The Shepherd’s Report on Christmas Night

‘Twas the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen:
The most brilliant light shining bright
Upon white snow and evergreen
As we made our way through an endless pastoral night.

Honestly, I could not tell
(This is no joke) when those angelic praises broke
Whether I’d be caught up to Heaven
Or be sent straight to hell.

But then that celestial figure spoke
And all my fears did quell.

It was like a dream
Or no, like from a dream we did awaken.
The very core of who we were was shaken
And all our judgments not as they now seem.

Like stepping into full color from monochrome —
A realm of blues and greens and reds and vibrant gold,
Ripe with things that have all been foretold,
Unearthly place that we now call our home.

But what about you? Certainly you
Have seen the starlight creeping underneath the door
And in your doubt have known there must be more
And sensed that is was for you, too?

This season know, whether you to fire-lit settings are led (or driven)
Or wander endless pastoral nights forlorn
To us this day a Son has now been given,
To us this very night a child is born.


Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

The Memorial

Dear Readers: My sister passed away unexpectedly this past week, so my series on Christian Spirituality this week is on hold. Below, a poem dedicated to my dear sis.

The Memorial

Here we are gathered together
Drawn by unyielding persuasion
Our hearts and our thoughts are united
Before this unwanted occasion

Unfolding like a movie scene
(We take our places with our parts)
In a tragedy which is our lives
Playing out upon our hearts

— At least, that is how it might seem.
But for my part, I rest my head
And close my eyes and dream . . .

I see you just beyond the veil
Burning bright with that same light that
In this life darkness tried hide —
But to no avail.

And there is by your side someone
Whose life we thought had also come
To an end much too soon. But now
I see, in truth, had just begun.

She’s laughing. And with a laugh that
Pierces heaven, causes God to
Miss a beat. And I can tell that
With each laugh she signals Death’s defeat.

And just beyond you stands another
Grinning with that unmistakable grin.
I know (even now) he has been up to something:
His countenance betrays where he has been.

He’s traveled to a thousand distant shorelines,
He’s tasted of adventure high and low.
And in that land beyond this present darkness
There was no place forbidden him to go.

His time lost here has not been lost; even
The cloud could not contain his deeds and word.
His name is known among the courts of Heaven
In places here the foolish call absurd.

“Dear brother, do not weep or mourn,
For those of us whose lives have been reborn.
Mourn rather in that place we all must leave
Who find themselves unable to believe.

“For in an instant — in the twinkling of an eye
The mortal things you know will never die
And every secret lose its hiding place
Before the judgment of His boundless grace.”

. . . Take heart, young child, and do not fear.
Tragedy is but a thing in darkness unexplained
In a place where understanding is constrained.
But things look much, much different from up here.

God’s Mosquito

To my readers: Here’s a mid-week bonus between our usual essays. If you’d like to hear the back-story for this poem, or share your own experience pertaining to its content, leave a comment. Enjoy!

I am God’s mosquito;
I have nothing to fear.
I may be small in my eyes but
I’m buzzing in His ear.

Before the Throne of Heaven
I may be but a pest,
But day and night I’m praying
I’m giving Him no rest.

In darkness drawn to Divine warmth
And also Divine breath
Am I, and I unyielding shall
Escape the cords of death.

The acts of God past present still
To come are without number
And I shall now — say what you will —
Awake him from His slumber.