Saturday, April 17, 2010

"Death in His Grave" by John Mark McMillan

"Though the Earth Cried out for blood
Satisfied her hunger was
Her billows calmed on raging seas
for the souls on men she craved

Sun and moon from balcony
Turned their head in disbelief
Their precious Love would taste the sting
disfigured and disdained

On Friday a thief
On Sunday a King
Laid down in grief
But awoke with keys
Of Hell on that day
The first born of the slain
The Man Jesus Christ
Laid death in his grave

So three days in darkness slept
The Morning Sun of righteousness
But rose to shame the throes of death
And over turn his rule

Now daughters and the sons of men
Would pay not their dues again
The debt of blood they owed was rent
When the day rolled a new

On Friday a thief
On Sunday a King
Laid down in grief
But awoke holding keys
To Hell on that day
The first born of the slain
The Man Jesus Christ
Laid death in his grave

He has cheated
Hell and seated
Us above the fall
In desperate places
He paid our wages
One time once and for all"

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Musing on death

What they can see
in my final moments:
Strangers, doctors, friends, family
turned away
for a brief moment
to steal a glance at a screen.
The once-steady beeping
gradually slows and wears out.
They believe this screen
will show them what their
minds yearn to believe:
That my heart still beats with
the rhythm of life.

What they cannot see
in my final moments:
I behold
what my eyes longed
to confirm
my heart knew all along.
My heart no longer beat
for the life this world
could offer me.
My heart beats to the eternal
song of heaven --
A song my heart
continues to sing.

Written almost one year prior to this day.

You do all things
in seasons:
sowing, growth,
pruning, reaping.
Toil hard, You who
eternally cuts away
the dead in

Let my life be
as a garden.
Annual sin covered
With perennial mercy,
Perennial goodness --
Returning year after year.

You replace the hard soil
of my soul
with that which
to blossom
into a fragrance
pleasing to you,
My Gardener.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Tonight in my evening class, my friend Joseph and I wrote some haiku. I would be delighted to share them with you, because they're just down right funny.

Crazy crazy snakes
Tangled 'round my sweaty feet --
No . . . just your fingers.

They stepped into what?
God! Too many lima beans!
The ones I threw up.

Specifically fruit
of the loom -- it is the best.
Chafe free yet so snug!

So, these are just a few of the enjoyable quips and quibbles that entertained us during class. I promise I did learn quite a bit. You could quiz me, and I'd pass!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Yesterday morning, while attempting to pray and actually just voicing a bunch of worries, the clause "be still, oh my heart" came to mind. I could not place where the clause was originally from, but I figured that five semesters of literature survey courses gave me ample excuse to justify my forgetfulness. Surely it had been in some great poem that I had merely misplaced my mind! While I should have been answering daily homework questions for Brit Lit, I instead typed "be still, oh my heart" into Google.

Numerous options to satiate my desire for context sprung to the top of the results list: a song by The Postal Service, one by Sting, and a few vague and unliterary references to Victorian poetry. None of these sounded quite right. But, because I like The Postal Service, I was satisfied to consider my quest done. I walked away from the computer (still worrying), but humming the tune to a good song.

Later the same day, chapel was a worshipful celebration of the Ressurection. After singing a few songs, I notice that the following song is "Be Still My Soul." Suddenly it made sense that God didn't want me to worry about the condition of my heart; rather, God desires a peaceful and still soul, and the heart and its flighty emotions should then follow suit. I am not called to worry about the condition of my heart, for God cares immanently more for the care of my soul -- the eternal part of me that is to mirror my Lord.

My prayer must be a cry for the stillness and peace of my soul rather than the stillness of the passion-driven heart.