Chris has written poetry for 28 years though he focuses on short fiction. But watch out for the occasional twisted nursery rhyme.
A solemn place within the heart
When I give to someone’s need
Until it aches.
I could have splurged on myself,
Bought something new.
Expensive desire fulfilled,
Life’s pain subdued.
Lonely place throws wide the doors
To welcome light.
When I sacrifice myself,
I come alive.
I Will Pray for You vs I Will Help You
I gave recently until it hurt. It hurt a lot, but it was worth the pain. I feel alive because I sacrificed for someone else. While I am now flooded with the light of new life, if I had not done this thing, darkness would have overwhelmed me. I could not have lived with myself.
This is the difference between saying I will pray for you and I will help you when we hear of someone in unfortunate circumstances. Those words, I will pray for you, are often used as a cop-out. They mean that we intend to do nothing to cause ourselves discomfort, although we might bow our head, close our eyes and mumble a few trite lines to the Almighty. But keep in mind, according to Matthew 25, the Almighty has already delegated the doing of self-sacrificial deeds to us. This passage tells of a day when God will separate the people of all ages as a shepherd separates the herd, placing the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
The Sheep and The Goats
Matthew 25:31-46, The Parable of the Sheep and The Goats
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you. When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
The Value of One Good Deed
Those on the left, of course, had done nothing for the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned, though they may have prayed.
Christian evangelist and musician, the late Keith Green, wrote a song called The Sheep and the Goats based on the Matthew 25 passage. The final words to the song, spoken, not sung, go like this:
And my friends, the only difference between the sheep and the goats,
According to this scripture,
Is what they did, and didn't do!!
As far as I am concerned today, one good deed is worth a thousand prayers.
Keith Green, The Sheep and The Goats, Live From Estes Park, 1978
© 2018 Chris Mills