PAUL IN TEN - Teaching Series by GARY BURNETT


Stockman pipes

I was glancing through my poems and thought that this one was appropriate for the Coronavirus Times. These are days of mystery. We will tend to ask God questions and some prayers might not find the answers we hope for.

This poem was written from a pastor's perspective, watching members of Fitzroy watch loved ones in difficult times.

The last verse is Philip Yancey's take on Isaiah 40:31:

They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Yancey points out that this is in reverse. Flying, running and finally walking. He suggests that the spiritual life starts with us believing we can fly. Everything is possible. Then we land we a thud when some prayer is not answered as we think it should have been. We are still running but soon life's tragedies have us down to a walk. 

Yancey concludes that the mature among us are not the flyers but the realists. Even strong faith in the midst of life's tough times can be a trudge and a crawl. Perhaps we need to reassess why in that verse we always concentrate on the first not the third stage?!

Mystery is an awkward little dancer.


When a loved one’s tossed in turbulence

You watch them smashed whichever way

And God never seems to bring the calm

No matter how hard you pray

May unseen threads of mercy

Weave in, the unravelling doubt

May God grab you by the finger

Before life’s hurting drags you out


Knowledge loves the questions

Cos it has a seamless answer

But mystery shimmies all around

She’s an awkward little dancer

And when she dances out of sight

Leaving the soul that lonely ache

May God send a holy comforter

Before you crack up in the heart break


Lord, we flew on wings like eagles

Then landed with reality’s thud

We ran but soon were walking

Now crawl through this tear soaked mud

We mature in a world that’s broken

Confessing what our part is

We sing these songs to temper grief

And hope in their catharsis.


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