Now, But Not Yet

I feel it most when I watch the burning flames

of fire climb the stubborn branches, up

the pines while golden beams illuminate

the sky – a bitter union, flame and sun.

I feel it at Messiah’s birth, when hope

is strong, but death is biting at the heels,

with memory of Stephen’s martyrdom

the following day. We’re praising monuments –

the pride of civilization, built on backs

of the slaves we beat and curse and then forget.

What is this paradox of good and strife?

We glory in the beauty, but ache in birth -

ing pains – the curses of this wretched fate

called life, from which we long for sweet relief.

We’re told salvation came when Romans ruled

and crucifixion was the way to die –

but where is the life He promised? Whispers spread

of corpses dead from bombings, lack of food,

and image-bearers forced to sell themselves

to feed their babes. The very dirt cries out

for justice – Life isn’t found here, not among

the destitute, the broken cavities

of earth.



“But he shall come again in glory,”

the creed reminds our sunken spirits as

we join in paradox the evils of

this earth and hopes in heaven’s kind repair.

Our victory is here, invisible –

just waiting to be seized by the One who calls

creation “mine.” Our destitution lingers

as we wait for glory, life, and the beauty

of a sun unsullied by flame’s massacre.


(I feel it most when I watch the burning flames.)