Smaller, Quieter Things

Everyone was looking up and admiring the grandeur of the trees that stood above them.

“How tall they are!” “How majestic!”

…Everyone except one, that is.

A boy was looking downward, admiring a tiny violet, growing all alone on the ground below. Among the giant, impressive trees, one could barely look twice at a shy, little flower, living its quiet life partially hidden in the grass.

But the boy did notice. In a forest full of beauty that towered above him and surrounded him like an army of giants—beauty that was obvious, seeming to shout “look at me!”—he would not dismiss or underappreciate the beauty of smaller, quieter things.

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Petals

I was a young and flow’ring tree,

With branches clothed so gracefully

with blossoms white and pink, that swell

With beauty, bearing pleasant smell.

 

At least that’s how things used to be—

Till change did overtake this tree.

Somewhere a Psalm says flowers fade*.

As seasons pass, so did my state.

 

One day the sun misplaced its glow,

And mid-May winds began to blow.

For summer, spring was making way;

My flowers, sadly, wouldn’t stay.

 

I saw my first few petals fall;

With balding blooms I stood appalled

As gusts of wind would carry off

The beauty I was so proud of.

 

It humbled me, stripped me of pride,

As I watched several flowers die—

Small heads, of petals quite bereft.

But then I still had many left…

 

Still, just like rain, the petals drop

Quite ceaselessly—they hardly stop.

The wind dies down, yet still they fall—

Will there be any left at all?

 

I feel much lighter than before…

But can these branches take much more?

This loss of beauty, stripped of charm?

Why must this wind do so much harm?

 

But… is it harm? Or is it grace?

Oh, could it be that this disgrace

Is just the means to better ends?

The gravity** this tempest sends?

 

Clouds thick with rain extract their tears

As I do mine, while standing here,

Bare, shivering, my blossoms gone.

But soon storms cease; I see the sun—

 

Dispelling darkness, causing sight

To see, where once stood pink and white,

On wind-blown branches, evidence

Of fruit beginning its existence.

 

And so I see. The wind was grace—

Although it for a time defaced

One type of beauty, I would meet

One just as beautiful and sweet.

 

©MaddieThePoet, 2017.

Under The Fig Tree (A Confession)

In anguish my heart searches, seeking rest,

But there is none: two wills divide my mind.

My evil thoughts and actions I detest,

But somehow cannot bear to leave behind.

 

I feel this battle in my soul increase;

This sin I hate, yet love, grips me with force.

These habits, when will they at last decease?

They promise joy; I only know remorse.

 

Almighty God! From sins, deliver me!

These worthless things I somehow love, destroy!

From hollow, fruitless pleasures, set me free,

And make me captive to Your greater joy.

 

You’ve taught my restless heart to rest in You;

I now know joy unmeasured, joy most true.

 

©MaddieThePoet, 2017.

(A sonnet I wrote for a school assignment, inspired by Augustine’s Confessions.)

Scales

There’s something that afflicts my eyes

And makes it difficult to see.

Sin blurs my vision, thick like fog

And now I can’t perceive You clearly.

I need You, Father, but I fear

That You can’t see me through the haze

Although it’s not Your sight but mine

That’s hindered—I have turned my gaze

From joy eternal without measure

To empty things and fruitless pleasure

Which leave me empty, seeking more.

 

And as remorsefully I sigh

And think this darkness will not end

You see these scales upon my eyes

And want me to see You again.

These scales, You know, are all my sins—

My fear, my selfishness, my pride,

Anger, greed, unrighteous thoughts,

And countless other things beside.

And I will never ever see

Unless You perform surgery,

Slowly, till the scales are gone.

 

Skillful Surgeon, do Your work;

Take up the scalpel that You own

And use it, to make clear again

My vision, seeing Christ alone.

This operation will be painful—

Though I scream and groan and cry,

Don’t slow Your work removing sin—

This pain is how You sanctify.

And afterwards when I recover,

Give that remedy, none other

Than gospel truth, restoring sight.

©MaddieThePoet, 2016

O, Soul

O soul, well-worn and weary,

Please, hide your woes no longer.

God gave you others to fight with you,

And help you to be stronger.

So struggle by yourself no more,

Don’t bear it on your own.

They say strength lies in number.

Don’t fight this war alone.

 

©MaddieThePoet2016

To The Hopeless Heart

O hopeless heart, you’ll never know

How many times I weep for you

And pray the you would see the light

That all your woes would be made right.

 

Your world it seems to fall apart

But there is One who knows your heart–

He’ll pull you up out of the dark

The night will flee; a new day start.

 

I know your pain won’t seem to cease,

But look to Christ! Because He sees

Your pain; knows what you’re going through.

So turn to Him.  He’ll carry you.

 

©MaddieThePoet, 2016

Wonders

The beauty of a starlit sky,

an owl’s lonely lullaby,

The way a sleeping mind can dream,

The music of a bubbling stream.

A friend’s smile, warm and oh so dear,

And kind words from a heart sincere,

The way a person can create,

How soul and body can relate.

 

All these things, and many more,

Are made by our great Creator

For us to wonder at, and see

The glory of His Majesty.

For He created all these things

For us, that praise to Him we’d bring.

For all these merely give a glimpse

Of just how beautiful God is.
©MaddieThePoet, 2015

Rest

In You my soul has found its rest;

The sun has come, the storm is past.

And doubts, like shadows, disappear

And all the things that I have feared

Don’t matter, when I see Your face

And give You back Your rightful place:

Within my heart, ever to reign.

©MaddieThePoet, 2016

Found

She acts like everything’s alright,

Nothing wrong within her world.

But there’s an ever-present feeling,

Inside of her, a gnawing pain,

A conscience-pricking, dark-gray guilt.

In vain she tries to shove it down

Into a box and lock it tight,

Only to see it free again.

But no one sees this war inside her,

This losing battle, this defeat.

All they see is that she’s pretty,

Has all that she could ever want.

Everything, that is, but freedom –

Freedom from this gnawing guilt.

She’s had enough of all this pretense;

Cannot feign a smile once more.

Because she’s done an awful deed,

Left her husband for another.

Left her old life for a new one;

Left a better for a worse.

This new life looked so promising,

So much richer, much more free –

But it was all a brutal lie,

And she’s now worse off than before,

Shackled in her misery.

And her new lover senses grief

and wraps his arm around her, saying,

“Darling, tell me, what is wrong?”

She pushes his embrace away

And cannot stand a moment longer,

And fails at all endeavors to

Hold back all her bottled tears

And like a storm, they start to fall.

“Darling, tell me, what’s the matter?”

Silence, save the bitter sobs,

Until at last the tempest clears

And gives her leave to speak her mind.

“I abandoned him.  I must go back,”

She says, “I’m sorry, but I must.”

With hardly a goodbye, she leaves him –

Packs her bags and takes a plane

Across the country to her first love,

The man whom she so wrongly left;

Abandoned for another lover.

“Please, I’m here to say I’m sorry.

I’m at the airport.  Pick me up.”

Two hours later, he arrives

And to her awe, he runs to her

And scoops her up and squeezes her

And won’t let go.  Tears fall again –

Happy tears, tears of relief,

Of a forgiven heart, set free.

He kisses her upon the forehead,

Lightning sparks run down her spine.

“I was wrong to leave,” she said.

“If you don’t want me, I don’t blame you.”

He pulls her closer, whispering,

“No.  I love you.  You’re here to stay.

Forget your past, and I will too.

Let’s rejoice and celebrate,

For you were lost, but now you’re found.”