January 2022 Poetry Column for Wineskins

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Jesus heard that they had thrown [the man born blind] out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

~ John 9:35-39

What was, before you,
Was formless and void
My eyes were unable to see
Until you came
And just your touch
Has healed me
And how I treasure the
Living memory
That the first thing
My newly-healed eyes saw
Was your lovely face

One of the most beloved hymns of all Christian history is “Amazing Grace.” It speaks of the transformation of personality from unsaved to saved, from blindness to sight. The humility and gratitude of the man born blind has much to teach us. When he recognized the face of the One who had healed him, he responded with worship. So, we too, must respond to the one who gave us spiritual life and sight.

Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

~ John 10:7-10

You are the high-banked threshold
Over which I stepped
Into such light, such light
You are the door
That stands open, open to the
Inside of multiplied marvels
Your presence populates this place, for
You are the many of opposing mirrors
Reflecting back and again
Like air, you pervade each moment
You are the opening
You are the interior
You are
My world

When Jesus spoke of Himself as a gate for sheep, the image was that of a shepherd who would at night stretch his own body across the opening of a sheepfold to keep predators away. Thus, he became a human barricade of protection. But just as Jesus is a gate of closure against enemies, He is also an open door of passageway to heaven. In John 1:51, He predicted a time when He himself, like the ladder in Jacob’s dream, would be the thoroughfare on which angels (the ministering servants for those who believe) would ascend and descend between heaven and earth.

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) and recently won an award for one of the best books of 2021 from Rooted Ministry.  The author of over two dozen published books, including Passion, Power, Proxy, Release (TSU Press) in which some of these these poems appear, she lives and writes in New Mexico. She maintains three websites: Latayne.com, mapmyfaith.org , and  Representationalresearch.com.

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