Black Night

Black night, then, great God? You’ve chosen black night
For this your little sheep to wander through,
Cold, shiv’ring, bleating as he follows you
So close behind your steady gate, your sight
Set firmly on your lamb though doubt and fright
Enshroud his moonless route? To him be true!
Lead down a trail that gleams with morning dew
In dawn’s fair light, but please, great God—black night?

Hush now, dear sheep, and shadow close beside
The Maker of the path and of the light
That you so long for; let me be your guide!
Could I not speak and banish dark forthright?
For good I chose this road that you now chide,
So follow on though my choice be black night.

In the Shadow of the Shepherd

Your dear sheep bleats to hear his shepherd’s voice
and longs for revelation of his choice
of what awaits the flock just down the path;
Are stored up long-sought streams or desert’s wrath?
And how long must he wait just out of sight
of what’s around the bend—bleak dark or light?
Small, tired feet desire this day’s close—
to be there now—and yet the shepherd slows
until he halts and stares on up ahead
while silently behind him his sheep dreads
that this stop may be long and hard to bear.
Desiring what’s to come, he trusts his care.
So wait, dear sheep, though bleat all that you will,
for he who’s led you thus far leads you still.

© 2013 Eric Evans

Our Missionary God

The God of all the universe laid out
A plan to spread the glory of his name
To those who’d never heard or seen his fame
That from dead hearts new life and joy might sprout.

Though his creation turned their hardened necks
And stiffened their resolve to serve new gods,
The God who made them sought against all odds
To win them once again as his subjects.

To reclaim his lost, fallen world he chose
A man from Ur to bear his sacred light
And give to all men hope amid their plight:
A coming seed whose wings would bear repose.

Long ages passed and many died yet hoped
In God’s sure promised seed to Abraham.
Then from obscurity stood forth the Lamb,
Yet there before the Light still blind men groped.

He wasn’t conquering King as they perceived
The prophets had foretold would come and save;
Instead he came down secretly to pave
The way to build the kingdom God conceived.

His kingdom, it turned out, was one that’d grow
In fields as God-wrought wheat along with tares
Whose master caught God’s sowers unawares
From their perspective on the earth below.

I AM’s triumphal kingdom would ensue,
Though slowly as a tree does grow in height—
A kingdom hidden from all earthly sight,
While lived and breathed by dead hearts born anew.

Before he sat again at God’s right hand,
He delegated power to his friends
To travel to this wide world’s very ends
That all men might adhere to his command.

Now sealed by Jesus’ Spirit do we go
With boldness ’cross the land and ’cross the sea
To every nation, tribe, and tongue that we
Might live to know him that they, too, might know.

© 2013 Eric Evans