A TURNING AT TWILIGHT
Sun setting at his back,
hills leading home toward Jerusalem.
Rolling wave by wave before his gaze
the battle weary King
leans upon his shepherd’s staff.
Oh home, oh Jerusalem,
Oh Lord God Almighty!
I long to rest in
Your arms, Your power, Your peace, Your presence.
But, out there on bloodied field and rocky hill,
where fatigue slows his sword
and terror grips him from behind,
he’s not so sure.
What will tomorrow bring?
Will those on distant hill
move on us with new found strength
or falter as we charge?
Shall I sleep the victor King
in his tent tomorrow night
or cower the beaten dog,
collared to its pole?
Oh, to be home—
even as a servant,
and leave this kingly task
to younger men hungry for Your power.
I would sit at Your altar and long for You.
But You are sun and shade,
sword and shield, toil and rest.
I shall serve you here.
Long for home.
And trust You in it all.
He breathes, lingers and waits.
Cool breeze welcoming in the night,
new moon reshaping the shadows.
Behind him, one by one, the fires are lit.
Smiling, he straightens and turns,
shouldering the blade.
Back to his men he strides.
Do you often feel like a battle weary king leaning upon your shepherd staff? It is all too common in this driven culture of ours that we leaders feel under fire and stressed out.
Whether serving in business, my home or the church, I can empathize, at times, with King David, “My soul longs, yes, faints…” (Psalm 84), and I draw way to be alone with the Father. When I am open and honestly lay my burdens before the Lord, I too find my yearnings drawing me toward His presence, “…the courts of the Lord.”
It is in those EPC (Extended Period of Communion) moments that I often experience the turnings from stress to joy, through trust. When we take the time to quiet our souls and allow Him to remind us that He is present, working in us and through us, in the victories and the failures, then we can face whatever is to come with renewed peace, and sometimes, even with a smile.
This poem was originally inspired by Psalm 84. You might enjoy reading them side by side during your next quiet time with the Lord.
Find more inspiring poems, backstories, and devotionals in Kirk’s book, The Grace of Rain. Available on Amazon.com and at kirkmanton.com
Accompanying Images: In keeping with TLI’s Biblical priority of “Living out of the overflow” and Jesus’ example of living out of listening (to the Father), I have included these two paintings of what one young artist, Cody Watson, heard through A Turning At Twilight. The Young Shepherd and the older Warrior King are based on versions of the ancient Celtic/Pict symbols of the Double Disk and Z Bar. Cody came to Christ out of a dark season in Neo-Paganism and loves to redeem pre-Christian pagan symbols, many of which were foreshadows, anticipating their fulfillment in Christ. See more about Cody at codywatsondesign.wordpress.com