Tag Archives: Mercy

I Once Knew a Woman – A Poem

In my Bible Study Fellowship group leaders meeting this morning, I answered a question and my friend Ginger (who is going to the Faith and Culture Writers Conference with me this weekend) said, “There’s a poem in that.” She was right; and here it is.

Interestingly, as so often happens when I am open to what God is saying to me, part of this poem was already being written in my mind starting yesterday. I’ve been pondering fear and how I sometimes still let fear—of what I don’t know—hold me back from taking hold of the dreams God has placed in my heart. I really feel like this weekend and the conference I’m attending are His way of finally and completely crushing the fear that has so often crushed me.

I Once Knew a Woman

I once knew a woman
riddled with fear
crushing fear
made her greatly insecure

Pain and loneliness
were her constant cry
hopeless cry
made her want to die

I once knew a woman
whose dreams lay dormant
sadly dormant
her fear their deterrent

Despair and hopelessness
were her inward cry
lonely cry
made her want to die

I once knew this woman
and she was me
a lost me
But new life I see

Hope and mercy found in Christ
bring dreams alive
no fear survives
makes my soul thrive

I once knew a woman
but she no longer lives
she died and I live
because I learned He forgives

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Fewer Words – A Poem

The prompt over at dVerse Poets Pub yesterday was to write poem about a time or times that influenced our evolution to the poet we are today. I had to really think about this one to come up with something, and here’s what I came up with.

Fewer Words

First it was research papers,
then long-winded briefs

Perhaps just a memo
or letter to a client

but never a poem,
that’s not the sort for me

Expressing in essays
my thoughts and beliefs

No limit on wordiness
to slow me down

Others expressed ideas
great and profound

in simple poetry
of few lines and words

Maybe, just maybe
I could give it a try

Use fewer words to express
the mercy and grace of my Savior

the pain and the darkness
shattered by Light

Turns out a few words
are sometimes all it takes

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The Merciful Servant – An Elfje

Heavy
Pain, sadness
It lingers within
My heart must forgive
Mercy

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Shame Forgiven – A Sedoka

Sinful nature grips
Guilt and shame weighing us down
Fueled by abundant pride

Quelled by God’s mercy
All our sin is forgiven
Sinful nature overcome

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The Cross – A Cinquain

I’ve been struggling to post very often lately, and starting this week I’m taking on another responsibility as a Bible study small group leader. It occurred to me that I could embrace my love of short-form poetry and thereby continue to post with some regularity. And so here is a cinquain for today.

The Cross

The cross
around my neck
Instrument of mercy
The solution to my dismay
My hope

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Free – A Poem

Sin once held me in darkness
separated from Your glory
unaware of Your mercy
But from sin I now am free
You set me free

Sin once made me a failure
alienated from Your story
ignorant of Your grace
But over sin I now have victory
You gave me victory

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Undeserving – A Sestina

For quite some time I’ve wanted to write a sestina, but I was intimidated by the complex structure of this poetry form. I finally decided to give it a try as part of my 40 poems for Lent. It was a challenge but well worth the effort, I think. I am excited that I was able to finish it in time to post it for today so that I can share it at dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night later today.

Undeserving

Of Your sweet grace I feel undeserving
Feelings are not the source of Your mercy
I can’t comprehend the depth of Your love
When I allow other things to be lord
Settle for what the world has to offer
I am chasing after earthly things still

I long for my heart and soul to be still
Turmoil hems in thoughts I’m undeserving
Quieting turmoil is Your grand offer
The utmost above all gifts Your mercy
I can’t comprehend why You love me, Lord
But the heart of Your character is love

The chief desire of the human heart love
In a world filled with things we seek it still
We miss that You are the source of all, Lord
When we don’t earn we feel undeserving
Yet freely, as a great gift You offer
Each of us unearned, undeserved mercy

I have nothing of worth I can offer
I cannot fathom the value of love
I cannot grasp the worth of Your mercy
Longing for Your peace to calm my heart still
Still knowing I am so undeserving
Yet knowing in my heart You love me, Lord

Satan still seeks over me to be lord
Claiming he has more than You to offer
Reminding me I am undeserving
Of what I require most—Your grace and love
Faintly I hear Your beautiful voice still
In faith I reach for Your amazing mercy

I praise You, dear Jesus, for Your mercy
For eternity my beloved, my Lord
When I was gone astray You loved me still
I delight in grace You freely offer
I need naught else because I have Your love
You never make me feel undeserving

Lord, I am undeserving
but still You love me
and offer mercy

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Before the Throne – A Poem

This morning as I was listening to music on my iPod the song Trust in Jesus came on and I started to think about standing before God’s judgment throne. Paul confirmed what is written all throughout the Old Testament, that everyone, even Christians, will face God’s judgment.

For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.
It is written:

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will confess to God.’”

So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.
Romans 14:11-12 (NIV).

It occurred to me that as much as I appreciate what Jesus has done for me now, it will only be as I face the judgment throne of God that I will be able to fully appreciate the magnitude of His grace. Just as Solomon did, “I thought in my heart, ‘God will bring to judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time for every deed.’” Ecclesiastes 3:17 (NIV). Perhaps it is to fulfill His promise to bring us great joy and blessing that God will reveal, at the end of our days, how much He truly loves us. Only by revealing our great need for His redemption can He make us understand.

Before the Throne

I stand before the throne of God
He opens His book to my list of sins
His messenger begins to read
my transgressions, one by one

In my mind I begin to prepare
my defense, my justification for each sin
I think I am ready to answer
to show that I deserve mercy

The list goes on and on and on
Will it ever end?
My justifications begin to fade
My heart grows weak with shame

How can I stand before His throne
the judgment throne of the Almighty
I tremble in fear of His wrath, His righteous judgment
I know it will destroy me, I cannot stand

I fall to my knees before His throne

I bow my head knowing His judgment is true
Realizing I have no defense
I have broken every commandment, every law
without a single justification

Suddenly before the throne
between me and God’s final judgment
Stands the One who came to save me
His mercy and grace pour over me

I remember with great joy
that while I was yet a sinner
He loved me, He redeemed my soul
I trusted in Him and He is faithful to forgive

Before the throne of judgment and grace
I lift my voice in praise and adoration
Finally understanding completely
What His great love has accomplished

1/8/13: Shared this for Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub today.

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A Psalm of Lament and Thanksgiving

I love the Psalms because they are both prayers and songs. As I’ve been reading one each morning during my prayer time, I find that a Psalm of my own – a Psalm of both lamentation and praise – is forming in my mind. So I thought I’d write it down and post it here for Thankful Thursday.

A Psalm of Lament and Thanksgiving

Oh Lord, my God, how long
will You stand by as cancer
strikes those I love,
as pain and sadness
are all around me

How long must we endure
this broken world
sometimes wondering
where You are,
where is Your promised refuge

Tears fall upon my pillow
as I long for salvation,
for healing and no pain
in the lives of my loved ones
my friends, my family
Your children

Still I praise You, Oh Lord
I trust in Your promises
clinging to faith and hope
found only in You
I lift to Your throne
Your children in need

Your faithfulness endures
beyond what I can see
with eyes blinded by pain
Still I know, I believe
Your grace and mercy
are more than this world needs

May Your name be exalted
Your grace be embraced
Your love be never-ending
Your peace from me radiate
So that those in need
will know You and praise You
forever and ever

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Pray for God’s Mercy

Anyone who has read much of my blog, or who has read the “Music and Bands I Like” page, knows that I am a huge fan of Johnny Cash. What I love about him is that even when he is singing something other than true gospel music you can often find a message of redemption in the lyrics. The song I Hung My Head is just such a song.

This song brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it. In fact, it did just that as I was driving home with my friend Audrey from our service time at Shepherd’s Door two weeks ago, which was not good because I was not on a good part of the road to have my eyes blurred by tears.

The message of this song is that we will all face the earthly consequences of our actions, even potentially accidental ones. In this case, the young protagonist accidentally shoots and kills a man. He is tried and found guilty, and as a consequence he is facing the gallows in the morning.

But the further message is that God is merciful and will save us from the eternal consequences of our actions. This protagonist feels remorse for what he has done and begs for God’s mercy. As he hangs his head in shame, God hears his prayer, and Jesus, the lone rider, comes to bring him forgiveness and bring him home.

He will do the same for each of us who seek His mercy and grace.

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