Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Self-Revelation

In a world that rants about "following your heart" and "discovering the real you," learning what is truly inside of oneself doesn't seem like a bad idea. Yet the fact is, what is inside is terribly ugly...and every time I read this poem, it pierces me with pain and terror almost like a horror film....and yet, God is still amazing.

I looked to God and said one day,
“I give my life to You,
All things I do, and think, and say,
I dedicate anew.
I know what I could give is few,
And undeserving too,
But all that can be done of me,
I offer now to You.”

And in my heart, I felt so sure
That He must have felt grand
To have a life so young and pure
Entrusted to His hand.
So great then was the shock I knew
When all I reckoned true
Was called unfit, the time when He
Was seeking for His due.

“Lord, isn’t there a little bit,
A little bit for You?
A little bit that could be fit
A bit that’s good and true,
A little bit that I could do
To sacrifice to You?”
His shook His head and look at me,
“Child, that was from me too.”

I cried, I shook, I closed my eyes,
I could not understand,
Were all my off’rings merely lies?
Had I nothing at hand?
“Lord, surely it could not be true
That all I’d say and do
Were merely from me and for me,
And not prepared for You?

“It couldn’t be, it couldn’t be!”
I hid my head in tears.
And it took quite some time till He
Could coax me to come near.
I shuddered at what I now knew
I sobbed o’er what was true
“There’s nothing, Lord, coming from me,
No, not one thing for You.

“The words I’ve said, the deeds I’ve done,
The thoughts of sacrifice
Were done for pleasure or for fun,
And for man’s earthly eyes;
I can give nothing good to You,
And all that I’ve been through
Was just a masquerade of me,
And nothing about You.”

I wept and dared not look above,
I knew I had been wrong,
Then after shelt’ring me with love,
For days and ages long,
He said, “Child, look and tell me who
You now can see in you.”
“Nothing but old selfish me,
A mess, unfit, untrue.”

He looked at me and smiled and said,
“That’s what I want of you,
That you should see how you are dead,
How ugly and untrue,
That you should see how I’ve loved you,
How faithfully and true,
So that You live accordingly.”
“I will, Lord…I love You.”

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wedding Blessing

As pastor's daughter, I witness many weddings every year. And as the people pray with the musical Lord's Prayer at the end of every ceremony, I can't help but wonder if there is an alternative. If I should whisper a blessing for two friends in holy union...what would I utter? The result was this composition. Combined with my mother's beautiful melody and layered chords, this piece brings with it many good wishes in Christ.

May each dawn that you greet, be a witness of His grace
May He meet every need that comes your way;
May His love and His peace, be your comfort in each place
And His hope rest you through each dreary day.

May His heart be the heart, that will seal two hearts as one,
Through each smile and each trial, just as when it first begun;
May each day of your lives, be a heavenly embrace,
May He stay in your home as in this place.

May His love be your love,
May His hope be your strength,
This we pray…

Friday, July 04, 2008

A Writer's Prayer

I am barely a writer...but this really is my prayer...

If I could ever write a story…that could capture only one fragment of Your sovereign plans, then it would be the greatest masterpiece on earth. No, it cannot be. That is a wish beyond humanity.

You are the one who created it all.

You invented what people call characterization. You have made millions upon millions of human beings over the course of history, yet not two have been the same. You designed every tendency, every inclination, every preference, every talent, every interest known or unknown to man…and You combined them in unique ways that outwit probability. You planted such varieties of personality, and You set each new concoction in different circumstances. You designed character background, more richly, deeply, and diversely than any single human mind can comprehend. You dictated which parents would bear which children, and which building should house which child, and which cultures would reach which soul. You created propensities so tiny yet significant, that only a family member could tell. You search through every motive and form of selfishness harbored in the heart, even those hidden from one’s own eyes. You did not create sin, yet You understand it and see it manifested in ways as diverse as the human creatures You have conceived. You write character after character, create person after person…yet You know each by name, You understand each one as thoroughly as if he had been the only one made.

You write with purposeful plots. There are three main plots in life, and You control them all. There is the main plot of redemptive history, of which You are the focal point. There is the main plot of the humanity’s history within this universe, which often leaves individuals seem incredibly insignificant. Then there is the main plot of everyone’s own story, for truly no story is ever of greater consequence in one’s life than one’s own. No human being can understand the world except through the context of his own story. For him, for her, for me, that is the main plot. You write each one. You personally write each one. You write each one with precision inconceivable.

You are a God of order, and You are a complex God. How You can interweave billions of main plots over time is beyond my understanding. I can only marvel. One man heads one household, one long chapter within his lifetime. His children, growing under his roof, portray stories of their own. Every day, the family meets; every day, the family lives. Every day, they share certain instances common to all. Yet the significance of an event varies among the stories, even as each of them respectively resolves into what is best. The ending of one story is often the beginning of another. The punishment of one character may well be the reward of another. The consequential progressions of each tale merge together as they take their place in the main plots…in a pattern inscrutable.

You are just, and poetic justice is but a shadow of Your standards. Evil shall be punished; good shall be rewarded. Though achieved in means sometimes elusive to human wisdom, justice is served by Your hands. Ultimately, wickedness does not prosper, evil does not prevail. The humble and righteous are lifted up as You Yourself have promised.

You set the tone of each line, page, and chapter within every tale. Yet in them all, You are glorified. The Christian’s moments of triumph magnify Your faithfulness. The penitent tears of the sinner direct to Your abundant mercy. The achievements of man prove Your common grace. The calamities of nature thunder of Your power and might. From a mother’s healing touch to a judge’s severe sentence to a friend’s jovial tease…You work, You manage, You write.

You write the unexpected, yet You write with consistency to Your character. So paradoxical are You. What man calls good might be a curse; what man calls evil might be a blessing. You ask that man give up his life to find it. You ask what is impossible. Yet You make it possible.

You let man plan his way, but he can never know what is beyond the page, the line, the very word he is living. You know all, yet you let us know so little. You render Your characters helpless under Your pen. There can be no peeking ahead.

Yet You promise what is the best, and the one who would not trust You does so at his own demise. You do know best, and the best way to appreciate that best is through believing in You. You write what is best temporarily, as well as what is best eternally. I cannot understand how, but still You do that. You always give the best, and I could choose to see that best even while its happening, or only when it’s over. Or wait, that is wrong. It is never over. Your lovingkindness is never ceasing. That’s how incomprehensible a writer You are…You do not merely write for the best interests of the whole; You write for the best interests of every one who loves, obeys, and belongs to You.

You make all things beautiful in Your time. You are beyond time, yet You write humanity’s story within this dimension. You never begin one storyline when it’s too early, and You never forget a line until it is too late. You combine fleeting moments of bliss and extensive chapters of sorrow to write the perfect tale.

You write in every language ever known. You write in the hearts of the educated and uneducated, of the heathen and the Christian, of the elderly and the young. You give instruction and demand compliance. You give love though we give hate. You write in the tongues of men and of angels, though they are below You. You take the wisdom of all You are and write it in words man’s weak nature could blurrily decipher. You write both in majesty and in meekness. You write both in thunders and in whispers.

You write everything. You do not neglect any detail. You do not add insignificant facts. You write without error.

I could never end in praises and in awe. You are the Master Author, truly, the Beginning and the End.

Lord, take my pen. You do the writing…write with my words…write with my life itself.

I know You are the one writing anyway, whether I say so or not. But just to let You know…I want You to write.

I can’t write. You do the writing. Write beside me, write through me…write with me as Your pen.