“West Hawk Lake In Winter” [Kingdom series; Health and Wellness Series] (Luke 4 and 5)
When facing a freight train you cannot out-run,
When life throws a curve-ball which threatens your fun,
It’s great to have “Footprints” to bolster your gas,
But not quite sufficient for freight-trains – alas!
When loads that you carry cannot be sustained;
When crisis on crisis pile up just the same;
When all that’s sustained you for decades in past,
Cannot now sustain you – you break down – alas!
It’s now that the “Kingdom-layer” comes into view –
It’s startling, refreshing, and totally new;
“Is this just ‘Detachment’ so I can survive?”
That’s what we start asking, last days we’re alive.
Philosophers think of “Existence” for work –
“Reflective” their thinking; with “End-times” they flirt;
It’s now that their musings engage our demise –
Regardless of answers, their question’s alive!
Now Christ was a healer of local renown;
His house as His clinic – some fellows in town,
Cut holes in His shingles, and let down with ropes,
Their friend on a stretcher – expressions of hope.
When clinic wrapped up, Jesus hit for the hills;
He needed to pray through His issue – be still;
When morning had broken, He saw clear as day –
To spend time at healing was not His best way.
“You’re kidding!” Disciples exclaimed with surprise –
“The need is immense, Chief, just open Your eyes!”
“I know, that is true, guys, but better we leave;
That’s not what I came for – it’s best folks believe –
“That there is a Kingdom – like layer of ice,
On West Hawk that’s frozen – it’s more than just ‘nice’
To skate on forever, ’fore snow closes in –
That Kingdom’s upon us – let preaching begin!
They wondered, but followed for many more weeks,
O’er hilltops, through valleys, as they learned to preach
Good news of the “Kingdom”, like layer of ice
On West Hawk ’fore snowfall – much better than ‘nice’.
For West Hawk is crystal-clear down to the slime;
In Winter, folks look down, where once they were blind;
Lake-bottom is strewn with both gravel and stones;
Where once they were walking, in groups or alone.
The obstacles, pitfalls, and drop, down that hole
The meteor made ages past, we all know,
Are clear – now no problem – folks lace up their skates,
And glide over issues of boulders and slate.
We see that the minnows, the Perch, and the Jacks,
All swim quite contented in ways people lack,
Except on this ice-sheet above all of that –
Ach! What a relief – when in life we fall flat!
Old Jewish idea – “The Kingdom of God”,
Now viewed as a layer of ice (rather odd!);
But ice is just water that’s cooled down for use
By skaters in freedom from boulders – great news!
For we can step up on that layer and be
Above all the hurdles and problems we see;
Glide over them, laugh at their smallness below –
Quite real, but not ultimate, skaters all know.
Before, we thought, “Grace” was to help us push through
Life’s challenges, failures, and work we would do;
“Well, yes, you can do that, be graced over sand
With one set of footprints – but better, you stand –
“Upon Kingdom-layer, like West Hawk, late fall –
Now Grace is “Hot chocolate,” which warms one and all;
It gives you the energy skating requires
To bring you to fellowship, warm winter fires.
It took quite a while for Apostles to get
Christ’s meaning, “Not ‘healing’, but ‘Kingdom’; and yet,
They kept on with healing, but mainly their task
Was spreading the good news – “It’s skate-time – at last!”
For up on the Kingdom, like layer of ice,
Our stress falls away – boy! Is that a very nice!
The slime and the boulders where most folks still walk,
Are not part of skating – that’s more than just talk.
Sure, life still needs living – but we’re now set free
From dealing with boulders, both those we can see,
And those just ahead, for they’re not our concern –
“Step up into freedom – and skating now learn”.
“Good news (that means Gospel)! How true! Now I see!
I’m graced to move forward – what fun that can be!
Life’s not just a struggle with obstacles vast –
Though I could not hear it, ’till end-time – alas!
Not “end-time” for cosmos – but end-time for us –
Some time in our decades of struggle and fuss,
When facing some freight-train, and we’re on the tracks,
And we can’t out-run it – ‘Step up’ is our task.
But you do not have to step up on the ice –
If you think that boulders and slime are still nice;
You don’t have to stay there – if struggle’s preferred;
But once you’ve stepped up, it’s no longer absurd.
Good news of this ice-sheet cut through my demise;
I just couldn’t fathom – to me as surprise –
How grace could address the dilemmas I faced –
(It can’t – not its purpose – need ice-sheets to skate).
Then Grace, like hot chocolate, enables new life
As worker, and mother, and friend that is tight;
You’ll sing of “Hot chocolate” in choirs, at your church,
Of “Skating o’er boulders.” (“How blind there, at first!”).
For that, Christ left healing for others to do,
To preach the good news of the Kingdom for you;
When you face a freight-train which you can’t out run –
Step up here like West Hawk – lace up; have some fun!
Thanks Lord for this.