Wednesday, July 14, 2010

"It Became to Me a Dark Thing" (A Poem)

"It Became to Me a Dark Thing" by Virginia Knowles

It became to me a dark thing:
Words spoken over me, into me
Claiming divine light, right, might to rule.
"Go down, worm soul, go down -
You are unworthy to assume the dignity
Of one with victory crowned."
As if I had swindled treasure!
Embezzled grace and glory from celestial storehouses --
A dastardly slave, masquerading as a devoted heir.
Contrary! The enemy himself ransacked, 
   then accused and confused this child.

Truth: Every spiritual blessing is lavished freely
From the Father's endless bounty of grace -
And these are not even His only such gifts to me!
First He paid, once for all, a royal ransom of liquid crimson
To redeem me as one who, yes, had bolted astray in wild folly 
   with trinkets to squander
But then, once broken and defiled, repented and
Returned from far off, drawn homeward by trust in a certain goodness
Welcomed with wild glee by Him 
   who sees down the road with forgiving eyes.
Such is the magnificent mercy of a Father's unending love
The true inheritance all along, abandoned and then reclaimed.

It became to me a dark thing:
There is a sulking shaming one who spurns my merry celebration of grace
Who daily offers back my filthy prodigal rags in place of my dazzling robes.
His grudging shadows seek to quench the light of truth.
What shall rekindle in me my Father's radiance?
Lift eyes from mud. Look up for rainbows, brilliant and glorious
Reflected by a well-washed and shining prism: 
   saintly faith turned toward the light of truth.
Set your focus on things above, not on earthly things
Gaze on the Throne where darkness never dwells, 
   to the King whose rule is Love
To His right side, where the Redeemer Son intercedes 
   to purify the Beloved Bride.

"Let there be light!" Words spoken over me, into me, right and might.
A daily echo of unspoiled Eden calling forth fresh life
Revealing the delight on His face as we walk in the Garden again, restored.
Shall I ever listen, as Eve did, to the serpent's hiss of deceitful destruction?
The father of lies wraps words in figments of light 
    to drag us downward to a certain darkness.
Yet there is One who speaks a more powerful word: 
    Mercy triumphs over wrath.
"Let there be light!" My heart dances once more, sings the hallelujah!
So this gracious truth, this truthful grace, has silenced the foe again.
May I always trust, rest, bask, delight in my Father's life and love.
It has become to me a thing of light.


I wrote this poem the same week we left our last church to find one where we could breathe grace.  Looking back, it seems very fitting.

My husband Thad says this poem will take a few readings to fully understand! I wrote it that way on purpose, to give you something to chew on for a while. My hope is that each of us will treasure who we are in Christ because of the sacrifice he made for us, and not give in to the dark lies of the accuser who wants us to strain ourselves earning the favor we already have. If you have any questions about why I wrote it, send me an e-mail and ask, but for now I would like to share with your some of the Light that inspired this poem. This is just a small sampling of Bible verses related to the ideas in my poetic verses. If you can think of more, please post them as a comment!

The story of the Prodigal Son is found in Luke 15:11-32.

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death... What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:1-2; 31-39

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."  Matthew 11:28-30

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding." Ephesians 1:3-4, 7-8

Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem! The LORD has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy. The LORD, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm... The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:14-15, 17

"Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." Genesis 3:13 (See the whole story of the fall of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3.)

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:7-8"Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light."2 Corinthians 11:14b

"The devil …is a liar and the father of lies." John 8:44

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life." Titus 3:3-7

"I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels." Isaiah 61:10

"Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:12-18

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Colossians 3:12

"Mercy triumphs over judgment!" James 2:13b

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." 1 Peter 2:9

"After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this." At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal." Revelation 4:1-6a

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" 1 John 3:1a

You may also like these related posts:

On Walking by Grace Instead of a Focus on Mortifying Indwelling Sin

The Life of Christ, Our Identity in Christ, The Priesthood of All Believers...


  1. Beautiful, Virginia, just beautiful. I understand perfectly.

  2. Very profound, and definitely one to hold close and ponder.

  3. I only had to read it once. Thank you, I will treasure it!

  4. so beautiful and so true. Freedom in grace, never let anyone take that away from you!

  5. Virginia, Love this poem. What freedom and life! Thanks for sharing it with us. Much love, Leah L:)

  6. I only had to read it once also. I know this story well. To make a long story short, The Holy Spirit led me to Job 4 in the Amp.version to prove to me that the condemning spirits that I literally heard and saw in the night were indeed not my imagination. Oh how exhilarating when we realize God is FOR us.