I've just come back from the last Impart Intensive, which is very sad. :( I'll probably do a post about it at some point. Maybe. But there was something that I wanted to put up here - a poem that I wrote while I was out there.
They took us out to Parramatta Lake, and told us we had a couple of hours or so for some time of solitude, reflection and so on. It was one of the last things we did, so it was really reflecting back on the whole time.
Now, we had been there before, so I decided to walk around the lake in the other direction. And what ended up happening is that there were particular spots where God got me to stop, and look around. And I would get out my Bible, and write a few short lines connecting what I was reading to what was happening - either around me, or inside me, or both. And it always seemed to connect in - sometimes I had to think a bit about it, but it did.
I had the privilege to share this poem as part of the last session at the Churches of Christ Ministers' Awakening, which has just finished; and it was received very well there, I think. I had a few people coming up to me and saying that they really connected well with it, which is good.
So, here's the poem. It's called "My Hope", because that was really the running theme. It's something that God had been working on with me for this last Intensive, so the poem was very much for me. For each section, I've got the section that I opened up to in the Bible, so if you want you can have a look yourself. I had the NLT, so I don't know if they won't connect as well with different translations.
I sit under this tree; rough, yet light and grand;
And am reminded that our sins are rougher; his yoke, lighter; and his love, grander.
Therefore, my hope is in Him. (Psalm 130)
I sit near a great wall, offering its protection; and a pipe streaming water, seeming to provide;
But I remember that the Lord will protect me and sustain me more than I ever could.
Therefore, my hope is in Him. (2 Samuel 17:15-29)
I deviate from the main path, and wonder for a moment if I will be lost.
But I am reminded that the Lord always finds me, and I am never lost;
Therefore, my hope is in Him. (Amos 9:1-10)
I stand here next to the murky water, coughing, feeling full of phlegm;
But I am reminded that I am healed and cleansed by your power;
Therefore, my hope is in you. (Luke 8:1-3)
I sit and see beautiful lizards, hear melodious birds, and am captured by the lake's reflection;
But I remember that your glory is greater than all of these could ever be.
Therefore, my hope is in you. (Isaiah 60)
I sit here so close to the beginning, yet I know it will also be the end -
And I am reminded that just as you have the power to give life, so you can take it away.
Therefore, my hope is in you. (Ezekiel 26:1-14)
I sit on a great tree, that has now fallen to the ground;
And am reminded that no person is too great to escape your judgement.
Therefore, my hope is in you. (Zephaniah 1)
I sit on the bank of a creek, looking across at the other bank;
And I am reminded of the separation between light and darkness, between you and what we were.
Therefore, my hope is in you. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)
I sit on a high rock, overlooking the water;
And I know that, even if I fell, your power could rescue me.
Therefore, my hope is in you. (Isaiah 50:1-3)
I arrive at a house, but I cannot linger here;
I remember that you are my home, and not any building or land.
Therefore, my hope is in you. (Acts 7)
I start to hurry, noting the time, but I almost miss the beautiful colours of spring;
And I am reminded that my attention and devotion to you must be pure and undivided;
Therefore, my hope is in you. (2 Corinthians 11:1-15)
I come to a bridge, and I sit down, the wood supporting me.
But I know that it is only your strength which I can rely on;
Therefore, my hope is in you. (Isaiah 31)
I sit near a swathe of vines, choking and surrounding trees and fences;
And I am reminded that the world may imprison us for what we do, but you give us grace and peace.
Therefore, my hope is in you. (Philemon 1:1-3)
I stand near a road, and the noise brings to mind thoughts of home;
But I know that I must first build your house in my life, on solid foundations.
Therefore, my hope is in you. (Haggai 1:1-11)
I rush forward, thinking I have much left to go; but I suddenly reach the end, and I stop -
For it is the beginning, but then, it is not. The old has gone, the new has come.
Therefore, my hope is in you. (Colossians 3:1-17)
The end has come, and I am saddened; for I know the path ahead will be hard.
But you remind me that your Spirit and words will never leave me.
Therefore, my hope is in you. (Isaiah 59)