Empty Handed

And I feel like I am standing before Goliath

without a sling.

Not like David, who was confident of his bare hands

that had saved his sheep from dangers already.

He knew what he was doing

when he challenged the giant at his door.

He would not put on another’s strength,

dressing in form for form’s sake,

could not pretend to be something he was not.

He was just a shepherd’s boy after all.

So he took his stones and his confidence,

ready to prove the greatness of the God of Israel.

The sky saw his secret,

spied his advantage easily from its bird’s eye view of the scene,

so high above even Goliath’s head.

Those blue waves had been practicing it for years

before Isaac was even a twinkle in his father’s eye.

It would seem absurd to them too

to cover up their stars with a painted backdrop

or to veil their windblown clouds with curtains

however pleasing.

And the hills on which the two armies sood,

their flowers waving in the breeze

and their springy turf trampled under foot,

knew it too,

were content to be walked upon.

But me,

I am not so sure,

standing before you with nothing in my hands.

No sling, no armor, no shield, no proof.

Just my words and this skin.

How can I be enough?

How can I win you over?

when —

Do I have the courage to trust

and bring glory to the One who made me who I am,

that what I have with these two hands

is just right

for taking the empty pair hanging at your side.


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