Poems, Personal Stories, and Observations

Posts tagged ‘Jesus’

I Long to Dwell

[This one’s a work in progress. Might need to tweak it some. Suggestions welcome.]

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I long to dwell in a gentle place

Where acceptance doesn’t depend on race.

Where sins are forgiven, each person driven

By self-knowledge of culpability.

I long to dwell where people smile;

They say to me, “Sit down a while.”

They listen quietly, as do I;

We nod our heads understandingly.

I long to dwell where children are safe

No longer victims of hate or rape.

No longer killed inside the womb

Nor victims of parents’ inconsistency.

I long to dwell with an inner peace,

Having confessed my anger and grief,

No longer concerned what others think —

Open to growth and flexibility.

I long to love as Jesus loves,

To fly like an eagle or a dove,

To have a purpose that fits like a glove,

And live the joy of humility.

Confession

Whether you confess to a priest, a minister, a trusted friend, and/or privately to God, repentance and confession are powerful things. The Bible references confession, including “When you realize your guilt in any of these, you shall confess the sin that you have committed.” (Leviticus 5:5), “Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16a), and ‘”[Jesus] … breathed on [his disciples] and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”’ (John 20:22-23). Stating our sins explicitly brings them out in the open, into the light. I believe Jesus knew that unconfessed sin was like an untreated wound; if not exposed and cleansed, it would fester.

Once, when I confessed resentment at being hurt or misunderstood, the priest advised, “Think of the hurt like a knife in your heart. You pull out the knife. Now you have a choice. You can keep dwelling on the hurt and/or stab the other person, or you can say to Jesus, “Jesus, I give you this knife and my hurt. You take it. I ask You to handle this because I cannot.”

I don’t always get such helpful advice when I confess, nor do I always have a dramatic experience as some do (for example, a radical experience of cleansing), but I trust that Jesus IS cleansing me and granting me the grace to grow in love for Him and for others.

[Perhaps I should add that wounds from others, or from our own sins, should not be ignored, but neither should we wallow in self-pity. Sometimes the wounds are so deep that we might need counseling from others, or serious therapy. But learning to let Jesus heal our wounds is a big step.]

Don’t be afraid to confess! Unlike with people at times, God will take you back, and all you confess and repent of will be forgotten in the ocean of His mercy.

When Fear Comes to Haunt You

When fear comes to haunt you,
Just say, “I am not going there.”
When fear comes to taunt you,
Just say, “Your lies I will not bear.

“The Master said, “Be not afraid,”
And on His shoulder gently laid
My trembling heart,
And said again, “Be not afraid.”

And Jesus Weeps

Fighting, conflict, violence,
Riots, mayhem, anarchists.

Someday, our world, the light will see;
But children cry, and Jesus weeps.

Those things he said; can’t let them go.
I won’t forgive; my hate will grow.

Someday, our world, the light will see;
But spouses cry, and Jesus weeps.

Can’t see beyond their shade of skin,
I’ll just dismiss their good within.

Someday, our world, the light will see;
But races cry, and Jesus weeps.

My parents were such selfish jerks,
Though they did give me many perks.

Someday, our world, the light will see;
But parents cry, and Jesus weeps.

That kid at school, he’s such a fool.
I’ll beat him up; he isn’t cool.

Someday, our world, the light will see;
But school kids cry, and Jesus weeps.

That church they go to, can it be?
My church is better; don’t they see?

Someday, our world, the light will see;
But Christians cry, and Jesus weeps.

A desperate woman doesn’t know
Abortion’s not the way to go.

Someday, our world, the light will see;
But angels cry, and Jesus weeps.

All the Difference

One life, Jesus’ life … has made all the difference.  Because of Him, we can have light instead of darkness, hope instead of despair, forgiveness instead of condemnation.

He was born in poverty, not riches. He was born without fame or popularity.  He was born to teach us how to give, not grab.

You, too, can make a difference by loving your neighbor and forgiving your enemies.

The Good Thief

One of the criminals, a thief, who was crucified with Jesus, said to him, “Jesus, remember me, when you come into your kingdom (Luke 23:42)”.  Somehow he knew Jesus’ name and that Jesus had a kingdom!

Was Jesus that famous?  Did everyone in Jerusalem know about him?  Perhaps it was because of the sign above Jesus that Pilot had ordered placed there.  The sign declared, “Jesus, King of the Jews”.

In another gospel, it states that, “And the robbers who were crucified with [Jesus] also reviled him … (Matthew 27:44).”  Either the two gospels are inconsistent, or there was a transformation in one of the thieves.  He went from reviling Jesus, to, in effect, asking his forgiveness.  He realized his sin and that he deserved punishment, whereas Jesus was innocent (Luke 23:39-41).

It is interesting to imagine how “the good thief” came to this conclusion.  He may have known something about Jesus before the time of execution.  Or, perhaps observing how Jesus bore his own suffering, he realized that Jesus was not just a man, but God also.

It Hurts to Love

The cross of Christ is a paradox.  How can something so painful be good, and even holy?  Perhaps the more you love others, the more you will suffer.  Yes, there will be times of joy, but let’s face it:  often, it hurts to love.

Because you cared about others, but often they misunderstood you, or they felt threatened by your love, you suffered.  Or, you suffered when you saw your loved one suffering.  Or, you see their bad choices, but cannot make them change.  Then you must wait and pray and trust that God may change their hearts.

The King Is Coming

The King is coming in mighty pow’r
We do not know the day nor hour

He’ll ride upon the thund’ring clouds
Midst lightning flashes and angel choirs

No longer will sin darken hearts
All sin away — its curse departs

In shining brilliance, true majesty,
The King is coming — all darkness flee!

Cling to the Cross

Cling to the cross
And trust its might power.
Remember what He did for you
In every minute, hour.

Focus on Him
And keep your eyes above.
Let earthly cares now fall away,
And drink His cup of love.

Take up your cross;
With grace your burdens bear.
Let not your cross bring bitterness —
Have hope, and don’t despair.

Carry your cross,
And one day there will be
A glorious crown, a shining light;
Make love your destiny.

Carry Me

Holy Spirit, carry me –
I cannot walk alone.
Son of God, deliver me
Unto my heav’nly home.
Father God, create in me
Love that for sin atones.

Saints in heaven, pray for me
For graces needed here.
Saints on earth, please do the same
Else I will fall, I fear.
Holy ones, in heav’n, on earth –
Help me love Jesus dear.

The road is long, the way so hard,
With sin and strife replete.
Yet, Jesus does a work in me,
A work He will complete.

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