Sculpting Shadows

We build up, over, around,
Seeking structure, form,
Order from chaos,
Time from manufactured light.

We erect steel girders
Around faith,
Locking God in,
Pouring the Word into
Concrete slabs
Of order and predictability,
Painting the holy shut,
Nailing it down,
Bolting it tight…

Out of fear.

Beam by beam
Stature and prominence rise
Stretching shadows in an
Ever-widening eclipse of
Manufactured light.

How soon we forget Babel –
Humanity’s futile attempt to rise up
And usurp the gates of Heaven,
Man’s microscopic slice of power
Extinguished by a breath.

Spirit breath. Vigilant,
Watchful, waiting…
For the appointed hour

To rend earth’s ceiling
With the brilliance of Light,
Exposing vast imperfections,
Fissures and fatal cracks
In our careful plans,
Our brick and mortar forms,
Illusions of predictability,
Of time gained by
Manufactured light.

With a Word
Heaven gluts our
Human attempts to insure
Structure, stem fear,
Climb out of chaos
On man-made ladders of success,

Torrents sweep wide,
Toppling, crumbling,
Destroying pattern, structure,
Order, manufactured light.

And we stand
And alone
And afraid.

And He is there
In the chaos,
Arms open,

“Come, Child.
Just as you are.

Instantly, chaos trembles,
Order cushioning His Feet,
Pattern raining from His Hands,
Love radiating brilliant,
Saturating His world in form
And peace and pure and
Holy Light.

*Linking up with The High Calling for our final discussion of Luci Shaw’s book, Breath for the Bones: Art, Imagination and Spirit: A Reflection on Creativity and Faith, chapters 11 and 12. It has been an honor and privilege to be part of this dynamic discussion brilliantly led by Laura Boggess.


9 thoughts on “Sculpting Shadows

  1. Beautiful, Cindee. Lately there seems to be a lot circulating about living a life in fear, struggling to find a sense of security in own efforts. Your post is the third one this morning suggesting I rely on God, trust Him over man-made, self-made security. Your beautiful descriptions go right to the heart of the matter. Trust God to do what is best. We have our eyes on the here and now, He looks toward eternity. Beautiful, Cindee, just beautiful.


  2. Such a perfect post to end this series with, Cindee. We struggle so hard with the open hand, don’t we? I love what Luci says about finally realizing that it’s a good thing that God is to big for us to understand. But that’s a hard pill to swallow for us finite beings. I”ve so enjoyed getting to know you through this book club, Cindee. So glad our good God brought us together.


  3. This makes me think, possibly inappropriately of how insular the church often is. Even as we take on ‘projects’ we bolt in the Holy and nail shut the doors to insure we don’t inadvertently let in any deviations from our passionately held positions.
    Not your point, I know. Yours needs no elaboration.
    Absolutely beautiful poem.


  4. Amazing. Absolutely amazing.

    These words struck me:

    Painting the holy shut,
    Nailing it down,
    Bolting it tight…

    Lingering here. I don’t want to do that. I’m thinking we can’t hold the holy in. It *will* escape.


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