From Laodicea : A Poem

20-21 “Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you. Conquerors will sit alongside me at the head table, just as I, having conquered, took the place of honor at the side of my Father. That’s my gift to the conquerors!
22 “Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches.”   (Revelation 3:20-22, The Message)

by Jeff Rainwater, 18 January 2017, near Pray, MT

“I stand at the Door and knock…”
How long?
How long do You stand waiting
fist on Wood with no response
from other side of Threshold?
Do You quit knocking ever
and let the silence judge
the one inside by the fire
with warm socks on
yet alone?
So alone.
Do You walk away… ever
or stand eternity on the Doorstep
waiting, listening, praying?
Or do you withdraw for now
If so, will you return soon?
As you stand and wrap on the Frame
what do you pray for or for whom?
Do You pray for me?
You could splinter this Divide
with one blow from angry fist.
Will You plead with me instead
who will not
(can not?)
open the Door?
“I stand at the Door and knock…”
with unsure steps, trembling hand
I reach out..

A few words about this work: First, I invite you to find your Bible and read the whole letter to Laodicea found in Revelation, 3:14-22. This poem was meant to be read with the whole letter in mind.  I find this passage contains some of the most vivid word images found in the Bible, especially evocative in Eugene Peterson’s paraphrased version, The Message.

I am not a poet so this particular work is quite a surprise. Early last week, we, the Joint Cabinet of the Mountain Sky Area, had the privilege to sit with Rev. Dr. Joretta Marshall, Dean of Brite Divinity School, as we discussed collaborative, transformative, potential for ministry.  The first task necessary, Dr. Marshall shared, is to Join with another or others for that work.  The troubling question arose, “what if the people we need to join with do not want us to join?”

Suddenly the letter to Laodecia jumped into my conscience, especially verse 20. The image of Jesus standing at a door would not easily be dismissed and then a question followed, “How long?”  How long would Jesus stand at the door?  Soon these words began to reveal themselves over the next couple days as a form of response to the Letter, hence “From Laodicea.”

I leave these words here for your pondering and devotional life.  May they open a door for you to a deep conversation with our Lord.

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