Red Lettered Death

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Inspired by John 12.20-36
Encouraged by John Piper, Dying as a Means of Loving

I’ve always known the red letters were sacred
and when I read them to myself I would try to deepen the tone
of my voice in my head, to make them sound more like Jesus
to make something or someone distant, feel a little closer

And in my dark moments of depression
when I clung to disobedience in fear that
following you would leave me more empty
I may have echoed the words of the Greeks at the feast,
“I wish to see you”
Many times I made the request,
Many times you revealed yourself and I turned away,
caught up in sorrow, persuaded by the need to save
To save someone on my own,
with my own strength

And in my elated moments of pride and false contentment,
I may have echoed those ancient words again
tossing my plea like a coin to a fountain
not knowing that your presence requires death

I remember the day that I committed to following you,
preceded by a lifetime of arguing, doubting,
surrendering and taking it back,
questioning, pondering, watching and waiting,
and finally saying
make me into something new,
take my life I give it to you.

I was a grain of wheat
fighting my fall to my death,
thank God for the moment that I finally gave in

I gave in to your grace and my death
led to Life,
I wish to see you Jesus
for who you are and not what I’ve made you out to be
I wish to know you Lord,
in the intricate ways that you have known and loved me

As you laid your life down for me,
teach me to do the same
Every day dying to self,
Heaven is my gain

As you shed your red blood for me,
spoken in red letters on paper to see
Dismantle my pride and obsession with
shortcomings,
Conquer my desire for earthly things,
put my selfishness to a red death
by a crucified King

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