CONFESSION

A SOUL IGNORED

 

Followers of Jesus gather round a restaurant table,

in fellowship they laugh and talk and eat.

Their waitress, just a servant, doesn’t seem quite capable,

and her demeanor, well it isn’t up to speed.

 

But what a wonderful blessing they had just received;

they’d sought the Lord in praise and prayer and song.

The sermon was anointed and the pastor strongly preached

that the time of Christ’s return would not be long.

 

The Holy Spirit filled them and the Lord’s presence drew them near,

as they cried “More, Lord!  Have your way in me today.”

For the waitress, though, her morning was one of sickness and of fear;

she was pregnant and unmarried and afraid.

 

She struggles as she tries to meet each customer’s demand,

while inside the fear consumes her like a cancer.

She longs for someone she can talk to; who’ll maybe understand;

is there anyone who can help her find an answer?

 

“Can you take our order now?”  ”We need silverware.”

“I ordered a Sprite, not a Coke!”

“Where are my fries?”  ”This burger’s too rare!”

“When you get a minute, bring me a clean fork!”

 

Filled to overflowing, they slosh right out the door,

the name of Jesus never crossed their lips.

A dying soul, so easily ignored,

fights off tears as she counts their paltry tips. 

 

It won’t be long before the Lord splits wide the eastern sky

and our days upon the earth will be no more.

Will the cries of those left behind echo in our ears

because they’re souls we chose to just ignore?

 

Fill us with a passion for the lost, Lord!

Let us see each one we meet through Your own eyes.

Overwhelm us with a longing that all men would be saved.

Let salvation through Christ Jesus be our cry!

 

Help us set aside our selfish plans and motives

to step out boldly and proclaim Your words of truth.

Let us

… reach out with Your hands

… speak out with Your words

… and lead the lost and dying unto You.

 

††† 

 

ALL ABOARD

. . . or as many as possible . . .

  

Instead of listening for the trumpet,

let’s be listening for the cries

of fear, dismay, discouragement;

the cries of anger, the cries of why

because we have the only answer

as we wait for Christ’s return

and what an opportunity

to share what we have learned.

To share the reason for our peace

amidst calamity and disaster;

to explain why events have happened

and what will follow after.

The trumpet will sound regardless

and if you’re ready, you will go;

it’s not like a train and you’ll miss it

if you don’t hear the whistle blow.

Let’s not get so caught up in the waiting

and looking toward the sky

that we ignore the cries of the lost ones

and leave them here to die.

 

†††

 

CITY OBSERVATIONS

 

A white-haired woman slowly crosses through the city square,

her tattered dress is soiled as she walks by.

Pushing a beat-up grocery cart, she ignores the hostile stares,

and calls out to the lunch-time crowd, “can you spare a dime?”

 

I watch her and I sadly wonder why.

 

Why is this woman homeless?  How did this happen?

Where’s her family?  Why does she choose to live this life?

Does she have someone who loves her and considers her a friend?

Who looks out for her in the darkness of the night?

 

Has she ever been shown the love of Jesus Christ?

 

Teens gather on the corner with their cigarettes in hand;

they curse and yell at rival groups who’re walking by.

It’s the middle of the day, and they’re skipping school again.

They cop a ‘tude; they think they’re cool; they flash a knife.

 

I watch them and I sadly wonder why.

 

Where are the families of these precious children?

Is there any one who cares about their lives?

With mommas hooked on drugs and dads who’ve left them,

they feed emotions – starved of love – by starting fights.

 

Have they ever been shown the love of Jesus Christ?

 

Oh, Jesus, let me go beyond the wondering.

At the very least, I can pray for these I see,

instead of standing back, watching, and pondering.

They need you.  And I know you.  Jesus, use me.

 

Let me show them your precious love and tender mercy.

I don’t want to be a spectator anymore.

The city is not well.  For so many, it’s a living hell.

They need you.  And I know you.  Use me, Lord.

 

†††

 

GRACE BEARERS

 

A follower of Jesus walks the local shopping mall.

It’s a crowded Saturday night and the place is packed.

Directly in his pathway, strolling slowly down the hall

is an unwashed, heavy, cigarette-smoking man.

 

His body odor’s intense and the view is disgusting,

so the Christian darts around to quickly pass

as the slovenly man offers him a kind, but toothless grin,

and the Christian thinks “What a loser!  Get some class.”

 

And the Lord looks down upon the scene, remembering,

He was with that “loser” once, in the womb with him.

He loves him just a much as the one with the stinking attitude.

Doesn’t he know if not for grace, that could be him?

 

But for His grace, but for His grace!

In all our cockiness, let us remember if not for grace,

every person who we see, could very well be you and me.

We are nothing, we have nothing without His grace.

 

And the Lord looked down upon the scene with sorrow

because the one who walked on past the one in need

was supposed to introduce the precious grace and love of God.

Another grace bearer passed up an opportunity.

 

†††

 

I’M TALKING BUSINESS

 

Your Spirit is more convincing

than all my verbal acrobats

and the power of my persuasion

has no power

outside Your plan,

yet the one who stands before me

needs You, Lord,

quite desperately . . .

 

so . . .

 

oblivious to the fact,

as before my desk he stands,

I am praying . . .

praying for him . . .

 

and I feel Your presence

come in like a flood;

we’re talking business,

but I’m pleading Your blood

to pierce His darkness

and save His life . . .

he’s looking at me,

but You’re the one, Lord,

who’s making me smile.

 

†††

 

I SEE DEAD PEOPLE

 

I . . .

see . . .

dead people . . .

  

walking the streets of the city

in the pews of their church sitting pretty

at their desks on the job nitty-gritty

everywhere

everyday

a condition in which they will stay

as Satan shouts lies and deception their way

and the Church barely whispers the truth.

 

†††

 

JUST FACES

 

People on the street were just faces,

mixed together in a hurried blur.

Some I might notice, others I’d not;

they certainly weren’t my concern.

There was no desire to know them;

they had their lives, I had mine.

To give much thought to a stranger

was for me just a waste of time.

But then I became a child of the Lord,

and I could actually see

that those “faces” were His creations

with as good a chance as me

to accept Him as their Savior,

thus being strangers to me no more,

but rather my brothers and sisters,

together praising the Lord.

Now I scan every face that approaches,

and praise Him for allowing me to be

an instrument by which He can radiate His love

to the people I pass on the street.

 

†††

 

LET THEM SEE YOU

 

When people look into my eyes, do they see mercy?

When I speak, are they hearing words of “I love You.”

As I reach out to touch them, do they sense a sweet compassion?

When people look at me, Lord, are they seeing You?

 

That I might know You more . . . that more might know you, Lord.

Pour Your love into me; I’ll pour it out.

With joy I gather water from the wells of Your salvation;

fill me up, fill me up; I’ll pour it out.

 

You’re welcome here, Lord.  You’re welcome here!

So come on in, Lord!  Come on in!  Come right on in!

Just have Your way, Lord!  For You are welcome here!

Inhabit me!  Inhabit me!  Oh, come right in!

 

I don’t care if people ever get to know me,

for without You, there just isn’t much to know.

But if You’ll inhabit me, then it’s You that men will see.

And it’s You, Lord, that I want this world to know.

 

That I might know You more . . . that more might know you, Lord.

Pour Your love into me; I’ll pour it out.

With joy I gather water from the wells of Your salvation;

fill me up, fill me up; I’ll pour it out.

 

You’re welcome here, Lord.  You’re welcome here!

So come on in, Lord!  Come on in!  Come right on in!

Just have Your way, Lord!  For You are welcome here!

Inhabit me!  Inhabit me!  Oh, come right in!

 

When people look into my eyes, show them Your mercy.

When I speak, let them hear You saying “I love You”.

As I reach out to touch them, let then sense Your sweet compassion.

When people look at me, Lord, let them just see You.

 

†††

 

LIFE IS BUT A VAPOR

 

The years pass by so quickly;

just a blink and they’re gone from sight.

The verse,”life is but a vapor”

is so absolutely right.

I look back at the years gone swiftly by;

even less I have ahead.

Have I done the things the Lord’s asked of me?

Have I heeded what He’s said?

I am overwhelmed by the very thought

in less time than I’ve lived on the earth,

I’ll be called to stand before the throne

where the Lord will judge my worth.

What kind of a crown will I lay at the feet

of the Holy and Mighty I AM?

I am sobered as I now contemplate

how little time I have.

Will the world say I belonged to Him

once my life here is no more?

Will there be people I leave behind

who, through my example, made Jesus their Lord?

How I desire to do His will,

and may I never fail to see

His purpose for me in the coming years

and today’s opportunities.

For “life is but a vapor”

which precedes eternity,

and what I accomplish with today

is completely up to me.

 

†††

 

ON SAVING A LIFE . . .

 

The clink-clatter of dishes being served and collected . . .

muted conversations . . . hints of laughter . . .

I sit in a booth all alone and quite happy . . .

away from stress . . . enjoying food . . . it’s my lunch hour!

 

I savor my meal . . . warm, delicious, nutritious,

as a woman at the table next to me

lifts a fork to her mouth, inhales as she swallows,

coughs and sputters  . . . with eyes bulging . . . she is choking.

 

Struggling for air, I observe her with interest . . .

it’s obvious she can’t breath on her own

and I know CPR . . . the Heimlich Maneuver too,

but if help her, then my food will become cold.

 

I look around to see who else has noticed

as her face turns scarlet red, then purpley-blue.

I sip my soup, butter my bread, and wonder,

am I the one to come to her rescue?

 

Perhaps when I am finished I can help her . . .

Ooops!  Too late, she’s now collapsed upon the floor . . .

a crowd gathers ’round her, feeling for a pulse,

but the stress has caused her heart to beat no more.

 

Dead . . . they roll her body out the door.

 

Dessert anyone?

 

How different are we, the followers of Christ,

as we meet the lost and dying every day?

We know the Way to save them from death,

but wrapped up

in our own lives . . .

we turn away.

 

Perhaps we need to save a life today?

 

†††

 

PLANTING A GARDEN

 

I’m going to plant you a garden, Lord.  

I’ve an abundance of “witnessing” seeds

that I wish to sow in Your honor

at every opportunity.

 

Hopefully the seeds I scatter for You

will fall upon warm fertile ground,

and after a brief time in the “Sonshine”,

new life in Christ will soon be found.

 

Put me in places where Your words need to fall;

not one single chance shall I miss.

For time is short and You’ll soon be back,

and so many don’t realize this.

 

I’m a witness!  And I shall testify

of the great things You have done for me.

Prompt me, Lord; let my words be Yours!  

I’ll tell the world how You’ve set me free!

 

†††

 

 

QUESTIONING MY MOTIVE 

 

Intrigued by how the wealthy live their lives,

looking to receive a blessing from their surplus;

my “best life now” theology

becomes an idol-based philosophy

when the call of Christ is no longer my sole purpose. 

 

Any blessing I receive comes from my obedience;

it’s a by-product of a heart sold-out for Christ.

Why would I be attracted to those

whose gods are success and jewels and gold,

other than to introduce them to the life that is truly Life? 

 

†††

  

READY

 

Today’s a day I strongly sense your presence . . .

when I inhale, I feel your breath in me . . .

every person who passes by, I am watching through your eyes

and my heart cries,

so great a love for them

I feel . . .

 

is today

salvation day

for one of these?

 

I am ready, Lord.

I’m ready.

 

Speak through me.

 

†††

 

TEARS FOR VIRGINIA

 

Frustrated by my far-away location,

I see your faces; hear your stories, through the news.

Oh, that I could reach out to you through the television,

wipe away your tears and say I love you.

For I see the tender, wounded ones of Virginia,

and I feel a great compassion from the Lord.

I know He’s weeping with each one of you this hour,

and I know His tears are falling on Blacksburg.

How I long to be His arms of great compassion,

His hands of healing and His voice of gentle love.

He wants to comfort all the hearts that have been broken,

and He longs to draw each one unto Himself.

So I say to the wounded, frightened, and the weary,

I love you . . . I really love you in Jesus’ name.

And though I can’t be with you in your time of grieving,

Jesus can, and for each of you, that’s what I pray.

 

†††

 

TELL THEM AGAIN

 

At first glance, a cemetery seems a quiet, peaceful place,

but as I look across the tombstones, my heart begins to ache.

How many of the bodies there beneath each monument

housed spirits that now shriek and moan in the throes of hell’s torment?

 

How many of these people heard the gospel of Jesus Christ,

but turned their backs and chose to live their self-sufficient lives,

never to hear the message again, no second chance to make things right?

If only there’d been someone who had told them one more time.

 

Tell them again; just tell them again! We need to tell them again!

What’s the worst that could possibly happen?  That they choose life?

It could have been me, it could have been you,

but someone persisted and the message got through.

When our remains are in the ground, we’ll be with Christ!

 

Beneath the granite markers, decaying bodies once alive –

someone’s father, a sister’s brother, a mother’s precious child.

Did anyone persist?  Did someone give them one more try?

Did they have just one more chance to know Jesus before they died?

 

†††

 

THE DEAD “c”

 

Have you ever used a product ~

a cheap, imitation brand,

you called it Kleenex and blew your nose

and wound up with snot in your hand?

  

It wasn’t a Kleenex, but it looked like it was ~

a knock-off . . . an imitation . . . a ruse;

even though you just called it a Kleenex,

it was simply a second-rate tissue,

  

the kind of product, if people didn’t know,

that would give Kleenex a really bad name . . .

like the label of christian you hear tossed about

in these “anything goes” kind of days

  

where everyone says they’re a christian,

but the thing that their label implies

is sometimes I’m nice and sometimes I’m spiritual,

but I’m really not living for Christ

  

because if I were, you would see the fruit . . .

not a pro-sin or anti-Israel stance . . .

you’d see a person solely devoted to Jesus,

one who lives by and keeps His commands,

 

you’d see a person who believes He’s the only way

and doesn’t pray to . . . or worship other gods,

who extends a hand of mercy and speaks the Truth in Love

to the sick, the dying, and the lost.

 

So let me just say to each one of you

who’ve been injured or mocked or betrayed

by someone who says they’re a christian . . .

that’s not how a true Christian behaves.

  

What you’ve encountered is an imitation . . .

low-end goods with a high-priced sticker . . .

a little “c” christian who’s not the real deal . . .

a dead “c”  . . .with no life, love, or power.

 

†††

 

THE LAST ACT

 

Since none of us is guaranteed

another living breath,

with each poem I write, I’m hopeful

it will be my very best;

my legacy . . . my final bow,

one that pierces the hardened heart

and brings at least one more to Jesus

or convicts a believer to start

living passionately for the One they love.

It’s my hope that’s how it will be –

that the last thing I write will be powerful

and will totally bring Him glory.

But as I think upon these things

in my romantic, plan-ahead style,

imagining the last poem read at my funeral

and friends weeping and running up the aisle

to dedicate or rededicate themselves to Jesus,

it suddenly dawned upon me

that every day . . . in all I do . . .

this is how it always should be.

The words I speak to a stranger,

my demeanor on the job with a task,

time spent with a loved one or neighbor,

could actually be my last act.

The breath I take tonight could be my last one,

the breath I take this moment could thus be.

I want the thing I do before this happens

to always be a thing that brings Him glory.

  

Just like a poem I have written,

let my life be a poem I am living

to always. . . powerfully . . .

bring Him glory

  

because it’s not about taking a final bow

or leaving a legacy.

Any talent I have is from Him . . . for Him;

to Jesus be all the glory!

  

It’s all about Jesus, not me.

 

†††

 

TRANSPARENT

 

Make me transparent, clear as glass,

invisible to the naked eye.

That no one would see a trace of me –

that only You would shine.

 

For the way that I sing

is the voice that You bring.

And the sermons I preach

are the words that You speak.

The salvations I’ve seen

weren’t dependent on me.

 

It’s about You.  It’s Your anointing, not mine.

 

I don’t want fluffy compliments,

because You’re the One who’s great.

I don’t want a single word of thanks,

because You deserve all the praise.

 

I don’t want any pats on my back,

and my ego — it doesn’t need feeding;

my back is just fine and my ego is pride.

It’s Your back that took the beating.

 

No more self-promotion,

no more center stage.

As sure as pride comes into play,

You’ll take it all away.

I’m not taking the credit

for the wonderful things You do.

I am nothing and You are everything.

It’s all about You.

 

†††

 

WHAT YOU TALKIN’ ABOUT?

 

Like a school girl in love for the first time,

every word from her mouth speaks of him.

Change the subject and in just a few moments,

she’ll be sure to bring his name up again.

 

She’s consumed by the one who’s consumed her,

so the words from her mouth must speak of him.

She delights in recounting everything he’s said and done –

it stirs her passion, gives her joy, and honors him.

 

Got to talk about Jesus!

Got to talk about His goodness!

Got to talk about Jesus!

Nothing else holds my interest!

 

When you’re talkin’ ’bout God and the things that He’s done –

men and women consumed with a love for His Son –

nothin’ holds a candle to discussion about Him!

If “for me to live is Christ”, then my words should speak of Him!

 

His word says –

When those who fear the Lord talk with each other,

He listens . . . and He hears . . . and writes it down!

When we talk about Him, He’s really listening!

On a remembrance scroll, He’s writing our words down!

 

His word goes on to say “See the distinction

between the ones who’re righteous and the ones who aren’t;

between those who serve the Lord and those who do not.”

Do the words out of our mouths really reflect our hearts????

 

Got to talk about Jesus!

Got to talk about His goodness!

Got to talk about Jesus!

Nothing else holds my interest!

 

When you’re talkin’ ’bout God and the things that He’s done –

men and women consumed with a love for His Son –

nothin’ holds a candle to discussion about Him!

If “for me to live is Christ”, then my words should speak of Him!

 

–Cheri Henderson, http://cheri-henderson.com 

 

 

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