Friday, November 10, 2006

to be read aloud.. if you can

i never would have imagined that i would be convicted by a poem with the word "crap" in it.

i have written in the past about what a magnificent songwriter andrew peterson is, but today i stumbled across this poem written on his website. (it is at his site, under the journal entries for july- september 2006 a ways down) it is lengthy, but amazingly humbling, convicting, and beautiful... all at once.

if you are to where you can, read it out loud, and marvel at how a poem written by someone you (perhaps) have never met can speak so piercingly into your life. at least thats how it was with me.

A Poem on a Plane (to be Read Aloud)5-7-06
by andrew peterson

What does it look like, to put on your robes
To walk in the way of the Truth and the Life
Oh what does it look like carry the load
To take up the burden that’s easy and light?

Because here in America, now in these times
The pizza looks good in the junk mail I get
And the latest and greatest is cheap as a dime
And how could I pass up a new TV set?

And how could I possibly not buy the best
When it’s only another few bucks after all
And that discount subscription is hot off the press
It’s the gift that keeps taking my eyes off the ball

And these shoes are worn out, and my kids need new shirts
And the yard needs more work to keep up with next door
And the bills came today and boy, doesn’t that hurt
Honey don’t think about it--let’s go to the store

See, the fast food joint that we love’s on the way
And the video place—bring the coupon we got
We can rent a new movie and pay for the wage
Of the stars with their cars and their mansions and yachts

While we live in obscurity, relative wealth
Or relative poverty, sickness and health
While the beats of our hearts pound a carnival dirge
As they wind down till death do us part from this earth

And they bury our bodies ‘neath copies of credit cart carbons
And cables and lightbulbs and boxes and garbage
That rattles and crunches and smells of old cabbage
And reeks of the rubbish we’ve reaped of old habits

But look, it’s a new day, so fill up the van
Let’s drive to the country and try not to pine
For the vinyl recliner and patio fan
Or the wireless Internet phone or fax line

So what does it look like, and how do I walk
With the Spirit of God in the hole in my soul?
And how do I teach if whenever I talk
I’m ashamed of the fool who pretends like he knows?

But I don’t. I confess, I’m here sipping my Coke
With my green All Star Converse I got as a gift
And it still isn't easy to put on that yoke
Just to pick up that cross and to follow and lift

But there’s nothing I’d rather be sorely confused about
Nothing I’d rather feel dumb and abused about
Here in America, home of the brave
Land of the people who live in their caves

And pretend that the world is a nice little place
And say “Everything’s well,” from our cul de sac graves
When the cries of the dying are rising to space
And are mingling there with the satellite waves

That are laden with 200 channels of crap
Entertaining the few while the many are lost
Who reside in a faraway place on the map--
Or maybe the many will be better off

When the heavens are opened and in comes the Man
With a sword in his mouth and the angels in tow
We’ll be caught with a TV remote in our hand
As the voice of the Word puts an end to the Show

All the filth I have got in the name of good fun
Is a sorry exchange for the joy of the Saints
Who can bend at the knee in the name of the Son
And walk in His footsteps and never grow faint

But still, I don’t know. And still I confess
That I’m chief among sinners along the Old Road
But I’m happy to walk it, with all of the rest
With the cross on my back making light of the load

And God in His mercy will drag me on through
The so slight needle’s eye, to the kingdom of Grace
And I’ll walk the Old Road with a fine pair of shoes
And be finally free of the plastic and waste

Who knows what it looks like to walk in His shoes
In a country and culture that muddies the view?
Only walk, only trust that His promise is true:
Behold, He makes everything, everything new.