The Backslider

Help me, Father, for the soil is shifting beneath my feet
The ground becomes murky, less defined
And tips gently at first, so that I'm unsure of my footing
A cloud of my own choosing descends on me
And I'm uncertain of my surroundings.

No one sees - or they pretend not to.
No one offers a hand, only a shove.
No one but You, Lord.

My palms are muddied, my knees scraped raw
As I fight against the slope
Fatigue joins the forces already against me
They want me to slide silently, but I cry out to You

Thank You, Father, for the soil is shifting beneath my feet...
It's solid once again; green grass sprouts up.
Power returns with each stride I make
My vision is clear and my direction sure

And I can see those who couldn't, or wouldn't see me
As the boggy ground sucks at their feet
And I can offer them a hand and lead them to You.

Copyright 2010 Dana Pratola

Shelving Jesus

I was bored, bored, bored, with nothing to do
And digging myself quite a rut.
It had been so long since I'd done something new
That my mind was beginning to rust.

The house was spotless, in which I abided,
My garden watered and weeded.
With all my chores finished, it was then I decided
A hobby was just what I needed.

So I drove to the hobby shop just up the hill
- The source of my crafting needs -
There I could find foam fiberfill,
Paints, and dried flower wreaths..

Signs hung from the ceiling pointing the way
To yellow tag sales galore.
There was fabric and candles and all kinds of clay
And at every turn there was more.

Now, I'm not too artistic, creative or neat,
So choosing a hobby was hard,
But when I looked up and saw dangling feet
I whipped out my credit card.

He was up so high, on the very top shelf,
Almost unseen from the floor.
I even thought of pinching myself
Right there in the middle of the store.

It was Jesus, Himself, and although He was not
What I'd had in mind,
The store clerk told me, as she stacked flowerpots,
That He was the best deal I would find.

He could keep me company while I fixed dinner,
Or waited in the DMV line;
I would never find a better listener...
He was simply One of a kind.

But I mulled it over as He looked down
From His perch up on the ledge.
There might be a problem, I thought with a frown...
What do I do about storage?

Wreaths can be hung and paints can be stacked
When they're no longer needed or useful,
And if I were to state the facts,
Be perfectly honest and truthful…

He required a commitment that I couldn't make
And I was beginning to feel fretful.
The pressure was simply too much to take
And I turned away, regretful.

I went home, believing I'd done the right thing --
There was just no room in my place...
But why did the thought bring such a sting?
Feel like a slap in His face?

I later convinced myself it was about time
To stop feeling guilty and sad --
A hobby, after all, is a trivial pastime
And I'd done nothing evil or bad.

But right before I fell asleep,
Almost at peace with myself,
I had a vision that made me weep...
Of Jesus up on a shelf.

copyright 2010 Dana Pratola