A few years back, I discovered Lent during a Bible study our church participated in, using the booklet, Journey to the Cross. That time leading up to Easter was a time of tremendous growth for me, as my sister and I met every night that we could to read through the book of Mark and pray together. To My Father is the poem that came out of that forty-day experience, particularly inspired by the week of lament and confession. It’s a poem I hold especially dear as the prayer of my heart. My hope is that it would be an encouragement to you, wherever you are in your journey.
~ To My Father ~
Father, gracious Father,
I seek your face.
Why do you hide when I need you most?
My soul yearns for you with the passion of a thousand tears;
yet the fears that mar your handiwork
are years of pain and bitterness that I cannot undo.
I remember, long ago, you woke me up—
you breathed into my lungs new life.
And for a while, I danced on clouds
and made my home in a cradle of stars,
I gasped with each brilliant sunset you painted…
each stroke of your brush
a glimpse of your love.
And I kissed the tearless faces below
with tales of the glorious hope that you brought
to my soul.
When was it that I turned my gaze
and lost sight of your glory?
Did I leisurely drift on counterfeit wings
of discontent that brought me
to this cracked and sunbaked soil?
Was I borne to earth on winds of pride
that swept me from the lofty heights
attained for me by Another’s hand?
Surely I have forgotten how it was
that I lived, for if not by my will,
then it must have been by yours.
How I ever thought this desert
might compare with glory you gave me…
I do not know.
These wings that I carry—
that bore me from the heavens
as a feather from above—
lie heavy, now, upon my shoulders.
The promise of freedom
that lured me from paradise,
that left me feeling lighter than air…
all along, this yoke I thought I’d tamed
was dragging me down,
down to dust.
Too late, I realize my folly:
in seizing independence, I find
it tastes of death.
Now, Lord, my head is bowed
with grief; my eyes are
sunken in despair.
Shame saps my strength, a weight on my chest.
It leaves me too weary to look up and find you.
I’m parched, Lord, and empty,
wandering in a wasteland,
forsaken in this wilderness,
this land of death that yields not
a single drop
Is all lost?
I look to the skies,
but they do not answer—
but all is dark.
In anguish, I fall to my knees and
But even as I falter
when I cannot pull my breath
you grasp my hand and lift me.
I feel your gentle touch upon my forehead—
cool with peace.
My ears tingle with your tender whisper:
why do you weep?
I have covered you with the blood of my Son
yet you think you’re the only one
who can save you?
Remember that I’ve paid your debt—
Father, gracious Father,
merciful Savior, lover of my soul…
you are my oasis where the living water flows.
Breathless, gasping with awe
at the cascading cataracts thundering
deep into the ground, I fall
to my knees, my hands are cupped as
heavenly dew slips through my fingers.
Father, you are my life;
when I am weary, you carry me;
when I am thirsty, you give me water;
when my heart aches, you give me peace.
Lord, help me to remember your faithfulness.
When you do not answer—
when you are silent and I cannot hear you—
remind me of your goodness and your constancy.
Your grace is sufficient for me;
your mercies are new every morning;
for when I am weak,
you make me strong.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
1 Corinthians 1:18