(I wrote this untitled poem two years ago while reflecting on a sermon series we did on Psalm 23.)
Who can lay down at a time like this?
Who can cup calm water with his hands in fists?
The shepherd may be wise, but I want the hook stick,
I’m determined to take the lead and get my life all fixed.
I'm all for the shepherd, just not confident in or with,
“Following” lost appeal when we all ceased to be kids.
I'm not calling it all myth, just unnecessary risk.
No more playing sheep if the wool no longer fits.
My enemy seldom misses and so I've taken some hits.
I tried it the shepherd's way, but I don't want what that gets.If he's my protector, why these scratches and nicks?
If he's restoring my soul, then why're my guts in a twist?
I wish these lips could speak righteous quips and share
holiness tips while these feet walk the path sans slip.
But the valley unlit, made me lose my grip,
And a temporary trip threatens to become life in a pit.
I told myself I won't lay down or even sit, be damned if I quit.
I will personally defeat that which contradicts or inflicts.
And my total lack of success only demands I persist.
At both death and life I shake this tired fist.
If this is life, then the point of it's been missed.
Perhaps I'll cease and desist to cautiously admit:
Maybe I'm not convinced that me as my shepherd has any lasting benefit.
Can't honestly tell the difference these days between the good fight and a fit.
How did my own fists leave me beat up like this?
A voice interrupts, though only whispered to me,
It's familiar to me, and it isn't me- can't be! It's anxiety free:
"Come back, lay down, fear not, breathe...
Fear makes you blind but I always see,
What you call a valley I can see is space between.
don't humor me,
tell your fear and pain to let me lead.
Tell them I saw much worse between thieves back in AD 33.
Be relieved, though it’s hard for you to conceive,
the sheep impeach the shepherd but the shepherd keeps the sheep.
Now let me serve you dinner in front of your enemies.
I overfill cups,
give life and
love for free."
My fists release, a glimpse of life in full peace,
I'm a lost sheep invited to eat and drink deep
By the voice of lost sleep, who left behind the 99 for 1 thick-headed sheep,
He watched me split when troubles heaped, but He didn't blink.
He reversed the roles of follower and lead, chased me.
His love is more stubborn than my refusing my king.
Though I make and walk in darkness, the light helps me see, that
Light’s what I want
Light’s what I need,
But Light shines behind him and it’s too dark for me to lead.
Only in following can there be any peace.
He frees me indeed,
I want to live in this house and,