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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Key (02/14/13)

TITLE: The Question 'What?'
By Margaret Kearley


What sort of job is this?...
Keeper of dank, dark, foetid den,
Caretaker of forsaken men
Incarcerated, waiting death
With curse and cry on every breath,
Wielder of whip, inflicting pain,
Master of unrelenting chain,
Custodian of heavy key
That blocks the path to liberty...
What sort of job is this?

What sort of man am I?...
Who earns a wage through hopelessness,
Dismay, despair and deep distress.
‘The keeper of the key’ – that’s me,
A figure of authority,
Yet also bound by chains, my sin
At war, in conflict, deep within.
The bonds tighten relentlessly,
Is there a freeing key for me?...
What sort of man am I?

What sort of men are these?...
The stocks, the chains which bind their limb
Seem imperceptibly quite dim.
As midnight churns through darkening hour
They sing and praise God for His power,
Their faces shine with radiant light
Dazzling as if at noon-day bright.
Imprisoned by the cell-door key?
No! Inexplicably they’re free...
What sort of men are these?

What falling judgement this?...
Wild forces tremble, shiver, shake,
Fierce seismic power, a great earthquake
Raves madly with each violent crash
As edifices fall and smash.
Doors burst a-wide without a key
Unravelled chains shout ‘prisoners free’
My livelihood is gone, I fall
And take a sword to end it all...
What falling judgement this?

What startling mercy this?...
Each prisoner in place remains,
Paul speaks – my fatal deed restrains.
God’s earthquake shakes my heart in waves
I cry ‘Sirs, how can I be saved?’
The answer true, the only one -
Believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Son!
Great mercy! As God turns the key
To set my soul at liberty...
What startling mercy this?

What superb Love is this?...
God sent His Son to die for me
To take my place at Calvary.
He took my sins, my guilt, my strife,
He poured in His abundant Life.
I’m filled with joy, to Him I bring
Each new day as an offering
To spread His Word to all I see,
So those who’re bound may find the key...
What superb Love is this?

The Philippian Jailer
Acts 16:20-34

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This article has been read 788 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Myrna Noyes02/21/13
Here is another "What" question: What God-blessed talent composed this powerful piece?? :)

I loved the format of this well-composed poem with each stanza beginning and ending with the same "what" question. I loved the images your descriptive words evoked, and your rhyming pattern was done well, too. I especially liked these lines: "Great mercy! As God turns the key
To set my soul at liberty..."

It was nicely on topic with a great message shared. I was blessed by it!
C D Swanson 02/23/13
WOW! That is all I can say...WOW! Powerfully executed and powerfully written. Your love for the Lord leaps off the pages in your "love poem" for the Lord. I adored this!

Thank you so much for sharing this anointed poem, clearly inspired by the Spirit. Amen.

God bless~
Carolyn Ancell02/24/13
Beautifully crafted words and thoughts, from a loving and seeing heart. Lovely and strong at the same time.
Danielle King 02/25/13
An amazing poem skillfully crafted by a gifted author. Inspired!
Judith Gayle Smith02/25/13
I want to stay here forever and just inhale all your breathless prose. This is so magnificent, so poignant and thrilling. If this doesn't get Editor's Choice I would be sorely disappointed. Masterful work! The rythm, the flow - the hunger for more . . .
Cheryl Harrison02/25/13
This is beautiful. At first I thought it was about the guardian who held the keys of Hell. How pleasantly surprised I was to find out it was the story of Paul and Silas' jailer.

"How can I be saved?" -- This question should evoke a sigh of relief from every Christian.

Thank you for writing this.
lynn gipson 02/25/13
Whoa! Such deep feeling and emotion. I devoured every line. Very well done. I got tears of joy from reading!
Alicia Renkema02/25/13
I am speechless... I am sitting here not hardly knowing what to write. I normally don't see poems this well crafted except in an in depth writing course on poetry where one is studying LongFellow; Sandburg and Frost. The stanzas are perfectly framed with pivotal questions that move the reader forward on the journey with the jailer. Although, I had no idea at first that was who it was (another gem to the poem), I thought it was a modern day jailer of some sort. I know you and the Holy Spirit partnered big time together on this one. It is absolutely a flawless poem in every way... You must have a great heart to reach the lost.
Terry R A Eissfeldt 02/26/13
Best take on this familiar story I ever hear/saw/or read.
Bea Edwards 02/27/13
Simply stunning! Meant to be read and re read to savor all its wonderful nuances. You crafted a masterpiece!!
Myrna Noyes02/28/13
You've done it again, Margaret!! :D HEARTIEST CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR 2ND PLACE E.C. AND LEVEL WINS!! This poem is exquisitely written and totally deserves this high honor!! WAY TO WRITE!! :)
Danielle King 02/28/13
Congratulations Margaret. Your work is truly inspired.
Claudia Thomason02/28/13
What an amazing piece! Congratulations on your EC and level awards. Great work.
Alicia Renkema02/28/13
What a team effort you and the Lord are. I am filled with so much joy Margaret as I sit here writing this because of what you shared with me. Our King, our Lord Jesus is magnificent May this piece inspire all to look for opportunities as Paul always did for the lost to win them for Christ! Congratulations my dear friend -- have a lovely day.
Lillian Rhoades 02/28/13
I love how you wove the "Key" throughout this piece. The recurring question was a excellent display of skilled writing.

Congratulations for your award-worthy poem!
Cheryl Harrison02/28/13
Margaret - I knew this was a winner the first time I read it. Congratulations on placing second in Masters and in Editor's Choice. You deserve it! Praise the Lord!
C D Swanson 02/28/13
Congrats God bless~
Judith Gayle Smith02/28/13
Congratulations Margaret!
Beth LaBuff 03/01/13
Margaret, you've done it again. What a masterful, creative, exquisitely written poem. I LOVE your format. I am in awe. I love this! Congrats (once again :) ) on a well-deserved Editor's Choice award!
Ellen Carr 03/02/13
Margaret this is a brilliant poem, masterfully written, with beautiful use of language, and telling the Bible story so very well. Your 2nd position is extremely well-deserved. It was a joy to read this poem. Congratulations!
Olawale Ogunsola03/03/13
I like many things about this poem. This is a good job.
Congratulations on your second place win. You deserved this.