Followed Me Down
A while back I wrote a poem titled, "Followed Me Down." I was thinking about a time when I felt abandoned by God, but then also reflecting on how even though I felt abandoned by him, I never was. There is a well-known poem called "Footprints" which also explores this theme. You have probably read it.
When I write poetry, I try to be authentic to the feelings and emotions that I have that prompted the poem. My poetry and faith are intertwined, since I often write poetry to figure out how I feel about something God has done or shown me in my life, or I write it in the moment to record a feeling. This means that sometimes my poetry is dark and depressing, sometimes it is hopeful and joyful, sometimes it leaves questions unanswered. That is a true record of a faith in progress--a living faith--one that has its ups and downs, one that questions and considers, one that doesn't always believe, but maybe at least tries to believe. I am only human, after all.
Watch the video poem, and/or, read it here. Then consider the following questions and write out your answers.
Followed Me Down
by Bethany Jo Lee
Did you really believe me
when I said I wanted to come here?
To leave the mighty presence and go
love wouldn't follow?
That's why you followed,
followed me down to the
place I thought would
give me adventure, learning,
wisdom, and flesh.
And it did.
And it hid the spoken word
so easily as it was spoken softly,
and the gentle touch,
the warm hearth,
and the gilded sidewalks.
And it gave me
a multitude of cracking hearts
and double faces and
And I forgot where I came from
and ran thirsty through
its streets, a stray and mangy
dog licking small puddles
of something resembling affirmation.
The closest I could get to love.
But they were only rags
and I knew it, and eventually collapsed
panting and broken.
You stepped in then, when
I might listen. And in my blind
confusion I could still see the
incongruency of your
presence in this place.
But I was angry that you left me,
deserted me in darkness,
dropped me off
and walked away. I wanted to
scream hideous things in your face.
So hurt was I.
So forgetting of my own desires.
And that's why you followed.
Followed me down.
Questions to Consider
Have you ever felt abandoned by God? If yes, what was that situation? How did you feel? Consider your emotions during that time. If not, what is it that keeps you secure in always seeing and knowing his presence in your life?
There are many places in the Bible that tell us that God will never leave us. Consider Hebrews 13:5-6:
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?
In the light of verses like these, can you begin to believe that God has never left you? Look back on your life and seek, search, study your life for signs of God. Write down a list of evidence that God was there.
Write down this verse and carry it with you, referring to it from time to time to begin to get it into your heart, to begin to believe it. Find other verses like these in the Bible, and study the content from which they came. As you do these things, you will start to believe. But you need to nurture this belief as each day unfolds, each week, month, year. If you step away from it long enough, you will forget. Don't let that happen. Always be in the Word of God. Study it daily.
He is my only hope. I for one, will strive to live a life reflecting this. I hope you do too. It does not mean we are perfect. It only means we are his.
God, please bless those who read this.