Coat Tails of Hope

I cling to the coat-tails of Hope

If only I could just touch

Just brush the hem of His garment

I would be healed

 

I have clung onto so many things

My pride, my self-image

I would not yield control of my life

But everything you hold on to

Eventually you lose

 

It was only when I let go

Of the lies I took comfort in

That my hands

So long stained with mud

Could finally be cleaned

 

Now as I hold on to Him

He holds on to me

And lifts me out of the pit

 

Made Clean

A clean robe for the sinner

For his sin is no more and no longer is he impure

A gold crown for the leper

For he is no longer an outcast and his disease has been healed

A white dress for the prostitute

For she is loved by her husband and she is faithful to him

The palace doors are thrown open and none are turned away

There are no barriers anymore

There is no veil to conceal His glory from the unworthy

Because He has made us clean

Vows

The vows are read out
One by one
We commit ourselves to our Saviour
And He commits to us
Through the times of plenty
And through the storms
We will be together

But our hearts are drawn away
By men who promise freedom
Love with no commitment
To do what we want
With whoever we want
They say they’ll set us free
But they quickly bind us in chains
Strip our dignity, take all we have
And leave us broken and empty

But on our hand
We still have His token
His promise to us
To love us always
And so we turn back
We drag ourselves back to the altar

We walk down the aisle of the empty church
Our clothes torn, our body bruised
No longer that beautiful bride
That walked down on her wedding day
But He is there waiting
His love for us no different
Than the day He first set His eyes on us

As we return the restoration starts
The cuts and bruises heal
The torn clothes began to shine a radiant white
We are not what we were
But with every passing moment
We’re getting closer

He takes our hand
We go through our vows once again
Our love for Him burning brighter than ever before
Casting all other suitors into shadow
He reaches into our hearts
And cuts the chains of our previous connections
Released from our past
We are now in perfect unity with Him

The Side of the Road

Cycling in Mauritania

I lay by the side of the road
My clothes torn, my pale flesh exposed
Filth was smeared all over me; the stench unbearable
Blood dribbled from the corner of my mouth
Pain wrecked through my feeble body
I was completely helpless

Some people hurled insults when they saw me
They told me that I had brought this on myself
Most simply ignored me; pretended they hadn’t seen me
A few dared to approach me to try and help
My heart rose with hope
But when they saw the dirt and filth that covered me, they stepped back
They knew if they touched me, my dirt would rub onto them
With remorse filling their eyes, they walked away
But then He came

His robe was the purest white; not even a speck of dirt could be seen on Him
There was a glow about Him; a soothing light emanating from His being
The dust on the road rolled away from Him such was His purity
A sweet fragrance was carried on the breeze
It was so sweet and potent that it replenished the flowers and grass around me
He exuded a power, an authority that would make even the tallest mountain cower
A crown sat upon His head
This was the King

As He drew near, I hoped desperately that He would not see me
I was deplorable and pathetic
Not even worthy to look at Him
If He saw me surely He would condemn like the rest
After all the mistakes I had done I could expect nothing less
In the presence of His perfection judgement was what I deserved
He crouched down beside me and I trembled with fear
With the gentlest of touches he moved my head
So I was looking deep into His eyes
And a reassuring smile spread across His face
I felt peace well up within me
For a second I forgot my pains
I was captivated

He wrapped His strong arms around me
Gently cradling my head as he did
He put me on my feet and suddenly I felt them strengthen
The muscles spontaneously began to grow
Blood flushed into my face
My lungs expanded with fresh air
I had never felt like this before
For the first time I felt loved and accepted
I was not the outcast anymore
The One whom the earth trembles at His very words
Who draws the line between black and white
Had declared me a friend

But I was ripped from this state of pure joy
By a sight that chilled me to the bones
My grime and dirt had rubbed onto Him
The perfect white stained; marred
I stared in complete horror as He transformed before me
All my ailments were transferred onto Him
The great King was shouldering my weight
He was taking my suffering

A crowd swarmed around me and He was lost from view
I stood at the back; frozen in disbelief
Barely believing the unfairness that had been before my eyes
I looked down on myself and my clothes were now pure white
Shining like His had
I felt tears gather in my eyes

He hung by the side of the road
The people stood round and laughed at Him
They goaded and mocked Him
Blood gushed forth from His multiple wounds
Pain wrecked through His body
The weight of what He was carrying was suffocating
But this was His choice
For the people He so dearly loved

I walked by the side of the road
My clothes pure and white
Sweet fragrance not stench surrounding me
Joy burst through every sinew of my body
I was completely restored
And He was with me

Crucifix

 


Image 1 – Cycling in Mauritania by jbdodane, CC BY-NC 2.0

Image 2 – Zonsondergang, centraal crucifix op de begraafplaats Pasbrug By Sint -Katelijne-Waver, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

White Sheets

We all start with a white sheet
A clean slate, an unblemished start
We smile as we cradle it in our arms
We are so excited for the race ahead of us

But we compromise
We ignore our ideals
And red paint pours down from above
Like an ocean of rotten tomatoes
All over us
All over our sheet

Time and time again you make the wrong choice
And another bath of red paint is flung over you
You cross the line in despair
Your sheet is a mess, you’re a mess
You have failed

The inspector shakes his head
As you bring your sodden mess to him
You had one job
Keep the sheet clean so it can be used
There can be no mercy for such a poor offering
No reward except that of full punishment

The inspector winds up to give the first blow
You cower down in fear
But out of the corner of your eye you see something
A Man holding a pile of white sheets
He got them through completely clean
Not a single compromise

Your heart skips a beat
A lump catches in your throat
He is holding one out to you

“…Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18 (NIV)

Purifying Fire

Let the fire rage
Let it burn
Let it purge away any sin within me
Let it purify me before my Father

As its flames ignite within me
Blow any ash within me
Melt my earthly desires
Let Your new creation arise

Though there is pain in the burning
Hold my hand
And give me the strength to endure it
For I know joy is on the other side

When the fire’s work is complete
And the gold that you placed inside of me
Is shining for all to see
Use what is left of me
A sanctified saint, a purified son
For Your glory

Self Pity

When we experience failure in our lives, there is a voice that comes to tell us that we’ve ruined God’s plan for our lives and that we are worthless. It lures us in, urging us to mourn ourselves.

But self-pity is like a fish hook that traps us in our past; draining our motivation and strangling our hope. As Christians our guilt has been taken away. We don’t have to wade the depths of despair. We can ignore that voice, repent and push into the future God has for us.


Throw off the cloth of self pity
Remove its coarse texture from your skin
It leaves you wallowing in the mud
When you should be climbing mountains
It makes you focus on the dark clouds
When you can soar above them
Its sorrowful cry is strangely pleasant
When you choose to mope in its arms
But its continuing screeching seems stupid
When you realise that Christ died to make you a victor
It comes as a friend on the path of your life, offering comfort
But it is a thief who will do anything to delay you
It will make you sit down on the side of the road while the race passes by
It will make you look inward when there is a dying world around you
Ignore its caring exterior and see its true treachery
Pick yourself up, dust yourself down
And wear the crown of victory Christ has given you

Joy

Such joy bursting through me
My heart is a well of emotion
Overflowing as tears brim in my eyes
I haven’t felt like this in years

This is the feeling that comes
When years of deception are revealed
When you taste the sweet truth
That the pain you have carried for so long
You don’t have to carry any more

My wrists are no longer numb
No longer bound by old chains
That foggy morning has cleared away now
I can see the rainbow in the clouds

I am born all over again
There are no more hurts or pains
No more chains
I am reborn into new hope
My freedom has come from Him

Footsteps

Footsteps in the sand
My marks of history
The tale of my days

I can see my triumphant steps, lunging forward
The gaps between steps widening as I ran forward
My leaps of joy leave deeper marks
As I celebrate my victories
And sometimes another pair comes alongside me
And we share the moment together

But I can see trails when I dragged myself through times
I can see the mark of my heels where I stumbled back
There are pits also
Some just ankle deep where I stopped for a period of time
Some are gaping where I lay defeated

And then there are my mistakes
Wide swerves to the right and left
Some are so gradual that I barely noticed
Others were intentional and sudden
In those times I left the sand and strayed into the sharp rocks
The returning footsteps are tinged with blood and a limp is clearly visible
On one occasion the limp stayed

Footsteps in the sand
The tide is coming in
Golden and shimmering
I can see my footsteps eroding
Crumbling into nothingness
The red blood is washed away
The wayward footsteps vanish, the lost time irrelevant
The pits of defeat now filled with gold

I had so many regrets
I had so much pain
But now the hurt ends
Their mark on my life has been washed away


Footsteps in the Sand by george.bremner , CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Game of Lies

The pressure is increasing
Your performance is losing its conviction
And your audience is beginning to drift
You can't keep playing this game forever

The circle of lies is arcing back
Back to its origin
The whip of fear is on your back
As you continue your frantic dance

We wear the mask until we forget who we are
We play the game for so long
That we forget it's a game
And that we always lose

The words start to flow
You rip the layers of deception off
Until there is nothing left
And you are left face to face with the truth

1 John 1:9 - 'If we confess our sins, he is faithful 
and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us
from all unrighteousness."


 Image of Lament to Freedom...by  Seyyedeh Behnaz Hatam, CC BY NC-ND 2.0