A Night of Rowing

Tonight we cross the waters black as coal.

We row beneath the stars we blotted out.

The only sound—the sloshing of the waves,

relentless echoes of the knife-like pain.

We row alone like exiles in the dark.

And now you speak who know my troubles best.

You feel with me the wounds that plague my soul.

You raise your wild and blazing eyes. You roar—

a battle cry that shakes the weary night,

a promise to protect and to avenge.

And then the flash of light down from above

And thunder bursting deep inside my heart.

I saw you nock your arrow, strong with hate,

and heard the accusations that you made

to lift the bow and aim it at the sky.

How dare you lift your arrows against Him?

That is my God who reigns in heights above!

You will not spew your lies about Him here

or storm His gates as if to conquer Him.

Do not forget that I belong to Him!

My God—He shines majestic in the sky.

His justice, steadfast farther than the sun,

will never fail to rise in golden light.

His kindness beams in blazing rays that warm

the icy hearts of injured, earthen ones.

My God—He holds the world in righteous hands.

Recall the honor He has given me—

to welcome fierce, celestial love inside—

a love too deep for tiny human minds,

but perfect for the restlessness of souls—

a love that galaxies could not contain!

He formed me gently with His artist hands—

unique creation of His own delight.

The edges of my soul are strange and hard

to cram into the boxes of the world,

but, flawlessly, they fit inside His heart.

He always wanted me to be His own,

yet knew I would be born his enemy

since Adam sold his children slaves to sin.

Undaunted by the horrors of my filth,

He paid the price—He gave Himself for me!

. . . and did not lose me in the stretch of years,

but marked the day when sovereign footsteps found

my place—a bedroom in the back—and stopped.

The gentle hand with nail-scars reached to knock,

and opening the door, I said, “Come in!”

The window-given light seemed fuller then,

with golden pathways never seen before.

I felt this music swell inside of me

and turn to words that gathered on my lips.

No wonder that He calls His presence joy.

He makes my life like heaven anywhere.

He wipes my tears and dulls the pain with grace.

He changes dusty roads to shine like gold.

He gives my homeless heart a dwelling place,

and I no longer need another light.

My God is strong—protector of His own,

the great defender of my helpless heart.

He fights the battles that I cannot win,

and shelters me within his fortress walls.

The trusting heart is always safe with Him.

But you, I find a wicked, treacherous beast,

seducing me to turn against my Lord

and so dishonor divine and holy love.

I will not trust in you again, my heart,

enemy of my good and of my God.

Tonight we cross the waters clear as glass.

We row beneath the stars His hands have made.

The only sound—the sloshing of the waves,

relentless echoes of celestial love.

I row with God like a traveler headed home.

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