The following is a piece I wrote after reading and reflecting on Acts 12:1-19. I had also just finished reading Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan.
In a silent moment, I saw a man,
Who looked much like me.
When I squinted my eyes to see him clearer,
Immediately I was drawn into his story.
The man’s name was Pastor,
He was like you or like me.
A man who loved God,
And pursued him wholeheartedly.
Pastor was out one day for a stroll,
All around him the faces of people.
It was an ordinary day with crisp clean air,
He prayed as he walked looking here and there.
He moved among the people, meeting eyes with many,
Conversations came quickly as he listened and shared.
Pastor spoke of love, his life, and hope for more,
Walking alongside friends and neighbors.
Suddenly he is surrounded and quickly grabbed,
Taken immediately away and stored underground.
In a dark, stale, dungeon of a prison called Future.
Here in the prison of Future, would Pastor remain.
With no way out and down deep in morass,
Pastor began to wonder what was next.
He prayed and pondered and tried to keep faith,
Wondering God’s presence, the future and his place.
In the prison,
Two guards enter, moving the wind in relief,
Pastor is quickly chained, hands and feet.
On his left he is shackled to a guard named Desires,
On his right the same to a guard called Control.
Shackled between Desires and Control,
Reality begins its process of soaking.
It slowly sinks in and begins to run free,
Dominating thoughts and taking over.
Chained and shackled and immobilized,
Pastor lays half-awake, half-asleep and half-given up.
Freedom is gone and decisions seem moot,
Slowly Pastor releases and falls asleep.
Struck in the side, Pastor opens his eyes,
To blinding light surrounding him,
An amazing vision, a dream;
Standing there next to him is an angel.
Never having been kicked by an angel before,
Pastor rises quickly almost hungry for,
The words of the angel and what happens next?
“My name is Content…”
The angel now speaks,
“Come, follow me!” And at that Pastor’s chains are released.
They fall to the ground with an almost real clatter,
Amazed, Pastor sighs deeply; grinning with relief.
Walking out past the Doors of Desolation,
Pastor finds himself in the hall lined with guards.
He knows their names…Boredom is there,
With Ministry and Friends…Family, Sadness, and Leisure.
That’s just a few, there are many more,
Fantasy, Career and Control.
Walking past them with Content is almost too easy,
Pastor pinches himself to see if he’s dreaming.
Ouch! It hurts, but not like this prison,
Which slowly he sees as one of his own making.
Quickly now, down the halls of Anxiety and Depression,
Out through the final gate called Fear.
“Thank you” he turns to say to Content,
Who is now gone having shown Pastor the way.
“Where do I go from here?” Pastor cries,
The answer resounds from the most surprising of places.
“Follow Me,” says the path beneath his feet,
I’m not the yellow brick road or some kind of ruse,
Rather, my name is All Will Be Well,
But you, you can call me Jesus.