Category: Poetry

Soli Deo gloria – VIII

 

When disaster strikes

in our infinitely tiny world;

the loss of love, a broken home

an illness or financial loss.

We must be reminded that

our world is minuscule – a speck of dust

 

We would be wise to

turn our eyes to You

so that our blindness may

be lifted, our focus shifted:

Disaster is relative.

Disaster is magnified by our:

self-centered, egocentric

idolatry, insincere flattery

Disaster is magnified by our:

instant gratification,

status hungry junky,

like-like dopamine dupe

Disaster is magnified by:

“What is in it for ME?”

and the ultimate lowercase i

 

When we realise that our lens

is blurred by the short term –

Biased by our finite lifespan on earth.

When we place our lives

on God’s immeasurable scale;

we discover the eternal

perspective

on everyday life

and so, our DISASTER

becomes…

absurd. illogical. silly. irrational.

 

26/06/2017

Soli Deo gloria – IV

 

Four

 

You are in the whispers of the wind

In the smile of a loved one

You are in the grains of sands

You are in the constellations overhead

Your creativity and beauty can be found

In the darkest and most forsaken places

 

Your righteousness can be found in:

The converted heavy metal frontman;

The nun ministering in India;

The beggar who has more wealth than Buffet;

The high school student rejecting peer pressure.

 

Your righteousness can grow in the driest of deserts –

can flourish with but a drop of hope and faith.

 

22/06/2017

 

Assignment – Soli Deo gloria – I

Our pastor tasked us with an assignment this week: to write a psalm for every day of the week. It is meant as a form of spiritual reflection or spiritual exercise, if you like. I will be posting my psalms every day, as they fall from my mouth. Psalms of praise. Psalms of gratitude. Psalms of wrestling. Psalms of frustration. Psalms to glorify He who does not break promises. Psalms to reflect on the beauty of the Lord.

 

One

Lord, oh Lord!

I shudder at your might

I fall to my knees and

I tremble at your magnificence

For I am not worthy

To even think about

Your radiance glory

In the times I am in darkness

you point out the Light

In the times that I stray

you pull me by the hem

I am but a cub;

seeking your safety

I am but a cub;

held safely in your jaws

In the desolate city

you are the electric signs

that guide me back home

In the emptiness of the world

you are warmth

You make me worthy

 

19/06/2017

Namaqualand | Relationships | Value

I heard a beautiful story about a widower who went to Namaqualand following the death of a lover. The trip of mourning, grief and reflection turned out to be so much more than a farewell, as the trip resulted in love found once more. There are times when we think that we have lost love forever; failed relationships and death are amongst the chains we put on our minds and hearts. But sometimes, these events lead you to Namaqualand, where, once you have found peace, you will be presented a bright yellow Namaqualand flower to carry with you for the rest of your life. Think about it: you will break up with every person you go out with, except for one. And even after death, love is not lost. The story was told out of the perspective of sadness for a relationship that withered and had run its course, and the storyteller joked that a Namaqualand flower is waiting for her. And she is absolutely right – there is a Namaqualand flower waiting for her; and she is the Namaqualand flower that someone else has been waiting for. It is through patiently waiting that we will be presented the perfect flower.

Personally, I believe that everything happens for a reason; that we are placed in certain people’s lives for a reason and that certain people are placed in our lives for a reason. Life is a classroom of continuous learning. Most of us have a yearning to spend our lives adventuring with someone like-minded; and God has chosen a Namaqualand flower for each of us. We just need to wait actively, patiently and with content.

It also made me think about a thing that has pressed on my heart for some time now: the fact that we sometimes fall into the trap of finding our value and worth from external sources. Sometimes we define ourselves either consciously or subconsciously by the things of this world. Many times I feel worthy or valuable only when I perform well and when I am praised for my performance. People crave attention and fame – thinking that being a Hollywood star will add to their value or worth as a person. Other people find their worth and value in money – having more than others automatically make them feel superior. Other people crave power – the ability to control and to manipulate outcomes. Most of these things: performance, money and power, aren’t inherently bad things, but we often try to find our value in these things. There is a risk that performance, money and power is the things that we end up living for.

Another subconscious source of value and worth is the value or worth that we think comes from the partners in our relationships. Ultimately, another person can never increase your value as a person. No external source can provide you with value and worth.

So where does your value and worth come from? Your value and worth was deposited inside you when you were created. God had created you with immense value and worth, worth and value that nobody can ever take away from you or tell you that you don’t have. We were all created in the image of God. Meaning that all of us (white, black, Indian, poor, rich, atheist, Muslim, Christian, all 8 billion humans on earth) have an amazing amount of value that emanates from an internal source. Understanding the source of a person’s value is a game changer and it swings open the doors of grace.

God has chosen the perfect Namaqualand flower just for you, long before you were even born. Our Father knows what we need even before we ask for it.

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Namaqualand

In grief and sadness
We let go of lovers lost
Lovers taken away,
Lovers who walk away

 

Time and careful reflection
Will point the direction
To a dusty desert where soon
Wild yellow flowers will bloom

 

It is in the dry and arid dust
Where your flower shoots
Through earth’s tough crust
Shaking off soul’s dusty soot

 

In truth, a flower has been chosen
Specially for your hand
Until the ends of your days:
A dual light to find your way

 

Time and peaceful reflection
Will show the direction
To a dusty desert where soon
Wild yellow flowers
Abundantly will bloom
Providing the gift
Of a pre-ordained lover:
A lover for your soul’s Spring

 

Bright Light

Fall into His grace.

Even though we are in the Light, it might feel as though the shadows are closing in on us, threatening to envelop and extinguish us. “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?”

Fall into His grace.

 

Bright Light

It is in the sharp bright light,

When a shadow falls, it frights

As it obscures my vision

That was once crystal clear

Even a slight dim causes plight

Makes me question sight

 

I yearn to draw near to the Father

Even when a shadow falls, it frights

I yearn to fix my eyes on the Constant

The Father never wavers

When the shadow falls on my face

The Father responds with grace

 

My knees are scraped and tender

But I could kneel more

My knuckles are white and tired

But I could pray more

My jaw is tight and numb

But I could praise more

 

It is in the sharp bright light,

When a shadow falls, it frights

I want to hold on to the light

For this is where there is life

Where idols crumble

And the Cross humbles

 

May 2016 – Francois Hermanus Steyn

Waves and God

Ever wondered why you can stare into the flickering flames of a bushveld fire for hours and hours on end without getting bored?

Ever wondered why you can sit and quietly stare at the ocean, watching wave after relentless wave crashing down and some wistfully lapping onto the shore?

wavesjpg

I listened to an interesting conversation during Easter that attempted to answer this phenomenon. In a nutshell it went like this: we, as human beings, are so mesmerized by the flickering flame (not because it gives “life” through the provision of heat or because it cooked the Neanderthal’s food). And we are so mesmerized by the relentless wave (not because of soothing ocean sound), but because of a very simple thing. And that is because no two flames are quite the same. And because no two waves are quite alike.

Think about it: ultimately, we know, deep down in our bones, that we (as individual) are very unique from every other single human being on this earth! I have my own thoughts, trapped in my little tiny scull – and amazingly enough, THAT human being over THERE, also has a myriad of thoughts and feelings and emotions and uniqueness trapped inside his/her body and mind!

So how on earth can I not admire the very uniqueness of the flame. A fire is such a simple thing (Neanderthal simplistic and uncomplicated), and yet at the same time it is such a unique thing! Same goes for waves – some  waves roll in with massive white walls stretching metres into the air, and then, amazingly, some of the waves following the massive waves are tiny waves which we can only laugh at. Not all waves crash onto the shore at the same speed: the intervals between waves varies – it is unpredictable. You get the point – simple, yet so unique. We don’t like predictable things: we yearn adventure and uniqueness! It is because we are so very unique.

The conversation and subsequent thoughts in my brain all converged and pointed to one thing – that God created us into these very unique beings; each with our own thoughts, feelings, desires, callings, faces, eyes, hair.

How amazingly creative is our God not!? How can we ever be bored with life when we have such an amazing Creator at the helm of our lives!?

 

Waves and God

 

The waves keep rumbling on,

Growling until they stutter and fall

Against sand: an unreachable barrier

They are relentless, unquenchable warriors

Launching assault after assault, but not prevailing

For they cannot breach the shoreline

 

Each wave is mesmerizing –

No two waves exactly alike

Like no two human souls are quite alike,

Each wave is made by Creator’s Hand

With uncanny and amazing creativity

With absolute attention to detail: precision

 

For God is the Creator of ultimate variety

Look around and behold the vast amount

Of uniqueness – billions of human souls

Billions of animals, birds, fish, flora

Billions of grains of sand

Billions of snowflakes

Billions of atoms floating around

Billions of stars

 

And then you want to convince me

That the universe created itself?

 

Written by Francois Hermanus Steyn – April 2016