Thanksgiving: A Confession and a Plea to the Almighty

By

Happy Thanksgiving, Rabbit Roomers. I posted this poem last year and thought I’d dust it off again this week. Reading it just now for the first time since last November, I can’t decide if I like it more or less than I did when I wrote it. I remember that I was thinking of a poem by Berryman that I once heard Garrison Keillor read (I can’t remember which), but I gave up on all that by the tenth line and let the thing go wherever it wanted. Whether or not you enjoy the poem, I pray your time with family and/or friends is peaceful and that you remember in all your feasting that it’s but a shadow of what is to come.

THANKSGIVING
(A CONFESSION AND A PLEA TO THE ALMIGHTY)

O God, Magnificent Confounder,
Boundless in mercy and power,
Be near me in my apathy.

Be near me, Savage Dreamer,
Bright Igniter of Exploding Suns,
But not too near. I’d like to live,

By your grace, just long enough
To taste another perfect steak.
And to see my children marry,

And, perhaps, to pen a memoir.
Great redeemer of my lechery,
Bright Dawn of Blessed Hope,

Lay waste to every prideful thing,
Each black infraction of your law.
O Swirling Storm of Holy Anger,

Be patient with me. I’m certain
I will make a second gluttonous
Trip to the festal spread of food.

And I might as well admit, O King
Omniscient, I plan to make a third.
And that will lead to sloth, I know,

If only for the afternoon. Awake,
O sleeper! But not yet, not yet.
I want to dream a dream of light

In Heaven’s towering splendor.
I long, my Lord, to walk its streets
Or better yet, to drive them.

I’ve always wanted a motorcycle,
A cool one that blats and rumbles
Like a herd of flaming zebras.

I could totally impress the ladies
With my holy rolling zebra steed,
But only by your perfect pleasure,

Ruler of the angel armies, blaster
Of the horn of strength, would I ride
The golden highways awesomely.

O Wisdom of the Ages, speak!
Sing to me of secret knowledge
Open wide the gates of truth,

And let me learn it, by your grace,
Through the medium of television–
Smartly written situational comedy,

Perhaps, or an epic space opera.
Let me taste the honey of your word,
My beloved savior. Seriously. Save me

From my wit, my words, my songs,
My sin, my bad poems, my vanity,
My every single human impulse,

Except the ones I like and am able
To justify using my corruptible
Reason, my imperfect understanding,

And my belief in your inexhaustible
Forgiveness. When I awake, saintly,
I will consume a dish of pumpkin pie.

And, as I politely swallow a belch,
I will lean my heart on yours, Almighty,
To whom, alone, is due thanksgiving.

As a singer-songwriter and recording artist, Andrew has released more than ten records over the past fifteen years. His music has earned him a reputation for writing songs that connect with his listeners in ways equally powerful, poetic, and intimate. He has also followed his gifts into the realm of publishing. His books include the four volumes of the award-winning Wingfeather Saga.


23 Comments

  1. Melissa Ortega

    I like this just as much as I did last year! Still has the same effect as watching The Princess Bride, where the laugh lines are blurred with a sweetness and honesty that make its Divine Comedy True.

  2. Stephen Clark

    So many times, like a “herd of flaming zebras” I rush willfully into the midst of hungry lions, where my failures are little more than their just desserts.

    Great poem and insight into the paradox of humans trying to live righteously in a material world, while also existing in the presence of a Holy and Sovereign God. At least that is some of what I get out of it.

  3. Jess

    “Except the ones I like and am able
    To justify using my corruptible
    Reason, my imperfect understanding”

    Funny, but embarrassingly close to home. 🙂

  4. Matthew

    I like is Andrew. It speaks on many levels. It expresses the sides of God we know, yet wittingly and childishly (in a good way) holds to the many pleasures we enjoy by God’s grace, with bit of gravy confession as well. Thank you for the way you have touched all our lives and may your family have a great Thanksgiving! Pass this on to Randall and Ben Shive (and Co) as well as Slugs and Bugs is still playing heavily on all forms of audio communication.

  5. Jen

    I remember this… you had me at “flaming zebras.” So Collins-ish. 🙂 I still like it.

    “Be near me in my apathy.” Amen. Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Jon Slone

    Wow!!! Andrew…..this is so cool and so laid back. This poem of yours is like a kid and his father fighting over the quill…..and after hours and hours of ink splotches and verbal floor wrestling, they both decide to write it, one line to the grown-up and the other to the shin-kicker. So child-like and so grown-up brilliant, perfectly blended!

    Great job.

  7. Chris C

    I love this poem. I think I heard that same poem that Garrison Keillor read. The tenor of this poem reminds me of it.

    I am guilty as charged. We read and diligently study and listen to teachings, but we really don’t “know” as we should “know”, do we? I will confess… and I will also allow the tension that it is not as it should be, to remain. Help us Lord to not resist you. We love you, but evidently not enough. Thank you for being so gracious to us.

    Holy is the Lord, Holy is the Lord. And the Lord I will obey. Please help me, I don’t know the way.

  8. J. Christopher

    I officially LOVE it! It’s wonderfully honest and wise with a brilliant stream-of-consciousness vibe that only works because your consciousness is so amazing. Thanks for sharing it, AP. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family 🙂

  9. Megan

    This reminds me of something that N. D. Wilson might write, except in prose rather than rhymed poetry. Oh, and you add an extra touch of humor, where his would be rather dry self-deprecation. : ) I wish my extended family would let me read it aloud!

  10. Ron Block

    @ronblock

    This reminds me of Norman Grubb’s advice: “Tell God you’re not willing. But then tell him you’re willing to be made willing.”

  11. Adam

    It’s quiet now from a busy day of preparation and festivities, and in a moment of reflection, (ok, you caught me, I set down to check Facebook one more time) I recalled seeing this post and thus hopped on over to the Rabbit Room to read it as a closing to my day. (I shall spare you any more puns.)

    This poem confirmed the thoughts already entering my head, as they so often do at the close of days that remind of God’s abundant blessings in my life. A longing for more of Him and less of me. The lines above capture so beautifully, yet in a way chilling, the way in which we often weave the reality of Christ into our own “reality” of living, only to become tangled in the fact that we refuse to seek God as fervently as we claim to desire. Why do we trick ourselves time and time again? Oh, that we would truly know Him, desire to please Him and with joy share Him!

    “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” Phil. 3:10

    Thank you!

  12. Mindy

    Proprietor, I like this. I’m always wondering what to do with the fact that all the banal things are actually of eternal weight.

  13. Michael

    hey andrew just curious what were you reading from at the end of the behold the lamb show you did in knoxville this past week?

  14. Tim Cassidy

    Hey Andrew,

    Loved the poem! Such a powerful reminder of God’s presence with us in the midst of all of life, both in the glorious and (seemingly) mundane.

    Also, just wanted to add that, ever since a friend of mine played “Behold the Lamb of God” for me four years ago around Christmas, I’ve been hooked on your music. God has used the beautiful honesty of your songwriting to encourage and challenge me in so many ways over the past several years.

    Thank you and keep up the awesome work!

    The peace of Christ this Christmas season to you and your family,

    Tim

  15. Keep God First

    Elias:
    “Frankie the turkey was eatin’
    Oh he had been eatin’ a lot.
    The farmer’s family was vegan
    Or so Frankie Turkey had thought..”

  16. Just me

    wow.
    To the God who loves me and does let me draw near to His heart, while at the same time shaking my apathy and revealing my sin to me… hosannah. I need saving more often and more deeply than I know, and grace has been given to me so much more than I have recognized at the time.

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