Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Conversion (poem)

I made this little poem back in February. I don't write poetry often--maybe every 4 months. Sometimes I just do it to get my mind off of essay-style writing, other times just because an idea came to mind. I'm by no means an expert at it but sometimes a topic is better explained in this format than a long drawn out essay.

I find that poetry (whether writing poetically or poems proper) is a clearer window into the thinker himself. The images one uses and the subject matter, which is condensed and focused, helps this.

This particular topic is about 'conversion' in our hearts. I also wrote it in conjunction with thinking about many protestants who use the Bible as sola scriptura. Not all do so meanly, if you follow me, but all do so wrongly.

Some questions/statements to consider as you read:

If you've even been through a severe lightning story, where the ground shakes and trees are split in half, then I think you'll agree it's a sometimes scary thing. But how much scarier is when our world seems to crumble apart by a mere word or phrase (say from Scripture, or a wise priest, family member, or friend)?

This isn't perfect, and I struggled to make this complete, so I hope the follow themes get across:

1) Conversion is unsettling, but it doesn't mean we're destroyed

2) Life is a process of conversion

3) To simply disregard the reason, logic, and wisdom of others who disagree with you (and your interpretations of Scripture) as mere "human wisdom" is your own hardness of heart, I think.


Lord, it is truly a terrible sound
when lightning strikes and shakes the ground.
Yet is there a thunderbolt more bold,
more powerful, or more sublime
than one that strikes the human heart?

The secret citadels of our pride
constructed by our prejudice and habits
are toppled by a mere word and a gentle breeze.

The call to conversion is not a slow revolution
but a bolt that throws us into confusion.
We may spill a million words forth
but a wise word is an ocean's worth.
The mandala that is given loving form
is wiped away with none forlorn.
But if the heart's conviction carefully constructed
is wiped away—better death than destructed!

Even stones of faith and Scripture,
strong, sturdy, and hard to fissure
can be arranged with wrathful anger—
truth and wisdom become a stranger
and avoid us with unmatched prudence.

But Lord, how too often we subscribe
to passivity or emotion and let them bribe
our sensibilities—it is the truth of which we're deprived.

How might we change these stony hearts for hearts anew?
Love of others and love of You.

Yet Lord, how quickly your wisdom we disregard,
how soon our hearts become hard!

All who say "only God's Word!"
and bear the Scriptures like a sword
will not consider (true) human wisdom
with love or consideration
but only with derision.
Such was the lot of priest and prophet
who challenged the hearts of many:
ridiculed or exiled or executed
by those who claimed to know God's way.

To love one another is to love God;
love is not mere tolerance
but the starting point of truth's conveyance.

To hate just exhortations
is hatred resting in the soul
for 'he who does not listen to wise council,
that man is a fool.'

Thank you for reading,



Comments appreciated! And new pieces coming soon!