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.”

I Cannot Heal

I see the world through teary eyes,

A world turned dark by Adam’s fall,

With pain and sorrow and disaster –

And I can never fix it all.

 

If I could cure my one friend’s woes,

My other friend’s anxiety,

Or comfort those in pain, I would –

But healing isn’t up to me.

 

I could help till I drop dead,

But still, no matter what I do –

Give many hugs, a few kind words –

I cannot heal; that’s up to You.

 

When healing comes to someone’s heart

By words I speak, by love I show,

It isn’t my accomplishment,

But Yours, O God, and this I know.

 

You heal, O God, but You use means

For Your great work, so if You will,

Let my heart You’ve caused to break

Be a means You use to heal.

Anger Won’t Be Queen

Where did I get this attitude?

Today I’m irked at moments such

As inconveniences too small

Or hearing noises far too much;

Corrections coming from another

I’ll (sadly) take as such a bother.

Such instances, so minuscule,

Presses Anger’s hand to rule…

 

“But no!” I tell myself.  “Enough!

Why do you let yourself surrender

To these feelings of impatience?

Did your heart cease to be tender?

Soul, look, this Anger is a liar.

And she will spark a brutal fire

In your soul, if you will let her.

But do resist her; you know better.”

 

Temptations rise up in my mind:

“Must I resist this burning feeling?

Can’t I let myself ONE time?”

NO!!!  Though it may seem appealing.

In one small spark, ‘most no one sees

The harm of several thousand trees.

It’s to your harm when you give in

To this apparently small sin.

 

Anger starts out small, you see,

But grows at an increasing rate

And somewhere down this steep descent

Comes bitterness and evil hate.

Do you want this cruel master?

Spare yourself from such disaster –

Let Anger not usurp your soul.

Breathe in.  Breathe out.  Have self control.

 

I stop and say a prayer to God,

“Please help me act as You would act.

You deal with me so mercifully,

Though you could smite me just like that.

You’ve given me ability

To deal with moments patiently,

But on my own I cannot do

What would bring most joy to You.”

 

And just like that, the anger’s gone;

The spark, just taking flame, put out,

And God, the rightful King, controlling

This error-prone and sinful heart.

Anger, no, she won’t be queen.

Not a trace of her is seen.

The storm is calmed, and I am free

To live my life more peaceably.