Fear Not

Fear Not-Sojourner Songs

The Fog Warning

This is from Ben Palpant’s new collection of poetry Sojourner Songs

I would encourage you to read it out loud.

“Fear not,” he said.
“Be glad, for the Lord favors you.”

But “fear not” is a hard task.
Give me a hundred lashes.
Give me a bed of coals.
Give me martyrdom,
But “fear not,”
I cannot.

And how can I believe
the Lord favors me
on those days when
shame holds my towel,
and offers the car keys,
even opens the door?

I remembered
the years swallowed whole
by Lust and her sisters,
Avarice and Ambition.
I remembered
the hand of God
pressed down on my back
until I suffocated in my sheets,
so when God pours out promises,
it is a strange epiphany.

The rain falls.
The fig tree
and the vine flourish.
The wheat does not run out,
nor does the wine,
nor the oil.

All these blessings are proof,
God’s proof
to me
that he stands here,
taking my shame,
holding my heart,
even opening the day,
lavishing goodness.

Just because.

What am I to do,
standing neck-deep
in blessing?

Fear not. Be glad.

Lord, I believe.
Help, Thou, my unbelief!

(Inspired by Joel 2:21-27)

©Ben Palpant Sojourner Song 2016

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