The Heart

Lulled to the sound of my beating heart,

I lie there

Listening to the sound of the muscle

That with every thump, proves I live.

With every throb that happens in my chest,

I see my Creator sustaining me,

Giving me another second of life

As each heartbeat passes.

How is it

That something I rarely think about

Something that I can’t see, and take for granted every day,

A tiny, little muscle—

Is so complex,

With my whole life depending on its activity?

For if this little muscle were to stop,

That would be the end of me.

And that will happen someday.

But today,

As each thump passes,

I thank my God for giving me life.

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I will endure

I don’t know when this storm will pass

But there’s one thing I know for sure:

That Christ my Lord will hold me fast

And in His hands I will endure.

Liberation

I feel the weight of this world upon my back,

It is too heavy for me to bear.

I look back on my early years,

Oh, those days when I was more free—

Curious about every little thing;

Learning about the world and how it works.

Oblivious to evil and immorality,

Not excessively burdened by stress, sin, or suffering.

That was me, back in the day—

Hardly a care in the world.

I didn’t know about murder and racism,

About poverty and dying people,

About spiritual warfare and the heaviness of sin

And all the hardships of life.

I was asleep, yet happy.

But why, when I reached adolescence,

Did the real world hit me so hard?

The knowledge of sin and suffering and evil came

And threatened to make me bitter,

Depressed, isolated, if I would allow it—

Causing me, in a panic, to build a fortress around my soul

So that nothing would hurt me.

I reached adulthood, it didn’t get easier.

The wall is still up, though I go through phases

Of tearing parts of it down, only to patch it up again

And I wish I could crumble it completely.

Where is the freedom I once had?

Where is my childhood innocence,

Not having a care in the world?

Why is the world such a scarier place?

Why did my life become so hard?

But, what if the loss of this so-called freedom,

This seeming innocence,

Was the means by which I would find another—

One new and more perfect?

Not a sort of “freedom” in which ignorance is bliss,

In which I am ignorant to the turmoil of this world,

But a difficult freedom, stripping me of happy oblivion

To open my eyes to the fact that I needed something more?

What if this seeming loss of freedom—

This introduction to pain and suffering—

Was indeed my liberation?

What if all the sleepless nights, the heavy battles,

The tears, the agony, the loneliness, the struggles—

Were the means by which I would at last be free?

What if Someone knew I needed Him,

And placed these hardships in my life so that I would find Him—

He, Who loves me with perfect love,

In Whom there is fullness of joy and fulfillment?

What if all the doubts and questions

Were what would cause me to dig deeper,

And to at last find what I am really looking for?

Because really, is oblivion freedom?

Is not knowing about sin freedom from it…

Or enslavement to it?

Is happiness actually happiness

If I am unaware of where I am headed?

…If I am hellbound?

And so I was, but didn’t know it.

So now I thank my God

For the loss of this jovial unconsciousness,

This falsely-happy sleep,

This intoxication of the mind,

And for using hardships and harsh realities

To tame my wandering soul

And bring me to Him, where I at last find freedom.

And although life is not easy,

And many battles will still be found

And many tears will still be shed

And many nights where I will lie awake…

This freedom that I have now—

Conscious of sin and darkness, yet, no longer a slave to it,

Aware of this world’s pain, yet bound for a new one,

Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing—

This is BETTER freedom.

A Rock

While stormy clouds come billowing

With anxious eyes I watch the sky

And think I cannot outwit this

Approaching tempest, and I cry—

for help! because my shelter is

A flimsy structure, built on sand

And if I hide in it, the rains

Will not let this poor shelter stand.

And then it comes, the waters drench

My skin, and I can’t take a breath

From all pressure coming down

Upon me—Oh, it feels like death.

This weary rain, these fearful winds,

That shake the soul and chill the skin.

This storm! Will I come through alive?

These winds! This rain! Will I survive?

And I cannot stand long enough

Until this downpour passes on.

So I collapse beside a rock,

The one firm thing to lean upon.

And it occurs to me that I

Had never thought it best to hide

Within the clefts of this large cave,

Where I’d be sheltered, dry, and safe.

Though strength is weak, I climb this mount

And soon escape the deathly fount

And safe at last, I wait until

The storm clouds clear, and all is well.

So may I never trust again

In shelters built on shifting sand,

But, Rock of Ages, cleft for me,

Oh, may I hide myself in Thee.

Words

These words, with wonder, make me seem to fly

While gravity, an anchor, stays my frame

And thoughtfully I gaze up at the sky

As I with bliss enjoy each word and name

That mark each page, creating melody—

No tune they make, but music nonetheless.

I see my Father’s creativity

In how, with gifts of words, He would us bless.

 

My Father’s like a poet, making poems

That one can read by seeing with their eyes—

The lofty mountains, and the crashing seas;

The myriads of stars that fill the skies.

 

LORD, as I revel in this poetry,

I pray that YOU, the Author, I would see.

Forward

As I look back on my mistakes

And feel remorse, please give me grace

To turn from these sins and repent

And not repeat such base events

But leave them all behind, and see

That life is better when I’m free

From thoughts and deeds that slow me down

Since rather quickly I must run.

To win this race, I must move toward

Christ, my Savior—ever forward.

Rainfall

A downpour roars outside my attic window.

The therapeutic patter of the rain

Both cleanses earth of dryness and pollution

And soothes my mind and heart of any pain.

 

I lean against the wall beneath this window

That overlooks much danger and dismay,

And close my eyes and listen to the rainfall—

And in that moment, everything’s okay.

 

©MaddieThePoet2017

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.

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