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Members from around the Columbia Union territory submitted more than 50 poems for consideration in the Visitor’s first poetry contest. Although our judging panel painstakingly selected 11 winners and honorable mentions in four categories for the magazine’s July 2013 article “Poetic Praise”, plenty of others won our hearts. Below are a few from our two most prolific categories:
Category: Age 18+
The Father at the Cross
That cry from Your Son
That anguished cry from Your only Son—
“My God. My God, why have Your forsaken me?”
Yet You were there, shrouded in Your eyes
Wanting, yearning in Your entire holy being
To enfold Him in Your aching arms.
But it could not be—not yet!
This agonizing experience was even more dreadful
Than either of You could ever have imagined
He hangs there, stretched out, covered with sin,
Blackened, putrid, slimy sin.
Your eyes are too pure to look upon—sin!
But You look, that is Your Son!
And the love You have always felt for Him
Swells into greater love,
A love that cannot be contained.
It spills out into all eternity.
That love envelops Your Son.
He doesn’t know it, but Your love surrounds Him,
Hanging there, sacrificing Himself
For His own created world.
—Helen Kish is a member of the Warren (Ohio) church.
I Shall Stand
Though the thunders of life may roll
And soften the harden soul
And the lightening of strife flash
Causing the great trees of hope to crash
I shall stand
Even though the earth around me may quake
And the foundation of my strength may shake
And though the waters of my fountains run dry
And the wings that once lift me cannot fly
I am going to stand
When I am in that valley of despair
And the fog of pain fills the air
And the blizzards of the disappointment
Fill me heart with a darken torment
I will stand
Though I stand in a desert of emptiness
Lack of joy and happiness
And though it seems that tomorrow may not rise
And my morals will I have to compromise
I intend to stand
Even though my enemies around me throng
I know that there is a way I can be strong
For I am endowed with the belief of the one
This will lift me when all other hope is gone
By lifting me with His hand
I shall stand!
—Anton Dormer is a member of Potomac Conference’s Sligo church in Takoma Park, Md.
Weighted memories muscle in
between feathered faith and lazy sin.
The everyday dust of life
creates friction, a fevered lapse.
On the cusp of the foresighted strife
the vaulted violent firmament holds Christ.
I am calling for You. You are Here.
Superlative in your gentleness,
Sufficient with your vision kiss,
I seek shelter in your everlasting forgiveness.
Your heart is your trademark.
From the first established moment
your love delivered intimacy.
And in the delicacy of your consistency
You gave me a saving bridge for my heart to heal,
my hands to hold, my feet to walk, my tears to unfold.
In all that You are
and for all the trouble I have been,
that You are
the Great “I Am”.
I honor your certitude,
faithfully through gathered storms.
For your beating promises
keep me crisp, untangled and warm.
I dwelled in your heart before I knew You dwelled in mine.
You gave me my life and a beautiful pulsing mind.
You didn’t waver
waiting for my thoughts to arrive,
for You already knew that our hearts were succinctly intertwined.
my heart repeats your sounding joy—
A love so grandly priceless to employ.
—Leisl Weaver Miller is a member of Chesapeake Conference’s Willow Brook church in Boonsboro, Md.
Category: Age 11-17
There’s a young girl, filled with sorrow
Constantly worrying about tomorrow
What she will do,
What she will wear,
Telling herself the world is so unfair
She thinks she knows best,
Knows what isn’t right
But really she’s lying to herself
Trying to avoid a fight
All of these thoughts seem to have no end
She goes through life like she’s forced to pretend
This young girl seems to have no place
She’s being chased by the devil, who’s pointing out her mistakes
She has everything she needs,
A family and a home
Yet she still feels uncertain
And her mind continues to roam
Her fear is that God is disappointed in her,
Seems to grow larger every day
She even has a fear of heaven
And all she wants is to feel okay
All these thoughts seem to weigh her down
But it is when she’s at her worst, when her inner thoughts are found
They tell her that God put her on Earth for a reason
And she has an important part to play
She’s only making things worse
When she puts herself down this way
It is then she begins to take notice
Of her real life priorities in life
Her love for God
As brilliant as a flower,
Her hatred for sin as sharp as a knife
Then she imagines Jesus’ coming
What we will see and what will be said
She hopes she will be walking by His side,
But for now she just dreams of it in her head
The thoughts in her mind are still scattered
Scattered in quite a mound
The girl is me
And I wrote this to say
It’s never too late for God to be found.
—Raquel Fuller is a high school student at Spencerville Adventist Academy (SAA) in Spencerville, Md.
God’s love has no end
He is Father or friend
He guides when asked
His understanding is vast
Seeking to make us better
Acting like an anchor
We are his children, all perfect, each is special, one of a kind, in His eyes
Cares about us, knows us, has deep consideration because He is more wise
Is always willing to listen to problems when we need someone to talk to
There will only be God who will help us choose the right thing to do
He gave His only Son
Although He wasn’t chosen
He had done out of will
It was His choice He would fulfill
God had let Him go
To take away our woes
He loves us with the bad
Though, it could make Him sad
He loves us with the good
And when we do what we should
With our imperfections
In all different complexions
With our sinful ways
But he will not betray
He is the one God and only
To keep company when lonely
Who holds us in embrace
He showed it many times
And many more to come
When we didn’t feel fine
He contains the wisdom
—Emily Rezende is a high school student at SAA.
We Can’t Understand
We think life is so great
And we never consider our fate
Sin is engulfed in our heart
Which could be a dangerous dart
But we don’t come to notice
As if it was a silent kiss.
We are protected by a light
That has so much might!
Nevertheless, we never give thanks
The only thing we do is curse
And blast bad words just like tanks
That is how sinful our lives are
For we are too far…
—Uylae Kim is a high school student at SAA.
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