One Heart Given Poem by Jenneth Graser —
The inspiration for this poem comes from my thoughts around a spirituality of imperfection. The journeys we take in our lives to discover what it is to be in love with God. We go through places in our spiritual walk where we are too hard on ourselves and try to be perfect, and then we find ourselves also judging others for the wrongs they have done, which separates people. But where do we find God? In a breathing relationship. Being ourselves. Unconditional love. Grace. This poem is my celebration, that God doesn’t expect of me perfection, but just desires my heart. And what does God do with our hearts? They become a feast of grace to share, because this incredible grace is for everyone. With so much fracturing around the world, this grace can heal the cracks and bring people together. This is my prayer through One Heart Given.
I have heard it said,
Seek the Lord and his Kingdom
first, and all other things
will be added.
I have seen that some people
desiring to pay for their darkest sins
placed a burden on their
backs and carried it for miles
as penance of the most savage kind.
I have seen people sweat blood
and tears in a Gethsemane of
their own making
and weigh up their sins on a
scale of comparison,
some taking longer than others
to make their way to the cross.
I have seen fingers pointing
and people rushing for the judge’s seat
in a court of law, pronouncing
righteous judgement from their own obvious
point of view.
And I have seen a man in the dirt
with a guitar, singing love songs.
I have observed a woman on her knees
in a pool of perfume spilled.
There were children crying with their
arms raised in oblivious adoration.
The measures used and comparisons
became discarded stones at the feet
of One Man who dared to ask questions,
and write in the sand.
I have seen a person so determined
to be close to God, to stand in
the gap in the wall and lose
all things for the sake of love.
I have seen such a person
give up on ritual, lose all taste
for religious observance.
Read scripture as a love letter,
dance in the rain because it feels good,
sleep under the stars with a loved one,
walk the extra mile for one other
person in need.
Lay aside the performance schedule,
appraisals, ladders that were
meant to be climbed
and choose to pray as friendship,
a walk under leaves, on paths
well worn, close to the bosom
of nature, rough and wild;
and there this person let fall
the expectations of a past
of well-meant intention
but never-attainable practice.
I found this person chose
to sleep at the foot of
the cross and rest on a stone
before a staircase of angels.
I saw the altar built
stone by stone
and the fragrant offering
of one heart given,
never to be taken back,
never regret or second thoughts.
And this heart burned into the
heart of God as a burning bush
with a message to let all people go,
so that everyone, no matter who,
where, or what culture, colour, or
creed, may come, come, come
and find rest that forever changes
the one who is brave enough
to bring nothing of strife or perfection,
but only one heart
on one altar
burned into the forever flame
of God and God’s love.
Love that buried all ladders
at the foot of the cross
so that everyone, everyone
could walk straight into grace
without cost, deed or work achieved –
it was already paid.