Poetry Column – May 2021

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“When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

~ Luke 14:8-11

Court of the Women
I move among these, my sisters
Here in the court of the women
Where the altar smoke
Drifts out from the
Distant and inaccessible altar
This is the place of shes
The blessing-site, the giving-way
I do not strain to see
The lampstands, the bowls,
The sacrifice;
For the light that shines from there
Moves toward me:
The Priest has brought
The rites to me
And together we fellowship
In the court of women
He knows submission
Better than I

The word “submission” is a hateful one in our society, because people assume that submitting to someone else is an admission that you are in some way inferior.

But Jesus taught just the opposite. We submit to one another to show honor; not because we are wretched, but because we choose to do so. Submission as a choice is a great source of strength and power—Jesus said the servant of all is the greatest of all. When women choose to be silent in worship, they exercise this same kind of power of submission, and mirror the fact that in the Old Testament temple, the court of the women was where all the giving took place.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

~ Matthew 11:28

Just as He is God
Who is served by
A Spirit
Who is the faces of
Lamb ox eagle lion man

Who is a wheel
Within a wheel
Covered by eyes
All around

I lean now
Upon His breast
Becoming with the church
Millions of ears
That lie just under
His clavicle
Straining to hear
The comfort of
His beating

Jesus made the most marvelous barter of all history. Come to Me, He said, and I’ll take all your messes, all your regrets, all your guilt and pain, no questions asked. In most translations, He is quoted as saying “I will give you rest.” But the word “rest” in Greek is a verb, not a direct object. It’s not something He gives you, it’s something He does to you.  

Come to Me, He says. I’ll rest you.


So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go until you bless me.”

~ Genesis 32:24-27

The Match

Like Jacob and the angel
We face each other warily
Our eyes never releasing their vision-lock
What soundless circling,
Sliding of bared feet
Upon the mat of my life
I have heard the bell
For the opening of the match:
It rings even now in my brain
Insistent, insistent,
Sounded by
My divine Opponent
And I sigh
Because I do not know if I have the strength
I do not know the outcome
(For He with whom I joust
Is also judge)
My crowded consciousness chants:
“Though He slay me
Yet will I hope in Him”
The wrestling match

The walk of the faithful with God is not a trouble-free stroll. In fact, those who become close to God often find themselves struggling with Him in one way or another. Abraham, for instance, bargained with God over the safety of the people in Sodom, wrangling back and forth over numbers. Jacob literally wrestled with God. Paul asked the Lord over and over to remove his “thorn in the flesh,” and even this great hero of faith was denied his request. Even our Lord Jesus was told that He must drink from the cup He’d asked repeatedly to have taken away. Throughout the ages of Christianity, people have struggled with God. One believer, Teresa of Avila, once wrote a letter to God in which she told him how difficult her life had become since she had attempted to surrender it fully to Him.

 “If this is how You treat Your friends,” she penned ruefully, “it’s no wonder You have so many enemies.”

So take heart, brother, sister: you can’t wrestle with Someone who isn’t at least touching you.

Dr. Latayne C. Scott is the recipient of Pepperdine University’s Distinguished Christian Service Award for “Creative Christian Writing,” and is Trinity Southwest University’s Author in Residence. Her newest book is Talking with Teens about Sexuality: Critical Conversations about Social Media, Gender Identity, Same-Sex Attraction, Pornography, Purity, Dating, Etc. with Dr. Beth Robinson (Bethany Books.) The author of over two dozen published books, including Passion, Power, Proxy, Release (TSU Press) in which these poems appear, she lives and writes in New Mexico. She maintains two websites: Latayne.com and Representationalresearch.com.

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