John

There was a man who came from God.
His name was John.
He wandered through the wilderness
With nothing on.

He ate whatever crossed his path,
The desert’s gifts,
He never bathed; he had no friends,
Just relatives.

He was a cousin of Our Lord
Through his mama,
And learned the Prophets and Torah
From his papa.

When God told him the time was ripe,
He left his cave,
And went down to the riverbank,
His soul to save.

He preached the coming Kingdom,
Then, full of grace,
He knew the true Messiah when
He saw his face.

“It is my cousin, Jesus!” said he,
In wild surprise,
As Jesus gazed at him with
Burning eyes,

He heard, “This is the end of the
Beginning and
The beginning of the end,
My friend.”

Pamela Urfer
© 2021

The Bleeding Heart

The blood she shed was all her own.
She’d found no way to staunch the flow
For twelve long years.
The cost to her in doctors’ care
Was nothing to her shame and her enormous fears.
Unclean and thus untouchable
She knew she’d live and die alone in blood and tears.

The world had turned its back on her
And all she saw and all she touched was tinged with red.
Denied the right to worship God,
Denied the Temple courts by law, her soul was dead.
Denied all comfort, love of friends
And touch of man, she kept alone her blood-stained bed.

Her last hope lay in this new man,
But with her touch she’d make him, too, unclean, outcast.
And should she even hope for help?
Of all the people God might heal she was the last.
For it was God who sent the curse,
The blood and shame, the loneliness, through Laws He passed.

In spite of all these doubts and fears,
Mistrust of God, she took her chance – a touch unseen.
Then, Jesus, the untainted, changed the Law to Love.
Her world became new, fresh and green.

The blood He shed was all his own,
And flowing down it covered her and washed her clean.

Pamela Urfer
© 2021

Mother Hen

Above the city Jesus wept. “Jerusalem! Jerusalem!
Don’t turn away, Jerusalem! Come close to me,
my children.
“I am the mother hen,” he cried. “Beneath my wings
you all can hide.
There you’ll find warmth and life and love,
my little chicks, my children.
I’ve longed to gather you to me, Jerusalem! Jerusalem,
Please let me mother you! You’ll die
without my warmth, my children!”

We hear his call but turn away, for we are all
grown-up today.
We do not want a mother now. We’ll be
nobody’s children!
But as the cold world closes in, we think
about Jerusalem,
And what it’s like to walk alone, scared,
mother-love-less children.
No one lives through these dark, cold nights
without the warmth, the love, the life
That Jesus Christ, dear Mother Hen, gives gladly
to his children.

I trust we know enough of sin, to realize the bind we’re in
When even though we say we’re old, we’re acting just
like children.
And as we turn to leave the nest, convinced our choice
is for the best,
He hopes to see us come again, next time in New Jerusalem.
No one retains their innocence without the strong,
bright broody wings
That Jesus Christ, dear Mother Hen, folds softly round
his children.

Pamela Urfer
© 2021

Mary’s Cross

Scandal has tingled the villagers’ ears
And engendered the gossip mother fears.
I find her, alone, dissolved in tears
From what she’s heard in the marketplace.

When I go for water, my ears start burning,
As I shop for fish, my feet start turning
To run, but I’m gradually learning
That their hisses can’t rob me of God’s grace.

They tell my father it’s a shame.
They tell my mother she’s to blame.
They whisper to others that I’m a stain
On the high reputation of this godly place.

A swollen belly can’t be hid
Nor the depths of disgrace into which I’ve slid.
Next, my marriage vows they’ll try to forbid
And work to see me exiled from this place.

In the angel’s words it was God I heard
He’s wiser than the scoldings of this world.
I’m told if I faithfully follow His word
I’ll hold the Creator of all time and space
In my arms.

Pamela Urfer
© 2021