Faith’s Beautiful Garments

Faith was beheaded and disembodied,

to an anthem of “Faith alone!” they cried.

Faith was removed far from human action,

in the name of God for our protection.

 

Now faith is a word and an idea alone,

faith’s garment for grace we now must bemoan;

is no longer clothed by works of loving,

her beauty no longer manifesting.

 

The demons laughing uproariously,

witnessing faith embodied take a knee:

Her potency now denied!

Her ontology now decried!

 

Without the fight for our divinity,

faith by necessity will atrophy.

Labors of love and ascetic action,

are our pathway with grace to salvation.

 

What human ever loved without doing;

what madness instead calls this condemning?

Man no longer desiring divinely,

directs his love to everything worldly.

 

Listen to the words of the Lord intoned:

“I love those who by My commands they do,”

but we who by our words of faith alone,

reveal us as the ones He never knew.

 

~FS

A More Satisfying Meal

Vanity is a too-sweet sugar,

coursing through my veins.

 

I lap up praise like a starving dog,

although it never satisfies.

 

Humility and silence are healthier foods,

giving nourishment to the soul.

They won’t make one famous,

but they’ll lead to a worthier goal.

 

I find I’d rather engorge on candies,

than thrive on my spiritual veggies—

growing sickly on pride and conceits,

a soul’s diet of empty calories.

 

I’m addicted and enslaved to these strivings.

I’m dulling and dimming by my desiring,

to be worshipped rather than to be worshiping,

ambitions estrange me from holy living.

 

Vanity leads onward to vanities,

obscuring our wits from reality,

preoccupying our minds with inanities,

and filling them full with strange fantasies.

 

Resist, desist, foolish humanity,

satisfaction is won through humility!

 

Put down all your sickening vanities,

and take up noble silence instead!

 

~FS

How Can We Help But Be Joyful?

How can I help but be joyful,

with the Son rising up in my heart?

How can I help but sing boldly,

with the sun casting out all that’s dark?

 

With peace welling up like a fountain,

and joy flowing forth as a river;

God’s Kingdom’s descending from heaven,

and my mind sees a glimpse of forever.

 

Could angels sing praises more fully,

than we who have suffered through pains,

who marched ever onward in sorrows,

finding victory and eternity’s gains?

 

Join me in praises forever,

to our King and Creator, Amen!

Join Him in all of His glory,

as He raises us free from our sin.

 

The Spirit empowers us to love Him,

to live with Him fully each day.

Please embrace this power you’ve been given,

don’t squander or give it away.

 

How can we help but be joyful,

as Christ wipes away all of our tears?

How can we help but sing boldly,

as He fills us more fully each year?

 

~FS

Unconditional Joy

The depth of my joy comes from sorrow,

the breadth of my smile flows from tears.

Joy built upon pleasure’s too narrow,

will fade, then be lost, year by year.

 

The joy of the soul that is lasting,

is founded on Christ and His cross.

It’s encountered through prayer without ceasing,

and embraced by the carrying of our cross.

 

Approaching the Lord in His glory,

exposes all of my shame.

Trusting our God in His mercy,

frees us forever from blame.

 

Unconditional joy’s wrought by suffering,

it’s divinely inspired and given.

Whereby pain is transformed into healing,

step by step ever closer to heaven.

 

~FS

Wild Cravings

I have been like a ravenous beast,

eyes bulging,

seeking its prey.

 

I have not been at peace.

 

Scanning the earth,

grasping at comfort,

greedy for pleasure.

 

I’m out of my lair.

 

God once was my home,

green pastures for resting,

still waters for drinking.

 

No reason to roam.

 

Deceptive visions then lured me,

raging passions then drove me,

I became hungry and feral.

 

Domestic no more.

 

Now I roam and devour,

feeding and feeding,

upon worldly pleasure.

 

Eating and eating,

and for all my eating—

 

I starve.

 

~FS

The Words Escape Me

I have a nervous tongue,

but a steady hand.

I lack eloquence in speech,

but I can put down, in writing,

a pretty good sentence.

 

Words jumble and tumble from my mouth,

jostling one another to get free—

running, then stumbling over my lips.

 

As thoughts pile up in my head,

words fight each other for proper order;

struggling at the tip of my tongue,

pushing and shoving,

lunging then leaping out the door.

 

I hear their chaos

as they echo in my ears,

and I wonder,

“Do you understand me?”

 

“I’m not sure I just did.”

 

You nod and smile politely.

 

And I think again,

“If only I could have written to you instead.”

 

~FS