Everyday Miracles – A Poem About Finding God in Ordinary Things

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Everyday Miracles – A Poem About Finding God in Ordinary Things

The clamor of your wisdom claps
like a thousand hands in unison throughout the forest,
calling from every treetop,
and whispering within every breath the north wind blows.
Your wisdom can be found in the simplicity of a dew drop
and within the caw of a congregation of crows.

You are an invisible hand, always laboring,
opening and closing doors as you see fit –
not always on my time frame,
not always giving me access to the rooms I wish,
but often times I find ignorance is bliss.
For the paths I most yearn to walk down
you wall off, knowing they lead to my demise.

You are the wise King,
always leading, but serving unceasingly.
With each new day you bring,
I am astonished at your beauty –
as long as I make the time to open my eyes,
as long as my awareness is focused on you
and turned away from the desires of my mind.

Your miracles come in small packages,
constantly sent, but rarely opened.
I look for you in grandiose experiences,
but you keep gently tugging at my sleeve,
urging me to put on my leather gloves
and dig for you in the dirt of the garden.

If I’m not careful,
I can become oblivious to the everyday mystery –
the beauty of a daffodil,
the way sunlight rests upon my windowsill,
the spirit that speaks when my mind gets still,
and the non-coincidental meetings of strangers,
sharing the exact conversations I need to hear.

Open my eyes when they are blind to your majesty,
so that I may witness your glory
in every root, rock, river, and ravine.
May I read the love letters you’ve written
upon every stump I pass in the forest,
every deer that crosses my path,
and every squirrel that leaps from limb to limb.
May I marvel at your everyday miracles
and find your fingerprints upon every piece of evidence
in this case called life.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley


 

photo credit: Ontelaunee Creek Tributary (1) via photopin (license)

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Life’s Amphitheater – A Poem About Helping the Less Fortunate

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As I was driving down the road the other day and came to a stoplight, my eyes fell upon a young woman begging on the side of the road. I must admit that often times I am quick to judge out of pride or wonder why they are too lazy to pick themselves up and get a job or get help for their addiction. Often times I put the blame on their shoulders and often times it may be. But that woman’s image flooded my heart with sympathy – her head was hung low, and it was clear that she was ashamed of herself and her situation. I found myself wanting to write her story…and not just hers, but for all those struggling in the world without a voice.

It is easy to judge, but much harder to place ourselves in the shoes of another. We all have issues we wish to keep hidden in the safety of our hearts and minds. And what we often times attribute to our strength, our character, or our success has nothing to do with our actions, but only the grace of God.

What would your life look like without loving parents, a loving spouse, a warm and safe home; without teachers, mentors, and other positive influences? What would your life look like if you were abused as a child, afraid of going home after school, or knowing there wouldn’t be anyone there to ask you how your day was or help you with your homework? What would your life look like without someone to help you through college, without an employer who was willing to take a chance on a young intern, without a friend to pick you up all the times you fell? I don’t know, but I think it would do us all a little good to keep our judgments hushed and our hearts open to the stories of the less fortunate people around us.

Life’s Amphitheater – A Poem

Sing a song for the brokenhearted
Whose hopes were snatched away like a thief in the night;
For those who’ve been burnt by the flames of love,
Their hearts charred and scarred no longer with the will to fight.

Sing a song for the prince of pain
Whose sorrows cast shadows upon the skies.
Sing, sing for the once crowned king
Whose tears fall like rain from dismal eyes.

Sing a song for fairy tales lost.
Reality stings like salt on an open wound.
Yesterday’s hours were filled with childhood play.
Oh, how the years pass away much too soon.

Drum a dirge for the divorcee,
Who was ill-equipped to hear the secrets that fell upon their ears.
The soul shatters like sheet of glass
When reality reflects the realization of your deepest fears.

Drum a dirge for dying dreams
That have been abandoned for monetary pursuits.
To live a life never meant for our hearts
Is is pull up your essence and chop it off at the roots.

Drum a dirge for the desolate and deserted
Who hobble hopelessly, begging on downtown streets.
Do not be quick to judge a stranger
Until you pick up their bags and take a ride in their seat.

Belt out a ballad for the afflicted,
For the addicted, and for the anxious minds.
Have sympathy for the struggle you might not understand,
For we each carry a story we wish to leave behind.

Belt out a ballad for the sick and suffering;
Share their tale of sadness and woe.
A kind smile and gentle hand is often the only demand
To make somber faces delight and glow.

Belt out a ballad for the fatherless,
Familyless, and utterly alone
Whose story goes untold, lost
Sinking to the bottom of life’s ocean like a heavy stone.

Have pity on the less fortunate people
Whose notes resound throughout life’s amphitheater.
We are all apart of one beating force,
One united, cosmic voice; one rhyme, one rhythm, one meter.

-Poem and Content Written by Justin Farley


 

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The Lamp Light – A Christian Poem About Wisdom

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The Lamp Light – A Christian Poem About Wisdom

The lamp light is lit.
The atoning wick sucks up the anointing oil
And is overflowing,
Spreading a blazing fire within my chamber.
I am mesmerized with the knowledge of wisdom –
The calming vision that you lay upon my eyes.
Tear down these fragile, crumbling walls of pride.
Replace them with towering stones that reach up to the heavens –
A fortress of faith that is impenetrable, insurmountable, indestructible.
Place me in your royal castle of solitude –
The holy palace that glimmers in glory atop a hill.
Free me from my own destruction,
And protect me from the voices of delusion that come knocking at the gate,
Coaxing me to embrace the desires of the world, eroding my faith,
And attempting to convince me that I am a prisoner
That must be set free.
Grant me the eyes to see through the tricks of temptation.
Assure my soul that there is but one means of salvation –
That the often times lonely path filled with hardships
Is true because it is so.
Allow me to know your will when confusion strikes
And my will fights with all its might
To cling to what is temporal, easy, and immediately gratifying.
Keep this lamp lit, and may its flame never wane
Or dim against the breeze of change
Or the winds of the world.
May I call you Lord not simply in word alone,
But recognize, answer to, and serve you as a slave to master.
When disaster strikes prevent my fear from persuading me
To cut off these cords and place myself back into control.
May your lamp light my way through the often dark and confusing forest.
May its fires warm and heat my soul
In a blaze of immeasurable glory.
And may I live desiring only to live out your plans
And not to write my own story.

-Poem Written By Justin Farley


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Upon This Rock – A Christian Poem of Grace

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Upon This Rock – A Christian Poem of Grace

Upon this rock I walk
Uncertain, yet composed.
Not crushed beneath the veil of darkness,
For with me always is a light that glows.
The demons of my weakness harass me.
Past failures breed doubts to future plans.
But upon this rock I’m free,
Caressed and cradled in loving hands.
Often I do not recognize my actions.
They are not in line with the man I know.
Ruthlessness is my natural reaction,
Yet somehow seeds of love are sown.
Anger still has moments of victory,
But the battles are swaying with tides of grace.
Love is beginning to reside within me,
Routing out my weeds of hate.
It is by no strong will of mine,
But because of this rock on which I stand.
It is only by the power of the Divine
That I am being transformed into a better man.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley

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Narcissus and God – A Poem

painting of Narcissus by Italian painter Caravaggio

My feelings for you swing like a pendulum,
driven by the forces of gravity;
pulled back down by life’s realities
and the weather during these ever-changing seasons of my life.
I have hated you.
I have loved you.
I have sought you and found nothing but empty space.
I have sought you and found the beauty of your face.
I’ve lacked even the desire to seek, scared at what I’d find.
I’ve hoped you never existed,
so I was free to play with the pleasures of my mind.
But now, oh Lord, I have you, and you are mine.

Though between us still sits a boulder
on this road that you lead me down
that blocks my vision of you and drives me off-course of your level ground.
It is a heart surging, bleeding
with self-righteousness, selfishness, and self-seeking.
Dismiss it to the gallows!
String it up by a noose, and may your grip
let the iniquity drip away.
For though I love you, my deepest desire is still not your heart
but my own.
Do not drive me mad by Echo’s song,
singing of my guilt and my wrongs;
mute my ears and turn my eyes to you.

I desire you, but am unsure of how to still these narcissistic tendencies –
they’re all I’ve ever know since birth.
I’ll never be able to kill
this desire to lie down beside the pool of pride
and bask in the beauty of my own reflection.
But surely you have the power to make the waters change their shape.
May the ripples subside, divide, and instead of mine,
may I see your face.

Poem Written by Justin Farley


Image a painting by Italian painter Caravaggio 1597-1599

Wandering – A Christian Poem About Guilt

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Your commandments loom over me,
Blinding my eyes like a bright light in the midst of darkness.
It hurts my eyes and causes me to turn away
From the angelic presence of your glory.
Isn’t this the essence of the human story,
Locked in a constant battle with our foolish hearts
Year after year choosing to remain chained,
Restrained in the bonds of slavery?

But what is this desire that I should
Choose slavery, to remain under the cloud of your judgement
And continue serving the weak idols of my passions
Instead of an infinite God of unfathomable majesty and might?
Why do I consistently chose to fight against you,
Knowing I will lose?
Why do I fail to chose you even when I desire to do so?
How do I approach the Judge’s bench,
Knowing beyond all doubt that I am guilty?

But your mercy is as endless as beautiful fields of clover,
Covering my rebellious ways beneath blankets of green pastures.
For who among us is without the stain of guilt
That has been branded and tattooed upon our feeble hearts?
If there is no Law, if your ways are simply the creation of the human mind,
Why do I find that I am condemned and guilty
Beyond all reasonable doubt?
It is not simply the shame of hurting my fellow man
That stirs my restless heart to reason.
No. It is a primal instinct woven into the fabric of my being
To alert me when I walk paths away from you,
Allowing me to acknowledge that I am lost without your truth.

But you are a hound dog that never grows tired,
Steadfast, seeking me throughout the ever-changing seasons of my soul,
Loving me when I’m near you,
And loving me just the same when I’ve lost control
Of my sinful desires.
Your fire burns like a raging sun and is just as hot
Among the snows of winter as it is in the summer heat.
My love is your ultimate desire,
Not because you need me, but because you know without you
I will always be incomplete.

We mute our ears to your voice,
Eager to continue along our paths to destruction,
But even the proudest hearts fall to humility
In the presence of your might.
Lord, may your light shine ever bright
And lead us from the darkness of this night,
Which we have created by blocking out
The warming rays of your precious Son.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley

If you enjoyed this post, I would greatly appreciate it if you like, share, or comment on it. Follow my blog to receive notifications when new posts are published. You can find my other Christian poems, Lent poems, love poems or inspirational poems at https://alongthebarrenroad.com/category/poetry/

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My Own Prison – A Christian Poem

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My Own Prison – A Christian Poem

Your law feels like a jailer’s prison
that constrains me in a straight jacket,
unable to move within my cell.
I could strip off my dirty clothes
and unlock my chamber door…
But what awaits me out in the free world?
What of my foolish desires
if life loses all meaning and beauty
becomes simply a fragment of the human mind?
No. I can’t bear it. I won’t.
But don’t you see my problem?
Don’t you see what leaves me pacing puzzled
with this putrid pondering,
wandering through mud and mire,
sore, winded, and tired,
flames that lick up my skin and scorch
my fragile heart and fill it with desire?

Oh, don’t you see?
There’s no hope. I’ll never be free.
I can’t live in a world without you,
but with you there’s a crushing weight
upon my shoulders I can’t bear.
Try as I might, I fail,
resigned to listen to my own desires
instead of seeking your heart.
I am a stubborn and lonely dragon,
determined to to live in a dark, dank cave
doggedly guarding my treasure.
Eyes of brimstone and hardened scales upon my skin,
too scared, too unwilling to let down my guard
and let you in.

Relieve me from my restless wanderings.
Make me feel no guilt when I fail.
Or tear down this hardened heart
and release me from this jail.
I want nothing more than to have you.
Well, nothing except maybe my own free will.
Do you see my paradoxical problem?
Do you see what keeps me up at night
tossing, turning, yearning to forget
and get some sleep?
If it be your will, release me.
Teach me how to deal with this darkness –
these starving desires constantly screaming
in my ears pleading for me to give them
some pleasure to eat.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley

If you enjoyed this post, I would greatly appreciate it if you like, share, or comment on it. Follow my blog to receive notifications when new posts are published. You can find my other Christian poems, Lent poems, love poems or inspirational poems at https://alongthebarrenroad.com/category/poetry/


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The Problem of Man – A Christian Poem

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The Problem of Man – A Christian Poem

You whisper to me in shades of sadness,
Silently stammering like a broken record
Skipping over the same ol’ speech.
What do I do with this madness –
This sinful desire that corrupts my heart with each new beat?

I welcome you with open arms
The moment pain wraps itself
Like a boa constrictor around my mind.
Plead for you to rescue me from harm,
But leave you in the shadows the second I’m doing fine.

Who but you could contain the mercy
To welcome me back time and time again through your door?
What is this unscrubbable stain marred in the depths of me
That shatters my affection for you whom I adore?

You offer me a freedom incomparable,
But my selfish heart only sees it
As a prison sentence locked in chains.
The tendency of man to wander from you is undeniable –
It’s observably obvious we’re all playing a losing game.

So how do we step up on the scale of justice,
Knowing that we carry a burden
Too heavy to counter on our own.
Left alone there is no hope for us –
The payment is much too costly for us to atone.

But in your infinite love
You sent a shepherd to track down your lost sheep.
The sacrifice we were unable to make stepped down from above
To keep the promises we are unable to keep.

Sin’s deep and dark sea you swallowed –
Vengeance poured out on the only one
Worthy to refrain from its sting.
You willingly walked to the gallows
To right the wrong and to repair our broken wings.

But yet still I am unable to turn from darkness,
My heart unable to renounce its ways.
Each time I make promises of righteousness
Your heart is time and time again betrayed.

I have the perfect lover
Standing, waiting with open arms.
Yet, still I seek another.
Still I delight in doing what I know is wrong.

Take this black piece of coal
That beats softly in my chest,
Restore it whole.
Give it the strength to pass the tests.

I once thought I was a lovely servant –
A shinning example of proper Godliness.
But I too have given ear to the serpent.
I too am weak like all the rest.

Master, keep us in your unending mercy.
Stir our hearts to seek your ways.
Give your blind children the eyes to see,
And let us incessantly sing your praise.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley

If you enjoyed this post, I would greatly appreciate it if you like, share, or comment on it. Follow my blog to receive notifications when new posts are published. You can find my other Christian poems, Lent poems, love poems or inspirational poems at https://alongthebarrenroad.com/category/poetry/


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Umbrella – A Poem

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Umbrella – A Poem

The world’s troubles pour all around me,
But I am perfectly safe and dry
Shielded underneath the armor of your umbrella –
Rain sliding down its sides like shingles
Nailed upon an angled roof.
Droplets of pain drip down
From the edges of your cover,
But I am without a tear having you near.
I stroll through the town square
With a hop in my step prancing upon the pavement
Parading in song.
The familiarity of cold, drenched clothes
Clinging to my skin is gone,
And I am perfectly content
Against the backdrop of ashen skies,
Thunderclaps, lightning flashes,
And beads of burden beating down
From Earth’s cathedral.
Do not fold up your arched wings.
Do not rustle your feathers,
Nor contract your shield
And hide it back in your truck.
Be my umbrella,
Now and forever.
Walk with me through the storms of life’s weather.
Keep me nestled under the shade of your love.
Keep me dry.

-Poem Written By Justin Farley

If you enjoyed this post, I would greatly appreciate it if you like, share, or comment on it. Follow my blog to receive notifications when new posts are published. You can find my other Christian poems, Lent poems, love poems or inspirational poems at https://alongthebarrenroad.com/category/poetry/


Photo Credit: Chris JL via Compfight cc

My Conceited Heart – A Christian Poem About Turning Away From God

Is it your will that we should become strangers
The moment I become a stranger to pain?
The wind howls your lonely lullaby
As I drift on forgetting your name.

Your deliverance is a selfless act
Wrapped up and gifted as incomparable love –
Your omniscient knowledge knowing we will turn away
The second you stop the tears of our flood.

You have called my name
Across the darkness of countless restless nights,
But strangely my ears become mute
The second I step into the light.

Without anything needed,
My wicked heart is content to drift away.
For my love is conceited –
An expert of prayer, a novice of praise.

But your endless beauty transcends all,
Extending further into love than we can ever comprehend.
For we do not only call you Lord and Master,
But also lover and friend.

We are a lost flock,
Going our own way until the wolves close in.
But even in our weakness the Good Shepherd saves,
Dying for us while we were still under sin.

Master, may I count my blessings.
May I always remember from who they come.
May it not take the pangs of sorrow
For me to seek the glory of your son.

-Poem Written By Justin Farley

If you enjoyed this post, I would greatly appreciate it if you like, share, or comment on it. Follow my blog to receive notifications when new posts are published. You can find my other Christian poems, Lent poems, love poems or inspirational poems at https://alongthebarrenroad.com/category/poetry/