Upstream

The mighty salmon swims upstream to die and to give birth;
We, too, must resist the flow and climb for all our worth.
The world spews out debauchery and every kind of sin
In waves to surely knock us down the moment we give in.

And yet we stand on solid rock with strength that’s from on high;
Just stay upon the narrow path, that way your feet stay dry.
He promises to bring us back should we ever stray
From His footsteps up the hill along the narrow way.

Don’t dip your toe in that awful flow, it’ll soak you to your skin;
Worse yet, drag your foot away until you topple in
And tumble hard against the rocks that pulverise your soul
‘Til purity and sanity are futile, foolish goals.

That’s when a feeble plea to Him is answered at a run;
He dives in, pulls us to the shore, but still His work’s not done,
Gives us the pure white robes He left behind as He dove in,
Then sets off with divine resolve to break the power of sin,

Swims up that putrid torrent to block it at its source,
By soaking up its vileness with His own disfigured corpse.
He made himself a horror that no holy eye can stand
To open up a way for us to reach the Promised Land.

His humbling sacrifice complete, He rose again in power,
Now sits upon His throne and at His own appointed hour
Will judge the living and the dead with justice, but with grace
To welcome those for whom He has prepared a special place.

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Shadow and Light

In the beginning all lived in the light
Each creature was a glorious and noble sight
Every work was a joy, every burden light
All sheltered by a hand of benevolent might

Then one was tempted by a lofty goal
That she could be greater than her wondrous soul
She saw a little shortcut, took a little bite
Then began to sense that she should fear the coming night.

Her husband shared her misery by joining in her act
They sought the shadows to obscure their little selfish pact
Their trespass was discovered, their paradise was lost,
But still they could have no idea how much their sin would cost.

Their descendants travelled further from the true and rightful path
With pride leading to jealousy, to strife and deadly wrath.
Reckoning was more delayed from each sinner’s offence,
And so it seemed that shadows could deflect all consequence.

Filled with the thrill of their success, they honed deceitful arts,
And sought out deeper darkness to betray more trusting hearts.
They took great pride in their own guile and ingenuity,
As they dug down into the mire of dark iniquity.

Piece by piece, a gnawing hole grew in their sordid souls,
And of all those that they harmed, who played their sordid roles.
Vengeance was paid back in full and bitterness increased,
Transforming once majestic creatures into wretched beasts.

More and more they soaked in darkness, ate and drank the void
Hoping it would hide their degradation and avoid
The mounting pile of consequence, the troubling pangs of guilt
That festered in the putrid cores that they themselves had built.

They dug so deep, the mire collapsed and buried them alive
They did not dare admit they now had no hope to survive
Their deeds closed in around them, ‘til they were paralyzed,
And then they gave a feeble cry to Him they had despised,

The faintest pinprick of pure light then seeped into their hole
And grew, exposing all the wretchedness of their vile souls.
Ashamed and terrified, they scramble weakly, helplessly
Away from piercing truth’s fierce glare to foul obscurity.

But the light pursues them still, ‘til they surrender all,
Awaiting their destruction in hell’s deep fiery halls
But all the mire around and in them is then torn away
And piled upon an innocent who chose the suffering way.

He takes the pain, abandonment and suffering they earned,
Dies in their place for all the wholesome choices that they spurned
Their stains are all removed and their souls have all been freed;
He rises up in glory and then offers them a creed:

To follow in His footsteps, though they may stumble still;
He’ll catch them as they fall if they will only seek His will,
A whole new life before them, a noble worthwhile way,
A journey of abundant love towards eternal day.

Holiness

Terrifying purity, unmasking my depravity,

I thought I knew what goodness was until I saw Your face.

Devastating clarity, with full and perfect unity,

Shatters all my selfish pride and now I know my place.

 

I fall far short of what is right, so I cower in the light,

Knowing that You must destroy the vileness that is me.

My sin pollutes your holy space, my violence mars this peaceful place,

My very presence ruins all that shines so perfectly.

 

My greatest works are filthy rags, my highest thoughts are garbage bags,

And now I understand the awful price that must be paid.

I fall onto my knees, as shame exerts its squeeze,

And tremble in pure terror as I wait to be unmade.

 

“Fear not” I hear You say, “You’re not the one to pay.

The price to buy your freedom was long since paid in full.”

You offer me a hand and help me as I stand,

Transforming my revolting rags into the whitest wool.

 

Now I’ve seen your love, this blessing from above,

I cannot but declare your glory everywhere I can.

My motives have transformed, my heart has grown and warmed,

At last I’m on the path towards becoming a wise man.