This is something I do not want to write.
I want to turn my back on it.
To look away.
To close the door.
To walk away.
I do not want to go here.
But your hand compels mine.
Wherever I turn I see you.
You gently remind me of what I need to write.
Write about the struggle within me.
The struggle between head and heart.
The struggle between the truth I know, and how my heart feels.
How I feel.
I know I am your son.
That I have been fully adopted into a new household.
The old has gone.
The new has come.
But how I feel is tainted by the model I had in life.
I know I am imperfect.
But all I tried to do was to show love.
To demonstrate that there is always forgiveness,
no matter what we have done.
Freely have I been forgiven of much.
Freely I forgive.
To extend the hand of love and acceptance.
To make the offer to walk together across
the bridge of love into the new land beyond.
One where the past is acknowledged,
but not allowed to colour the future.
To build on a new hope.
Inwardly I feel rejected.
And here is my struggle.
What I know in my head but feel in my heart are in conflict.
My eyes read your word and see the truth of how you see me;
your heart of love toward me.
But my heart still feels the pangs of rejection.
Of being treated as if nothing.
How I wish I could feel your arms around me.
To hear your words of love.
Half of me wants to stay hidden.
To work away behind the scenes.
To avoid the spotlight.
So here I work, in the half-light of the background.
But you are not content with this.
You send your son to seek me.
He finds me.
Where could I possibly hide from him or you?
He calls me by name and by relationship.
“Brother come with me. Our father wants us.”
With his guiding arm about my shoulders we walk together.
From the dimness of backstage to the light of front of house.
In front of many people my heavenly father
hugs me and calls me by name.
He turns to all those present and announces
“This is my son. He conducts business in my name.”
So fully have I been adopted.
Before all those present he acknowledges me.
In the midst of the marketplace he affirms our relationship.
Something that did not happen in life,
has been affirmed in the heavenly realms above.
Oh my father, help my feelings synchronise with the truth of who I am in you.
Help me understand what it is to have a heavenly father who fully accepts me.
Help me consign the past to the past.
To leave things of the past in the past.
To look forward and not back.
To look to the hope of the future, not the disappointment of the past.
To know and feel your loving embrace.
Through all that happened you were there.
Help me to remember the good.
To forgive the things that are past.
To let them go and accept your love and care.
It is finished.
I don’t usually edit my poems much, preferring to write them up pretty much as I have received them. However there are always exceptions to rules, so this poem is an edited version of the original “Juxtaposition, Synchronisation” poem. It represents the version I read at the Newday 2017 festival (https://newdaygeneration.org/festival).
For the past few years I’ve been part of the team taking a small group of the young people from our church to Newday. Whilst preparing for Newday 2017 I felt God tell me to take some of my poems with me. I printed off a number and put them in a “camp proof” folder. However God kept bringing me back to this one with a “that one too please” message so, eventually, I printed it off and placed it at the very back of my folder never intending to read it.
During the festival I was able to read a number of my poems during the Open Mic slots run by The Lounge (simply the coolest place to be on site!). Through-out the week I kept feeling God prompting me to read this poem. I did not want to as I felt it too personal to read to an audience. However, come the last day of Open Mic slots I just knew I had to read this so I edited into to the version you see above and read it. I felt very, very nervous and was not sure I would make it through the whole poem. However, I did and it seemed to touch a cord with a number of the people there so I felt I had to “save” this version. I’ve had to do this edit from memory as I ended up giving away my original version at Newday to someone who asked for a copy
If you, like me, are one of those who struggle to understand God’s father relationship to us and with us because we don’t have a particularly good earthly “role model” I hope this helps.