God Gave Us You

God gave us you

God Gave Us You

(for Pastor and Sister JosephDomingues)

We turned to you as children, alone,

in Nineteen Hundred Ninety-Six;

We sought for love in your honored eyes,

rejoiced to find reflected in our own,

a new flame, and faith to dance in this new place!

And what we saw in growing wonder,

Our eyes alight with heart-deep joy,

not just answering flame, but inferno!

a many-colored fire that burns, unremitting,

fed by the sacrifice you offer—hearts, enlarged.

We watch in reverenced awe

as our God, the Consuming Fire,

honors your gifts with His anointing,

sweet smelling savors rising from your alters,

warming us all by the fire you keep.

When God speaks through you of our sins,

you hand us the stones of our hearts,

beseeching us “Build your own alters—

not memorials of lands left behind,

But of promise, that fire will come!”

You beseech us, not with a fire prod blackened

from prodding coals long turned to soot,

but beckon with your shepherd’s rod,

His Word, His Joy, and real love.

In our fear, you show us scars,

thickened in healing,

the deep blue of wounds long cleansed

from the salt-flow of your many tears.

When we grow weary of doing,

doubting our hearts can burn like yours,

You gather us with your staff’s smooth curve,

until all who will be drawn

are pressed around your altar,

until warmed and stilled,

you lead us back to our own—

all over again.

For the time of our refining

God did not send to us a hireling

with eyes that only see external,

or lips that offer platitudes to condone our flaws,

But He gave fire-tried Warriors,

With an understanding that accepted sacrifice

must start inside the heart.

From you, we’ve learned

that for our purging

our lives must first be laid

on altars built to worship God

with stones pulled from our hearts,

for which He paid.

As Jehoshaphat, you charge us

“…thus shall ye do in the fear of the Lord,

faithfully and with a perfect heart…”

at once, handing us psaltery and harp,

knowing only in perfect praise

will we understand the battle

is not ours, but God’s!

We ask our God to give us hearts like yours,

that murmur only for added souls to lay

on fire-blackened alters

built of stones from imperfect hearts;

We long for the hour when God,

who stokes your fires,

finds the love strong enough in each of us

to burn, mingled with yours,

for His desire,

But if it’s ever any wonder

if God has plans for us,

All we ever need to do is remember,

Pastor, Sister Domingues,

God gave us you!!

“Handblown glass has the soul of the maker in every piece.  it might also have a few lumps, bumps and flaws—like people.”  –Sheldon Barr

Thank God for sending you to show us how to give our lumps, bumps, and flaws to Him—by placing ourselves in the heat of His fire so He can Purge us from within.


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