by David Packer
(I stopped by the Great Smokies National Park and sat by a stream to write: August 2, 1979)
The purity of a mountain stream
Gushing from its source
Transparent to the rocks and arachnids,
Iridescent of the trees, ferns, and
So like your love, Father God, is this stream.
Whose gaze falls on the uneven stony nature of
The stream floor and not to the water rushing over.
Unbelief gives credit for change to human effort.
But the dizzying glares glance not off the
Submerged rocks beneath but are
Reflections of your Son, who creates
In us a clean heart and
Recreates Himself in the world.
Determined in its course, the stream of Your love
Finds its way around every obstacle of our lives,
And even taking these unsmoothed parts
of stubbornness, anger, selfishness, that
dam up Your heart’s flow,
You fill them all the same with your love
Creating pools of patience
Where more timid thoughts and creatures
Can recover their strength or
Mature to adulthood.
And the gaping flaws of our landscape,
Of fear and distrust and ignorance,
The weaknesses of our character,
You turn into the very mightiest of waterfalls
Where even the skeptics see you more than us.
Transparent to the world, Your love like clear water often goes unnoticed,
But to the rugged rock bed of our fallen nature
The onrushing stream of Your Spirit
Smoothes our jagged edged tongues,
Washes out the refuse of our hearts,
And renews us within.