A.D. 2011 was a burnishing year, like nothing I’ve ever endured before–not even the death of my only brother could compare. That was easier.
Trial, strife, discord, anger, venom, and yes, even violence…all aimed at me. But it was time to put an end to what I knew was becoming rampant faithlessness within the flock the Lord had entrusted to my care.
I am no fool. Doing what needed to be done meant stirring up the Devil, and he’s a formidable foe. I knew that lines would be drawn, that sides would be taken, that I would be accused, that lies would be told, that my family would be attacked and my wife and children would suffer, that my name and reputation would forever be tarnished by those who never really wanted truth, and that I would be abandoned by those who were too afraid to speak up.
But it’s 2012, and I’m still standing. It has been a long road, but I must say that the storm is passing and God is truly delivering His people. The horizons before us are good; not easy, but good.
One morning, just before leaving for the day’s visits, I went into the nave and knelt before the Lord’s altar. Right after what became quite a tearful plea, one which actually drew me past the altar rail to the very foot of the altar, I finally arose and returned to my office and wrote the following poem.
This one was definitely born of the excruciating foreknowledge.
I Do Not Want To Be Alone
I do not want to be alone.
I want to be with you.
For there are many things that you
Will need to see me through.
I’d like for you to take my hand
When dark my days, and then
I’d most prefer your warm embrace
To give the strength of ten.
I’ll ask of you, a watchful eye
To keenly be aware
Of shelter just beyond the field
And safely take me there.
I’ll make another solemn bid,
That you would be my stay,
My brawny shield of gilded hope
Protecting in the fray.
Another I would then propose
My armor, you would be
To hedge against the fiery darts
Hurled by the enemy.
I’ll make request of you, my love,
A sword to clad my hand,
A blade of sturdy steel and might
‘Gainst all it will withstand.
And by your hand, the strength is giv’n
To raise my sword to sky
In challenge of the bitter foes
Who march in triumph nigh.
Give fervor to my weary legs
That I may take the field
Unwilling to give up the fight
And thus to never yield.
And when the war is finally o’er,
And pyres of anger cease,
I ask that you would be the steed
To carry me to peace.
Behold, I must not be alone.
I need to be with you.
As you can see, so many things
You’ll need to see me through.
30 January A.D. 2011