The Pursuit of God

What shall I pursue
with vigor unrelenting?
A face no man can see,
a voice heard only in stillness,
a presence too real for mere sense.

All other things lose their relish
sooner or later.
I have tasted heaven once,
and now all else is insipid.

For the meantime I am dull;
my heart is hard, unfeeling.
But Hope hopes on:
it is its nature.

Oh, to delight once more
in things eternal!
To taste the sweetness of Deity,
To have Joy fill the heart to brimming,
To have Love prompt the soul to singing!

Maybe Tears will flow soon;
that is the way.

Whale Sharks at Oslob

The sun is hot, the sea is calm,
the boats move in a circle.
The boatman feeds the sharks with shrimp;
they eat without a struggle.

The tourists swim beside the fish;
they’ve paid to get this close.
The children shriek: they feel the rush
when nearby a shark goes.

A toothless maw sucks in the tide;
they’re big but pose no danger.
There is no sign of a Great White;
of whale sharks I am fonder.

(Note: Feature Image taken from trip

Grace Cannot Die

Alive the grace of God in me
Though Sin may rage ferociously.
Grace shall not falter, shall not fail,
And in the end it will prevail!

Though bruised and battered Grace may be
a victim of Sin’s wild melee:
Let bloody kicks and punches fly,
‘Tis all in vain – Grace cannot die.

Thus, bleeding, fallen in the fight
Still, will I trust in God’s sure might.
His grace will give the victory;
I rise above the enemy!

The Plant in the Pot


(For impatient teachers, advisers, etc.)

The plant in the pot was growing slowly and well;
Though slowly, yet surely and freely and well.
But the maid in the house had a mind of her own;
She believed not in slowness but in sudden quick growth.
So she flooded the pot in a merciless way,
Pouring water and water until dawn of next day.
And when pouring was over, to her shock and dismay,
There was water but – oh! – no more plant, only clay.

The Mystery of Injustice


The gavel’s thrown outside the court:

To justice there is no resort;

For laws are bent to serve the strong,

What sure is right can be made wrong.

The tears of the offended plead,

Their twisted faces you can read:

The pain and anger, grief and hurt –

O let not God their cause desert!

But wealth can move its friends on high

And easily let even justice die,

While the oppressed to heaven cry,

“Are you, God, deaf; if not, then, why?”

November 28, 1988

The Man Who Could Not Move

(Reflections on a Paralytic)
August 19, 2007

When I saw the man who could not move
it was for me all over….

I saw him lying on his bed
(a strange smell was in the room);
there were saints of stone around him
and lighted candles too.
He would laugh as if he cried;
he would cry as if he laughed;
he was neither mad nor sane:
this was simply how he spoke
because he could not move.

What I saw made me bitter:
I believed in joy no longer,
though I still believed in God.
Something really sharp had cut me,
gave a wound that would not heal.
Life took on a different meaning,
which so suddenly became clear:
In the midst of speech and silence,
in the thick of things to come,
some unclear, appointed suffering
might be waiting round the bend!

Then I saw the Man who could not move –
arms outstretched upon a cross,
blood and tears upon his face,
a crown of thorns upon his brow.
The hands that made the world were pinned
so helplessly… so willingly.
(He died in absolute safety
in the arms of Perfect Love.)
And his joy was all the greater
because he could not move…

Now our joy is all the greater
because he would not move.