An UPLift Poetry/Your Day to Shine offering
by J. Randal Matheny © 2011

Would that we could ever speak
Of grace and love, of pleasant peace,
Of time well spent to help the weak,
And seek the kingdom’s sure increase.

Those noble tasks by all are praised,
And everywhere by men admired,
For these the glorious banner’s raised,
For such are saints’ good works required.

But who will man the walls’ defense,
To refute the lying prophet’s tongue,
To repel attacks at great expense,
Demeaning work that goes unsung?

Were truth left with none to fight,
With none willing to enter the fray,
The darkness soon would douse the light,
With none to battle another day.

But truth needs no defense, say some;
But half a truth, and damning, is this,
As many men to silence succumb,
That many will the gospel miss.


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People have their forbidden subjects. Depending on place, person, and epoch, some things can’t be talked about. Sex, money, politics, and other topics have been considered taboo at some point. In the church, politics was off limits, but no more it seems. Sex and money are still considered bad topics, or, at least, sensitive, and to be treated with kid gloves.

But the Lord has no such list of forbidden subjects. We can talk to him about anything. Temptations. Sorrows. Struggles. Conflicts.

While we may wish that we could be upfront with people like that, we can be certain that the Lord will not frown or chide us for putting it all before him. That’s what he wants. And that’s the gist of today’s Cloudburst poem.

Once again, Cloudburst poems are available only to the list subscribers. Here’s why.

The form is one of my favorites, a seven-line stanza. The rhyme scheme is A-B-C-B-C-B-A.

UPLift, Your Day to Shine

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by J. Randal Matheny

The clouds sit low upon my brow,
They came I know not why nor how;
I ask if they would weigh and press,
Or covered me with plans to bless.
In gray and gravid swirls, they chide:
“Why must you ask? You need not guess;
For ill or good, you decide.”


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Last night, in our home Bible group, after chit-chat with guests about an upcoming trip to teach Hebrews and 1 Corinthians, I ditched the planned reading of Matthew 28 (following our daily Bible reading schedule) to devote our time to 1 Corinthians 13. We read also the last part of chapter 12 and the first part of chapter 14 to set it within its context.

The reading seemed to have good effect in the hearers. Love in its divine form was perceived, apparently, for the first time; parts of it, at least. There were some ah-ha moments.

After everyone had gone home, the chapter of love still rang in my ears, and this poem began to make its way to the surface (turned out to be the second stanza). It finished its appearance this morning. It reflects, roughly, the tripartite division of the chapter.

by J. Randal Matheny Continue reading