After Lancia E. Smith & J.R.R. Tolkien
Through the gathering darkness we carry this light
In our fragile devices through lingering night
As we seek out the lonely, the lost, and the least,
Bringing hope and good news of the King’s coming feast.
But the winds of desire, deception, and death
Blow relentlessly, desperate to snuff out the breath
And bright rhythms of beauty alive in each flame
Of the image of God and the song of His name.
And before long it seems that the darkness has won
As our flames are extinguished: we fall, one by one
Into swallowing shadows and whispering lies.
Left to groan with creation, we psalm to the skies.
Like a shaft, clear and cold, a star pierces the clouds
And reminds us of all that our hopelessness shrouds:
That the Shadow is only a small, passing breach;
There is light and high beauty surpassing its reach—
A light swallowed by darkness but not overcome,
Ever calling us forth to who we will become;
So we gather together, our Savior in sight,
Lighting candles by starlight, defying the night.
And we press on, inviting new travelers too,
Toward the city where God will make everything new,
Where we won’t need the light of the stars or the sun
For the Lord is our dawn and the war has been won.
To listen to Michael reading this poem aloud, click on the play button.
Michael Stalcup is, before anything else, an adopted child of God. He continually marvels at God’s grace in his life and the good works that God has prepared and surprised him with. Currently, he serves overseas as a missionary in Bangkok, Thailand and writes poetry in his free time—neither of which he could have imagined himself doing years ago. Michael lives with his wife Christie and their three young “third-culture” kids who will take a bowl of egg noodles over a sandwich any day. He is currently working on his first book of poetry and hopes to play his part in gathering and supporting other artist Christians in Bangkok and beyond. Soli Deo Gloria.