Wheel and Kiln, Hammer and Forge
“It’s easy to pray for relief instead of sanctification.” –Laura Funke
Spare, spare this sparrow-fragile fragment,
shrapneled thin and scattered, ant-frantic,
left behind when one dearly loved rent
knotted bonds, blew dark long-burning wicks.
So plead I, choking on bitter gall
of a cup unwilling pressed to me—
me, bent, bruised, battered to crawl,
barren, bleeding, aching, weakly plead
one finger’s-brush of Thy holy hem;
one touch, word, thought enough would be. Take,
then, out this poison! Thou sovereign, dim
this pain! Thy thought can dissolve this ache!
What? wait—must I? cold, my fearful heart
shrinks from trudging further through the night,
exposing bone, soul, refining part
by part; searing, stripping away blight,
Thy merciless merciful hands purge,
make me taste in bitterness, Thou, sweet.
Out rapids, currents, battered—emerge
edges beaten smooth, me roughed, round beat
to river roundness, soft light caught, glow
unshadowed. Thy grinding love out-bled
my wound, my self—fiercer Thou than foe,
Thou Love, refining to make sacred.
Hurt instant-healed leaves no storied scar,
no new-dug stone made lovely but by
scrapings, trimmings, fire—gem beneath char—
made less, made whole. Shattered splinter I,
tempèsted, burned, corners chipped, smooth ground,
broken, mended, poured out to be clean,
fire-hot, strengthened by Thy hammer’s pound,
Done, reflect I Thee in burnished sheen.