O Lord, can clay complain to the Potter?
And say, Why did you make me this way?
Why did you treat me in this manner?
Why do I not have the shape or color
Of that beautiful, privileged pot? Why not
A better quality of clay for me?

Of course not! So why do I question
Your wisdom, smolder resentful,
And pout at my defects—‘Poor me!’
I do. You know I do. And still
You work to mold me, ungrateful vessel
That I am. In fear, I wonder:

Might you tomorrow decide to quit,
Abandon this clay, and start anew?

and I shall walk in a wide place,
for I have sought your precepts. Psa 119.45

Wide, open space to move and breathe,
Of which the ancients wrote, they prayed
To walk in freedom, sure of their step,
Their progress certain, confident saints
Who knew God’s blessing and presence.

In crowded cities, with busy agendas,
Little do we know of openness,
Of time to reflect, with deeper thoughts;
Schedules tight around our throats—
O Lord, broaden our path of life.

Live well this shortened life; there’ll be no other!
Discover whence comes love’s deep wellspring;
Take stock of all you say and do — be sure
You focus on the most important thing:
What lies above, the good that will endure
Beyond this earth, eternal blessings that bring
A person into the presence of God the Father.

—JRMatheny

The Persian queen risked all to save
The people of God, for such a time,
Sought not to keep her person safe,
But prayed against the pagan tide.

“If I perish, I perish,” she cried,
Against the law, to plead with the king;
Would she die for so small a crime,
When all the Jews Haman sought to kill?

Not once in the book does God appear,
The author does not write his name,
But in the events, behind the appeal,
God’s everywhere, to save his nation.

What future is there for us, O man of sin?
What world create to last beyond desire?
What force produce to resist that certain doom?
Between us can we find eternal room?

But for a fleeting time our pleasures last,
So soon do passions die, our shameful past
A shadow, our present but a lightning flash —
For lack of air is doused our flickering flame. Continue reading