The Best Kind of Poetry

I wonder if I inherited my urge to create from my Heavenly Father? Long before any author had tested their penmanship, cracked a thesaurus in search of a rhyme, or scribbled out a misspelled word – long before any orator had spun a tail or sung a psalm, our very own Creator spoke.

God spoke everything into existence, except for man. Man, he bent down and sculpted from His brand new clay. And then, He blew. God Himself exhaled into man’s lungs. With a sharp gasp, a deep, strong inhale, man became a living soul. And since, God has used the breath and pen of man to transcribe His sentences, His love letters, His thoughts toward us.

I was at a Cynthia Heald conference this past weekend. Her entire lecture, on Becoming A Woman of Simplicity, was excellent. However, one of the things that charmed me most was the variety of translations of the Bible that she referenced. Each one rolled a little bit differently off the tongue. Each shifted one tiny phrase to the left or right and brought the incomparable truth into a brighter light. I thought I’d share some of the verses that I fell freshly in love with.

Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 1 John 2:15 NLT

The one thing I ask of the LORD–the thing I seek most–is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in his Temple. Ps. 27:4 NLT

Will you put up with a little foolish aside from me? Please, just for a moment. The thing that has me so upset is that I care about you so much—this is the passion of God burning inside me! I promised your hand in marriage to Christ, presented you as a pure virgin to her husband. And now I’m afraid that exactly as the Snake seduced Eve with his smooth patter, you are being lured away from the simple purity of your love for Christ. 2 Cor. 11:1-3 MSG

This last one, I’ve had memorized for most of my life, probably in the New King James version. But listen to Ps. 23 in the NLT. I love it!

The LORD is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,a
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the LORD

Finally, this poem by William Wordsworth, is unparalleled. I’m only quoting the first several lines of his one stanza poem, The World Is Too Much With Us,  because it most clearly highlights the theme of simplicity, namely, simplicity lost.

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. Great God!

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