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Lochlanina L. Tobey

About this Christian Poet:
I received my B.A. in English Composition from Messiah College (here in Pennsylvania), and have done nothing with my degree since. The subjective advice I received from professors and publishers left me discouraged and immobilized for many years. It was the prompting of the Holy Spirit which lead me to dust off my pen, find my own authentic voice, and start writing again. The Utmost Christian Poetry contest was my first submission in over seven years; I feel blessed to receive such positive encouragement so quickly.

In our modern society Truth is often ignored because it is already known, or because it has been relegated to the sphere of ceremonial repetition. When we search for Spirituality, for God, it is important to remember that sometimes the traditional answers are still true. It is flawed logic to overlook Christ while we search for truth, but ineffectual ritual and obscure philosophy have become panacea, our new false idols. As I wrote "Pilgrim of Wisdom" I mourned friends who have fallen prey to these other gods while seeking our Heavenly Father.

Pilgrim of Wisdom

There you will serve other gods made by human hands
Objects of wood and stone that neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell
From there you will seek the Lord your God
And you will find Him if you search after Him with all your heart and soul.
Deuteronomy 4:28-29

Cedar wood, hyssop, and crimson yarn;
Two birds, seven sprinklings—are you clean then?
Consecrated by the repetition of rules we no longer have reasons for
You feel an ant trail across your wrist
Like a worshiper headed to Jerusalem
And you follow through a desert of contrary opinions,
Theological ramifications you cannot begin to unwind.
Lost, and thirsty among the dust of your books
Seeking answers from the world. It is
There you will serve other gods made by human hands.

These learned ones would say it is so with all gods—
They would say all gods are false, none could be different.
Their modern science will prove it. They will say
You must reject answers too old, too obvious to consider.
How wretched the ache, the need
The empty supplications strung on hollow beads.
Somewhere beyond your devout wooden savior
There was a man who lived and died and rose again.
Or do you only see the ritual of symbols standing in for God
Objects of wood and stone that neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell?

Are you blinded by the work (the intellect) of men?
These stones are not bread to feed you in the desert.
These trees are only branches which lead back to roots
Evidence of the prayers which rise through all things.
Your persistent questions claw the infinite truth
Without pause. Be still. Hear Him whisper.
Let yourself be submerged with old leaves;
Carried along the river bottom, back to the beginning
The calm of that first morning when He saw that it was good.
From there you will seek the Lord your God.

From that open heart
Which seeks Him in elevators
In sunrises, on playground carousels
In grains of sand and mustard seeds
In that place before stone and wood and man
Where the breath of heaven
Moves upon the face of the waters
And you will find strength to seek in the wilderness—
Like a voice calling for water with the deliberateness of worship—
And you will find Him if you search after Him with all your heart and soul.

Copyright ©2005 by Lochlanina L. Tobey