Rhema (or, Idol Hands Sit Idly.)

Emboldened by words left unspoken,
Crumbling beneath all that I have broken.

As I scramble to rearrange the jagged pieces,

To complete a puzzle named resentment.

Wordless, I have no thoughts left to pen,
I have no utterance to be uttered,

No rhymes left to usher in.

I have held all my cards close to my chest,

And I wish I could say I tried my best.
So I guess the letter I would’ve written would sound like

Dear Future Me,

You’ve got so many stories left to be told, A blank canvas soon to be dripping with red and blue and gold. Do not give in, do not give up.But stand.

Stalwart and proud of the man you have become.

A man who knows what is past and what is to come. One who weighs his legacy like his idol hands weigh on his conscience, and idol words sit enshrined on tongues of fire racing around and around as if chariots set ablaze.
I speak because there is an inferno resting inside my bones, as I wrestle against flesh and blood and deny the calling which I have received.
To be simultaneously saint and sinner, to wage war on these rebellious legs that carry me to places I know better than to be.
Oh God, may my futile words be few.
May my lips tremble when I speak your truth, and may my heart be laid upon a blazing altar for you.

You are my past, present, and future. It’s always been You. So forgive my idol thoughts and my idol ears and my idle soul sitting idly by, waiting on You to move.
Jesus, rid me of deceit, of anger, and of my broken heart. Let me embrace the calling you have poured out upon me as you envelop all the idols that strive to gain a foothold in my life in refining fire.
“I love you Lord, and I lift my voice. To worship You. Oh my soul, rejoice! Take joy my King in what you hear. May it be a sweet sound in your ear.”

Forgiven and Fading (a poem)


We stood on the shore, drifting in and out of our own misplaced reminiscence, ambivalence coursing through our once vibrant ,now broken luminescence, pretentious contentiousness gnawing at the fabric of relationships we left in our wake.

We sat, feet in the sand and buried deep.  How long did we believe we could hold on to our past offenses as they dove into the sea like stones that would rest at the bottom of God’s shrinking memory, sensory perception making me perceive that I needed all my sins like all my sins needed me.

Like forgiveness meant nothing, so I could continue on my spree. And as long as God was still good, I had an excuse for still being me.

And as the cold water rushes past my chest, and I stand, buried up to my neck, I cry out for a savior that could save me from the man I never wanted to be. Oh, sweet release, for a heart that can fly free past this world’s cruel bonds.

The singer sang that our sins were stones at the bottom of the ocean, but did he count on me swimming deep enough to raise them from their graves and indulge in emptiness again and again and again?

And, if God really has amnesia, then what does that mean for me? Those fading memories sing exoneration’s song, clawing past all my insufficiencies and resting in that He is enough. Before the throne of God above… I am emptied of excuses, I am left all too aware of all that I am not.

So I stand on the shore, waves of nostalgia and regret pulling me in like a rip tide, to bury me with all my past disgraces, wherein the traces of all my mistakes would tether to me to God’s indelible wrath and that I myself would sink in his fading memories. …I have a strong and perfect plea… Please, please Jesus, set me free.

But instead I stand before a throne, and the Son looks forward with eyes ablaze and says “my child, you are set free.…a great High Priest whose name is love, who ever lives and pleads for me. 

Did you love her?

Did I? Now that’s something to think about. Was it love that moved me to tears or was it grief? Was it the pursuit of something to make me feel loved when I was at my weakest or an overwhelming desire to fit somewhere, with someone? Was it passion that clouded my vision or just the temptation to believe in each beautiful conversation I imagined without hesitation? Did I love her in a way that honored her as a daughter of royalty (or did I love her at all, a passionless act of gluttony?) Or was it just an ethic of selfishness that pervaded my thoughts and my mind as I didn’t actually love her, I just loved myself while the divine truth gathered dust on a shelf?

Oh, but the desire to serve myself rages within me, a man who can’t catch up with his racing mind, buried underneath mountains of his own insecurity, bruised by the shame he carries underneath a smile. The desire to point and click my way into an idealized intimacy, spilling passivity and broken grace out onto floor like a shattered vase. I am the shell of a man, I am a disgrace.

Feigning hopelessness in a futile attempt to serve the downtrodden, claiming attraction when the attraction simply became an outlet. And I dug up my past and unhinged every single truth for the sake of an image I sought to maintain, an image I fought to retain when the grave reached for me with weathered hands,  retrace, retrain. Repeat, refrain.

So did I love her? Or did I simply love myself? I believe the answer cannot be so simply answered with a resounding “yes” or a solemn “no.” But when I compare the death alive in me, (in with the old, and out with the new) to the life I once knew put to death through the one who fought so hard to rescue me from the death that swallowed me whole (and saving my eternal soul) I knew.

Jesus, I confess the weaknesses that lay hold on me. The sin that so easily entangles me, the regret that so easily empties me. Well, I once was blind, but now I see enough to see the tree protruding from my eyes and understand the prescription is the death of me. Made alive in You, redeemed from the darkness that had me by the throat. 

Did I love her? Not like I thought I did. But one day, It is my solemn prayer that I will find the one for me, and that I will honor her as a daughter of God. That I will love her truly and righteously and seek her good above my own. That romance for me will not be a selfish way to remedy my own insecurities, but that it will look like the love God has for those called His.