Showing posts from February, 2013

Dark Vision of the Bluffer

Through a delightful writers' forum I have made the acquaintance of a man who goes by the pen name of oneagleswings. Truck driver. Resident of South Carolina near a beautiful inland lake. Poet. Mystic. Hoper of what the Church might be. Conveyor of stirring, transfixing images.

We seem to have struck many a sympathetic chord.

One of my recent poems speaks of the smoke screens of the Devil. The man wrote me back relating the circumstances surrounding the time of his Christian conversion. Although the day was joyful as he stepped from darkness into light, he was visited later by a troubling vision of a roaming, threatening lion. The Enemy would still be prowling around seeking his chances. He was reminded of Peter's words in the First Epistle, Fifth Chapter. It happened as he passed by a particular street in his city:

8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowin…


He was taken
And it seemed so wrong
February storm
City at a standstill.
Swift and surgical.
Beloved wife at work.
Ambulance floundering
In the snows.

He was taken
Smiling father, grandfather.
Man of faith
Warrior for healing.
Maker of music.
Taken to Jesus,
And that’s the prize.


And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)


I have derived much benefit from a small, borrowed book entitled Little Foxes That Spoil the Vines by W. B. J. Martin (Abingdon Press, 1968).

Here are some of the dissipating, mis-firing tendencies in the Church that handicap its effectiveness. Chapters include such things as Careless Listening, Stopping Half Way, Flippancy, Discourtesy, Careless Talk, Restlessness, The Roving Eye and Ingratitude.

The image of the meddlesome, wasting fox in scripture can be found In Song of Solomon 2: 15 and Luke 13: 31-34.

It seemed that I liked the book more and more as I progressed – only 127 pages.

Here is an excerpt from the chapter Flippancy. Martin is commenting on his reaction to the lecture of a much-publicized mystic intellectual:

“Now I know why I believe in the religion of the Incarnation. Because it delivers me from all that pomposity about myself. Christianity, thank God, is not about ideas, concepts, philosophies, and feelings: its about a man. God’s word is made flesh. And the Christi…

Waiting for the Shoe to Drop

Our son Jordan has met with considerable success in a career in aviation. Air Cadets in high school. Jobs at the local airport. College in Aviation in Thunder Bay. Flight Instructor. Trips to Hawaii and China in exchange programs linked with flying. Bush pilot serving fly-in fishing camps. Flight instructor to early candidates to the Air Force. Medivac and charter pilot serving the Canadian North/Nunavut out of Winnipeg.

At times he has confessed to me candidly that he wonders how such a succession of favour has come. He is enthused and diligent, but he still wonders. He has even admitted that he asks himself periodically when the other shoe might drop. A set-back or a failure?

A week ago he traveled to La Guardia Airport in New York City. There he was to be tested by some of his superiors on exceptional flight simulating equipment in training and an examination that would secure for him captain's standing for future promotion. He did not tell us however that a failure would put …

Letting Go

This is a hard one Father
She’s further away now than ever.
Where gone that little girl
In delicate spring dress
Skipping away with us
From the Meeting Hall?

The friends came
Of dubious influence
With smirks and smeared
The curfews ignored
The substances tried.

The studies neglected
And then abandoned.
Her Mother’s tears
At the lessening calls
A Big New City tried
A daughter lost to us.

And now we shiver
Thinking of her common day.
The mistakes, the men
The miasma and muck
Of it all, Lord.
She’s out of reach.

But your arms
Are big, Father
You see, and operate
Through innumerable agents.
Undertake now we pray
Our daughter on your altar.

Note: This one was provoked by a video I saw recently featuring the testimony of just such a runaway woman who sank lower and lower until she came to an apartment in New York City just down the street from the Brooklyn Tabernacle. The story of her recovery relates one revelation and healing after another. The prayers of devastated parents wer…