The Water Walker

Running, running
Outpacing typhoons
Shattered glass years
Lived here, there,
Everywhere broken
Redemptive ways few
Weary days like clay
Lumped, reshaped
Into strange seasons
Sherpa climbs and shelters
Stormy clefts and caves
Cast down and threatened
By those who had bought her
Until a mountain-melting whisper
Drew a line in the sand
While scoffers scattered
The woman scorned was freed
By the Man called ‘Jesus’
The One who walked on water

 

Copyright 2011 S. Michaels Based on the story of the woman caught in adultery  John 8: 1-11
Excerpt from ‘Divine Destinies – Poetic Portraits of Bible Women’

Keeper of the Well

sepia-praying-woman

 

Water jars, my careful trade of bronzed brown clay

Each precious vessel hand-swirled on rough potter’s wheel

Aligned around me, drawing water, filled slowly, one by one

Nestled near Nahor’s spring, guarding my liquid blue treasure

Mediterranean eyes my inheritance, deep indigo reflection of seas

Tears my toil’s residue, crystalline, like shimmering seed pearls

Dripping head to toe soaked through and through at the well, I sang

Well of light my father Bethuel spoke of our place of tireless labour

Clay vessels my livelihood, gracefully upheld, costly as silver

Sharer of life-giving water, mine to serve, humbly, graciously

Waiting, watching, overseer of weary wanderers and camels

 

Rebekah… Rivkah…I was Keeper of the well.

 

Sand sprinkled water jars, slight shoulders swaying

Familiar and rhythmic my measured steps, pathways plain

Drawn to the well by dawn, cool and clear, traders voices rang

Coming and going, hour by lengthening hour, I watered thirsting needs

Lantern held high at night, many ventured to Nahor’s spring late

Approached one inky twilight by Eliezer, servant of Abraham

Seeking a woman divinely promised to Isaac, her name unknown

Praying to discover the one already chosen by Him

Eliezar’s bequest to God whispered in earnest hope and faith 

Unaware, responding as I always did, stepping forth to serve

At Nahor’s Well, ‘The Light’, I would be awed by what I heard

Blessings spoken. Gifts of gold given. Astounding, full of glory!

 

Rebekah…Rivkah…our sister, may you increase to thousands upon thousands

May your offspring possess the gates of your foes!

 

Hidden by veils, floating veils…trembling, breathless with anticipation

I reached out at Nahor not long thereafter to meet my beloved, Isaac…

We wed then, deeply loving, painful barrier of barrenness to reprove

Great promises unfettered by God’s grace, I bore our two sons

Jostling in my womb I brought forth two nations, many knew

El Shaddai was with us, thus there we praised Him

 

Rebekah… Rivkah…tied to a future far beyond all I dreamed

My love outpoured. Overflowing waters. Joy of life my deepest well.

 

 

 Copyright 2009 Susan Michaels (Based on Rebekah’s story – Genesis 24  (Excerpt from ‘Divine Destinies – Poetic Portraits of Powerful Bible Women  photo – hem of his garment. org

Tabitha’s Miracle

sail

Ancient threads spooling round and round me from birth

Inherited fate of idol gods, long-worshipped Ishtar and Sin

Swaddled in mystery, proud lineage Aramean and Greek

Father joyous, anticipating a daughter divinely graceful

‘Gazelle’…Tabitha…he named me, an infant in his arms

Dorcas….’Gazelle’…mother echoed in Hellenic tongue

Let her be light-footed as a deer, dancing on the heights

Unknowing I would land on life’s shores, weak of limb

Unable to run and play, learning only to weave

Sewing…I created rich and wealthy robes for kings.

 

Silken strands, rainbow colors spun by slender fingers

Linens, cottons, tapestries bright, billowing under the sun

Eyes doe-like honeyed pools, reflecting dreams passed by

Sapphirine skies enveloping my days, ribbons of life fleeting

Wearied heart, shuffling seams, gold, indigo and red as blood

Earthbound ebony nights, spent longing for greater things

Beyond Joppa’s restless tides I was led to hear Him

Amazed to find greatest love of all at the Master’s side

At Caesarea He met me and everything changed, I danced  

Rejoicing…as had another, I brushed the hem of His garment.

 

Twisted yarn of empty past relinquished and forgotten

Inheritor of new life eternal, encountering Him, the Anointed One  

Daughter of faith, reborn of His Spirit, loving to serve

Heart aflame with heavenly visions, I embraced His passion

Life unburdened and outpouring every means to clothe the poor

Journeying tirelessly afar to help as many as I could

Everyone smiled in those days, knowing me as one who ran after Him

Great love to give, endless treasures of His life to share!

Stung by death’s sudden coldness and bleak shroud

Adrift upon dark plains, I heard Peter bidding aloud

Tabitha…Dorcas…Gazelle…Arise in Jesus’ Name…

A miracle!…I awoke, living in resurrection power!

 

 

Copyright 2009 Susan Michaels (Based on Tabitha’s story – Acts 9:36-43(Excerpt from ‘Divine Destinies – Poetic Portraits of Powerful Bible Women)

Resting at Mamre

sahara

 

Atop high desert hills we sped, wild wandering nights and days

Crossing treacherous wastelands, searching out havens beyond hardship

Abandoning Mesopotamia’s ancient snaking rivers and scurrile foes

Abraham, my righteous husband, teaching me faith instead of fear

Sharing life’s uncertainties, finding peace near green Hebron fields

Abraham, my wise husband, understanding me through and through…

Your loving thoughts intrigue me, Sarah!

Smiling enfolded in his strength, hearts entwined like grape vines

Strong tendrils bearing fruit in season, laughter evaporating tears

Resting often under the great shade tree at Mamre

 

…we loved.

 

Desert gusts descending, lifting tent folds, stirring wrinkles in time

Winged heartbeats, aging, thoughts drifting like sifting sands

Blazing sun’s mirages raising doubts, foolish hopes and fancies

‘Rest, Sarah my dearest one’ Abraham, my tender husband whispered

Three visitors approaching, announcing my name boldly on the wind

Abraham, my reverent husband, bowing low, washing dusty feet said later

Yes, you laughed! I heard! Yet in old age you will bear a son!

Denying it at first, absurdity sparking unbelief, admitted abashedly

Preparing, serving honey, curds, warm bread, overflowing smiles

Standing apart from Abraham and the Lord under the tree at Mamre

 

…I laughed.

 

Over dune castles of sand, tears, laughter, faith soaring, flying

Following so many dreams, reluctant now to disappoint, fail him

Loving Abraham with everything in me, troubled by doubt, human limitation

Abraham, my faithful husband, eyes alive, expectant, unchanging

Turning my servant over to him, not knowing he heard my weeping

Abraham, my believing husband, loving me anyway, above all

Is anything too hard for the Lord, Sarah…that’s what He said!

Smiling anew, eyes passionate, delighting in God-given love gift

I the first to weep, holding our son, joy-tears, Lord’s grace forgiving

Resting at Mamre with Abraham, loving, together

 

 …we named our future Isaac…

 

 

(Copyright 2009 Susan Michaels, Based on Genesis 18:1-15, Genesis 21: 1-7 (Excerpt from Divine Destinies – Poetic Portraits of Powerful Bible Women)

Being Deborah

  

Tenderly sweetly nursed at silken mother’s breasts, Debor – ‘a bee’

Small, warm, buzzing footsteps alight, dancing from flower to flower

Hour upon hour, playing, carrying delightful visions too big for a child

Laughing, thrown happily into life, warm arms of family enfolding

Strong arms of father embracing, lifting me up under royal palms

Strengthened by love, singing, carrying Israel’s visions aloft like doves

Divine anointing poured into the vessel of my dreams, soft as rain

Sweetest honey, golden words poured out, declaring my destiny

I, being Deborah, knew I was born to speak of His love.

 

Entranced by eyes only for me, loved with passion rich as wine

Twirling, spinning, delighting footsteps flying, dancing from rose to rose

My beloved husband, Lappidothman of many lights and lanterns

Aflame, our love sweeping me along on rivers of sheer joy

Kisses floating like acacia blossoms in spring, coming alive together

Defending, caring strength surrounding me, man of God supporting me to be

More than I dreamed, judge and prophet, speaker of His Word

Born to render justice, honour, humility, peace, declaring my destiny

I, being Deborah, knowing I was greatly blessed, spoke of His power. 

 

Thundering, trembling earth quaking under rippling waves of steeds

Galloping, hearts afire mile upon mile, stallion strength pounding

Five thousand men plus five thousand, swift and strong

Earth sheltering fearful hearts, birds taking wing in descending storm

Gathering tempest cry of warriors, desert sands stirring darkening clouds

Tangled tresses flying, voices lifted high on sacred songs

Racing, rushing headlong over sweeping plains

Napthali and Zebulun’s armies alongside, we drove the rebel king to doom.

I, being Deborah, knowing His victory, poured out El Shaddai’s praises like honey.

 

Copyright 2009 Susan Michaels (Based on Deborah and Song of Deborah, Judges 4 & 5 excerpt from ‘Divine Destinies – Poetic Portraits of Powerful Bible Women)