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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Mother (as in maternal parent) (04/24/08)

TITLE: Prayer of an Earthen Vessel
By Betsy Markman
04/25/08


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God, I am so unworthy.
Who am I that you have entrusted me with these lives?
Eternal souls.
Eternal.
Souls.
How can such a sinful heart as mine
Lead other sinful hearts to You?
How can one so weak, so flawed
Hold in her hands three growing heirs of Heaven
Or Hell,
Three temporary shells of
Eternity encapsulated?
Who is equal to these things?
Not I, Lord. Not I.
God, my heart breaks.
I’ve failed, oh how I’ve failed!
And time is racing against me,
Always against me
Inexorable foe
Which has already defeated every mighty one who has gone before,
And I can only cast myself at Your feet and cry
“God, have mercy on me, a sinner
A mother.”
And the mercy for which I plead
Is for them, Lord, for them.
I cannot be what they need me to be.
The best I have to offer them
Is only dust and ashes
For that is what I am,
And it is what I will someday be again.
Help me, God,
For what I want to give them is You.
You, Lord of Forever, shining through me.
Priceless treasure in an earthen vessel,
Heaven’s greatest glory
Hidden under a bushel-basket of sinful self.
Oh God, You have wounded me
With love,
You have crushed me
With mercy.
Now please do whatever you must
To break even more
Until You shine through triumphantly
And I cast no dark shadow across the face of Your glory.
Open their eyes
To see Your blazing beauty
And not the sin which tries to hide You.
Use me to show them Yourself
No matter what it may cost me
For I believe in You
And I know
You are worth it all.
To love You in this way
Is what it means to be a bride
And a daughter.
To love them in this way
Is what it means to be
A mother.


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This article has been read 762 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sylvia Hensel05/01/08
This was absolutely beautiful. I loved the way you worded your heart's cry. You spoke to my heart. A real winner.
Beth LaBuff 05/01/08
I like your title. I think you ask eternal questions in this poem. "How can such a sinful heart…lead other sinful hearts to You?" You use strong phrases too "eternity encapsulated," "inexorable foe" and "hidden under a bushel-basket of sinful self."
Chely Roach05/01/08
I truly loved this...it makes me want to print it off and tuck it in the pages of my Bible. You perfectly illustrated the heart of a Christian mother; her hopes and fears for her children's lives and salvation.
Awesome.
Marilyn Schnepp 05/04/08
Wow! Sorry, but that's the only word that came to mind after reading this fantastic masterpiece of pure perfection, filled with beauty, truth and delight! Just magnificently done! So, I'll repeat it again. Wow!
Debbie Wistrom05/06/08
So glad you hinted!
There is much here. I can feel your heart's desire though I have no children myself. GREAT JOB!
Sara Harricharan 05/07/08
So much going on here! Lots of emotion and feeling woven throughout this piece all the way to the end. I liked the last lines best, where it seemed to sum up everything. ^_^
Joanne Sher 05/07/08
Wonderful - so much truth and much to ponder here.Great job with diction and imagery especially.