in Limerick's Christian youth group, Awakenings. I'm now a youth worker on the team of leaders for it. But since then, I've become involved in a lot of different Christian activities. At this moment in time, I've been re-assessing a lot of stuff that's been on my mind. I've been stretching myself a bit thinly over the last two weeks but reading this poem reminded me of the magnitude of the commitment I've made and part of the reason why I made it. And why I'm going to keep running the race...