Amen, Lord.

This poem is already over a year old. It was written after a trip to a third world country, and then, after another trip, I revised it to its current form. It’s one that I can keep adding to as I continue to travel and experience life. It is modeled after a poem by Makrina Wiederkehr, called “Amen, My Lord, Amen.”

And God said

“Behold this world

It is good.”


And I beheld

And said, “Amen.”


Amen to green-misted jungles

And twisted vines

That dangle over mysterious rivers!

Amen to breaking oceans

That crash against shores

And shout out stormy praise!

Amen to sweet grapefruit juice

That whispers of Eden

With a fragrance of Paradise;

Amen to sunrises

Flung over shouting oceans

Slanting glorious light!

Amen to high rise mountains

Framing the sky

Etched against a tropical blue!

And Amen to palm fronds

Silhouetted by a shrouded hazy full moon

In Oriental skies.

Amen, Lord! Amen!


And God said, “Behold again.

Not all is good, but I let it be so.

I will use it to glorify me.

Will you accept this?

Will you let this be your life?

Will you say amen?”


I looked and saw

Cities and slums with trash-lined streets

Races and countries destroyed by war,

Twisted men and women and innocent children

Slashed with pain;

I saw sorrow and imperfection;

Hopelessness.

Ignorance.

Lies.

I turned my face away in pain, whimpering.

I said, “I will not look.

No Lord, I cannot . I cannot say amen.”


But when I turned away

The sea no longer shouted;

The mountains faded;

Fragrances became odors;

All color washed away.

The cup I lifted to my lips

All sweetness,

Became bitter.


So I said, “Yes Lord.”

“Amen.”


Amen to hard beds and stifling air and crowded rooms and dirty clothes

Amen to flea infested rooms where rats scuttle across dirt floors

Amen to pain filled eyes, sickness and weariness and endless need

That breaks my heart to fill.

Amen to the cup of suffering that my Saviour drank

Amen to sweat and tears and backbreaking labor

To misunderstanding and rejection from fellowman.


For my God can bring shouting oceans

That praise Him

Out of the tears of men!

He can bring forth mountain men, mighty and strong

From the twisted limbs of broken humanity!

He brings forth the fragrance of Hope out of the death

Of bent flesh that becomes crucified;

He builds skyscrapers that speak of His glory to all

Out of the voiceless junk heaps of human vessels!

And crystal rivers of purity

From the stagnant ponds of Adam’s strain.


My God brings strength out of weakness!

Amen, my Lord, Amen!

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