– by Mark Nielsen, April 2006 – March 2009
The Man that I am meant to be
Embracing the one I are.
It’s seldom that the two men meet.
It is a gift of grace
To rise above that outer self
And find your inner face.
The child inside walks barefoot,
The man outside is shod–
The man outside walks in the world
The Inside Man, in God.
I came shoeless into the world
With nothing shall I leave–
Returning to the One I love,
So praise God when you grieve.
Fat and happy, free I was,
Firstborn of Butch and Chick.
No poverty, no hunger pangs,
But inside: weak and sick.
Yet “Bless the meek,” said Son of Man,
“ ‘Dem hungry for what’s right.“
So hear my loud but sickly wail,
It’s not a silent night.
I need your help. Do you need mine?
Ask once– it shall be given.
Not from my own riches or strength
But from the hand of heaven.
Excessive love, love overflows
Down here to where we sit
Mired in the mud, lost in the flood,
Conditions quite unfit–
Unfit for any child of God,
Unfit but necessary:
To gain some strength, the training ground
To crush the adversary.
“Here I am, Lord!” once I said–
“Send me… but please, not there
Where fools and friends spit in my face
And people do not care.”
Was any martyr ever glad?
Any saint happy to cry?
Eager to give up comfortable shoes?
Yet Outside Man must die.
I am a poor wayfaring stranger
Traveling through this woe.
And ‘til I’m home, the Man Inside
Leads where I don’t want to go.
DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT by Dylan Thomas [ here’s a decent