Pieces of Cloth

Not two weeks from the altar, now a new one to come

The words shook our plans, the phone calls to share

Now waiting beside her, the labor intense

Hold hands, and breath a prayer.

In pieces of cloth, they wrapped her up tight

They cleaned up her body, they wiped off her face

and laid her in my arms, a beautiful baby

secure and cared for, what a gift of grace.

Our first Christmas together, decorated in gold

A tree by the mantle, a fire blazing bright

Six months and showing, a glow on her face

The creche spread on cotton so light.

In pieces of cloth, we wrapped him up tight

Small terra cotta and painted face

we laid him in the manger, a beautiful baby

Resting while shepherds and creatures look on

secure and cared for, what a gift of grace.

It’s Easter Sunday morning, dogwoods fill the air

A childhood perfume of Resurrection Days

She’s all dressed in white, with a bonnet on her head

A father’s quiet prayer of surrender.

We raise to let them go, hold on to give away.

To send out in the world, to send to the nations.

And when the moment comes around, to watch them walk away

We are most like our Father who gave His all.

In pieces of cloth, they wrapped him up tight

They cleaned up his body, they wiped off his face

and laid him in the grave, what a beautiful Savior.

secure and cared for, what a gift of grace.

He cast off the grave clothes, overpowering light

And threw back the stone, the conquering  Word.

The resurrection power pushed darkness to the ground.

Victorious champion, the reigning Lord.

He was born for sacrifice, to give His life away.

He was sent into the world, to send us to the nations.

And when the moment comes around, to go or to stay,

We are most like our Father, broken heart for the world.

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Nowhere to go

Not usually the poet, but Susan and I have spent extra time in praying and seeking God here at the end of our first year serving in Padova, Italy. The below has come from our life this first year. (The Apostle wrote “to live is Christ.” Any other “thing” that might gain our life’s devotion will disappoint. He also wrote “to die is gain.” Anything we live for we lose, except Christ Jesus – we gain Him!)

To follow, follow you – nowhere to go but to follow you.

You oh God, you have hidden me in the place prepared for eternity.

To you, you God, I have hidden your truth where nothing can disparage me.

May the steps I take lead to holiness

May the sins I have drive me to my knees

Let my lips rejoice when I face my fears

Let my heart embrace every truth I dare

To follow, follow you – nowhere to go but to follow you.

You oh God, you have hidden me in the place prepared for eternity.

To you, you God, I have hidden your truth where nothing can disparage me.

For you are the Holy One, you are my cup

You are the sacrifice poured out for me

You are the Promise, You are the Righteous One

Absolute faithfulness, eternally.

For you are my holiness, you are my cup

You are my fullness, poured into me

You are the Promise, You overflow in me

Faithfully filling me, today and always.

To follow, follow you – nowhere to go but to follow you.

You oh God, you have hidden me in the place prepared for eternity.

To you, you God, I have hid your truth where nothing can disparage me.

May the steps I take lead to holiness

May the sins I have drive me to my knees

Let my lips rejoice when I face my fears

Let my heart embrace every truth I dare

(Quando vado, mi guida alla santita’

Quando ho peccato, mi prendi all’ gnicchocci

Quando io gioisco, la mia paura spedì

Quando io ti e braccio, dai mi coraggio

Tu, o Dio, sei mi stato secreto dove e’ l’eternita’

A te, o Dio, ho segreto tua verita’ dove non può essere rubata)