By Evan Hammond
As a boat with torn sails, I cannot go on.
And as one without anchor, neither can I stay steadied.
The watery mountains forbid my ship, Life, from its path.
The wind and waves toss me in terror and dark.
Life is proven by the storms to be worthless,
A thing patched together by a man born blind.
Yet I think on my broken boat as one with great beauty,
And keep to it as my only grace in a cruel world.
However tightly I cling, the hurricane threatens destruction,
And its fury will indeed pull me down.
I deny it, but there is no hope for Life, none for me.
But as my heart’s strength fails, I see a light across the sea.
It breaks through the clouds and the dark,
A beacon of glory, revealing a saving ark.
I see one shining like the Son of God,
Come that I might know and chase true life!
As I gaze toward Him, my eyes meet the true face of grace.
My desire turns to nothing less than the light;
My heart yearns to pursue Him.
Yet to be with my Savior, my dear Life I must leave,
My own vessel which I thought so true.
When I look on it now, I only see ripped sails.
The thing my heart once held so high and splendorous,
I see now is useless driftwood.
If in this Life I cannot be with my truest desire,
Then my Life I will forsake to gain my Savior.
With no second thought and no fear of regret,
I step over the edge to follow my heart’s truer hope.
I forsake my old Life and come at this light’s, this King’s invite,
Trusting He is good, and that His promise is true.
By a miracle not my own, I begin to walk upon chaos,
And with eyes fixed on salvation, I tread across watery death!
Then the light is buried behind a swelling wet crest,
And the hope of my soul seems buried with it.
The light does not return to my eyes,
And with lost sight my faith is lost also.
The turbulent horror leaps and takes me
As I sink in confusion after my light forsook me.
Yet, ere the wet abyss claims me, I remember His promise.
Surely my Savior vowed to keep me; I trust not in lies.
I know though sight fails to reveal my hope,
I have not been forgotten to utter darkness.
I discover I still have power not mine,
To keep my head above the waves.
So I swim with strength I do not have
Toward something I cannot see.
What upholds me to bear more than I can bear,
And to tread waters stronger than me?
The glory of a King greater than great,
The fear of a Lord higher than high,
The love of a Father I cannot describe.
Though now invisible, I know not imagined
Was that King above kings and Lord above lords.
There is nothing else I could think to turn to now.
“Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
One day, my faith will be turned again to sight.
By my God’s strength I will conquer to the end,
And be with my King, by whom all wounds will mend.
By Lydia Kinne
I ask you, oh Lord,
To shape my desires
According to the cross.
Let me not demand
That my desires
Be met according
To my ways and my time.
Rather, take these desires—
Sweet as they may be—
And make of them
Something far sweeter
As I learn to trust you
In the slow waiting.
Help me to see in my desires
Reflections of you and your goodness
Coloring and shaping them
In glimmers of heavenly hope.
When the weight of these desires
Becomes too heavy for me
To bear on my own,
May I cast them on you
Knowing your love will hold them all.
Teach me not to despair
Or fall into selfish self-pity,
But rather turn my desires
Into prayer, service, and faith.
Open my eyes to the way
That this process—
The pang of longing,
The lament of absence,
The humility of submission,
The obedience of waiting—
Is shaping me to be more like you.
I know no other way
Than the cruciform way
Of laboring in secret places
In tearful, exhausted prayers—
—and I know this is the best way.
For you are refining me
Into pure gold
And the end result
Will be more beautiful
Than I can even imagine.
By an anonymous Faith member
Deep within the dark I dwell
My home is made among the gloom
I am fatherless
My father has forgotten my name
I am motherless
The one who gave me birth knows me not
I am brotherless
Those who I embraced have sold me for naught
My body is weary
My strength fails me
Mine enemy lurks upon my flank
10,000 arrows arc towards me
The muck and the mire bind my feet
Sheol is near
Pestilence rules the day
Disease is my nearest companion
Sheol is near
Why do you hide your face from me O LORD?
Why have you turned from me?
Am I not the forsaken you seek?
The meek you blessed?
How low am I?
None are lower
Yet to whom shall I turn?
Will these stone walls protect?
Will my wealth save me?
Will my wisdom deliver me?
Will my clever schemes rescue me?
My belly is full yet I hunger
I draw from the well yet my lips are parched
Oh how wicked and small am I
Is there another who champions the fatherless?
Is there any who love the orphan?
Who else embraces the leper?
But you O Lord?
My body fails me and my mind betrays me but my heart cries out to you alone
To you O Lord my heart calls for reprieve
May you cast your shadow upon me
For though I dwell in the darkness of despair your shadow is like sunshine to me
Place your hand upon me
For though none will touch me your nearness is a salve
May I rest at your feet O Lord? El Shaddai?
For though I am surrounded by vile armies I would sleep peacefully in your presence
You strike down the usurper and cast aside the arrows with a wave of your hand
For though the darkness lurks and the pestilences knock at my door
Do you provide succor and rest
Augment my faith O Lord
Strengthen my resolve
Raise me up from the mire, the bog, the swamp of despondence
You are my father, and mother and brother
You are the healer
The gleaming sword of righteous fire
I am weak
But you are strong
Praise be to you
My lips sing your song
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