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patterns of ink

How fruitless to be ever thinking yet never embrace a thought... to have the power to believe and believe it's all for naught. I, too, have reckoned time and truth (content to wonder if not think) in metaphors and meaning and endless patterns of ink. Perhaps a few may find their way to the world where others live, sharing not just thoughts I've gathered but those I wish to give. Tom Kapanka

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Crossing the Path

Just beyond the open gate
began a straight and narrow path
that prompted me to watch and wait
and whisper to myself: “He that hath
the Son hath life, and he that hath not…”
Thinking back, I saw the leper’s limb,
the blind man’s eyes, the empty cot
of one who walked because of Him.
I saw a desperate woman in the crowd
who having merely touched His hem
was healed and trembling cried aloud.
His perception and power amazed them
there as did his scribbling in the sand
the day the stones dropped to the ground.
Then left alone, His outstretched hand
raised the woman to her feet and found
her uncondemned to go and sin no more.
Divine encounters all, cloaked in interruption
to Him who said, “Behold, I stand at the door
and knock,” yet He enters at His will so corruption,
sin, death and disease are met not with wrath
but mercy that, by faith, removes the dross
in that moment when we cross the path
that led Him…and leads us… to the cross.
© 3-22-15 Tom Kapanka


Back when I was writing more regularly, I tried to provide a special post or poem each Easter with embedded links (at the underlined words) that give context to each image.



These thoughts were prompted by a sermon and a note from a friend who reminded me that God always has a purpose for making paths cross. I have said phrases like "crossed my path" all my life. It typically means that the encounter was happenstance or unplanned. But when I saw the phrase in my friend's note, I saw the double meaning of "cross," and how Christ changed the lives of those who crossed his path (which was in fact a path that led ultimately to the cross).

There are many other illustrations of this truth. To name just a few more: think of how Jesus treated the CenturionMary and Martha, and tax collectors who crossed his path. From a human perspective, nearly all of these divine encounters with Jesus were "interruptions." This does not mean they were not part of the plan or that they caused our Lord to stray from His path or lose focus, for indeed, his path--his purpose--was to encounter people and change their lives. It happened again and again during His ministry and happens still today.

If your job or calling includes dealing with "people interruptions" that come through your door, how do you view those opportunities to reflect Christ? May these thoughts be a reminder to follow Christ's example regarding those who cross our path, even if they do not share our perspective (or even our best interest).

I heard a pastor say recently that 40% of our Lord's recorded ministry was initiated by an "interruption." In the case of Matthew, the tax collector, Jesus initiated the interruption by simply saying "follow me" as he passed.

Today He asks the same of all who claim to have crossed His path.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Until a Limb

I followed through a pathless wood
too close perhaps
to see the forest for the trees
or miss the slaps
of thoughtless branches in my face
let go it seemed
with little care of consequence
and no esteemed
perception that others followed
close behind him.
Branch after bending branch we trod
until a limb
snapped back so hard it lashed my eyes.
Half-blinded then
I saw anew the need for space,
but walked again,
this time seeing forest and trees
at my own pace
as stings gave way to speckled sun
upon my face.

Tom Kapanka
April 2, 2011

Years ago I began experimenting with structured verse in a pattern of 8-syllable lines followed by 4 syllables in the next line. In this case I only rhymed the shorter lines in pairs. These lines were written in April, 2011, but I did not post it at POI until April 13, 2012. It is based in part on the experience many have had while walking behind someone in a dense woods... especially if they are following a person who insists his chosen course is the only way and those who follow must keep close rank. But when the one in front keeps bending branches to save his own face only to let them slap the face behind him, the hurtful pattern should be kindly pointed out so long as it continues. If the concerns fall on deaf ears, however, and the wrecklessness of the one in front continues, even the most forgiving scouts may be wise to choose a parallel path rather than be blamed for the endless quarreling over branches. The same sun will light both paths, and in time, the Son will make all things clear.  Romans 12:17-21

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