"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

8/15/08

Fiction Fridays: Contemplating History

Welcome to my contribution to Friday Fiction at Patterings. My post this week is in honor of my wonderful husband, Marc, whose birthday is today. (Happy Birthday, my dear!!) I decided that I would ask him what my favorite piece was, and then post it on his birthday. This was a challenge piece from February of this year. During this particular quarter, I challenged myself to write Biblical fiction for each topic. This is the only poem I did that quarter, and one of only a handful I've done for the challenge. I actually placed 5th overall with this piece. Hope it blesses you, and don't forget to stop by Patterings for more great fiction!

CONTEMPLATING HISTORY
(yeah, I know this needs a better title, but I dunno what it is)

A man - jaw set, countenance firm -
looked out in the distance
contemplating history,
recalling events of the past.

They said they loved the Lord,
that God was their Father.
Yet, Adam and Eve disobeyed,
eating of the forbidden tree.

And the man pursed his lips.

He said he would follow God,
that he trusted His direction.
Yet, Abraham bedded Hagar
to sire a son his own way.

And the man cringed.

They praised the Lord for miracles,
declaring their devotion to Him.
Yet the Israelites built an idol in the desert,
bowing low to a calf of gold.

And the man sighed.

He said he would fight for God,
that the Lord was his portion and provision.
Yet, Achan defied God's decrees,
stealing the spoil from his Maker.

And the man clenched his fist.

He said he would rule for God,
that he would lead His people righteously.
Yet, Saul took power into his own hands,
offering an unholy, forbidden sacrifice.

And the man closed his eyes.

He said that God was his shepherd,
that the Lord would meet his every want.
Yet, David sent a man to his death
to satisfy his own lust.

And the man wept.

He said he wanted Godly wisdom,
That he would serve Him only.
Yet, Solomon took wives by the hundreds,
and followed each of their gods.

And the man shook his head.

He was a prophet of the Most High,
speaking His pronouncements far and wide.
Yet, Jonah turned from Ninevah
and entered the great fish's belly.

And the man bowed his head.

They praised God with singing,
celebrating their return to the land.
Yet, the remnant neglected His temple,
letting its gates disintegrate.

And the man bit his lip.

They taught God's Word to the masses,
rebuking those who defied their authority.
Yet, the Pharisees hated His Son,
and worked to destroy Him.

And the man grit his teeth.

He marveled at Christ's miracles,
following and speaking for Him.
Yet Judas betrayed Jesus,
sending Him to death with a kiss.

And the man grimaced.

He said he would never leave Jesus,
declaring Christ was the Son of God.
Yet Peter turned his back on Him,
denying Him thrice in one night.

And the man scanned the crowd.

They said they were God's chosen,
following His laws and precepts.
Yet, the crowd rejected God's Son,
condemning Him to death on a cross.

And the Man examined His hands and feet.

"It is finished," He cried, and He gave up His spirit.
At that moment, the curtain of the temple
was torn in two from top to bottom.


**
Based on Genesis 3 and 16, Exodus 32, Joshua 7, 1 Samuel 13, 2 Samuel 11, 1 Kings 11, Jonah 1, Nehemiah, and the four Gospel accounts.

The direct Bible reference is taken from John 19:30 and Matthew 27:50b-51.

7 comments:

  1. No wonder this is Marc's favorite! I don't remember reading this one...must have been during my hiatus from The Challenge. But, WOW. What a powerful and beautiful piece. You should write more poetry, girlfriend. Wonderful!

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  2. Wonderful! Did you place with this? You should have. Love it!

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  3. One of my favorites too! You should do more of this genre!

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  4. Oooohhhh! I'm so glad I got to read this one again! Awesome stuff-this is truly what powerful writing is. The emotions and the italics, really sum this up in more ways than one, touching all the special spots in my heart. Wonderful writing, JJ! ^_^

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  5. I love this one, Jo! Tell Marc he's a very smart man for picking this as a fave! I love the walk through history and seeing Christ through it all. Superb!

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  6. Nicely done Joanne. I like the rhythm of the piece as well as the content.

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  7. Please pray for my jealousy over the fact I did not write this piece. lol. Spectacular. I love it.

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