as the bird from her cage

Words of praise were forged in my depths

            long before I knew;

Whispering glories were inscribed on my soul,

            glories ascribed to You.

Threads of promise were sewn into my heart,

            elegant, and true;

Seeds of liberation were sown within my breast,

            ones that now burst through.

 

Your Spirit, like the wind,

            shuttles in the breeze,

Ravaging the oceans,

            ruffling the trees;

Your Spirit is Your Word,

            flowing where You please,

Nestling in my chest

            with a ravishing ease.

My soul is released

            in the sweeping of the seas;

As the bird from her cage,

            I am free.

Hope Remains in the Night

A bright bulb hangs above the room

As the night is adorned with the moon;

Darkness tries to vanquish the light

But hope remains in the night.

 

The dim glow is soft, yet strong,

As it confidently shines the evening long;

Darkness will struggle, try as it might

But hope remains in the night.

 

Even with certainty wisped away,

Faith will cut into the gray;

Black endeavors to swallow the white

But hope remains in the night.

 

Ever shines the resilient light

Growing stronger, oh so bright;

Eventually dark will yield its fight

For hope remains in the night.

Jazz Cat Croon

Darkness surrounds as the jazz cats croon,

Black like the night that holds no moon.

Snap.

Snap.

Threads rebound as the bassist strums,

A steady but somber echo it comes.

Thrum.

Thrum.

Ivory keys are danced across,

Fingered lightly they sing of loss.

Tink.

Tink.

Shortly after the trumpet blares long,

Playing its solemn, heartfelt song.

Pwer.

Pwer.

The singer’s voice then bellows loud,

Raspy groans, but oh so proud.

Ohh.

Ohh.

Subtle bulbs begin to heat,

The drummer hides beneath his beat.

Tap.

Tap.

Black still hovers over the room,

But that doesn’t matter to those who croon.

Snap.

Snap.

Even the black that covers the moon

Cannot keep the cat from his croon.

Snap.

Snap.

Snap.

Thank You, Athenagoras

Back in the first and second century AD, Christians were thought of as being atheists. Roman society proclaimed the divinity of the Roman pantheon and also worshiped the emperor. Christians challenged the validity of their pagan religious system and were thus accused as atheists. This letter, written by Athenagoras of Athens in 177 AD, directly debunks this misconception, and also reveals some incredible truths about the nature and character of God, at least in the limited scope in which we have the capacity to know or describe Him.

“We are not atheists, therefore, in that we acknowledge one God, who is uncreated, eternal, invisible, impassible, incomprehensible, illimitable, who is apprehended by understanding and reason, who is surrounded by light, and beauty, and spirit, and power ineffable, by whom the universe has been created through His Logos, and set in order, and is kept in being. I think I have made this clear. (I say ‘His Logos,’ for we acknowledge also a Son of God.) Nor should anyone think that it is ridiculous that God should have a Son. For though the poets, in their fictions, represent the gods as no better then human beings, our way of thinking is not the same as theirs, concerning either God the Father or the Son. But the Son of God is the Logos of the Father, in idea and in operation. All things were made by him after his pattern, since the Father and the Son being one. And, the Son being in the Father and the Father in the son, in oneness and power of spirit, the understanding and reason of the Father is the Son of God.”

I love the description of Christ as the Logos of God! Granted, I love the whole passage, but the way Athenagoras confidently stands up to Roman accusers is something incredible in itself. It’s important to remember that Christians were still oppressed and suppressed at this time. Meetings took place in secret, and consequently, there was little opportunity for Romans to learn what Christians actually believed, “other than through the writings of Christians who were prepared to take seriously the concerns of secular culture, such as Athenagoras,” (Alister McGrath, Theology, The Basic Readings). The unwillingness of early Christians to observe the religious practices of Roman society marked them as potential revolutionaries. Imagine that! Christians actually being pegged as countercultural. If only we could get a better grasp on what that means. Not to disobey our government but to understand how to live in this world without being of it.

Athenagoras paints God in a very powerful way, and still it does no justice to the unfathomable being that He is. Perhaps my favorite part of his whole letter is that after he describes God as He “who is uncreated, eternal, invisible, impassible, incomprehensible, illimitable, who is apprehended by understanding and reason, who is surrounded by light, and beauty, and spirit, and power ineffable, by whom the universe has been created through His Logos, and set in order, and is kept in being,” he simply says, “I think I have made this clear.” O that we would stand up, unafraid of whom we’re speaking to, or what they have the power to do, and proclaim our God in the very same way.

Via Negativa

Lord,

you are not earthly,

you do not deteriorate,

you are not carnal,

you do not ravage,

you are not temporary,

you do not end,

you are not small,

you do not dwindle,

you are not hindered,

you do not flounder,

you are not vanquishable,

you do not lose,

you are not fleshly,

you do not lust,

you are not flawed,

you do not blunder,

you are not evil,

you do not sin,

you are not finite,

you do not expire,

you are not insufficient,

you do not wither,

you are not describable,

you are not limited,

and you are simply not fathomable.

Unafraid I Sleep

My eyes droop with the heaviness of night

as the world suggests I need rest in spite

of what rumbles.

Thoughts dissipate without my prodding

while my head begins its weary nodding

as I crumble.

Burdened I lie in my uneasy cot

wondering whatever else I ought

to have wondered.

I muse on the extent to which I have been

and attempt to avoid that falling in

often blundered.

Again my mind rolls vacantly over

but thankfully I am not so sober

as to yield.

For I am drunk on this Spirit stroll

yearning to wake some slumbering soul

long concealed.

I refuse to abide in some tedious cage

that the rest of the world finds so sage

and endearing.

For somehow I know beneath my breast

and so, for now, my eyes close in rest

without fearing.

Wake Up, O Sleeper!

Wake up, o sleeper, from the depth of your slumber;
Cast aside your yawning so as not to encumber
The path before you that the Lord has set,
For you have not reached home, yet.

Indolence slips unnoticed beneath your skin,
Even though you know not the cave that closes in
And slowly wraps your feet in the confines of the asp,
But God is the one who has you in His grasp.

Yield unto the Father all you wish to control;
Give to Him desires that sit nagging in your soul;
Rid yourself of demons that hinder you from growth;
Guidance from the Spirit, and love, you’ll need both.

Cast down these idols that litter your path
For you will not find pleasure in the Judge’s wrath;
But with faith, repentance, and action prove
That, for the Lord of all the universe, you’ll move.

Wake up, o sleeper, from the realm of your dreams,
For this world has more of heaven than it may, at first, seem;
God has placed His Spirit, so that Christ might shine through,
In His many chosen temples, one of which is you.