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return to joy

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A thousand prayers
Have been answered tonight
A thousand songs
Living in my heart from my youth
Sung like the words of a prophet
Have been fulfilled tonight

For there we were
You, and I
And our lover
As I climbed that wall
I have climbed so many times before
Yet this time
Instead of stacking brick higher
You took my hand
Gently, yet with fear
And led me into your garden

It grew darker as I climbed down the wall
And stepped onto the ground
As I drew close to your garden
I could clearly see
The briars had stopped growing
Yet they remained
Dead, twisted, choking the life
From all the flowers
That were trying to poke through
Trying to reach the sun

One by one, you pulled each
By the roots
Showed it to me, closed your eyes, flinched
Waiting for that familiar sting
Waited for me to pull away
To return to the ladder
And scale the wall

You found instead
When you opened your eyes
I had drawn closer
Taken the briars from your bleeding hands
Let them cut my hands
Cut my heart

And so we worked together
Removing the briars from your heart
Yet we soon began to see
That many of these briars
You were not handing to me
But I was handing to you
From my garden

Then we rested
And as we lingered in the garden
Surrounded by the fragrance
Of the flowers returning to life
We were drenched in dew
As if we had slept under his stars
With the echo of his words
Rolling like thunder
From a distant storm,
Like the voice of a lion over the plains
"No one will hurt my children any longer"

We then began to see
The shadows were shrinking away
The light was shifting, changing
Streaming in from a place once walled off
And when we rose to our feet again,
And turned around
We saw that there was no wall
That your garden
And my garden
Were now one
Joined in the center
And bathed in light
And we couldn't see
Where one began and the other ended
We couldn't see where the wall once stood
For there stood our lover
Drenched in dew
Hands and heart bleeding
A crown of briars on his head
Saying--your garden is now safe again
Fear has no root here
The flowers are free to grow
In an unbroken field of color and fragrance
Let the light wash in
And push the shadows from every corner
Let the rain fall and water the garden
And sweep away the past
And replace it with life
Abundant life . . .

© 2012 (7 may) john r. chase

...not the end, only the beginning...