Day 2 – Poetry for Lent

This poem was actually started some time ago. We’d had a sermon or two on Daniel and his friends, and I had jotted a few lines at the time wondering (like I do with most survival stories) whether I would have been able to do what they did. Would I –say in a school shooting situation–be able to stand up for what I believed if it meant death? Of course, whenever I think this, I quickly throw in a “Please God, let me never have to find out.”

But there are all those little moments–standing up to bullies, racists, haters of any sort–or even harder, those who profess to believe the same things I do. Sure, maybe it only involves anger, social disgrace, ostracism–but do I stand up? Small things build, so where do I draw the line? What do I stand for?

Would I, Could I, Should I?

Would I stand up 
when all else bowed
legs strong, backbone straight
furnace flames licking heels and thighs?
And when challenged on that upright pose
would I collapse
knees buckling like
a mighty oak
felled with nothing but an axe?

Could I kneel down
when law denied
bow my head and pray to God
while lions roared in nearby den?
Or would I hide my godly pose,
afraid discovery's fangs 
might rip and shred
my heart and soul
until I'm nothing, almost dead?

I confess,
I hope I never know.

But should I encounter
no furnace flames or lions' den
but merely tests within, without
and trials in my daily way
Remind me then, oh Holy One
to whom I owe my everything
of Daniel and his mighty friends.
Though knees may quake
and fear course wild through my veins
place Your hand on me
and still my mouth
  if that will close the lion's maw,
or help me speak
  to put out hatred's fiercest flame
for I am Yours
  though small and weak.
 

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