The problem isn’t God’s willingness to teach
It’s our willingness to learn.
No one wants a course in suffering.
No one wants a diet of hunger.
No one wants a hard road of obedience.
No one wants the hill of difficulty
No one wants the splintery cross on their back
Only to be suffocated when you have carried it long enough.
No one wants to learn humility or compassion
The fear of the Lord or the depravity of his own soul.
No one would be utterly dependent on God
Knowing that God is not subject to our fleshly wants.
No one wants to give up everything to have nothing but God.
No one wants to leave behind their job,
Their home, their family, their hobbies,
Their possessions, their favorite things,
So that all they have is a heart to know God alone.
No one wants to pay the price to know God.
No one wants to forgo opportunity for the necessity of waiting.
No one wants to cease from their work
Until God Himself arises to work through them.
How endless, yet how tireless His search
For just one with a heart to know him!
The one to whom the Son wishes to show Him.
Mark the man of mean estate
Who holds for sin that powerful hate
And bears the scars of loss and shame
So not in vain He can bear His name.
For such a price, God can be known,
For such a cost, Christ’s pain is shown.
And only to the fire-purged heart
Will God His glorious life impart.
~It’s so hard to see in this place.
So deprived of even warmth as a comfort.
Nowhere to hide from the loneliness inside
The soft, cushy beddings beneath me beat me up.
This irritating, grating, infernal thing.
It won’t let go, and deeply I am suffering.
Keeping tender so life can keep me well-rounded
Or hardening myself and becoming a less beautiful thing.
This insignificant, minuscule granule–
This meager task I am given to do, bearing up under life’s weight
Around me the ocean of political and circumstantial upheavals swirls by,
Toying with my shy shell like one of an angry child’s legos.
It is endless, futile, like the sun’s faint glow which doesn’t warm me here.
My fists may clench like my teeth, unwilling to swallow the silt life thrusts me into
But anything kept in my fist will escape the moment my pearl sees the sun
That day when my tired muscles shall give out,
Whether by the prying knife, the ravenous creature, or the cruel, stony washboard of life
Eventually my deeply and closely guarded treasure will emerge
And through sifting be surfaced to be found by the Merchant.
May He find a pearl of great price.
~Inspired by T. Austin-Spark’s sermon, “A Pearl of Great Price.”
That kindness we do ourselves
When we echo what reality serves
In etching out the dream-eral* expanse
Of a sort of discovery you don’t know exists
I enjoy games like Myst: Riven
Where the puzzles all make sense
And where the hours tick slowly clicking
To find my way back home where I belong
It’s what my soul wants most of all
To see Him, to be held in His embrace
And every time I attempt to scratch the page
I feel it scratching back with honesty exchanged
Can a canon fire into the night
And not explode where it landed?
A thousand voices echo in one chorus
While my own voice must remain authentic.
A brisk and dismal wind tears comfort far away
From the ever watchful peace that guards my heart
A wind of many swirling truths all clamoring to be heard
When one speaks louder than any strange or English word.
Alas the earth does moan beneath me
It’s song, a dirge that still rises up in hope
A hope that sees the beginning and the end
And indefinitely shoots at that target He intends
Can wings bear aloft this coil?
Can dust breathe life back into itself?
Is there any way life can still continue on
Unless the way is paved with living stones?
The Devil knows the power we underestimate
The power of the good coming to those who rest
In the faith-full assurance of the kindness of a Savior
Who calls, “Be yourself. It’s all creatures of I AM can do.”
A burning bubbles up from satisfaction
Rejecting too much pleasure without rest
The soul must find its peace in One who works
And who took a day off to enjoy what He had made.
*Ephemeral and Dream are combined here into dream-eral
It is common in my walk through this world to find flowers–
Roses downcast and wilting on the ground,
And to take them in and make a place for them to be appreciated and adored.
The first I ever did this was Fleera,
Which I named such more out of aesthetic than science.
It was my third year in college
A flower well-formed which fell by my college dorm,
I found just prior to a walk in the woods with friends.
I held it and kept it out of sentiment and captivation
While one friend cast her petals to the wind
And the water carried it far away.
I brought mine home to a plastic bowl
Usually used for chicken noodle soup
And let it float there in all its stemless beauty.
The second was the journal in which I myself was plucked
And was called from my job at Walgreens as a service clerk
To return to my home, to float upon my parents’ waters.
I waited there uncertain of what to do,
Crying out to God, “I do not know why I am here!”
I wrote in my journal, Secor Fleeru
“How is it that I have come to be here?”
And my grandfather’s health began to decline
And I stopped my mouth.
Because I was not grafted into the branch of Walgreens
I could offer my fragrance by his bed close to his nose.
Which suffered from aspiration of the lungs and pneumonia.
And when he passed, the resplendence of my heart for him
I placed in song to be played in his ears by his bedside.
As he crossed the threshold into the gates of glory.
And so Secor Fleeru found a purpose for his pages.
The third happened today, almost three years to the day.
I mowed the lawn around my parents’ house,
In the back there was a Rose bush planted above our septic tank
It had flourished under my Graceful sister’s Joyous planting.
And the previous evening, my parents and I looked out and marvelled
At this one rose towering high above the others toward the heavens.
The next morning I found two smaller buds in a 6 inch ceramic vase
But these were not the Fleera.
The Fleera I found while I mowed the lawn.
I came upon it, recognizing it from the night before.
It lay downtrodden, it’s pedals browning on the ground.
I stayed my blade, and reached to clutch the stem.
It was not cut, but broken off,
By the fierceness of the weather and its weight.
I took it in, not counting the browning edges against it.
I gave it its own crystal cup.
I rested it up against the other smaller flowers.
I smelled it and relished its more poignant fragrance
The fragrance of a beauty bruised yet still shining
Because it is alive to be beautiful
And it is beautiful to be alive.
From the deep chalice of my memories
I imbibe in the elixir of youthful life
While agonies breathe cries in muscles strained
By the ever-present struggle to master the day.
The soul’s tongue is fueled by that strong drink
So as to cast the shadows of pains far back
Against the wall with dark streaks overcome
By more than their present significance.
Oh to days long to be remembered
That lark in my throat that sang to the clouds
Carving pictures only the child’s eye can see
My wand’ring heart must not be loth to frequent.
And let this heart not soon forget
That moment when all days were a single breath–
Each breath, a gift of the whole of my life
No breathless dust of earth could ever tell.
By Luke Ferguson
Written July 18, 2007
Deep in a forest there stood a great tree
With roots down deep in the earth of green;
And out of the tree grew branches with leaves
Each branch had a purpose apart from the tree.
The longer the branch stayed on the deep-rooted tree
The greener it got and the stronger it seemed.
As thicker, and longer, and stronger it grew
The branch had a purpose, its deep heart knew.
One day to this tree a woodsman came
Seeking some wood to light his flame:
Branches thick, and long, and strong
Whose purpose was to him to belong.
He sought the wood, and saw the branch
On the tree deeply rooted in green.
With ax in hand, he did not blanch.
And separated wood form life of tree.
“A fire log, full of sap.
Hard to ignite, but slow to burn.”
Off he walked with the wood on his back.
To the tree the log would not return.
The tree kept growing, making more.
The woodsman lit the fires of war.
The chosen branch fulfilled his life
And ended consumed in glorious light.