Thursday, November 16, 2017


There's a book by Ravi Zacharias called Recapture the Wonder. It's been a few years since I read it, but I it's a good book, and one that I recommend. As I read it, one of the things that struck me was how much Zacharias quotes poetry. Being a poet myself, I was quite happy to see that, and I enjoyed the selected excerpts.

One day, I was sitting in a hotel bistro one day, eating lunch and reading the book. Tired out by my work in the Air Force, I had decided a weekend getaway was in order, so I drove to Atlanta for a couple days' rest. I had been writing quite a lot of poetry during that season, most of which ended up in my book, To Do This Right. True to form, I wrote three poems while in Atlanta. One of them was Wonder.

As I read and neared the end of Zacharias' book, something struck my imagination. I don't remember exactly what it was; I don't think I could have told you even an hour afterward. But as I read his commentary on Jesus' thrice-asked question to Peter, "Do you love me," something clicked with several other things I'd read in the book. I'm sure my waiter wondered what I was doing as I distractedly flipped back through the pages, looking for quote after quote while my food grew cold, simultaneously scribbling into the notebook I had fortuitously brought with me to my solitary lunch.

The poem that resulted references several texts that Zacharias quotes in his book,* and it turned out to be one of those one-draft poems; I think I changed maybe one word during edits. And I still like it.


I cannot hide and cannot tell,
Though I have tried them both.
Once the blessings that I sought;
Once me, now him alone.

A burning bush or blackberries?
The distinction can’t be made.
Scaffolds of truth surround the lies
He already forgave.

How to give back the life I owe
And spurn blind unbelief?
How to meet Agape’s love
With Phileo, causing grief?

God is his own interpreter –
Objective truth in Word.
His wonder colors all I’ve seen
And everything I’ve heard.

*Referenced works are by: Elizabeth Barrett Browning; C. S. Lewis; James Russell Lowell; Friedrich Nietzsche; John Newton; A. B. Simpson; Ravi Zacharias.

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