What is a poem? Answers will vary, depending on whom you ask, but memorable poems share similar characteristics.
A quick look at a day’s headlines reminds us how fragile life is – and how fragile the earth! As Christian poets and writers, many of us can’t help but think about our loved ones who don’t know the Lord or who have fallen away. Unfortunately, it’s easy to come on so strong that our words have the opposite effect.
One way to overcome this tendency yet say what needs to be said is to find an appropriate metaphor or symbol, then pour our words into a small container such as a minipoem or aahcoo. Maybe a loved one won’t even see our poems, but someone else’s loved ones might.
To recap an earlier conversation: an aahcoo focuses on God or a spiritual matter in a maximum of 3 to 7 syllables written on 3 to 7 lines.
This example uses the traditional haiku form of 5/7/5 syllables to understate a colossal concern. Lord willing, the poem might cause readers to consider their own spiritual condition:
Angels on the pond
their tiny searchlights blinking –
I wonder who’s lost?
by Mary Harwell Sayler, © 2016
To pass preliminary trials for the Olympics, athletes must train for years. That’s true in gaining spiritual muscle and maturity as a Christian too. However, going through preliminary trials won’t necessarily get us a golden crown. That reward comes if we do the work Jesus said to do. When His disciples asked Him what that was, Jesus replied:
“This is the work of God: believe in The One He has sent,” John 6:29.
No race. No contest. No competing with anyone, including ourselves. Just believe – not, as the world insists by believing in ourselves or other people, but by believing everything our One Lord and Savior Jesus Christ says and does. This public acknowledgment and belief in Him not only gets us a gold crown, but gets us into heaven
Meanwhile, back on the earth, the other gold relates to our living out the Golden Rule. Interestingly, that’s accepted as the gold standard in most cultures and religions. In the Gospels, we go for gold this way:
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” Luke 6:31. Or, to put it in a more contemporary voice: “Treat people the way you want to be treated.”
That’s the end goal, but how do we get there? With exercise, practice, and little steps such as….
- At the grocery store, put back the carts as you’d want others to do for you if you worked there.
- At the cash register, give the clerk the courtesy you want her to use in dealing with you or your kid who’s next in line.
- On the Internet, post uplifting, insightful, kind, or informative notes, the way you wish other people would.
- When giving a book review, treat the poet or writer with the same respect you want a reviewer to give to your writings.
- At church, greet newcomers the way you wish someone had greeted you on your first visit.
- In marriage or other close relationship, show your loved one the appreciation you enjoy.
The list can go on and on with every golden opportunity to be kind. All we have to do is treat other people and ourselves as though we’re all golden. We are! And, in God’s sight, we are all highly prized.
by Mary Harwell Sayler, © 2016
Even if we’re marred with sin, God loves us as this poem shows. May we believe in that everlasting love in Jesus’ Name.
Oh, how many complaints we have about what we’ve done to the world, and oh, how many praises are due our wondrous, forgiving, healing, redeeming Holy God as this poem aims to show:
This journaling edition of the English Standard Version of the Bible published by Crossway makes a good choice for carrying on a conversation with God’s Word.
When things go badly, people often ask “Why?” In Matthew 14, Jesus asks the same.
Source: Praise Poems: Jesus asked, Why?