Thursday, April 09, 1998

poem: Thorns and Scarlet

Thorns and Scarlet

Out of slavery, out of sin, out of Egypt, enter in.
You our God and You our stay, You our Savior light the way.
Blood of lambs upon our door, that the wrath of God won't pour
On our homes, but rather save, redeem us when we were a slave.

And then You came and taught in love, the glories of the One above.
You came rebuked, reproved, and taught, and wept with sorrow as You sought
All the lost, too numb too feel; show them love that You may heal
Their hurts and failings of the past, as You put death to death at last.

So thorns and scarlet wrap around, You let Your hands and wrists be bound,
Beaten, spat on, mocked that day, the Son of God our crimes did pay.
I cannot fathom love that fierce, love that would His own hands pierce.
God let His anger fall on His Son, until He cried out, "It is done!"

All glory to God and God alone, the God who loved and did atone
For things that we should have to pay, but for us in love did lay
Down His life that we may live, through the Son He did forgive
All we've caused, pain and strife, and gave instead eternal life!

(With thanks to Shantyman magazine for the title.)

Wednesday, April 01, 1998

Lessons of the Labyrinth

I wrote this for a writing contest for a now-defunct devotional for high school and college students called Campus Journal. What has replaced it is Our Journey, a devotional available by paid subscription only. It was put out by RBC Ministries, and is now published by Walk in the Word.

This was written sometime in the Spring of 1998, so I'm sticking it here as a rough guess.

Here's the other contest entry I wrote.


Read: Psalm 46
Verse: "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." --Proverbs 3:5

In Vacaville, California there is a huge maze called the Wooz. The point is to get through it, hitting each of the four towers, in a certain amount of time. It's tricky because it's so easy to get lost, backtrack the wrong direction, or otherwise wander aimlessly.

Sometimes our lives seem like a maze, and at those times it can be difficult to trust God. Your boyfriend breaks up with you, you don't get the classes you want, you're turned down for the perfect job. The medieval symbol of the labyrinth offers insight into these contemporary problems.

I walked a labyrinth once. It showed me things about life and trusting God.
  • The labyrinth I walked had no dead ends, no way to get lost. In this way, it differed from the Wooz. Christ at the center was the only and inevitable conclusion. Once Christ finds us we can't be lost again (John 10:28).
  • The room was dark and votive candles let the path. Sometimes our lives seem dark, but when we trust God we are given enough light to know the next step, and the next.
  • When life's pathways twist and turn and we can't see very far ahead, we need to remember that God is with us in our struggles. He cares. He can see the big picture. He has plans for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11).
We must choose to trust Him, even when all evidence says He can't be trusted. Proverbs 3:5 says "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."

It might seem that, like the Wooz, your life is a maze right now, but rest assured that if you are a Christian you are on a journey that ends at only one place - Jesus. Will you take the challenge and trust Him in the storms of your life today?


Do I feel lost in a maze, or safely on the labyrinth's path with Christ?

How has God showed His love for me? Is that a love I can trust with my life?

In what areas of my life am I having difficulty trusting God? How can I begin to trust Him today?