9May '11
archer drawing bow


I had everything all figured out.
I was to be God’s muscle.
I was to be God’s clout.
If He had a problem
That no-one else could fix
His plan would come together
With my rhetorical tricks

And Giants would fall by my silver tongue
Scholars posthumously count me among
The greatest, the brightest, the smartest, the best
I’d work seven days without needing to rest
The churches I’d plant, I would water and feed
Before moving on I’d train leaders to lead)

My signs-and-wonders ministry
Recognised by all my peers
Set apart, released, set free
I’d bury deep my secret fear
That the author of my glory
Would one day want it back
My peacock-feather competence
Was just a circus act.
My animated preaching
Just papered-over cracks.

Oh, I was to be God’s eagle! But
He wants me to be his… Sparrow?
I wanted to be God’s archer;
He’s called me to be his arrow.

And it’s not how sharp, or straight I am
I am not the anchor-man
My skills weigh just a milligram
In the balance of my heart.
No it’s how sharp and straight he makes
My life through every turn it takes
He slows and he accelerates
The milling of my heart.

So I will submit and endure and enjoy
The making and breaking,
The purge and the trim
For as archer, it was really just about me
But as arrow, it’s all about him.

And though I feel obscured, inert
I am the master Fletcher’s work
And so I wait, concealed, alert
Till his nail-damaged hands
Seek me on his back.

And ready, perfected, or useful at least,
Learning to wait but yearning to go,
I’ll stay hidden in his quiver
Until he draws his bow.

I wrote this poem a few months ago in response to Isaiah 49:2 which says, “He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver.”

David Shearman often talks about this verse and ironically it was his book The Unstoppable Church (see my recent poem of the same title) that I was reading when I wrote this one.

For those who don’t know me personally, my sixty-second biography is: studied at Mattersey Hall Bible College, fĂȘted as a man with enormous potential, Church planting in North Sheffield for six years, failed in almost every way possible, and now struggling to keep a right spirit while I see everyone else “living the dream” – but God has promised me: “The Best is Yet to Come.”

Image Credit: Flickr user michaelpollak

One comment

  1. A truly inspiring poem! It’s funny how we can expect certain things from our lives but the bigger plan for us might be different.

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