Twenty-Five. The Ache In Achor.

Oh, Indulgence
what I gave to satiate you!

All for silver, gold, and a cloak of brilliance

I coveted and took
witheld and hid
stood indignant, covered myself with pride and fear.

Oh, Israel
What I did to trouble you!

Lies, shame, and a crime of proportion
I earned my stones
invoked judgment
offended counsel, tainted the nation with ashes and crimson.

Oh, Hosea
what You’ve done and given to restore me!

Romance, vineyards, and a gateway of hope
You persuaded and promised
torn and healed
revived tenderly, dressed wounds with dignity and white.

Twenty-Four. Mister Piper

“This is a wise and cautious balance. It is wise not only because with God all things are possible, but also because “either-or” thinking is especially unsuitable when dealing with sexual orientation.
There are not simply three groups: Heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual. There are hundreds of variations of impulses that make up our peculiar sexual identities. This means that “change” is not a movement from one of three groups to another of three groups. Rather, it is a totally unpredictable reconfiguration of dozens of impulses and desires. And these desires and impulses are interwoven with dozens of personal and relational and spiritual realities, all of which are moving and shifting as God and his word and his people come to bear on the totality of a person’s life.
Is change possible? From this perspective change is inevitable. We are all changing — in a hundred ways including how sexuality fits into our lives. And for the Christian, the Spirit of God and the word of God are gloriously in the mix. It is a lifelong quest.”

John Piper on “Reorientation.”

Twenty-Two. Babylonian Fire.

The voices have risen and all the talk is clear

all the Things She Said are sure and the notion of flesh is impossible not to hear.

Bow down to the idol, worship the splendorous gold!

Bow down to their god, worship the statue & behold!

If you dare say you wont

keep your affections and don’t

it’s the end you’ve warranted, a life resigned to smolder and smoke.

Costs considered and consequences secure

I’d rather walk the funeral pyre then succumb to coercive fear.

Shocking and audacious, resistant and robust

but even if I burn away I cannot serve the system or worship the image they set up.

The binding in place and the execution set

soldiers on all sides to burn this body to death.

To my confidant’s and my opposition’s surprise I’m not touched by the flames and we all ask why?

Preservation, protection, and providence collide

Never of my own devices

but rather

the Fourth Man to my right.