Friday, March 18, 2011

To the Last

When falls the rain; when shakes the earth—
When moves the main to strike out mirth—
When waters rise and floods ensue,
Almighty God will shelter you;
For He, who saved us in the past,
Saves presently and to the last.

Though dissolute our earthly homes—
Fallen structures, broken domes—
CHRIST (though earth infuse our parts)
Makes tabernacles of our hearts.
There, to dwell 'til life is past,
From present moment to the last.

Though souls upon a storm-tossed sea,
We own all rivers come from Thee—
Like living streams to wash our eyes
And visions grant, of Zion's skies.
In providence, Lord, light the past,
Guide presently and lead to last.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Moment

Written September 11, 2001
Posted September 11, 2010, in remembrance

In but a moment, so it seemed, in one
collisioned, crashing moment, learned we all
what is for leaping souls to blot the sun--
felt we all two symbols shake and fall.
What dawning horror shook our hearts into
the night and burned, as did the fires, filling
freedom's skies with heat.
What smoldering resolve with each review,
with every image, wills to war from spilling
souls; we will respond with marching feet.

In but a moment, so it seemed, in one
unuttered scream-like moment, papers scatter,
flutter, fall, the ashes of those gone--
A dusting of their dreams--the loss of latter
laughter, love and living, smiles and giving,
morning greetings at the entry door.
The silence settles now
While those remaining, stare, and face reliving
scene by scene the horror of before--
remembrance in a never-slowing snow.

In but a moment, so it seemed, in one
horrific, heaving moment, all we knew
of peace and past lost itself, undone,
within the blast, stormed and billowed to
the aching sky, and pillowed there the still
of those stopped voices and the choices they
would make within the day.
Remember now, America! With will
and soul, remember this! For minstrel hearts will stay
on key if tuned aright with yesterday.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


In a time long forgotten, at the birth of the world,
Before dawn, two brothers sought God in a field.
One brought the fruit of the ground he had tilled;
On offered a lamb, and together, they kneeled.
When suddenly a voice whispered through the haze,
Rebuked the sacrifice of Cain, now lost within the blaze.
But Abel's, He accepted; for someday He would raise
A sacrifice to cover for the sin of all man's ways.

There would be no wall to climb over, no altar to leap,
No penance to suffer, no stone law to keep,
No priest to confess to, no prayer to the east,
No care to lose rest to . . . For we would be RELEASED.

On the heights of a mountain, a man and his son,
Had built up an altar and laid the wood on.
'Twas then Isaac realized what had to be done;
But for trust in his father's love, the child did not run.
His son upon the altar, Abram raised his knife.
How could he kill his only son? His heritage? His life?
When a voice from the thicket said, “Abram here is your relief,
Spare your son, and kill My Lamb; Be blessed for your belief.”

He had no wall to climb over, no altar to leap,
No penance to suffer, no stone law to keep,
No priest to confess to, no prayer to the east,
No care to lose rest to . . . for he had been RELEASED!

On the first Easter morning, a woman in tears
Crept early to a garden where a stone tomb appeared.
But to her amazement, she saw as she drew near,
The stone was rolled away! Her Lord was not here!
The angel said, “Fear not! He's risen from the dead!
The matchless Lamb of Glory has died in man's stead!”
She had come to the garden to weep for her Lord,
But to discover, her hope was restored!

There would be no wall to climb over, no altar to leap,
No penance to suffer, no stone law to keep,
No priest to confess to, no prayer to the east,
No care to lose rest to . . . for we have been RELEASED!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Free Now

I didn't notice when the walls came up around me--
Too busy looking out the windows of my cell,
Shaking my head at the prodigal,
So proud of where I stood,
Thinking I deserved a madrigal
For a life of lifeless good.

I was not free yet.
I'd pushed my Lord aside.
The prison of my making,
I claimed that He assigned.
I could not see yet—
I had so much to hide—
My heart, my soul, and my mind,
All longed to be free.

I could not miss the walls now; they were everywhere.
I lived my life from deep behind the bars.
Angry—oh so angry—
That no one would give me
A happy end for my conformity.
Still I was not free.

No, still not free yet—
Jesus waited at the side—
Waiting to be the only One
I cried for when I cried.
I could not see yet
My tears could all be dried—
My heart, my soul, my mind—
Were a cry from being free.

In the darkness then I saw an apparition,
Of one Who's face was bruised—Who's hands were scarred.
He didn't fit my text book definition;
The life of faith—why should it be so hard?
But Jesus handed me a key—the key to my despair—
He said, “My child! Unlock the door! I never left you there!”

And I am free now!
Walking by His side—
The prison of my making,
All but left behind.
I can see now
With nothing to hide—
My heart, my soul, my mind—
And I am free!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I Hold a Dear Hand

When I was quite young
There's a time I recall,
When a hand that I loved
Held my hand still so small.
I remember that hand,
So affected by time--
Softened by age,
And wrinkled and lined.
Grandma, how do you manage?
Your hands are so old!
Then she told me the best thing
I've ever been told.

Today my dear son
Took his very first step;
His father was proud,
And I nearly wept.
This small letting go
Is the first of its kind;
Time passes like water--
He will leave home behind.
Son, how will you manage?
There's so much to know?
As my God is good,
He will answer me so.

So friend, if this life-light
Leaves you sorely dismayed,
And the pennies are gone
Before they've been paid;
Just look to His face,
And reach for His hand--
The best treasure you have
Is the warmth of His hand!
His promise is sure,
And your pathway He knows;
May this be the song
Of your heart as you go!

I hold a dear hand
Stretched from heaven above;
To the old and the young,
Jesus reaches in love;
And that same dear hand--
Once pierced cruelly through--
Is the same hand I'm holding,
Guiding me through.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Lord, Let Me Love

Lord, let me love in fashion
That is like the Savior's love
May eyes transmit compassion
That transcends from Thee above.
For hearing our entreaty,
Christ—not daunted by our need--
Extended love completely,
Making searching hearts

Lord, in my least expression,
Let love be laced among,
And may no situation
Find me without my song;
For songs among our sorrows
And hopes shared in the dark;
Bespeak the Savior's image,
Though the world denies His mark.

Lord, shaken by redemption
And covered by your care
And strengthened by salvation
May others follow there!
For how can they resist
If there shines, and shines, and SHINES,
Consistent and persistent,
The God that I call mine!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Alone in the Dark

Do you feel alone in the dark?
No one knew . . . no one knew.
Making sense of the dark
What is not--what is true.
So many hands reaching out for a sign--
Who the heart asks, can it trust this time?
People are frail; they are made out of dust;
There is just one set of Hands to trust . . .

You were not alone in the dark;
Oh, He knew--yes, He knew.
Once He hung alone in the dark;
Loving you--all for you.
He knew your pain, and He bottled your tears;
Now when dark closes in, He hears every fear.
Deep in the night when you're chasing down sleep,
Yours is the soul He's still longing to keep.

He said, “Let there be light!” He took the dark from the night;
He gave the blind man his sight--He reaches out for you.
He'll clear the dark from your room, like He cleared out the tomb;
No, you are never alone . . . You are His precious YOU!