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Jan Wood

About this Christian Poet:
Jan Wood, of Big River, Saskatchewan, is International Christian Poet Laureate for 2008 and 2009.

Faith and Doubt at Counterpoint

I trip on stones in a parched wilderness and cry
“Turn them to bread, people will flock like sheep
their obedience for sale.”
A Real God wouldn’t miss this holy ground.
A Real God would bake bread serve it with butter
would not call it sin when the crime is hunger.
There is certainty in bread.
There is certainty in a God that can produce it
fresh from the oven baked like your mother’s.
I choose the bread then throw it away
fed and burped I need not only to live
but to have something to live for.
There is more than bread.

I climb the church steeple and cry
“Jump! Hear them shriek doctor, watch them dial lawyers.
Worship is for sale at each testing site.”
I jump anyway.
A Real God would be right there on the heels
of my hysterical echoes.
A Real God would wash my wounds, tape my chest,
wrap all my damage before it is found out.
I would not have to look for some Word to save my life.
I would not lie bargaining for a miracle
tempted to die just to breathe and sleep.
There will be no enslavement by miracle.

I think through this glass darkly but I see clearly
I see the document and the pen “To own the world, sign here.”
You will not wear Caesar’s purple, will not
disguise justice in a toga and a meter of royal silk.
I sign where you will not and tour
through Europe, fly from Hong Kong to Mexico
all their temptations are ready for me.
You can have your elect if they wait for you
I’ll join the millions.
A Real God wouldn’t put up with that.
A Real God would pump a few rounds into me
for wearing that T-shirt,
“If God doesn’t come soon, I will”
There will be no sacrifice of freedom.

I find there is a God that remains God
even when my Real God disintegrates.
Doubt warns me to hold silent
I will receive no meal, magic or miracle
only the burden of free choice and mystery.
It is through courage Faith is earned.

Copyright ©2007 by Jan Wood