I am mildly surprised as I read these words months after writing them. Mildly, I say, because it isn’t a surprise and yet it is, to see how I have been so down in my hopes, feelings and outlook on things. I marvel somewhat because I know this has happened on many occasions while in between those times I have also felt quite to the contrary, as though the Lord were very much with me and that by Him, nothing was impossible. I have particularly felt the latter way, with full conviction immediately after the Lord has manifest Himself to me in some way, unmistakably. But how soon and how able we are to forget and to be in despair!
The whole world rots before my very eyes.
Blind I am not to its corruption;
Men bide their time in vain travail
Or wait until they have to go.
Suffering and death are everywhere,
Sickness, disease and hell;
Selfishness and greed reign over all;
Each man denies another’s rights.
Hell is on the left, Death is on the right;
Fake religions promise emancipation;
Vain hopes carrot asses everywhere;
The wisest are led by them,
bled by them,
and slain by them.
God is here, God is there, God is everywhere;
There is no truth, no mercy, no compassion,
No righteousness nor justice in this earth.
Men are quick to boast their virtue,
To make a show of goodness,
‘Til they have you where they want you
And slit your throat for what you have
If even so very little.
I see the wickedness and the cruelty,
The deception of every man
But though I have power to see all this,
There is nothing I can do;
I am helpless and selfish as other men,
Striving for the truth yet against it all,
Hungering for the right nowhere in sight,
Contributing to its non-existence.
I have sought to be the Lord’s,
To be His and His alone,
To serve Him well and do His will
But I have sought in vain.
There is nothing for me to do;
My searching is at an end.
I can not go on; my hope is gone;
I see no other way.
What then can there be for me?
Where will I go and what shall I do?
I despair and cry and writhe inside;
My God has forsaken me.
He has forsaken me, I do not know why.
I know that in me there is no good
But I thought and hoped that He would come
And save me if He could.
I am worse than I was a while ago,
And worse I get each day.
What can I do and where will I end?
What more am I able to say?
My depressions come more often;
They envelope me as a shroud.
My strength is fainter day by day
To withstand the onslaught of evil.
I have boasted and spoken of my God;
I have acted as though I have known Him.
Some, though few, have sought my words
To guide them on their way.
But now I find I am no guide;
I have no one to guide me.
Silent and subdued within,
After many years, I am at an end.
Promises have come and also gone;
I stand with empty hand;
Nothing to show for all my work
And sacrifice and search.
If I could find someone to end
This miserable life I have led,
I had let him have the privilege
If I knew the other side.
It may well be from pan to fire;
It may be for the worse;
I do not know so I can not go;
I must bear this curse.
Lethbridge, Sept. 1984
We Are Branches, We Are One
All of creation points to and teaches us of God, His requirements of us, our relationships to Him.
Life in Christ must be as spontaneous and natural as the branches to their tree trunk. And am I presumptuous in pointing out that as branches cannot live without the trunk so the trunk has no life without branches? Can it be that Almighty God is so committed to us, His creation?
We are branches, we are one,
Not by ourselves, not of ourselves,
But we live by the Greater One
Which gives us life,
Which gives us purpose for being.
Though we go our own ways,
One this way and that,
Still we serve the One greater
From where we come,
In Whom we have our being and our life.
We serve the Greater One and give It life;
We live for It and It alone.
The Trunk is our source and our deposit,
The Beginning and the End.
How can we live except we give?
If we do not give, the Trunk does not live;
If the Trunk does not live, we die.
For the Trunk then we live
No other choice can there be,
Yet we give not so that we live,
We are what we are;
We do what we do,
And if we do well we live.
The incomprehensible frivolity of those who deem it enjoyable and sporting to make a game of killing and suffering!
Such acts and attitudes are symptoms of a horridly sick society indeed. To make a sport of the tragedies of mankind is to demonstrate a madness of the vilest kind on earth, worse than that which we find in asylums because those out and about, free to do as they please, are pleased to mimic the worst there is, though they are judged by the rest of society to be sane and responsible. The judges are as ill as the judged, if they find no fault or harm in such behavior.
War games? War games? War games!
Play, everybody, play!
And play the dreaded things that one never plays again
When the real appears.
In all its horror and confusion,
The incredible, the imagined takes its form from nowhere,
But not from nothing.
Frolicking souls, restless souls, selfish souls,
Dull, simple, foolish and ghoulish;
Shoot and kill! Play the game without the blood in sight,
Though the blood already gushes forth
With its life spilled to the ground.
While they play and rejoice in mock victories,
Storm clouds swiftly creep.
Even the rain spatters to warn but none take care
And none suspect that the rain is red.
Now they say, “Better red than dead” until they say
“I wish I were dead.”
Now they only pretend, like children,
Running and laughing, not watching,
Until they fall into the strong hands of a stranger,
One of whom they have heard,
One of whom they have t...
"You've got to walk...that lonesome valley...you've got to walk...it by yourself..." the song goes. As it was with our father of faith, so with every sojourner. "Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him." There is no other way.
On the day that I set out to walk with God
I became lonely.
My family insisted
That I remain with it -
I chose my loneliness,
Part of the price to pay
For obedience to God.
I entered a family of those
Who claimed to walk with God,
Only to discover feigned faith.
They insisted I be as they.
Called out from among them
Again I was lonely.
He gave me a wife
Knowing it not good
That I should be alone.
Together we searched for friends -
A cup of water here
And a cup there
But no well.
Today, after many years,
He gives us a son
Who helps to bear our loneliness
But we are lonely.
What is it to be lonely?
It is to be alone
In desires, in thoughts, in understanding,
In conversation, in goals and interests,
In activity, in purpose.
Added to our loneliness,
Betrayals and disappointments
To sharpen the pain that is there -
They come with smiles
And depart with frowns.
Added to our betrayals and disappointments,
The enmity of adversaries
Opposing what we are
And why we are here,
Hating us without a cause
Added to the hatred,
For they hate us
And us alone.
Moon River, Oct. 29...