Severe Mercies

Come chisels of your refusal
blow by blow to my echoing cries,
The desperate thumping on heaven’s door,
yet a finger unmoved.

Quivering lips plead for a thing or two
—sometimes for a life to live,
a heart to heal or a basket to fill;
The groans that survive the distance
bounce back from heaven’s floor;
The distress calls of drowned hope,
un-alive and afloat.

My shaking knees stumble
losing grip on life;
The denial in thousand silences
fades my frame to dust.

Once your Son prayed too,
and the heavens slammed doors.
His sweat turned to blood,
While He pleaded alone in the dark;
Thousand silences to His dying breath, He too pleaded “why?”
(To cruel chisels of refusal, Christ Surrendered:
The Cornerstone, A Firm Foundation)

Oh, to have His prayers heard
and the cup I was to drink that He passed!
What mercies can surpass that denial to His call?
Come these refusals to my heart
that chisel away disordered loves—
Some hollow stones and toys,
some impairments or a loss that realign my soul.

What mercies can surpass the un-healing aches of this life,
the uncovering of my wounded desires and the frail will to deny?
What mercies can surpass the thousand silences to my fall?

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The Bridge of Time

The man was old and had a stern, rigid face. His flowing gray hair and beard were neatly groomed, and his robe was plain and dazzling white. The furrows on his forehead were deeply cut, seemingly produced by intense and constant thinking, and in his right hand he held a stone tablet with something engraved in it. “Sir, some strange events have happened to me today,” I said, “You seem to me to be a wise man and perhaps you can solve these riddles that I’m entrapped in. I saw a lady dressed in black who called herself Sin [at this moment his eyes became tense, and my voice as well]; and all of a sudden I find myself in this bridge and can’t tell if it is a dream or if it is real. I do not know where to go and what to do!” “Did you see the face of Sin?” he asked. “No!” I answered, “She stopped me from turning on the light.” “That’s right, for light quickens her fatal powers, and only Death can live in the presence of Sin.” I was puzzled. He continued, “Either Sin brings you to Death or Death takes you away from Sin; there is no other way around.” I was perplexed. “Am I dead, then?” I asked. It seemed I had more reasons to think this so; though I was still wondering about the events that had only transpired a few moments ago. “You are on the Bridge that leads to Life or Death,” he answered. “Which is the direction to Life?” I quickly asked. “There are no directions here. It all depends on what you do.”
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