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Kevin Umphfres

About this Christian Poet:
I live in central California. When I'm not busy teaching my 5th graders or at the local J.C. you can usually find me flyfishing on one of the many streams and rivers ribboning across the western Sierras. I also love to play and compose music on guitar or piano. Over the past few years especially the arts have become a vital tool both for focusing a lot of my creative energy, and fleshing out my relationship to God.

Wine and Roses is an articulation of that tidal theological shift—that humble awakening—which occured when I realized that despite all my searchings, it was really God, afterall, who found me. It was He who wooed, who redeemed, and who then transformed me from a person hidden in a room of my own invention, into a saint hidden in His arms. To me, this metamorphosis is the most undeserved miracle of all, for it involved only my coming, but everything God could ever give. The title of my poem is no coincidence—I feel as if I really have been showered with wine and roses, and for no other reason than God's breathtaking goodness.

Wine and Roses

Even as you spent yourself on this ungrateful top
It had the gall to keep spinning
Flinging the ocean at skiffs and fishing towns
Upsetting boats and local economies
While cruelty crept across the human face
Like a shadow across a rock
And what with the sun beating down
Day after day
And the moon at night
Some took up the skeptic's cloak
And forged doubt into daggers
Meant only for the back
Of the One who found me
Hidden like Gideon's threshing floor
In want of shape and heat and light
And something called hope
And why the scandal I'll never know
When the door flung open
And I fled that room
To a hill of all places
Into the warmth of Divine embrace
Into the union of Maker and made
And the great great dance
Until helpless in your arms
I whispered, "Why me Lord—
The Prodigal's teacher—why this mercy?"
But I heard nothing
Except the sound of a calf falling
And me standing robed and speechless
Showered with wine and roses

Copyright©2002 by Kevin Umphfres