Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A scrap of pink paper containing this poem has been in my Bible for over 15 years. It has haunted me, inspired me, and chastised me time and time again. I thought it a fitting one for my contribution to the celebration of National Poetry Month.


Psalm of Single-mindedness


Lord of reality
make me real
not plastic
synthetic
pretend phony
an actor playing out his part
hypocrite.
I don’t want
to keep a prayer list
but to pray
nor agonize to find Your will
but to obey
what I already know
to argue
theories of inspiration
but submit to Your Word.
I don’t want
to explain the difference
between eros and philos
and agape
but to love.
I don’t want
to sing as if I mean it
I want to mean it.
I don’t want
to tell it like it is
but to be it
like you want it.
I don’t want to think another need me
but I need him
else I’m not complete.
I don’t want
to tell others how to do it
but to do it
to have to always be right
but admit it when I’m wrong.
I don’t want to be a census taker
but an obstetrician
nor an involved person, a professional
but a friend
I don’t want to be insensitive
but to hurt where other people hurt
nor to say I know how you feel
But to say God knows
and I’ll try
if you’ll be patient with me
and meanwhile I’ll be quiet.
I don’t want to scorn the clich├ęs of others
but to mean everything I say
including this.

from Psalms of my Life, by Joseph Bayly

1 comment:

Monica said...

Thought provoking.

With poems like this I never know if I should pause at the end of the line or just keep reading. I did it both ways:)