Dear Pastor Piper [Poem #1]

National Poetry Month started yesterday, and I’m jumping in today. My goal this year is to post at least as many new, original poems as I did during last year’s poetry project – fifteen poems during the month of April. I hope you can come along for the ride!

Poem #1 is a poem I wrote as a farewell note of thanks for John Piper, who completed his pastorate of thirty-two years at Bethlehem Baptist this past Easter Sunday. This man has been a deep means of grace in my life, and I love him.

Dear Pastor Piper

When I think of God my Father,
thanking Him as does a daughter,
I know His ways are higher than
the stars and far past any man;
and yet His ways, so sure and good,
if traced at least their shadow would
reveal the sorts of tools used
for varied grace, for Life diffused.

And so I trace in Memory’s sand
the nights of late, late hours unplanned
when, captivated by the sound
of depths where fuller joys abound,
I breathed and breathed of purer air
and wanted more of what was there,
online, of yours in sermons; know
God grows a harvest when you sow.

Still today, when your voice rumbles
like a thundercloud that humbles
any man who dares the notion,
“Christ’s not worthy of devotion,”
oft is kindled holy passion
and the cry that He would fashion
me, like you, into a witness
sorrowful yet always joyous.

You’ve helped me to love words and verse
more than I even did at first
when words were more an avenue
for Self to shine and Pride to stew.
You’ve helped me love my Father’s world –
creation – like a little girl
who loves to watch your face recall
that Christ is all in all for all!

Yes, most of all (I know it well),
you’ve helped my heart to leap and swell
at treasures found beneath the dirt
of casual readings that subvert
the Word in which each argument
is crafted, special, with intent
and points to Him who makes me whole –
points to the Lover of my soul.