What Really Matters (poem by me)

What really matters
becomes clear at the seashore
Sun rises and sets
All this with no help from me
Only the work of God’s hands.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” —Psalm 19:1

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The Morning After (poem by me)

(In memory of Bryan)

Let it be yesterday,
Let me go back in time,
And hug you,
And hold you tight,
And tell you “No,
Don’t do it!”
We will never get over you.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”–Jeremiah 29:11

*Do not suffer in silence. Speak out and tell someone if you are struggling with suicidal thoughts. The National Suicide Hotline. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255) any time of the day or night.

**One of the aims of Draw Near’s upcoming anthology called Laments is to communicate our struggles instead of wrestling in silence. Please consider submitting an essay that conveys the challenges in your life and the hope you have in Christ.

Death is Coming (poem by me)

Our days are numbered.
Nothing can stop death,
Not…

an ambulance,
a brick building,
a charmed chance,
a dome ceiling,
an escape pod,
a fixed fund,
a greenback wad,
a handgun,
an iPhone,
jewels or gems,
a kind grandmum,
likeable friends,
mating or marriage,
a notable musician,
overprotective parents,
powerful ammunition,
qualified doctors,
radical diets,
service helicopters,
trusted advice,
an unyielding cause,
a vaccination,
a watchdog,
xenogenication,
a youthful appearance,
or a zealous perseverance.

Do you know you need a Savior?
Don’t wait for more inspiration,
Now is the time of God’s favor,
Now is the day of salvation.

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” —Revelation 3:20

A Poetic Blessing (poem by me)

May the Lord be your rock and your citadel,
May humility be the fork with which you eat,
then honor will be your carousel,
and riches will gather at your feet.

“Humility is the fear of the LORD; its wages are riches and honor and life.” —Proverbs 22:4

*Are you going through something? Draw Near would love to read your lament in the form of a personal essay, poem, or other writing. Details here: https://drawneartochrist.com/call-for-submissions/.

Say No (poem by me)

When he advances
Even in subtle ways,
Be ready with your “no.”

Even if it’d help your finances,
Say no to the raise,
When he advances.

When it seems innocent though,
Business travel for a few days,
Be ready with your “no.”

Stand firm and take your chances,
Reject his invitation always,
When he advances.

In your heart you know,
You see it in his gaze,
Be ready with your no.

Regardless of the circumstances,
Don’t delay or tiptoe,
When he advances
Be ready with your “no.”

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”—Ephesians 6:10

A Mourning Lament Outline

So you want to write a lament poem to mourn someone you loved? You can just follow your heart, but if you don’t know where to start…then start with this outline derived from David’s lament for Saul and Jonathon (2 Samuel 1:19-27).

I. Introduce your loved one as a symbol using two lines. Here is the example from 2 Samuel 1:19. (The gazelle symbolizes an important figure.) 
    “A gazelle lies slain on your heights, Israel.
    How the mighty have fallen!”

II. Use four lines to explain how his or her death will affect the world. In the case of Saul and Jonathon, their death would cause their enemies to rejoice. See 2 Samuel 1:20 below.
“Tell it not in Gath,
    proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon,
lest the daughters of the Philistines be glad,
    lest the daughters of the uncircumcised rejoice.

III. Use four lines to give details of the death. In 2 Samuel 1:21, David curses the place that the death occurred.
“Mountains of Gilboa,
    may you have neither dew nor rain,
    may no showers fall on your terraced fields.
For there the shield of the mighty was despised,
    the shield of Saul—no longer rubbed with oil.

IV. Use eight lines to describe your loved one’s character. David describes their fierceness, skill, and bravery in battle (2 Samuel 1:22-23).
“From the blood of the slain,
    from the flesh of the mighty,
the bow of Jonathan did not turn back,
    the sword of Saul did not return unsatisfied.
Saul and Jonathan—
    in life they were loved and admired,
    and in death they were not parted.
They were swifter than eagles,
    they were stronger than lions.

V. Use four lines to describe the good he or she did in their lifetime. David recalls the riches that Israel enjoyed while Saul was king (2 Samuel 1:24).
“Daughters of Israel,
    weep for Saul,
who clothed you in scarlet and finery,
    who adorned your garments with ornaments of gold.

VI. Use four lines to describe how you loved the person. David and Jonathon were close friends, and this becomes evident as we read 2 Samuel 1:25-26.
“How the mighty have fallen in battle!
    Jonathan lies slain on your heights.
26 I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother;
    you were very dear to me.
Your love for me was wonderful,
    more wonderful than that of women.

V. Using the last two lines, repeat one of the lines in the first stanza. For the first line of his last stanza, David repeats the 2nd line of the first stanza. Then he adds another short line to close out this last stanza (2 Samuel 1:27).
“How the mighty have fallen!
    The weapons of war have perished!”

This versatile outline can be used to write laments for any event that caused you to feel abandoned such as a breakup or divorce. There is no better place to get inspired than God’s own Word. If you wrote a masterpiece and would like to have a chance at getting it published, see Draw Near’s guidelines.