Thin Religion

Timothy Poetry, Thoughts 1 Comment

Thin Religion

In a week without the Word
in few places I seek the Lord
My prayers are found in food,
though sometimes missing;
they’re in an anxious sigh
when in danger my foot is slipping;
they’re in a tiny rock
stuck in my eye;
they’re in a half-hearted cry
within, when lying down to rest
All in all, they’re a thin religion,
but a tiny little smidgen
before a calling high and wide
and a glory not derived
from human whims or deeds

So help me, God, to pray,
in Your presence stay,
and remember that my Lord
has torn the veil so the Word
be written on my heart.  

Though this poem stands alone in many ways I think the context will help you understand it much better. It was written in the summer of 2013 when I was doing construction work out of town with my dad. We were in Spokane for over a month, only a few times did we come home on the weekends. Those were tough weeks. The labor was intense and the ninety degree weather didn’t make things easier. My father, one quite accustomed to intense labor even while bearing the elements, once got heat exhaustion and couldn’t work the rest of the day. However, as a follower of Christ I knew what I needed most was not physical strength but spiritual strength. And where can one get that strength aside from the word of God?

Being often exhausted I would rarely read the word and even when I did, it was hard to concentrate. I knew I needed to pray to receive God’s strength each day. But my prayers declined in proportion to my reading. God’s promises are fuel for prayer, after all, so as my body and the world around me screamed for attention, I attended little to the spirit.

I know God was with me in those weeks, but in that time he exposed my “default religiosity.” I would pray, but it would be in the expected moments as seen in my poem. I prayed when it was dangerous, or I felt some discomfort. However, the Kingdom of God is not something that occupies just a part of the human experience. God wants to permeate everything and redefine who I am from the heart. That’s why in the end, when writing this poem, I focused on Christ and what he’s done. It is there that I saw the need to be strengthened and renewed in the heart. I then finished my scribbles, stepped out of the dirty car, and began the work day.

Comments 1

  1. Hanch

    Thanks Tim! I think the lack of depth in my soul is one of the greatest frustrations I experience with myself. Yet so often I do not go to where it can be found…

    I think it’s great that you can write poems on a personal subject – it makes it easier for others to relate

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