Poems on Ministry
by Silvia Purdie
Gaps in the wall
(on ministry and God and identity)
I cannot imagine who I would have been
if I had not been drawn to the gaps in the wall
between this world and eternity
The biggest gaps are the littlest things
a smile of a toddler, the feel of a petal
a small square of bread in my hand
A fantail flies through and its wings brush my arm
I hold out a stick and it lands for a while
it chirps at me and is gone
I stand at the front of a room full of people
around them I lay a drawstring of gold
(with words not my own though the voice is mine)
that borrows my heart and my mind
I stand at the front with the flowers and casket
a woman is dead and her family hurts
I say the old words and I lift up my hands
at the edge of the gap and I push her on through
I open the book and a guide is waiting
(not always, but often) to lead me in
he links it together and opens up questions
and burrows my heart and my mind
I come to the silence, I warm to the light
the energy bubbles like jets in a spa
I carry it with me, this crack in time
Psalm 64: Protect my life and my ministry
God, hear the voice of my complaint!
Protect my life and my ministry from fear of attack.
Hide me from scheming critics
and hallway mutterers
who sharpen their tongues like bullets
and shoot like snipers from out of the blue.
They feed the complaints of others
and hide behind smiles and righteous indignation.
God, expose the voice of their complaining!
Turn their tongues against them,
trip them up on their schemes.
Show us the work that you will do
so we understand what you have done.
The rightous rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in him
the upright in heart praise you, O Lord.
The Swallowed Sword
into the Fall
ground cut and dug
with tears and blisters
earth and heart
wounded and held open
sweat and tears
dust to dust
cursed is the ground
a flaming sword
to block the way
to the tree of life
From beginning to end
then till whenever
turn turn turn again
through swords and swords
and nails on a beaten tree
until there He stands
flaming among the flames
eyes flashing fire
and he reaches into his mouth
and pulls out the sword
the very same sword
that once barred the way to life
He pulls it out from his throat
out from his mouth
a razor sharp word of power
then laid aside
and his eyes flashed
and his face shone
brighter than the sun brilliant
then as I lay as dead
he bent over me
effortlessly juggling stars
placed his hand on me
and the words of power were
Do not be afraid!
I am the First and the Last
I am the Living One
alive for ever and ever!
See. Look, and write!
What has been
what is now
and what is yet to come
But wait there’s more!
See. Look, take note
write what you have seen
write what is now
write what will happen
for the sword was swallowed
death was swallowed up in
pain burned away by