Sycamore

Still standing.
Beside the main street.
Feeling the pulse
Of spring rains,
The crown of summer,
The testing pull
Of autumn storms.
Children explore
My limbs and shelter.
Adventurers pass,
Out to new possibilities.
Some, retracing steps
In homeward reunion
Or retreat.
Presently a strange din;
One stalwart man
And His entourage.
Onlookers press in,
Curious and hopeful.
What’s this?
Someone scrambles up,
Tugs my extremities,
Scrapes my bark,
Settles,
Balancing to watch.
Much like the children.
(Generations of them.)
I serve their purpose.
I serve his purpose.
Giving the better view.
And the Master looks up,
My Maker.
Issuing the call:
“Zacchaeus, come down.
I will come to your house.” (Luke 19: 1-10)

Doug Blair, Waterloo, Ontario

image by James Tissot

Romans 8: Just a Fraction

Can’t be done

Save in the Spirit

Works that bless a Holy God.
Strains to strive
In mortal measure
Miss the Way that Jesus trod.
Pumped in prayer
From last night’s waiting
Waiting for the Season’s Word
Cleared the slate
Of pointless fretting
That the One Voice might be heard.
Heard, and then
The surge of power
Fresh with Throne Room’s vital force
Makes the day
And heals the heartache
All the Spirit’s work, of course.
In such power
The Great Commission
And the ethic of our Christ
Heals the wan
And saves the sorrowful
Freely, without coin or price.
Doug Blair, Waterloo,Ontario

River

It’s a river we search for

Yes a stream lined with trees

For the healing of nations

In the Spirit’s fresh breeze.

And the saints there are gathered

All the broken made whole

And the glorious creatures

And apostles twelve-fold.

Not a suffering remembered

Not a sigh damps the glow

Of the Lamb’s throne eternal

Only dreamed of below.

And His servants are busy

Want it no other way

Casting crowns all before Him

Who alone lights the Day.

And this Day springs eternal

Bitter nights all forgot

Revelation a-plenty

For what Mercy has wrought.

Doug Blair, Waterloo, Ontario

Stephen

We couldn’t resist his message

Or wisdom he brought to bear

Or censure his grasp of history

No Jew could defeat him there.

And none could resist his spirit

Unmixed, and unbought by pride,

And heeding only his Master

Right to the hour he died.

So what was the cause of our fury?

Or what could excuse our rage?

In stoning this miracle -worker

Who visioned a brighter new Age?

The gnashing of teeth and the madness

Were all in our quarter, you see.

As rocks crushed the life from this giant

Who knelt, and forgave even me.

Acts 7:

59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Doug Blair, Waterloo, Ontario

(Note: We do not know the heaviness of conviction that weighed upon Paul the Apostle between Acts 7 and Acts 9.)

High Places

Psalm 18:

33 He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places.

I feel the adrenaline every time I read this verse. It is found in a battle psalm. David is rehearsing the many ways in which God equips him to deal with his enemies. It is interesting to me that this poem is found twice in the scriptures, once here and again in 2 Samuel 22. It is a “verily, verily” message.

Picture the goat of the mountains with all the agility, breeding and confidence to scale the impossible slopes and to gaze upon unprecedented sights. “My high places”. Perhaps they were times of victory when David was exalted above the heads of all his adversaries, or above all difficulty. Perhaps they were times of remarkable revelation when the mists were eliminated, great truths were shared and it seemed as if he could see for miles from his elevated position. Perhaps they were times of keen realization of the Lord’s good pleasure and favour toward him and the ensuing eruption of praise. At the end of the Psalm he reiterates the covenant given to him that it was God’s good intention to see his heir upon the throne forever (Jesus).

Whatever these pinnacle moments, they were all of God’s initiative and preparation. He gave the “hind’s feet” and set His child in that special place. And oh yes, it had seemed perilous to get there; but no matter, God was with him.

And the moments are possessed by the faithful one – “MY high places”. He has chronicled them in his memoir of milestones. No one will rob him of their refreshment or hope. God did thus and so to assure the victory, the revelation, the confidence of favour. And milestones are meant to be re-visited with great blessing.

Doug Blair, Waterloo, Ontario