Article

Frank A. Campbell

a freelance writer, editor, and speechwriter, is president of ARISE! and has written for the Washington Post, as well as many Adventist publications.

I Want the God of . . .

I want

creation’s God

to give me 

heart anew

that I might love again

new ears

that I might hear the songs of Heaven

right spirit

that I might live as He would have me live.

 

I want the God

of Abraham

to provide a purpose

and a plan

grounded in a theology of faith

and trust

and faithfulness

that I might go where, and do what, He requires of His obedient child.

 

I want the God

of Isaac

to show me how

to hear my heavenly Dad

to mourn my earthly loss

then turn away

into my mother’s tent

to build the marriage arranged by God’s own knowing hand.

 

I want the God

of Jacob

to lay my head

upon His Rock

and change

my wrestling, stony heart

to flesh

and make me overcome impure and fearful, perishable past.

 

I want the God

of Moses

to teach my feet

to stand on holy ground

(sneakers sweetly set aside)

to transform my murderous mind

and stuttering tongue

into a submissive destiny

and make me pliant

to walk whatever path

cross whatever river

prosecute whatever battle

even to the death or to a transfiguration upon a lonely, holy hill.

 

I want the God

of Esther

to give me beauty

where there is simplicity

moral richness

where there’s splendid poverty

and boldness

where I’m wont to be afraid

so crowns and palaces

might melt

before my very eyes

as I marvel at the kingdom of yon unmentioned Majesty.

 

I want the God

of David

lowly shepherd king

to lead me to the pasture

where I might learn

to leave my lust

on this proud earth below

and reach up

high up

head bowed

to take the hand, and be the friend, of who is Shepherd and the King indeed.

 

I want the God

of Ezekiel

him of the moving wheel

to embrace me

in that cemetery between 

the mountains and the hills

to still my fears

and make me witness

such

that even the living dead could rise to newness of eternal grace.

 

I want the God

of Daniel

to dull those deathly lions’ teeth

and encase me with Teflon 

that I might resist 

today’s terrestrial hell

while pointing me to the future and to things that eyes have never known.

 

I want 

Hosea’s God

to bless me with sweet sorrows

of the marriage bliss

and tell me how

the lifelong kissing 

of a partner’s ancient flaw

is but the beckoning 

of the eternal covenant between the sinless Prince and His sinful church made new.

 

I want the God

of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and John

to transport me

into the very presence 

of the Lamb

take me over seas

beside the babbling brook

and to the mountaintop

that I might see strange scenes and write of monumental miracles.

 

I want the God

of Peter

to replace my crude 

and rustic crassness

with the weeping mellowness

of disciple—child—that 

thus strengthened

though I miss that cursed crucifixion’s 

victory dance

I might

embolden human mind with the sweet assurance of their risen Lord.

 

I want the God

of Paul

to strike me blind

that I might see

to imprison me

that I might embrace

the chains of freedom

pass me through

perils

that I might rejoice

disable me

that I might be enabled

to preach the Word alike to paupers and to popes.

 

I want the God

of Revelation

to uncover

to my questing mind

the mysteries Daniel craved

so I might know

that all the stories

of God’s own Holy Word—

be they tales

of beasts and angels

women saintly

or Babylon impure—

lead us to the love of God and His eternal and all-conquering Christ.

 

I want the God

of all the earth

to call me 

from sin’s miry clay

to make me the Samaritan 

who knows

that only God is good

and make me come apart

and rest a while

an everlasting while

and never, ever weep again. 

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