December 4: “Can You, O Man?” by Day Williams

Can You, O Man?

Can you, O man,
create a universe, an elephant or flea?
Can you, woman,
Read minds from here to eternity?
Can you, O man,
put rings ‘round Saturn
or form a baby’s ears?
Can you, woman,
Foretell tomorrow’s deeds,
Live longer than two hundred years?

Can you, O man,
Answer the riddles I have put in place?
Can you, O woman,
Feel the deer’s heartbeat when he’s chased?

Why do you, man and woman,
Live like your lives are all your own?
When will you bend your knees to my throne?

You wait and hesitate and try to cheat
When you know not the hour your heart won’t beat

My arms are strong, and tender, too,
And how they long to hold you
My arms are open
The road is narrow, straight,
You’re welcome here
Why, oh why do you wait?
Do you not want to see
The Riches inside my gate?

~Day Williams

(from Gail’s paintings)

Moses

(Exodus 2:11, 12)
Moses

God’s leader who
Had high command
Had killed a man,
Hid him in sand.

~Day Williams

SECOND KINGS CHAPTER FIVE

SECOND KINGS CHAPTER FIVE

1 Now Naaman was commander of the army

Of Aram’s king. He was a great man in

His master’s sight and highly thought of, for

Through him the LORD had given victory 

To Aram. He was valiant as a soldier,

But he had leprosy. 2 Now bands from Aram

Had gone out and had taken as a captive

A young girl out of Israel, and she

Served Naaman’s wife. 3 She told her mistress, “If

Only my master would go see the prophet

Who’s in Samaria! He’d cure him of

His leprosy,” 4 so Naaman saw his master

And told him what the girl from Israel

Had said. 5 ABy all means, go,@ the king of Aram

Replied. AI=ll send a letter to the king

Of Israel;@ so Naaman left, and took

With him ten silver talents, and in gold,

Six thousand shekels, and ten clothing sets.

 6 The letter that he took along to give

The king of Israel read: AWith this letter

I send my servant Naaman to you so

That you may cure him of his leprosy.@

7 The king of Israel, as soon as he

Had read the letter, tore his robes and said,

AAm I God? Can I kill and resurrect? 

Why does this man send someone to me to

Be cured of leprosy? See how he tries

To pick a fight with me!@ 8 Elisha man

Of God heard that the king of Israel

Had torn his robes, and sent a message to

The king: “Why have you torn your robes? Command

The man to come to me and he will know

That there’s a prophet inside Israel,”

9 So Naaman went with his own horses and

His chariots and stopped beside the door,

The front door to Elisha’s house. 10 Elisha

Sent out a messenger to say to him,

“Go, wash in Jordan River seven times,

And your own flesh will be restored and you’ll

Be cleansed,” 11 but Naaman went away enraged

And said, “I thought that he would surely come

To me and stand and call upon the name

Of the LORD God, and wave his hand above

The spot and cure me of my leprosy.

12 Aren’t Pharpar and Abana, rivers of

Damascus, better than the waters of

 Israel? Couldn’t I go wash in them

And so be cleansed?” He turned and went off in

A rage, 13 but Naaman’s servants went to him

And said, AMy father, if the prophet had

Told you to do some great thing, would you not

Have done it? How much more, then, when he tells

You, ‘Wash; be cleansed’!@ 14 So he went down and dipped

Himself within the Jordan seven times,

Just as the man of God had told him. His

Flesh was restored and it became as clean

As that of a young boy; 15 then Naaman and

All his attendants went back to the man

Of God. He stood before him and said, ANow

I know that there=s no God in all the world

Except in Israel. Now please accept

A present from your servant,@ 16 but the prophet

Replied, AAs surely as the LORD lives, whom

I serve, I won=t accept a thing,@ and though

Naaman urged him, he still refused. 17 AIf you

Will not,@ said Naaman, Aplease let me,

 your servant,

Be given as much earth as a mule pair

Can carry, for your servant never more

Will make burnt offerings and sacrifices

To any other god except the LORD,

            18 But may the LORD forgive your servant for

This one thing: When my master goes inside

The Rimmon temple to bow down and he

Is leaning on my arm and I bow there tooB

When I bow down inside the Rimmon temple

May God forgive your servant for this.@ 19 AGo

In peace,@ Elisha said. Now after Naaman

Had gone a ways, 20 Gehazi, servant of

Elisha man of God, said to himself,

AMy master was too soft on Naaman, this

Aramean, by not accepting from

Him what he brought. As surely as the LORD

Does live, I will run after him and get

Something from him.@ 21 Gehazi hurried after

Naaman. When Naaman saw him running toward

            Him, he descended from the chariot

To meet him and asked him, AIs everything

All right?@ 22 Gehazi answered, AEverything

            Is all right, for my master sent me out

To say, ‘Two young men from the company

Of prophets have just come to me out of

            The Ephraim hill country. Please give them

A silver talent and two sets of clothing.’” 

23 “By all means, take two talents,@ Naaman said.

            He urged Gehazi to accept them, and

Then tied up the two silver talents in

Two bags, plus with two clothing sets. He gave

            Them to two servants, who took them on in

Front of Gehazi. 24 When Gehazi reached

The hill, he took the things the servants brought

And stored them in the house. He sent the men

Away and they left, 25 then he went and stood

Before Elisha, his own master, and

            Elisha asked, AWhere have you been, Gehazi?@

Gehazi said, AYour servant didn’t go

Anywhere,@ 26 but Elisha said to him,

            AWas not my spirit with you when the man

Got down from his own chariot to meet

With you? Is this the time to take some money,

            Or to accept some clothes, or olive groves,

Or vineyards, flocks, or herds, or menservants

And maidservants? 27 Now Naaman’s leprosy

            Will cling forevermore to you and to your

Descendants,@ then Gehazi had to go

From him; and he was leprous, white as snow.

In the bleak midwinter

In the bleak midwinter

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.