You Never Leave Me Alone

I see you’re into me
Like a Mozart’s into music
Like a Rembrandt’s into painting
Like a baby’s into being
Being alive

I see you’re into me
Like I should be into you
But I just can’t seem to get my heart around
…Turn my heart around

I see you’re chasing me
Like an comet chasing starlight
Like a clock that’s chasing moments
Like a cloud that’s chasing rain
On a sunny day.

You paste me up like sunshine
Like a cloud that’s chasing rain
You just don’t seem to ever let me down
…Don’t let me down

How many broken bones have you found this way?
How many undertones have you brushed away?
Is there anything left in me that you haven’t changed?
It doesn’t matter, anyway—
You never leave me alone.

I see you’ve got me now
Like a ring around my finger
Like a rope around my neck
Like a chain around my arms
As you lead me home

You’ve captured me for good
I can see it in your eyes
“I’ve finally got you where I want you now”
…I want you now.

How many broken bones have you found this way?
How many undertones have you brushed away?
Is there anything left in me that you haven’t changed?
It doesn’t matter, anyway—
You never leave me alone.


I know I have a home in Zion
A land where milk and honey flow
A place where all my dreams and desires
Will fade before the One I know

His glory shines above the highest mountaintops
His patience bears me far beyond my schemes
His love resounds when I am lost and wandering
His grace is far too much for me

And yet somehow, when all the past is gone
When all my brokenness is burned away
When all the crimes of humanness have flown
He still retains the core of me.

I have a home where flowers never fall away
Where birds have yet to fail to sing
Where peace and rest are never far away
And where the One who knows me best returns
To put to rest my best attempts to be.

UPDATE: You know how really good music can do amazing things with mediocre lyrics? Yeah. When I wrote this song, I had the most amazing jazz melody going on with it. It was great. So great, in fact, I didn’t really notice that the lyrics were only so-so. Now, a couple hours later, I’ve completely forgotten the melody and all I have left is the lyrics. What’s more, every time I try to reconstruct the melody from what I remember, it comes out really hick/country sounding.

This song is now totally ruined for me. I hope somebody else gets something out of it.

UPDATE AGAIN: I rememberd my cool melody. Song is better now. I don’t know if I’ll ever recover from my disillusionment, though.

It isn’t quite

It isn’t quite your holiness,
And it isn’t quite your love
That consumes me when I first get up
On a well-rested morning.

It’s a little bit of both, I guess.
Like the dew of your tenderness,
It covers me so thoroughly,
And makes me want to run, laughing,
And also to sit still.

I don’t know how to explain
What I don’t quite yet understand—
The dreams I have that peel me open
Like a not quite blooming flower
Revealing every earthed and unearthed desire.

So painful to be ripped so gently open
And so grateful when it’s over
So broken, and so at peace;
So unsure of what I’ve just gone through
And so much wishing that it could have gone on forever.

A Little Lack

It is a peculiar quality of my religion
That it holds the broken reed above the straight one
(as no musician would).
The smoking flax is greater than the bright one
Because it cannot help but to announce
That something in its life is lacking.

As something in my life is always lacking.

So it comes as no great shock to me
To find that I am reaching for perfection
And yet to find that I am never quite achieving it.
This little lack is all I have, sometimes,
That draws me back to Him
Who makes my heart to breathe.

You Are My Offering

You are my sin offering
You are my first-fruits offering
You are my only offering
Is you

And I am free to offer up
Everything I have
When all I have to offer up
Is you


Some theology goes with this poem, I think: Correct me if I’m wrong, but my understanding is that, in the Old Testament, there were three basic kinds of sacrifice.

First was the sin offering, where an offering was made in substitution for what was owed to God. I commit a crime; I deserve punishment. The ideal repayment is that some or all of me must be destroyed to atone for my trespass. The sin offering made a substitution for my own life by offering up something to be completely destroyed in my place, the ideal example being a perfect, spotless, male yearling lamb.

The second kind of offering was the first fruits offering, where an offering was made in kind as a token of what was owed to God. The basic idea was that everything I have comes as a freely given gift from God. If it belongs to God, by all rights, I ought to give it to him. Unfortunately, the laws of nature (and of giving) prove that I can’t. If I give everything I have to God, and he keeps it all, I will die. This would sort of defeat the purpose of God providing for me in the first place. There’s also the scriptural principle that you can’t give more than God. He has assured us that he will abundantly return our gifts to him, so attempting to literally give everything to God simply leads to this vicious cycle. The solution is to give to God a portion (say, a tenth) of what he has given you, the first fruits of what you have gained from His benefits.

The third kind of offering is the wave offering. This offering has nothing to do with what is owed to God. This is the only truly free-will offering because it can only happen once all your real debts to God have been paid. If a person finds that he is particularly grateful to God for something, he finds some way to symbolically represent the thing that he is grateful for. He goes to the temple and he waves that symbol before the altar in the shape of a cross. It is entirely a ritual act, and has no value outside of its symbolism.

The cool thing is, two out of three of these offerings are covered by the of Jesus Christ. I think everyone who is basically familiar with the concepts of Christianity is aware that Jesus on the cross is the ultimate and final expression of the sin offering. The same goes for the first-fruits offering, in most ways. (I hesitate to say in the area of finances. That just occurred to me. Must think through…) There are scriptures (I forget where) that say that Jesus, as the first man that ever lived a wholly righteous life has become to God a kind of first-fruits of the sons of God that the whole earth is waiting for. Also, Jesus said that “unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and perishes, it yields no fruit. Jesus would be the seed that was planted, and he would be the first fruits of the harvest that is to come at the end of the age.

What can be left for us, then? Jesus said that the law prophesied until John and that not a jot would pass away from the law until all was fulfilled. (please forgive me for the lack of references. I’m doing this on the fly.) It would be a very easy thing to say that, if the laws of about sacrifices were a prophecy, then when that prophecy was completely fulfilled, then the sacrifice would pass away. Jesus was our sin offering, and lo-and-behold, all sacrifices for sin, the whole world over, have passed away. (I know, I can’t exactly say the same for the first fruits offering. I’ll leave it be for now. I don’t have time to properly do research.)

The only offering that’s really left for us is the wave offering, and what is every act of worship, but a symbolic act of gratefulness to him. Literally, worship is the only thing we have left to give Him…

It’s an interesting idea, anyway. That’s the sort-of theological basis for the first stanza. The second part is just a statement of fact: I can only give everything to God once I have laid aside everything I have, so that Jesus is all I have left to give Him.

Yeah. And it sounds so much better in poetry.

Blessings, all

On that Day that I First Met You

On that day that I first met you
And I looked into your eyes
A fire settled in my heart.
You burdened me that day.

With a love so great as that, I felt
That I must learn to love as well
And I have been burdened
By the depth of your love

In the days that I have born
Since that frightful day
I have strained, I have burned, I have cried
No love so great as thine.

I cannot do it
To love so great as thee
To fulfill my burden
You must love through me


I could give to you a thousand kisses—
Each kiss made
By the power in you
To take my sin from me

Or can I give to you my beauty—
When my er comes from purity,
The devotion to your holiness
That you have placed in me?

I could give to you my mind—
Which tinkers on, unclear
Except by the lightening power
Of your revealing word.

Or would you take my body—
This beaten, twisted thing?
It was you who, in your mercy
Restored my life to me.

I love you—
You know that, I suppose
But is there nothing I can give to you?
Some proof—a symbol of my love?

And yet I see a token
Resting in my mind—
A simple ring of gold
These simple words inscribed:

You are the branch
And I am the vine
You are grafted in me
And you are mine

The only thing that I can give to you
Is the one that you have given me—
The miracle that somehow
You are one with me.

I’ve Got to Know

I’ve got to know
What this life is for
And if you can tell me
What this life is for
Then it’s yours

And I know that when I hear
The whisperings of the breeze
I am listening to the whisperings of
The one who always sees

And I know that when I hear
The sighings of the birds
I am listening to the sighings of
One whose love is beyond words