The Battle Of Reading Rock - Poem by Royston Allen
'Before you go, I'll have you know,
that the Lord has said to me
Psalm 91, is just the one,
so read it and you will see.'
'I don't know why', was my reply,
'But Sarah I'm sure you're right'
And off I went, to pitch my tent,
at Reading's Rock Festival site.
It was not clear, how apt and dear,
that Psalm was going to be
until that night, at the festival site,
when Dave was accompanying me.
For God was there, and by His care,
we depended upon His word.
We made our stand, in Satan's land,
and stood protected by the Lord.
So off we went, and sighted our tent,
by a busy thoroughfare
hung up the banner, in such a manner,
so all would know we were there.
On the cross we chose, to superimpose,
'This is how much I love you'
and flew it high, there in the sky,
lifting eyes to the heavens so blue.
There in full view, the banner flew,
so God's love the fans might see
But ardent fans, like all pagans,
with its' message did not agree.
On that Sunday, they had their way,
in the darkness of that morn
With curse and frown, they ripped it down,
the banner defiled and torn.
They shouted loud, before the crowd,
'If you are God then hear me'
'For we've no fear, so come down here,
and strike us dead for all to see.'
But God is not disturbed, or in the least perturbed,
by all their rants and rages.
These arrogant fans, with their wicked plans,
will one day get their wages.
Another flag flew high, over the blue sky,
where the Japanese fortress lay
As they drove their tank, through each festival rank,
the fans scattered and ran away.
Imparting fear, to all those near,
folk panicked as they fled
No one would dare, stand up to them there;
they could only look on in dread.
So with great care, after much prayer,
asking God for His protection
we left our tent, and off we went,
heading in the forts direction.
As we entered their fort, it made them distraught,
and to their great surprise.
Approaching them, we caused mayhem,
for we'd come in the name of Christ.
Making a fuss, they challenged us,
so we said that we had been sent
By the living Word, of Christ the Lord,
Who commanded them all to repent.
'You're mad, ' said they, turning us away,
'What are you both on about? '
They were so rough, and acted tough;
grabbing us and throwing us out.
Later on we prayed, as in bed we laid,
and snuggled down for the night
Then with a mighty rip, loud went the zip,
and two faces came into sight.
Thinking that we, would fail to see,
or understand they tried to leave
'The Lord will know, and to us can show, '
we said, 'So have faith and believe.'
As we made room, they came in from the gloom,
and we both began to pray
Then they said, in a voice so dread,
'There's someone else here, we can't stay.'
For with us that night, to our delight,
the closeness of God we could sense
and then as they, went on their way,
we lay basking in His presence.
The next morning, as day was dawning;
Ahmed burst into our tent
and his hands he lay, on Dave to pray,
with such a menacing intent.
Then he spoke and sung, in a raucous tongue,
so hideous and so satanic
an act so surreal, that it made Dave feel,
very frightened and start to panic.
Appalled by the scene, forcing myself between,
I separated the two
Then looked at Ahmed, and with sternness said,
'This behaviour will not do.'
Away Ahmed went, as he left the tent,
and had gone upon his way
I knew he'd be back, causing some more flack,
later on that very day.
At the end of the day, we began to pray,
and Psalm 91 was read
Let us ask God for, angels at the door,
for our protection Anne then said.
So we asked the Lord, believing His word,
to protect us all in the tent
To let the fans in, excluding their sin,
and evil they might represent.
Then Jane came in, looking so grim,
and fell sprawling upon the ground
She was possessed, and very distressed,
and was writhing all around.
So to Anne and Bob, I gave the job,
of bringing her to God in prayer
and then I saw, Ahmed at the door,
surveying the scene as he stood there.
God had kept His word, angels of the Lord,
stood there restraining him
for the previous day, he would not delay,
but just kept on barging in.
So I went to him, but his mood was grim,
and he had the cheek to say
'The Holy Spirit, I have to admit,
helps me speak in tongues when I pray.
'Ahmed that's a lie, ' was my reply,
'You've a spirit of Satan, ' I said
'That's not nice, He cried, 'But it's true, ' he replied,
as into the crowd he fled.
I watched him run, into the setting sun,
until he was lost from sight
and I'm glad to tell, the angels did well,
in protecting us that night.
Drums were banging, and music clanging,
throughout the day and the night
repeating constantly, it was affecting me,
and I jut did not feel alright.
But June saved the day, and her flute did play,
bringing peace and harmony
now my mind was calm, protected from harm,
by her soothing melody.
But surprisingly, rock fans came to see,
the source of the wondrous sound
standing at the tent, listening so intent,
as they gathered all around.
Contrasted here, for all to hear,
was rock music and the gentle flute.
Their composition, and their rendition,
could not have been more acute.
During the day, I'm glad to say,
the atmosphere was not too bad
But there at night, a gruesome sight,
it became sinister and sad.
At the close of day, the team went away,
whilst Dave and I stayed behind
And despite the noise, we two poor boys,
tried some rest and peace to find.
Before daybreak, I was wide awake,
so I got up well before dawn
I could not sleep, and had to peep,
outside in the early hours of morn.
All was so still, and behind the hill,
a sky full of stars so clear
where heaven set, the horizon met,
and I felt that God was near.
They have had their fun, and one by one,
the fans went upon their way
I did not know, but it was as though,
a battle had been fought that day.
With broken cars, and empty jars,
the litter was scattered around
Peace descended, the battle ended,
there was no enemy to be found.
Into my view, a large sheet blew,
across the field and wrapped around
the 'Jesus' tent, so subservient,
and I picked it from the ground.
It had just blown, all on its own,
from the fortress and was a sign
of resignation, and submission,
to this awesome God of mine.
Then I saw him, he was coming,
and I wondered about his intent
watched him stagger, saw him swagger,
‘til he stood there at the tent.
'Just who are you, that you can do,
these things to me? ' he cried
'A servant of God, of Jesus the Lord, '
I looked at him and replied.
Then into the tent, both of us went,
and as we sat upon a chair
then he shared with me, so passionately,
about himself as we sat there.
In his distress, he began to express,
the gospel in words obscene
and then I knew, as he did too,
that to the Cross of Jesus he had been.
'I'll be back' he said, lifting up his head,
and I watched him walk away
As I was praying, I heard him saying,
He'd return to the Lord one day.
Then a vision appeared, as the mist cleared,
and it formed before my eyes
and a battle scene, where I had been,
unfolded to my surprise.
The rubbish piles, stretched on for miles,
where the enemy's tents had been
as I packed away, on that final day,
I surveyed this great battle scene
It was as though, God used this to show,
and took time to reveal to me
what had taken place, in those five days,
and the extent of His victory.
'Ten thousand to one, ' this was the sum;
my Lord was saying to me.
This vision was sent, to me in my tent,
God showed it to me so clearly
For now I could see, that He stood with me,
and despite these very great odds
'though Satan was there, he had to declare,
the victory once more was God's.
Poet's Notes about The Poem
1) Sarah was a longstanding friend and a was a member of my Church at the time.
2) Dave was a young Christian volunteer from a Baptist Church
3) Ahmed professed to be a Muslim but obviously delved into some form of Satanism. He kept coming into the tent throughout the duration of the Festival. (We had an 'open door' policy) .
4) Anne was a Christian from one of the charismatic churches in the area.
5) Jane was a rock festival fan that just wandered into the tent.
6) Bob was a young Christian that I had met at College. He had been through a drug rehabilitation program in order to help him overcome a drug habit.
7) June was a lovely Christian woman from one of the local churches.
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