The Word of God – A Poem

This poem is a tribute to the Word of God, which I am so thankful for. I love to be able to read His Word! I pray for those who desire to read the Bible but don’t have access to it. It is inconceivable that just owning the Bible is illegal or dangerous in 52 countries. But when you think about how powerful His Word is, I suppose it makes sense to keep it out of the hands of people if you want to control them. God’s Word, when it takes hold of the heart, will not be displaced.

The Word of God

The Word of God
is alive
fills my life
with blessings
wisdom and
comfort

The Word of God
is active
changes my heart
with conviction
truth and
love

The Word of God
is sharp
judges my thoughts
with precision
repentance and
faith

The Word of God
is watchful
sees me
with understanding
mercy and
grace

The Word of God
is a lamp
by which I see me
as He sees
my heart and
soul

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:12-13 (NIV).

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30 Comments

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry, postaday2011

30 responses to “The Word of God – A Poem

  1. I was doing a google search looking for an old poem that used to be commonly printed in front of New Testaments when I found your poem. While it obviously isn’t the poem I was looking for, I nevertheless enjoyed what I read. Thank you for holding forth the value of God’s word. What a beautiful treasure we have in our Bible.

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  2. Dear Linda,
    Your words are always a comfort and a balm for my soul. Always.
    God bless you for sharing so much of what is in your heart with us!
    Kay

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  3. I found this to be a great reminder of Biblical strength and truth. It had an immediate Beth Moore feel to it, taking me back to the Believing God study I was part of years ago. I look forward to reading more of your work. … I liked that you didn’t use commas in your lists; it’s fun to break the rules in poetry. : )

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    • Thank you. I’m pretty new to writing poetry and generally write what I feel. I didn’t know there were any rules in poetry. ;) For me, the only important rule is that God be glorified. I’m glad this poem was a blessing to you. Peace, Linda

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  4. geoffpope

    Hiya, Linda! You’ve received some stellar critiques here, so I’ll just add a few commentsuggestions for now:

    – I like how you incorporated modifiers from Heb. 4:12 into the second lines of your first three stanzas.
    – Regarding the verbs “fills,” “changes,” “judges,” etc., consider using vivid, unpredictable words instead, such as “packs,” “charges,” “slices,” etc.
    –S4,L3: In the light of Carys second concern, maybe add “and you” in parentheses after “me”

    Will you be posting a revision?

    GeOwl

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    • Geoff, Thanks for the additional feedback. I did edit this one a little based on Luke’s feedback and am going to leave it as is for now because I want to preserve having written it and the feedback. But I already have a similar but different poem swirling around in my head taking the critiques into account for future posting, probably for next Wed. or Thursday. Peace, Linda

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  5. I loved the poem! What a great thing to be thankful for, so perfect for Thankful Thursday. I will need to go more carefully through your critiques, to learn too! ha!
    What I liked was the different ways you saw the Word of God. :) I never thought of watchful before and loved thinking about it being active!
    Thank you for writing and sharing a blessing!
    God bless you and all the places He takes you with your poems! :)

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    • Deb, I actually made some changes in reponse to Luke’s critique. The others have me thinking about a whole new poem that I want to write. His Word being active and alive has always thrilled me. There is always something new to apply to my life whenever I read it. :) Peace, Linda

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  6. A beautiful testament to your faith. The repetition works well here.

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  7. “… sharp and judges my thoughts.” And it’s a good thing. Our actions are always preceded by out thoughts. Can you imagine where we’d be without God’s judgment, knowing that He sees all?

    For me the Bible creates a desire to honor Him, not behave against His will. Wish I could say I always did it perfectly… I’m still a believer in training! Awesome poem… hugs : )

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  8. The repetition device, using your key, titular phrase to start every stanza is powerful and holds the piece with a firm hand.

    Have you accidentally cut a word or line off the end? It seems quite abrupt; in fact I’m not even sure I understand it. Does it need rephrasing?

    I’m having no trouble with the short, terse lines, as long as the caps at the beginning are dropped (most modern poets don’t use caps bar following a period etc). They stick out in short lines and ones that run-on (where the though/sentence spills over onto the next) in particular, hampering the flow. Sans caps it would look like this ( in my opinion, even if you decide to go for longer more lyrical lines, dropping the caps will do the piece service) -

    The Word of God

    The Word of God
    is alive
    fills my life
    with blessings >see the run-on here? ‘fills my life with blessings’
    wisdom
    comfort

    The Word of God
    is active
    changes my heart
    with conviction
    truth
    Love

    The Word of God
    is sharp
    judges my thoughts
    with precision
    repentance
    faith

    The Word of God
    is watchful
    sees me
    with understanding
    mercy
    grace

    The Word of God
    is a lamp
    by which I see me
    as He sees

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    • Luke, Thanks for the wonderful feedback. I am new to poetry, and so I appreciate any help I can get. I do see how it flows better without the caps. The last stanza is not missing a line. I suppose the fourth line could end with the word “me” as it is supposed to convey that God’s Word helps me to see me the way God sees me, and so I am humbled by that knowledge. He sees all my flaws and weaknesses, which I am likely to overlook out of pride. Okay, that was a lot, which now that I re-read the stanza is not well conveyed. Thanks again. Peace, Linda

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  9. Linda, I’m so glad you joined us at dVerse and offered us some inpiration. Julie (Carys) and Laurie pretty much did a good job with critique. My suggestion, like theirs, is to focus in on specificity–maybe a descriptive metaphor for the Word. For example, think about your lamp simile–already abundant and appropriately so in the Bible. What do we have today that gives light, or comfort or strength etc. that was not known then? I hope to see more you you!

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    • Thanks, I appreciate the feedback. With this poem I was trying to use some other similes besides the lamp because I have used “Light” in several other poems I’ve written recently. Frankly, the lamp was an afterthought, a way of trying to finish the poem. The similes I was trying to focus on are the Word as a sword that cuts deep into the soul to remove the evil and make room for the light. These comments are really helping me to see where what I intended was not completely conveyed. I’m looking forward to the next iteration of this poem. Peace, Linda

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  10. Dear Linda,
    As poets we all want to take on the things we love, we feel passionate about, be it our family, politics, things we fear, injustice, despair, grief, death and sadness. Yes these are the “huge” topics and have been written about since man could make any marks to communicate his thoughts.

    I agree with Carys here and suggest you go to http://dversepoets.com/2011/08/18/meeting-the-bar-critique-and-craft-2/ and read some of the linked poems which were dealing with these huge subjects. Getting a “small” symbol and examining it to make your point is fresh and becomes your own statement saying it in a way no one else has.

    That way you avoid some of the flaws in this piece. There are a number of commonalities in your language. I’m not sure they would be considered cliche but certainly they are platitudes and while what you are saying is heartfelt and important, it isn’t new and it doesn’t give us you…as opposed to any other speaker. That is what we strive for as poets, to find our own voice, as distinctive as our faces, the light in our eyes, our fingerprints, our life expressed through the choices we’ve made. Bring that unique thing that is you to your work.

    I’d also like to direct you to a young woman’s blog who exemplifies this and someone I’d like to share with you. Her name is Emily Wirenga and I just visited her blog. Not all the posts she shared with us are up, but she is amazingly frank and intimate in her poetic conversations. She makes you feel you are in her kitchen having coffee as she gives you an artistic sketch of her own thoughts and feelings. Her blog is here: http://canvaschild.blogspot.com/

    Her faith flows from her fingers in every line with such honesty and generosity that she never fails to bring me to tears.

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  11. Hi, Linda- I love all poems on faith, so this is difficult for me to critique, but this piece is general and I agree that maybe if you narrowed it down to an observance and focused on that… like an example of how your faith has worked in your life… that it would be more personal.

    Also, since God is all-encompassing, I think a different form would be more effective; rather than short terse lines, longer flowing ones.

    The message is beautiful… and I agree!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, too. I left a little note for you under your critique.

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    • Laurie, Thanks for the feedback. I did feel, when I wrote this, that maybe the short terse lines were not quite right. I have written other poems about how faith has made a difference in my life, but my goal with this one was really to focus on the Word and not on me so much. I am loving the input, though, and will likely take another crack at this subject matter, starting with this poem and incorporating the ideas from you and Carys. Thanks. Peace, Linda

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  12. Hi there Linda. I’m always a little cautious about critiquing poems about faith but I’m assuming that as you’ve linked to a critique feature that you do want honest feedback.

    Your work is heartfelt and deeply personal and the repetition of the first line of each stanza works well to reiterate your point.

    I’m not sure if you read my article a couple of weeks ago about writing about big topics but they really don’t come bigger than this. My advice when writing on universal topics such as faith which have been written about for centuries is that we have to find new and interesting ways to present our ideas and I don’t think you’ve quite managed that here. As I see it there are two problems here. The first one is that you have tackled the subject head on. With big topics it is often far more effective to try and focus on an object of interest or intrigue to draw the reader in. You’ve mentioned a lamp at the end of the poem and I think this would be an excellent aspect to focus on. The other problem that I see here is that this is all about the narrator; what she thinks, what she feels, how her faith affects her. the reader is, in effect, excluded from the poem so I think that’s another aspect that you need to consider.

    I hope that you find this advice useful and that it helps you to hone your skills and develop as a poet.

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    • Carys, Thank you for the feedback. I am fairly new to poetry so any ideas I can gain from this critique session are appreciated. It is a big topic, I agree, and I hadn’t considered whether I was looking at it in a new way. I will check out your article for future reference. I may tweak this one as you suggest to try to bring the lamp idea in at an earlier point and make it more of a focus. I’ll have to ponder that one. Although the Word being a lamp is not a new concept either.

      I will have to think more about your second critique. When I write, especially poetry, it tends to be from my own perspective. I only know what I think and feel, and do not wish to presume what others think and feel. But I never thought of this as excluding the reader. I will have to look at this poem from the perspective and see if I can write another poem on this topic taking that into account. Thanks for your perspective. Peace, Linda

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  13. Linda,
    Quite the poet these days.;-) I really like this, and how you highlight the fact that being able to study the Word of God is not a given, it is a gift. Awesome encouragement!. God Bless-Jim

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  14. “But when you think about how powerful His Word is, I suppose it makes sense to keep it out of the hands of people if you want to control them. God’s Word, when it takes hold of the heart, will not be displaced.”

    Amen!

    The word of God
    Perseveres
    Won’t return void
    Or pass away

    I just had to chime in. :)

    Great poem!

    Blessings,
    Theresa

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  15. Changes our Heart – LOVE IT

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