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The following poem is part of larger (though brief) message given during the series Psalms of Summer through High Point University Chapel on July 1, 2020.

A Poem Inspired by Psalm 42 (7/1/20)

As the deer longs for flowing streams so my soul longs for you, O God.

I long for you, O God, the living God.

The God who makes shame and dread rearview mirror events.

I long for my sons to love in ways we heretofore have said were unrealistic. Were so naive.

I long for their sons and daughters,

and their sons and daughters,

and their sons and daughters

to open their baskets to a thousand loaves and fishes,

the miracle made manifest in village joy.

I long for America to be what it says it believes in.

As Langston Hughes wrote:
for America to be the dream the dreamers dreamed–
let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That a man be crushed by one above.

I long for mercy and justice, and righteousness like an ever-living stream.

For noble ideas to become action and action refines even more hopeful ideas.

I long for peace that’s built on courage not passivity.

I long for God to get God’s way

and not for ours on which we’ve simply demanded, “bless this, mighty one!”

I long for you, O God, the Living God, not the fake God.

All tensile and no tenacity.

All sentimentality and no salvation.

I long for you, O God, the Living God:

            Not the old man in the sky
            Nor the blond haired, blue eyed, bathrobe gloss.
            But the one whose tone was as olive as the trees under which he prayed.

I long for you, O God, the Living God:

The one who is Love itself.

A real love that brings good news to the poor,
recovery of sight to the blind,
whose very holy core is to let the oppressed go free.

I long for you, O God, the living God

The one who breaks the table manners,
clearing the way for those deemed “unclean.”

A God who looks more like pride month than power monger.

I long for you, O God, the Loving God,

The one who says, you without sin cast the first stone.

You, O God, who has always been more verb than noun.

Inbreaking of mercy itself.
The first and last drop of a summer shower over scorched earth.

A living stream for our longing from beginning to end.

We long for you, O God, panting with exhaustion but renewed by your Spirit.

We long for you, O God, for your deep to indeed reach the deep in us…

that we may remember who we are because we remember who you are.

This is a prayer to the God of our lives.

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