Proclaiming the Good News of God in Christ

Poetry Corner: You Know I Love You – Thomas Carlisle

christ-the-king-smallYou Know I Love You

Every morning
can be an Easter
another happy ending
and a new beginning
that he loves us.

In the quiet
garden of our waking
from guilty nightmares
of the ways we work
to fashion
and to fill
the crosses
of the world
he says
Good Morning
and we believe
it must be good
if he
can call it good.

Along the road
if we can fall in step
we hear his words
of necessary
and where it took him
and where it may take us—
and like sunrise
in the afternoon
mysteriously we perceive
the power
and the glory
of his love.

Or in a hidden room
nailed tight
against our fears
and other enemies
while hugging our griefs
and fairer memories
in sad embrace
his laser light
punctures our partitions
our seclusions
and exclusions
to tender
his shalom
and proffer
whatever proof
our rationality

Or in the place
where we have earned
our livelihood
through nights of toil
he authorizes
a breakfast break
and those hurt hands
and serve
a further
sacrament of love.

Is it always
his love
and never our
or can we hear
as Simon Peter did
the cardinal question
of priority:
    Do you love me
    And love me more
    than all your other
    and mistresses
    and fascinations?

If we are honest
we reply:
    Of course I don’t
    even when
    I think I do;
    Of course I can’t
    being the one I am
    continually liable
    to casual denial
    brutal betrayal
    and cozy naps
    when all the time
    is most needed—

How can you
count on much
from me?
Of course I want to
mean to
hope to
try to—
You know
how petery
I am.

Why do you
keep asking
if I love you?
What can I say
when what I do
the partiality
and poverty
and trifling
of my love?
why do you keep
your assumption
that I might?

What do you mean
when you persist
in saying
that the way
I show my love
must be translated
and transfigured
in terms of feeding
lambs and sheep?

Are you implying
it is only
as I incarnate
your love
by doing what I can
in love
for people
that I crown
you Lord of me
and thereby
Lord of all?

Thomas Carlisle

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