Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Delay: A Poem

Ann Voskamp features "The Spiritual Practice of Feasting on His Word" this week on her regular spiritual disciplines series.  As I was sifting through ideas, an article on Jesus' tears at Lazarus' grave reminded me that poetry is one way for me personally to "read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest" the Scriptures.  Creative response only proceeds from a slow steeping in the passage, and the crafting of the poem (or song or painting or story or drama, if you have another bent) requires still further meditation.

For me, any discipline that makes me slow down and chew the thoughts, the sentences, and the words enhances the pleasure of the feast.  The benefit comes chiefly to the writer-creator through the process.  In this context, the aesthetic excellence of the finished product is not the chief end.

In my study times over the years, the same Biblical account of Jesus and Lazarus' family which Makoto Fujimura's essay discusses has generated two poems, or something like poems.  The first appears below.  I pray it encourages you to explore the possibilities of your own creative response to God's Word.

Delay

Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.  When therefore He heard that he was sick, He stayed then two days longer in the place where He was (John 11:5-6).

He loved them, so He waited…
    Until the last moment,
    Beyond it,
    Until death had firmly taken hold,
    Until hope had gone
        And mourners filled the house.

He loved them, so He waited…
    Until impossibility
    Made room for Glory.


holy experience

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