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;
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
So I said, “Yes Lord.”
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!