by Amirah David
Who among us is the greatest? We have argued this since anyone can remember - to keep ourselves alive, I suppose. Who is the fastest? The richest? The wisest? The strongest? The smartest? The most? The most perfect. The best out there. Pride. It can only exist if we compare - says I am better than you, so maybe safe from a judging stare, which might mean I’m not enough for true care. My pride means you can’t be enough, that there’s not room enough for two of us - means I cannot love you well enough to feel safe from my own death. God, the ultimate greatest, infinite, became a helpless infant, laid among the cows, and cracked open our notion of great, to reveal how it has deformed and eroded grace. His grace transforms our shame - and is the only way to be humble without crumbling while confident without conceit. Jesus turned purpose and pride upside down, because we’d been looking for roots in the sky, and stars in the ground, and He knew without Him, what we really want would never be found: A true, sustained, bond of love, profound. He turned the world right-side up. Light piercing the dark, so what’s been hidden rises up. No one has left a greater mark. He called the leaders to be the servants, the poor to come feast. He asked for humility instead of ability, the greatest to become the least. To be emptied to become full, to give all to be brimful, and serve to be joyful. For grownups to become kids, open to learn and receive, rather than forbid. He, the King, washed the dirty feet, asked us to trust and obey instead of compete. Asked us to lay down our lives, die to the self our culture treats as king, and find freedom in abiding in the real wellspring. He slept on the earth instead of a palace. Gave worth to the rejected in place of malice. He rode on a donkey and not a steed. Kept no treasure but heaven, deflating greed. He showed His love as He suffered, to pay for our debts, just for the hope the He could beget us - start a new life with children who get that He is life itself, and how vital free will is for love to live into forever. His children will see the consequence of turning away, the destruction we couldn’t avoid when we went our own way. He used it all anyway for a good that is greater than if He didn’t have to pay. Now we know good and evil enough to choose Him, day after day. The source of life and love, died, to make a way for us, who are already dead in a way, to live life more fully then He can convey, while we still live in this broken world, waiting for sin to finish its decay. Our implosion without Him, is there to warn us of ruin ahead if we stay astray, and this Good Shepherd, is humbly seeking to save us from that day. He who made it all, came to us on Christmas day, so connected to us, that He can say: 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40) And what we fail to do for each other, we fail to do for Him. Truly, He asks us to live each moment as one to the Lord, infused with such meaning that each breath and word, can be a flower planted or the slice of a sword, as we build a garden or a land deeply scored. Now that we know Good and evil, What will we choose? Will we let our guilt mobilize us to choose the good and fertilize the beautiful? Or will it consume the seeds of humble, and bury beauty ‘till our pride becomes immovable? We have a choice. The existence of evil is indisputable. But we only know this because our conscience says there’s a better way - that there’s something wrong and inexcusable, even though we’ve only ever seen it this way. We feel this because there is a standard for Good - and that source came to display what Good really is: the opposite of force; free will honored; humble heart; setting down the armor; attune to disarm; serving farther; reaching through harm to forgive, love, affirm that we each are worth a new start, a new birth, by the spirit of He who is our shield. By His wounds, and by His love, we are healed.
Amirah David is a mental health therapist and mother of two young children living in Ashland, OR. Three years ago, her life began again when she found Christ through her search for meaning and hope in the suffering she witnesses on a daily basis. Having always written poetry, she was unsettled to find her creative juice dried up, and she found herself drinking from God’s firehose of wisdom and information for years before He gave her poetry back — but this time, for His kingdom. These are poems from a larger collection of poetry with an apologetic focus — aimed at showing the stark difference between what the world has to offer and what Jesus has to offer.