The Song, an Allegory

I try to teach the chant from time to time. I always sing it and share it around.

It’s just a chant. Quite tuneless, especially from my lips. It just drones its weary course, like the muddy depths of an ancient river.

When enthusiasm flares and I press men to try my tune, they look at me, suspicious. Only the polite accede. But soon they too find reason to be off, leaving me to my lonely tuneless tune.

I shan’t blame them. I was unimpressed at first. And beyond that, too…..

“We shall sing.” he had announced. “Song shall bind us together.”

And so he made us sing. He sang as if the dirge were a gift from heaven. Our voices barely heard, he made us sing again and again.

The several instruments amid his piles of stuff spoke of his love for music. But we had come for other things. Lessons to redeem our future.

The song displaced many a class, to our great dismay. Moon upon new moon greeted a dwindling band, as mutinous murmurs whispered anger at the song, until but half remained.

This fool sang, with nowhere to flee and soul suborned by force of another’s will. So I sang on.

My voice, unskilled for worthy use, droned on this doleful dirge until its notes oozed from my every pore.

Other lessons long forgot, this song still invades my waking thought. Insidious and strong its cords control my every move. I am slave to the song.

In time but a handful remained. A handful of handsome voices drilled and strengthened by aeons with the chorus. Powerful voices, agile and clear. To those faithful voices the song was given.

Arrogant souls were long away. Untamed hearts had run their restless retreat to lesser things. Fools had found yet other fools to follow. And a handful remained to sing.

And so the song began. To one he gave a harmony, simple and safe. To another a stuttering stagger that stumbled along the dirge which my humble voice held firm. And so the voices met in blend.

I cried the first time; my doleful dirge undergirding such happy collision of chorus. And we discovered the truth, that “Song shall bind us together.”

Many happy days were charged with this song, pitched with gusto, as we celebrated sounds we had dared not imagine. Oh the joy of each new part, as complicitous intricacies wove themselves into an ever more vibrant tapestry. We were transfixed and transformed. Nothing was ever the same again.

Our joy was to sing. Our life was to sing this song of ever increasing intricacy. We were born to sing and mundane things were readily thrown aside for the chance to blend voice again. And so it was, days without number.

The course complete we finally faced our future. Each packed for disparate ways we stood to raise one rousing last rendition, then fell upon each neck and cried. How could we survive without the song? How could life be lived without the chorus? How could we go on without each line, each lip, each lung?

He turned from his wagon, piled high with tomes and trinkets, and bade us sing again. And so we did. Intoning the dirge, I brought the song to birth. Then a simple harmony eddied in. Another current here and a stone skipping there, with birds and breezes skimming the waves until our hearts would burst with celebration of sound.

Then, when all that our voices could muster rang in glorious cascading collusion the song finally roused to life. He had a fiddle in his hand and it soared upon our voices like a creature risen from the dead. Our song was but air to the nostrils of this wild majestic thing. What we had called song was trampled under foot by the glorious arrogant creature brought to life by the old man’s hands on string and bow.

We dared not stop for breath, but exulted on the triumph of true song birthed on voices, built on dirges from captured, raptured souls.

And then he was gone.

We hugged again and drifted apart, to the dreams we had each brought with us.

So now I sing my song. And I cry. And at times I run when I hear voices joined, to see if the teacher is there.

I met a man who knew my song and he brought a harmony I had never heard, which he assures me the teacher taught him. “He plays flute, you know”, he said. Oh, if only I could hear him play.

Notes: I wrote this piece on December 8, 2007, to invoke something of the wonder of a life yielded to God, able to taste glories that selfish men never know. The dirge is the discipline of yieldedness, sifting those who will kneel from those who fight for their rights. With that dirge comes the unexpected and undervalued discipline which empowers us to achieve what we did not even know was important.

Then, once our hearts have been tamed and a communion established between us, we mere mortals can work with heavenly things for which we were once disqualified. The rapture of such service to heavenly cause, sounding forth a harmony and unity extremely rare, is worth every minute of the mundane path which leads us there.

But that is not all. The Master is able to transform even that which has been transformed and turn our glories into the mere clacking of sticks, upon which rhythm His heavenly purpose soars all the more resplendent.

Once touched by unity in divine service and tasting of the heavenly glories yet to come, we are spoiled for the ordinary and find ourselves searching for those who know of what we speak. Our hearts are set on heaven and we long for the courts of the Lord.

Submission to God – I am Willing Poem

I recently updated an ancient poem about submission to God and I share it here to prompt you on the topics of making Jesus Lord, yielding your life to God, dying to self, humility and submission.

I am Willing….

I am Willing…
To receive what You give me,
To lack what You keep from me,
To relinquish what You take from me,
To surrender what You claim from me,
To suffer what You ordain for me,
To do what You command of me,
To wait until You say to me, ‘Go’.
Original Version by an Unknown Author, reworked by Chris Field, October 2008.

Poetry or Reality

The problem with sweetly stated poetic ideas is we can enjoy them as poetry and fail to make them reality. While I love the sentiment of the verse I have just shown you, we must all go further than reading the words. Our journey is to make the words real in our personal life experience.

Sadly, many Bible truths have been reduced in the minds of church-goers to the status of children’s stories, inspiring thoughts, poetic sentiment and so on. Christianity is a very gritty reality.

Consider the martyrs of church history. There faith was not a more poetic sentiment, but a complete commitment. What about those who suffer persecution on a daily basis? And consider those who die to selfish ambition, turning down golden opportunities on account of conscience and their commitment to Christ. Christianity is no mere poetic nicety. It is a tough and sacrificial, life-changing, all encompassing lifestyle.

God Wants All of You

Such is the demand of our faith that it invades and messes with every aspect of our lives. God wants to be Lord of every aspect of our existence, including the personal, family, career, mental, emotional, business and social realms.

The claims of Christ on our lives is summed up well in a 1967 song by gospel artist, Audrey Meier, “All He Wants is You”.

“All He wants is you. No one else will do.
Not just a part, He wants all of your heart.
All He wants is all of you. All He wants is you

All He wants is me, Unreservedly.
Not just a part, He wants all of my heart.
All He wants is all of me. All He wants is me.” (Audrey Meier).

Have Thine Own Way Lord

Please excuse my ongoing reference to poetic verse on this topic, but it is one that has been well celebrated by hymn writers and poets through the centuries. The yieldedness which I outlined in “I am Willing” at the start of this article, has been beautifully articulated in the lovely and popular hymn, “Have Thine Own Way Lord”.

Over 100 years ago (1907) Adelaide Pollard penned the verses to this lovely hymn. In successive verses she: acknowledges God as the Potter with power over the clay; recognises God’s ability to see what is inside us; confesses our weakness in need of God’s power; and celebrates the ultimate achievement of a life reflecting Christ.

Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after thy will,
while I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Search me and try me, Savior today!
Wash me just now, Lord, wash me just now,
as in thy presence humbly I bow.

Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me I pray!
Power, all power, surely is thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine!

Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Hold o’er my being absolute sway.
Fill with thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me!

How Willing Are You?

To receive what God gives you: Or do you demand what you want, maybe loving this present world more than fellowship with your Heavenly Father. Remember that Demas “loved this present world” and abandoned the faith.
To lack what God keeps from you: Or do you go after the things you want, demanding that you be gratified, despite what God requires of you or has for you.
To relinquish what God takes from you: Or do you become resentful of God and jealous of others when you lose things or have to yield things to God.
To surrender what God claims from you: Or do hold tightly to those things that you fear God may want you to give up, maybe in lifestyle, possessions or relationships, including those ambitions which have driven you all your life.
To suffer what God ordains for you: Or do you flee from persecution and opposition, using that as justification for not going ahead with God’s purposes in your life.
To do what God commands of you: Or do you resist, substituting something else in place of what God really wants from you, justifying your independence and rebellion by pointing out all the others who seem to get away with what you are doing.
To wait until God says to you, Go: Or do you just rush off when you have the impulse, fearful of missing out if you wait for God’s timing.

The Original Version of I am Willing

“I am Willing ….
To receive what Thou givest,
To lack what Thou withholdest,
To relinquish what Thou takest,
To surrender what Thou claimest,
To suffer what Thou ordainest,
To do what Thou commandest,
To wait until Thou sayest ‘Go.”‘
Author Unknown

The Look on His Face

I began this poem months ago, prompted by watching a young man walk passed, fitting the description I start these verses with. I have now added further verses that give body to my observation and cogitations. I offer it to your reading pleasure.

The Look on His Face. A poem by Chris Field. November 2008

The look on his face said it all.
Idiot grin and uneasy glee.
Her hand in his was all he knew,
And it tossed him with elation strange and new.


Giddy tripped his heart as reason cut its anchor.
Emotion surged through muscle and mind, abandoning thought and sensibility.
She smiled, and his puppy grin stretched muscles to the point of pain.
Tripping bliss stumbled on in dazed delirium.

How easily this fool was caught in love’s strong surging stream.
How quickly he was swept away dissolving at the seam.
A Gonner! He is done for now. No hope for breathing space.
He’s taken hook, line, sinker too! I see it on his face.

How sweet it is to be so caught and blessed by sudden bliss.
How sweet to tingle at her touch, her smile, her eyes, her kiss.
How sweet to fall by Cupid’s shaft striking from above.
How sweet to have life start anew as now you fall in love.

I wonder what his face will show in days yet far away.
I wonder what his thoughts will think and what his heart will say.
Tomorrow he will spend his days entangled in life’s race.
But now he’s stepped aside from that. I see it in his face.

Keep this moment in your heart. Other days will come.
The sweetness will at times turn sour as life moves to its sum.
You’ll need more than puppy love to live your wondrous dream.
So pause to pray at God’s great throne and stand in heavenly beam.

Your heart is not enough to guide you through the coming years.
Joy fades in pains and happiness has oft dissolved to tears.
Faith and Grace are needed now, and strength in you to stand.
With them on board you have no fear to take that sweet girl’s hand.

But I can see you haven’t heard a thing I’ve had to say.
Your face betrays your mindless joy that’s swept your heart away.
Oh well, I pray that ere you wed and step into the fray
You’ll find the time to call on God and humbly kneel to pray.

God bless your joy. God bless your gal. God bless your future too.
God keep you from all foolish thought and keep your purpose true.
God grab you, firm and hold you fast, just as love has done.
May you rejoice each day to know your God, the Holy One.

I Was There – A Poem

My children found a poem I had started five years ago. They were keen for me to tidy it up, so it was complete. So I’ve done that, and here it is….

I Was There. A Poem by Chris Field

It seems I was there, so the pictures declare.
Aloof among the smiles, companion through the miles.
Yet I don’t recall, being there at all.

Strange I must admit, I don’t recall a bit.
Person, place or scene, where surely I have been.
It seems that I was there, so the pictures do declare.

Unseen among the crowd, unheard by voices loud,
Standing to one side, I didn’t need to hide,
My blank, unseeing stare says I really wasn’t there.

I wonder how it went, that years of life were spent
With people all around and yet no memory found.
For truly I was there, the pictures do declare.

Unwanted and unknown, untouched by moments flown
I passed away those years, dead to hopes and fears;
Filling time and space, but never in the race.

Now what did others see when ever they saw me?
Were their eyes so blind that I never crossed their mind?
Someone should have known what the pictures now have shown.

I was there as one asleep in thoughts too dark and deep
For ever me to know how passed those years so slow.
And so I don’t recall being there at all.

Reflections…

Have you ever been in a daze, distracted by things that keep you from the present? Have you ever seen a photograph and not remembered the place or occasion? While that may happen to us all on rare occasions, there are some who go through all of life in such a mode. I have met folk like that, whose lives pass away with barely any consciousness on their part. “I Was There” focuses such an experience.

I have often wondered where ideas like this come from when I’m waxing poetic. I have come up with some fairly strange themes at times. I put it down to my fascination for the inner workings of the mind and heart, drawing me to reflections which may rarely be expressed. I find it fun to put into words some strange experience, imagining what it would be like to be in such a place or struggling with such thoughts.

When I first read this poem to my wife she asked me what period of my life I was talking about. I reminded her that I often write about things that are not my personal experience. So let me assure you too, that I am functioning as a poet, not as a patient on the therapist’s couch.

I trust you enjoy the evocative exploration of thought and feeling which this and other of my works venture into.

The Second Ring Poem by Chris Field

In early November I wrote another poem, dedicated to my wife and to all those lovely women who are a blessing to their husbands. Enjoy.

The Second Ring

“With this ring, I thee wed….”
So, many years ago I said.
And now another gift I bring.
I bless you with this second ring.

That first gold band wed me to youth;
To grace and beauty, love and truth.
It tied me to your every charm
Resplendent there upon my arm.

Now with the passing of the years
Richer charm and grace appears
Until it surely must be said
“You’re double all that I had wed!”

Twice the virtue all could see,
And twice the pleasure, brought to me.
So now I pledge a second vow;
A double blessing to you now.

Take now my dear, this second ring
As token of the pledge I bring;
With this I wed, til death us part,
Your richer virtues to my heart.

Those virtues whose unfolding fame
Brighten life with love’s warm flame;
Those virtues, which were once untried,
And now shine from my lovely bride.

I found an archaic poem from the Gentlemen’s Magazine of 1780 which spoke of a husband giving a second ring to his wife in honour of her being double the woman he thought her to be when he first married her. So I took the concept and turned it into the verses you find here.

I present it in honour of those lovely and gracious women whose devotion and personal commitment excel everyone’s expectations. Whether your husband appreciates it or not, be assured that the Lord sees your devotion and you will receive His “Well done, you good and faithful servant”, when your life journey is ended.

To all those who give more than they expect in return and who bless even those who do not deserve it, you are precious and a pure blessing on the earth. May the Lord richly reward you.