The Other Knock at the Door

The temptation,
Of course,
Is to quit,
To give up
To revel in your weakness
Because you have no reason
To deny its reality
But our lives are stories
And they do not end
When or how
We choose
And sometimes
Just sometimes
There is the sound of horns on the field of battle
When the story is at its darkest.

Filthy Rags

The insufficiency of my works
Was made known to me in the most surprising of ways
It was when I considered all the whiskys of the world.

I imagined that Jesus came to visit
And while I was fleshing out the scene
I was stopped completely-
Stopped when I tried
(And I desperately tried)
Tried to think of what I would offer My Lord
To drink.

He made the world…
What would I give him?

He loved me while I was yet a sinner
(And loves me even now)
What dram could possibly be worthy?

I thought of the warmth of Talisker
And the smoke of Laphroig
The peet and earth of Lagavulin
The light and sweet dryness of an Oban 14
The robustness of a Jura
The smooth memory of my first Glenlivet
The syrupy sweetness of a blended Legacy…

None of these seemed sufficient
None of these seemed enough
None of these measured up.

I thought of all these and more
I remembered every dram I’d ever had…

None seemed good enough for Jesus.

As I remembered all the drinks
I remembered with them the smell of cigar smoke,
The bond of brothers,
How we rejoiced in God
And thanked Him for His goodness.

I remembered how we talked,
Long into the night
About theology and philosophy
And love.

I remembered the sip and smell and feel
As I talked about Jesus
With brothers (and sometimes sisters)
From all walks of life-
All those conversations
With all those people
With all those whiskys (and whiskeys too)
And I just could not think of one good enough.

And so I realized
My righteousness
Was indeed as filthy rags.

And yet
Jesus himself
Had brought me through
Such a host of memories of His blessings
As I remembered each whisky drunk
That He again showed me love in my distress
As I tried simply to imagine
What I would serve Him to drink.

Waging War and Dying Slow

There is a madness born of fear
A path unteathered to reason’s core
Finding myself is not what I thought
And the darkness wins again.

I can despair because I know hope
More than if I did not
Yet in this storm so tossed about
I feel both hope and rot.

But how could I ever learn to trust
(Freely and on my own)
If I were not in frightening places
Let’s see how I have grown…

Tonight I dream despite…

“What is the purpose of my life?”
Do I die mired in sin?
Do I make a difference?
The sun sets a cool and pleasant night.

The storm,
Am I saved from it?
Or is that where I am thrown
To feel the breath of God?

Discordant heart
Failed attempts
What is my purpose?
In this dusty hot and empty place…