What follows is a poem I wrote about thirty years ago as I was — well, you can read it for yourself.
Then about twenty years ago, I printed up most of the poems from thise days and shared them with a few friends. Other than that, they have pretty much laid quietly put away, out of sight and out of the light — and that’s ok.
The stuff of life that nearly takes us out is sometimes best forgotten. Sometimes it’s just best forgotten for a time. And then sometimes, eventually, it’s ok just to mention it with nothing particular at stake, just to say, “Hey, did I ever tell you about the time when I figured out…….” That’s what this poem is.
In time of strength, I had no need. I had no pain, because I would not feel. I had no fear, because I would not tolerate anything that frightened me. I had no discouragement, because I attempted only those things that were sure successes.
But then, like the army blowing trumpets around the walls of Jericho, the family of God played trumpets of love around the walls that had been carefully and solidly built around my wounded heart, and soul and life. They played with lilting chords and joy-filled marches “and the walls came a’tumbling down!”
Now, in weakness, I know need and I know pain, because I have abandoned the pride that said, “You can’t hurt me.”
I know fear, because I am facing situations that frighten me and I know discouragement, because I am being stretched and tried beyond anything I have ever know.
I know guilt, because I see my sin and I am driven to my Savior. I’ve seen the darkness, and trust Him for my walk in the light.
And so–in new weakness — I see new strength. And from a place of weakness, I am doing what I could not do when I was strong.
Deception takes a lot of forms. One of the most deadly is believing things about ourselves that are not true, good or bad.. Internal deception being exposed and broken is dramatic — always. That’s just the way it is. No short cuts. No magic. What happens after internal deception is broken is also dramatic — always.
Plain words like these need not be experienced only as iodine that burns a raw wound, although we recognize the occasional necessity for that. Plain words can also be like a cold glass of water that sort of clears the head. That’s good, too.