I’ve drawn near to the arms of my lover

Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.
James 4:8a

I wrote this short poem after I realized that I often feel far from God. The thing is, in light of what James says, this is on me and not on God. If I feel far from God it means I’m not drawing near to God. If I am not drawing near to God, to what, or to whom, am I drawing near?

I’ve drawn near to the arms of my lover

A prayer of confession or a song of lament. I guess it depends on  how you read it because I am not sure which one it is. Maybe it is both.

I’ve drawn near to devastation and sorrow.
I’ve drawn near to yesterday and tomorrow.
I’ve drawn near to the bone and the marrow.
I’ve drawn near to the arms of my lover.

I’ve drawn near to the kindness of strangers.
I’ve drawn near to thrills and to danger.
I’ve drawn near to passion and anger.
I’ve drawn near to the arms of my lover.

But today I don’t know what to do.
Today I feel so far from you.

I’ve drawn near to this worldly treasure.
I’ve drawn near to playtime and leisure.
I’ve drawn near to the pain and the pleasure.
I’ve drawn near to the arms of my lover.

I’ve drawn near to the grace and the glory.
I’ve drawn near to the chase and the quarry.
I’ve drawn near to song and to story.
I’ve drawn near to the arms of my lover.

But today I don’t know what to do.
Today I am so far from you.

(I’ve been toying with “so far from you” since I hear Far From Me by Nick Cave. When I read, “today I feel so far from you” I hear it like he sings “so far from me.”)

I've drawn near to devastation and sorrow.I've drawn near to yesterday and tomorrow.I've drawn near to the bone and the marrow.I've drawn near to the arms of my lover.

Is this part of it all?

A Psalm of Lament

Is this part of the battle and is this part of the fight?
Is this part of the way we were
Before I fell apart last night?

Is this part of salvation and is this part of the grace?
Is this part of the way we were
Before I fell from your embrace?

Is this part of the struggle and is this part of the rage
Is this part of the way we were
Before I fell into this cage?

Is this part of redemption and is this part of the hope
Is this part of the way we were
Before I learned that I can’t cope?

Is this part of the glory and is this part of the joy
Is this part of the way we were
Before I learned how to destroy?

Is this part of the fighting and is this part of the game
Is this part of the way we were
Before I hung my head in shame?

Is this part of salvation and is this part of the grace-Is this part of the way we wereBefore I fell from your embrace-

Hello Again

 

I use to write. A lot. And I still fancy myself a writer.

Most of what I write, however, never sees the light of day.

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth.

Jean Cocteau

I write poetry to process thoughts and emotions. (I’ve tried journaling, but it just wasn’t for me.) Most of my poetry tend to be a bit too personal, too raw, too heretical, etc.

I don’t write poetry as much as I use to. My best poetry – in my own humble opinion – is what I wrote while processing the death of my son. While it is most certainly the darkest stuff I wrote, it was also the most honest, the most real, and the most needed. Then one day I re-read James 4:8:

Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and make your hearts pure, you double-minded.

This is when I realized that all my “woe is me” and “where is God?” stuff was on me. Not him. In my mind’s eye I see him standing behind me waiting for me to draw near to him. But I don’t. But I won’t. (But I can’t?)

A poet looks at the world the way a man looks at a woman.- Wallace Stevens -One of the last poetical things I wrote about it was this:

So my testimony is this: I trust in a God that I do not always understand and I continue to love a savior that I do not always like. But like the father from Mark, chapter 9, I cry out, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”

To some degree God and I are at a standstill. I am waiting for him to move. He is there, with arms wide open, waiting for me to move.

I am slowing getting back to writing poetry as I try to process this.

I also occasionally write short stories. And yes, most are shorter versions of what will be my “Great American Novel.”

Lately I have been writing essays. Most address my faith and how it interacts or intersects with the world at large.

It’s not that I am embarrassed my faith, but most of what I write can come across as a bit to preachy or religious for my non-religious friends while and too worldly or heretical for my religious friends.

Hey, I take my Saint Depraved name seriously.

Every saint has a pastand every sinner has a future- Oscar Wilde -

 

So what?

Well, not long ago I lost everything that I’ve ever posted here at www.saintdepraved.com. (Mental note, don’t try to do more web design than you are comfortable with…)

That sucked. That really sucked.

I know most wasn’t worth the virtual paper on which it was written, but I did really like a few posts, especially my music stuff and God is Bigger Than Your Sh!t.

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

Closing Time, Semisonic

So, with that untimely end comes this new beginning.

I am writing for me. I am writing stuff that I need to process (poetry/essays) and things I want to read (short stories).

Inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s A Movable Feast, I am also writing a romanticized autobiography of growing up in Houston in the 80s and then trying to fit into Bible College in the 90s. It will true. But like A Movable Feast, it may not always be accurate. I’m pretty sure I am way cooler in my memory than I was then. Just saying.

After all, if Paris in the 20s was a movable feast, then Houston in the 80s was a 24-hour non-stop buffet.

Houston a 24-Hour Non-Stop Buffet

Anyway, I plan to share more stuff and share it and more often. I’ll even share some old poetry every now and then until I’m willing to share the new poetry.

Hopefully some of it will be worthy. Maybe some of it will be helpful. Hopefully some of it will entertain.

Godspeed,

Simon L Smith, Saint Depraved