Ph: Faith: But Just Where Is God? - Poem by Brian Johnston
(Musings of a poet with huge doubts but boundless faith)
Introduction: Is God A Joke Or Human Vanity?
When close friends die and other’s thoughts are suicidal,
When mankind’s soup du jour is loneliness with anguish
When mental illness, homelessness, more war, and child death
Swarm down and then attack us like a plague on Egypt,
Our tainted bread, a leavened loss, seems heaven’s judgment
And death the only path we see that seems to stop our pain.
When ministers rape children trusted to their keeping
When prideful Christians stand to mock that ‘men are brothers’
A joke if atheist, or black, but lie if foreign
When men of faith can hate both Catholics and Mormons
Deny as well that we are all our brother’s keepers
Our unwed pregnant daughters also miss protection.
As human politics and compromise are mortal sin now
No virtue left in give and take for either party,
And suddenly our finite views are God’s own wisdom
All other men with different takes on Bible’s leading
Are traitors, infidels, untouchables, satanic,
If you’re not me then you must be an earthly demon.
And am I wrong to think that God is missing somehow?
Or is it just our god who is exsanguinated
For human vanity seems now the modern flavor.
But even if the Bible is God’s truth unvarnished
How dare men claim their take on it is also faultless?
The blasphemy of this should leave the soulless cringing!
Is God then Friend or fiend? The question still is hanging!
Respect for Him obscene! ? Disgust His just deserving?
The judgment that awaits if we deny Christ’s coming
Is meant for human shame? Or is it there for saving?
Perhaps instead of blaming God for what life brings us
We’d profit more by working on the faults we proffered.
I. Consider: Where might God not be revealed!
I’d swear that God’s not in my parlor sipping Merlot,
And no, He’s not the tenor singing in my shower,
No burning bush or stone tablets, no writing over transom,
My house not chosen over yours because I live there,
My saint filled church less sinful than your congregation,
All human effort does not bring man God’s protection.
Injustice can’t survive his Grace or sin his Mercy,
And Sun can never set on any of God’s anger,
No evidence THAT church can pull upon His heart strings.
Do feelings have the power then to steal God from His children
Can hating God ensure you’re in a God free haven?
The things He’s not, not proof that He may not be present!
So what’s the logic linking God to man’s disasters?
Is 'free will' really such a black mark on creation?
If sin is ours alone how is it God is sullied?
Will you forgive yourself for harm you do in growing?
This God that you resist, his Heart tuned to your wavelength,
This parent that you’ve longed for, always has been loving.
II. Consider: Where might God be found!
What force could be so strong to steal Christ from His duties
Green pastures sure to mark the path with Shepherd leading
Cacophony of day cannot divert His focus.
The Shepherd loath to leave His flock if they’re in danger
Though He will not forget or leave the one that’s missing
All sheep accounted for before He sets His staff down.
The Psalmist also swears that ‘goodness and His mercy’
Are always Hallmarks of the house that God is found in,
So shouldn’t the reverse of this be God attractor
And God find rest where ‘goodness and His mercy’ flourish?
Grace pointed to by tables laden high with plenty
For even those who’ve pledged themselves to our destruction?
Then too, the Bible states that God is mankind’s suitor
His church to be Christ’s Bride (if God’s plan is not dreaming,)
His wooing us shows us Love, reveals the sacred pathways,
That guide us to our place in heaven’s verdant valleys
The wedding feast and guests, the wedding preparations,
The order of the hour in hallowed halls of heaven.
If God exists He certainly must be a part of
(Reflected without compromise in) His creation
(While holy in His eye perhaps not more than twinkle.)
How is it then He promises His loving presence
Wherever in His name that two or more are gathered
Who seek to honor Him with works and with their praises.
III. Consider: What do we know of what He is like?
If God exists He must have been there from beginning,
And what men thought they knew, earth still, the stars revolving,
Were foibles of mere men, creation more demanding
Complexity makes newest findings too seem shaky
Reality may not exist (though models serve us!)
The truth that is revealed, the poetry of science.
A God that is complex is not new understanding
But Friend that finds us precious fires imagination
But what if our creation never was outside Him
With mankind really just existing in His daydreams?
If this were true and God were not enamored of us
A simple nap might mean the end of all creation.
IV. So where then is He now! ?
If poetry can bless the models science offers,
Perhaps I’m right to think that it serves spirit also,
Imagination holy at angelic level.
To seek God’s heart in man, a path that might be chosen,
Our God revealed in works where man has left no imprint
The mystery of God perplexes as it pleases.
Perhaps you will respond to other new perspectives
A metaphor perhaps would be a fish in water.
How can an immersed fish, who’s never been without it
Imagine, ever guess its impact on life’s workings
The water gives him life, his food, and air for breathing
Is God’s Love then like air for every man to swim in?
That every man will die cannot disprove God’s Loving
Indeed how can you prove that death can even happen?
And if we all have souls then has your death true meaning?
If spirit’s flight still soars, can life be more than dreaming?
If you are still with me, I give you final issue,
If soul cannot be preached, then death is equal fiction.
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