Behold

BEHOLD.
with footnotes
{sorry for the poor formatting. I couldn’t get it to work with footnotes otherwise}

BEHOLD.

Canto I. The Dust of His Feet

“Who delights in the honest cry of my broken heart?
Who smiles as I wonder at the beauty of the earth?
Who understands me to the fullest extent and wants
nothing more than for me to be His bride?”
              – S.C.
Stop,

Consider

The wondrous works of God.[1]
Look above –

Billows of white,

Wisps and piles of cotton,

Scattered layers and towers,
Shipless sails in the heavens,

Rolling black thunderheads,

Stretched out across the sky.

They move at His command
Declare His presence[2]

Led Israel in the desert

Herald His coming

Veil His chariot[3]

Brought for good or ill[4]

Whether they come with rain

Or fly away like the birds
They await His call.

Can anyone understand

How He spreads the clouds,[5]

How His pavilion thunders?[6]
They hide His face[7]

From the sinner,

Lest he die

In the day of judgment.

He sends them whither He wills
Makes them rise from the ends of the earth[8]
Glimpses of glory
Thrill the soul because of their Maker
Beauty always different

Changing every moment –

The dust from His feet[9]

Until the trump resounds

And His own rise to meet Him[10]

In cloud.

 

Canto II. The Span of His Hand

 

“Who has measured the stars in the span of His hands
Yet cradled His lamb to His chest?
Who has woven the world in brilliant harmony
Yet quieted my heart in the darkest night?”

–          E.P.

The fourth day of the world

He made the lights

To rule the day

To rule the night

Then three small words,

As if

It hardly mattered:
“And the stars.”[11]
He numbered them.[12]

At the Word[13]
They came into being

Flung into their places

Recorded as a small detail

In the colossal hand of God.

And they sang
They praised His name[14],
Their Maker.

The morning stars sang together[15]

Declared the glory of God.[16]

The heavens outdo those in His image

Who need prompting

to praise.

In His love
He set them there
For signs
For seasons
For days

And years[17]

Because His steadfast love

Endures forever[18]
He gave these gifts

This cosmic beauty

Orion as He walks the sky
Cygnus as it soars above the dolphin
The dippers as they point the way
Scorpio, beside the moon
Faintly seen, the gleaming way

Milky as it weaves its path
across the velvety richness

That is the sky
Deep and dark
flecked with silver
domed above
Soul hushed.

In His might

He calls out each one by name
Like sheep[19]

Each night,

Whether the eye beholds

Or whether they are veiled

He brings them out

And they are there,

Because He is strong in power.[20]

He keeps them in their paths

So predictable

Yet without Him
Would be chaos.[21]

The night without stars

Is the dark night of the soul[22]

The questioning paradox

How can the God who brings this

Be good?

And where is the lovingkindness

Of Love? [23]

Asking, it clings to Him

Audacious in its wond’ring
Knowing His unthwarted purpose

His faithfulness[24]

As long as the sun shall rise.[25]
As we see Him
The darkness fades.[26]

So lift up your eyes and see

Who created these? [27]

Seek the One

Let not their beauty

Rob worship from their Maker.[28]

The gods of the Nations –
Worthless, idols.
The LORD –
He made the heavens.[29]

The lights of the night

A comfort to the weary soul
For the ones who know

their Maker carries them

For the ones who know
that this vast expanse

That modern man cannot comprehend

Is but the space between His fingers –

A single span

Of His hand[30]

 

Canto III. The Voice of Many Waters

 

“You are the all-knowing God who has had

a plan for my life from before the foundations

of the world.”

–          H.P.

Who is like You,

O Lord, among the Gods?[31]

Whose voice is like the thunder[32]

And the sound of many waters?[33]

Roaring, swelling, mounting –

Whose hands are covered

With the lightening

And who commands it to strike?

Its crashes declare His presence.
When He speaks
There is tumult in the heavens

And yet He also whispers
in a still small voice[34]

For Him the mist rises from the earth

And the winds leave their storehouse.[35]

To whom then
will you liken God?
Or to what will you compare Him?[36]

The Nations, the mighty nations
The many peoples
He plants and tears down
They are but a drop in the bucket
Only dust on the scales
They are nothing to Him
Even less than nothing –
How can less than nothing be?

Uncomprehendable,
this One.

And yet
To a God so mighty –
Who stretches out the heavens[37]
And has measured the waters

And weighed the mountains
To whom none have shown counsel  [38]

Who moves the hearts of men

And gives them their every breath –
He is everlasting
Creator of the ends of the earth
He does not faint

Or grow weary [39]
He established the world

By His wisdom – [40]

Then perhaps

To Him

There could be

A less than nothing.

 

Canto IV. The Lion and the Lamb

 

“The God who comforts and makes Himself known

To His children. He knows exactly how to take care of each need

Of His children, no matter how great…”

–          M.L.

Who is the everlasting friend, who always listens

And never forgets? Who is the one who keeps His

Promises – who never changes? He is the one to

Stand by and guard you – the one who sees your

Sadness and laughs with your joy.”

–          O.M.

 

Oh, herald of good news –

Get up to a mountain

And declare to the cities

This God.

Let all hear and see –

Behold your God! [41]

This God who is

Both lion and lamb.

The One who is higher than the stars[42]

Lights that pass away[43]

They are so great so

Is not He who remains forever

Even greater?

And forever –

He changes not.

This God to behold

What is seen in Him

Will not change

From here until

Beyond eternity.

The waters would overwhelm

The stars, they would burn
Even the cloud would suffocate us.

And the Almighty God

Would also be our death

If beheld too close.

And yet

It is that nearness

That man longs for –
Eternity[44]

To know God.[45]

The Lamb
He offered Himself

Death in our place

Our sins on His back

A gift of grace

Now we behold

No curtain bars the way[46]

No cloud obscures the sight[47]
iniquity pardoned[48]

Face-to-face at last will be[49]

His children

Forever with Him.

This God of power –

Who commands the clouds

And the waves of the sea,

The Maker of heaven and earth –

Whose name alone is a strong tower[50]
His power in just one word.
He is our help[51]

He knows the griefs

Has born the sorrows[52]

The aching heart

Is comforted

With tenderness. [53]

He understands

The complex inner workings

Of the mind –
He knows His child

Better than she knows herself.[54]

It is this Lord who is my shepherd.[55]

These ones who are but grass[56]

Whose bodies fade away

The Everlasting carries

In His bosom[57]

The Almighty
Increasing strength

When we are faint.[58]
He cares

And loves

Even us.

He cares for the sparrows[59]

Those in His image,

Worth so much more
The Lion strong enough to protect

Gently leads His lambs[60]

Tenderly, for He is Lamb like us

And He was broken, too.

Canto V. The Bridegroom

 

“Your greatest lover, that you can rely on.
Your Father, that will care for you.

He loves you more than a fish needs the water

And more than birds crave the berries.

His love is enough.”

–          C.H.

The won’dring Psalmist wrote

Considering the heavens –

“What is man that You are mindful of Him?”[61]

For compared to the skies,

Men are small and ugly.

And yet this God

Who marked off the boundless heavens

With only His hand

Came down

He took brokenness

And made it whole.

Brought meaning.

Gave life.

The world not left to herself

He married Himself to her
In His covenant faithfulness[62]
She became His[63]

Though she looked elsewhere[64]

He never has.

He was here
And we esteemed Him not

Too busy with the gifts He gave

To see Him

Even though it is He

Who holds the world together,

It is He

We ignore.[65]

He pursues

In her unfaithfulness

He desires

To know this sinner

To eat with her

To overflow her cup

To suffer for her

To die for

To love

To marry

To bring her to His Father.

The path she takes

The path I take

Though beyond today is unknown

Though beset with falling short

Though full of question and fear

Is never hidden from His sight[66]

The future is marked out like a path

A path from which none shall ever stray.[67]

This God who made the clouds

Who calls out the stars –

Somehow
He is fairer than even they –

Who is gentle and intimate

with His lambs –

it cannot be understood,

why such a Great One would do so

for such a wretch as I –

Has set out this path
He will clear the rubble

And guide the way

And bring to rejoicing

When the path is hard

The way unfathomable

The future uncertain –

It is well

With my soul.[68]

In the darkness

Of the soul

How big is your God?

He is greater

Than the night.

Even when

The sky is bare

And lonely –

He is there,

And here.
He hems me in
His presence, all around[69]

His power

His might

His love

His tenderness

Ever Near

To behold

Our God

Even if we

Are broken.

And then –

He calls

The Bridegroom

For the Bride

She comes

Then face-to-face

Beholds.


[1] Job 37:14

[2] Revelation 1:7, 14:14; Daniel 7:13;  and throughout the Bible, clouds often have to do with His coming.

[3] Psalm 104:3

[4] Isaiah 5:6

[5] Psalm 147:8

[6] Job 36:26-30

[7] Psalm 97:2

[8] Psalm 135:7

[9] Nahum 1:3

[10] 1 Thessalonians 4:17

[11] Genesis 1:16

[12] Psalm 147:3-4. I don’t think it’s random that binding up the brokenhearted and His knowledge and power displayed in the stars are together.

[13] John 1:1

[14] Psalm 148:3

[15] Job 38:7

[16] Psalm 19:1

[17] Genesis 1:14

[18] Psalm 136:6-9

[19] A.W. Tozer, “What is the Supreme Sin of a Profane Society?”

[20] Isaiah 40:26

[21] Colossians 1:16-17

[22] Job 3:6-9

[23] Thought taken from “A Sacred Sorrow,” by Michael Card

[24] Jeremiah 31:35

[25] Job 19:25-27

[26] 1 Kings 19 – God doesn’t answer Elijah’s problem but shows him Himself.

[27] Isaiah 40:26

[28] Deuteronomy 4:19-20

[29] Psalm 96:5

[30] Isaiah 40:12

[31] Exodus 15:11

[32] Job 40:9

[33] Ezekiel 43:2

[34] 1 Kings 19:11-13

[35] Jeremiah 10:13

[36] Isaiah 40:18

[37] Isaiah 40:22

[38] Isaiah 40:12-14

[39] Isaiah 40:28-29

[40] Jeremiah 10:12

[41] Isaiah 40:9-10

[42] Job 22:12

[43] Mark 13:25

[44] Quote C.S. Lewis: “If I find in myself a desire that this world cannot fulfill, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

[45] John 17:3

[46] Hebrews 6:19-20, Exodus 26:33,  Matthew 20:50-51

[47] Psalm 18:11, 97:2

[48] Isaiah 40:2

[49] 1 Corinthians 13:12

[50] Proverbs 18:10

[51] Psalm 121, Psalm 124:8

[52] Isaiah 53:3

[53] Isaiah 40:2

[54] Paraphrased Olivia Bradstreet

[55] Psalm 23:1

[56] Isaiah 40:7-8

[57] Isaiah 40:11

[58] Isaiah 40:29

[59] Matthew 10:29-31

[60] Isaiah 40:11

[61] Psalm 8:3-4

[62] Phrasing taken from Dr. Benjamin Shute

[63] Ezekiel 16:8

[64] Ezekiel 16:15

[65] John 1:10

[66] Isaiah 40:27, Job 23:10

[67] Phrase from Olivia Jeavons

[68] Horatio Spafford, reflecting on how even in devastation, because Christ has borne our sin, it is well with our souls.

[69] Psalm 139:5

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One thought on “Behold

  1. Jim and Karen Fox says:

    Kyleigh, you have woven together the Scripture, your delight in the clouds and stars, and what you have learned from your studies of suffering. These works are begging to be put to music and/or a book with beautiful photos of the sky, the heavens, waters, and images depicting God’s love as you refer to it.

    Love

    Daddy

    Like

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