Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Year(s) (01/20/11)
By Beth Muehlhausen
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A traveler plunged crunch-crackling through the brambles of his life
That clung and stung and scraped and raped his black-hole soul.
His heart-of-hearts bled, perhaps to shed the arrogant thorn of pride that lied.
There would be purpose in this pain, the constant rain of shame and blame
That caused his churning and would yield eventual turning from hellion rebellion.
And yet this reckless, wild waif recoiled, rent-and-wrecked in self-wrought ruin,
Since he only knew the roaring gore of disappointment that counterfeited Truth.
Plaintive crash-crumbling cries seared his soul and magnified his fear
As hurt compounded earthly bumbling-grumbling-rumbling-fumbling after hope -
A despairing, empty claw-clutch toward something founded in nothing.
Chronology, the timely temporal master of earthly worth, ticked on and on
Through years marked with fears and tears as well as mock seers
Who spoke in platitudes of too-timid tolerance that chill-killed his soul.
His heart-song finally muffle-muted and died in a guttural wail of seeming despair
As he flail-fought the brambles without knowing their purpose to be divine.
No simple fix would nix the pain; no chiding, but rather abiding
In the perfect love of a heavenly dove sent to increase his peace.
God thrash-chased him in the briar patch one year to bring him to his knees
With soul-cajoling mercy and compassion that wooed and drew him to respond.
Wrestling matches ensued, bloodbaths to the dying-death or to new life in His blood.
The pilgrim flailed and the thorns assailed, but God’s persistent face erased
His debased esteem and replaced stark, dark loneliness with hand-held HOPE.
This traveler’s fierce-fighting soul began to align allegiance away from self to God -
The One who hand-stamped an adoptive-but-surreal seal and brought him, kneeling,
To a place of heart-healing right in the midst of the thorny, grit-grinding angst.
More years passed and God reformed and transformed His struggling child
Amidst the brambles and their ripping-but-equipping, soul-strengthening snares.
Despair no longer sin-strangled this traveler into resisting Almighty God’s hold.
A somber song of repentance and praise unleashed His blood-flood of grace
That showered the pilgrim with sweet release issued from the Prince of Peace.
As he grew old and powers stood by, the traveler’s fate at The Gate drew nigh
And the Adversary-Poser fled the True Composer who dwelt within him.
A holy crown of thorns transfixed the brambles’ stick-pricks as the Styx grew dim
And Jordan’s warden hailed him: “Well done dear servant, one fervent for the Lord!”
His years midst the grizzly-grist had led him to the Savior’s kiss and welcome home.
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