Rest in Peace

How glorious that final age will be,
when all our striving shall cease,
when all His saints shall rest in peace.

How wonderful that final sigh shall be,
when we look upon warless days,
and our rumoring past falls away.

How majestic that day shall be,
When we look upon the glory of the King,
Crowned at freedom’s bells’ ring.

How happy I shall be to sleep,
Time no longer my enemy,
But my friend for all eternity.

Hasten o’God, Lord of my heart;
Bring fast Your dawn of peace!
Let me labor no longer on trifles and scrum,
Let me be nevermore anxious to do and done,
But be content that It Is Done.

Thoughts on the Heart

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Jeremiah 17:9

I’ve had a bit of a rough week, my troubles largely self-inflicted. I won’t go into any graphic detail, but I should think that the above quote is sufficiently informative.

I’m sure we’ve all heard countless times various -isms to the effect of “trust your heart” or “trust your conscience.” I am leaning ever more towards the opinion that these truisms are nothing but ignorant half-truths at best and vain delusions at worst – at least so far as applied to myself.

The heart is fickle and indecisive; it wants one thing but rarely clarifies how you are to go about obtaining it. It is insistent and petulant in its primitive desires, unreasoning in its persistent demands for lustful gratification, constant amusement, and transcendental bliss. The heart is not a being of reason, of contentment, nor of faithfulness, but a beast of wretched selfishness.

God is true when we are false. Those of you who in His Son already profess salvation – be wary of trusting your own hearts, how you feel before God, how you feel about your actions. “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21). When our hearts are not firmly fixed on God’s purpose and His holy commands, when we take first the counsel of our flesh before that of the Mighty Counselor, we are quick to turn astray into selfish vanities and foolish self-delusion.

In short – I deceived myself for almost a whole week that I could control my lust in the moment of self-gratification, against all wisdom and caution, and while God graciously has not punished me with stripes, I beg that He would, if only it would keep me from sinning against Him again. Instead, I must live with my conscience – I must fasten myself ever tighter to His forgiveness. By grace and grace alone are any saved at all. This last week is a reminder most sharp – my own efforts and plans shall never substitute for His blessing.

Lord, my God,
Watch my soul tonight.

El Shaddai, my Prince of Peace,
Guard my wayward steps.

For I am but a child,
A fool little better than an animal –

Yet one whom you have uplifted,
That he might dare to be a man.

Lord, give me strength, and give me grace,
That grace in which I undeservedly live,
That I might rejoice in obedience,
Not for one night but until my last.

 

And Yet…

Blessed be the artist,
For to him is given the dream of creation.

Whilst others scramble in mud,
He may dream that it is liquid silver.

While others scream over a bent fender,
He may imagine them in chivalric fashion,
A pair of armored sea lions at the tilt.

When a fish flies from the sea,
Trailing a shimmering blade of water,
He is blessed to see more than mere water;
To him is given sight to see and ears to hear
The music of all creation,
Played in between the patter of rain
The roar of the windy surf
In the booming voice of the thunder
In the scintillating fingers of lightning
Which split the sky like rivers of fire.

Blessed be the artist,
For God has opened the door
To the artists’ studio,
And given him brushes and paints,
Pens and inks and eyes to see
The beauty which lie beneath the substance.

Beauty is only skin deep,
Unless you have the eyes of God.

Marvel you artists! Marvel all,
At God’s glorious artistry!
Every gleaming drop of water,
Every flowing electron,
Every quivering proton,
Every gallant sunbeam,
Every furious thunderclap,
Howling wind, rattling rain
Roaring fire and trembling Earth
Pounding hooves and beating wings
The choir of the crickets
The harmony of human voice
And dove’s purring warble and
Ten thousand thousand songs and sights,
Made by the greatest artist of all!

The only artist whose sculptures breathe.

Cursed the Artist

Cursed is the artist,
Who ever must bear witness
To the ever distant horizon
Whose eye alone can see
Shores beyond sight
Beyond existence.

Cursed is he who must see
The shimmering crystal waters
Of a lake of ruby and gold
Guarded by a giant of iron and stone;
Imprisoned within, a maid of diamond.

For he sees another who goes
A knight of bronze and fire,
Another one forever uncreated,
Another song unsung,
Another shore unseen.
A warrior who lives only in dreams.

And though his throat parch
Thinking of those effervescent waters
He must away to a land of mud and dust
To the world where phones jingle
And engines roar, and talking puppets
Talk about the newest fashions
Of dressing cats and dogs.

Cursed is he who dreams of knighthood,
For there are no more giants
Nor maiden royalty,
And to him falls the duty
To gaze longingly at the shores of creation,
Never knowing the dreams which haunt his living.

Overtake

I’m tired of my condition.
Always inattentive.
Driven to stray.
Made to fail.

The inferior man.
No excuses.
No escape.

Every mistake.
Every heartache.
My life they take.
My soul, forsake.

I don’t know where to go.
I am lost, Elohim.

Please.
Help.
Me.

I feel you, o Father of Love.
I hear you, o Spirit of Justice.
I see you, o Savior of Souls.

May the cracks in my skin
Shine with the light of Your Law.
That I and all my earthly kin
May kneel in awe.

Every mistake.
Every heartache.
My body breaks,
That Your Glory may Overtake.

For His Excellence, Labor

Lord, I am tired.
I desire to labor
but my mind is short
of the perspicacity
which I demand

Lord to what do I labor
Your greater glory I
desire above all else
If not in heart then
in mind — in cold, cold mind.

Oh Lord why does not
my heart beat for You
as it does for her?
Oh Lord — why, oh why
why oh does not Your spirit
flood my heart to wash
all away which displease
Your Holy Excellence

Lord purge me –
purify the small man – the
weak man – the
pauper who thirsts for You
No more strife, warless days
Lord, quickly, come!

Consumptor

Purge me of hunger
Not for bread
But for flesh

It gnaws       turns
tears      the screws
bites      ever tighter
twists     and tighter still
I want it gone!
No more         the flesh
Nevermore        as ash
It fades                  the cursed parasite
throbs and pulses and swells
like an abscess of desire
The hunger grows, devours
engorged upon itself till
it bursts and drains its human pus
into the mouth of Hell.
To Sheol it beckons me
a king and his son battled this beast and came to dun;
his name was David, son of Jesse
and his son was Solomon, Bathsheba’s son.
But they cast themselves upon Your mercy
They were spared the fire, though not the pain
and ascended they on high to rest
in Your Maker’s Hands.
Make it tremble, make it burn
Reduce it to ash
Put the flesh to the sword
and from the Consumptor’s gory pyre
arise the spirit saved to light.