(“His word is in my heart like a fire,
a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
indeed, I cannot.”–Jer. 20:9)
This is a country for a holy man:
Deserts like Moses knew, Sierra snows
As white as souls wiped clean, and tourist bands
Who come to plug the emptiness in souls
By playing slot machines: in short, a land
Where Paul and Peter might have rivaled shows,
Teaching Christ crucified upon a tree,
To fill those voids with Gospel truth for free.
A man of middle age cannot aspire
To a youngster’s speed, and plods along to court
To plead the cause of clients, rich and poor,
Sinners all. He’ll bring God a sad report
Unless his bones are burnt by holy fire,
And like a faithful witness he exhorts
Those who prefer to mock and toss the dice
Rather than seek a place in Paradise.
Angels and demons fight an unseen war,
Hendrix replaces Bach, police patrols
Bust drunks and punks, and mourn the liquor store
And crankster’s needle, symptoms of a soul
So self-indulgent Conscience works no more,
A lethal weapon on remote control.
God calls for many, is answered by few,
And battles rage on every avenue.
When Bride and Bridegroom meet in air, foreknown,
God’s trumpet call will stun the West and East,
As he, the chosen precious cornerstone
Who built a nation of his royal priests,
Returns and claims the spotless Bride, his own,
To take her to the Lamb’s Great Wedding Feast
Prepared in heavenly Jerusalem
By him who was, and is, and is to come.