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The River

by Paul Purday

They saw a river, lustrous, wide
Sparkling with gemstones rarely seen
Glinting with earthly jewels rare
Beckoning with watery fingers green

The friendly call to enter in
'We don't know how to swim' they said.
'It's not too deep - try paddling'
'We're here to show you how to tread.'

The water looked so good, so fresh,
All seemed to feel excited joy
And looked towards the world's dark night
Black clouds would not their fun destroy.

Their feet lost ground so they could float
Carried effortlessly along
Without the wisdom to hold back
They joined the sound of earthly song.

Fainter their music sounds as they
Were very nearly out of sight
Embraced by clinging waters now
And scarcely conscious of their flight.

They soon would find the course downhill
A faster speed and falls to come
With roaring turbulence and spray
A way they never should have swum.

Some earlier tried the river's lure
But new from Wisdom's gentle voice
That it's fast flow was somehow wrong
And felt that they must make a choice.

They turned and faced against the stream
Still in the waters, for they would
Have entered in to taste and see
All that was right; all that was good.

And did they find it, we may ask?
As waters soon surround them all
Misgivings gave them cause to turn
And stand secure and not to fall.

Now exercised against the flow
Their muscles strengthening with use
A parable is here portrayed
A place of hope, a place to choose.

Though we can rest, the work is done
Christ's grace for us supremely free
A Godly effort still our way
To run to Him it is the key.

Seek only Him, this is the way
To use our hours and longing dream
To strengthen faith in Him alone
A faith to walk against the stream.

We seek with longing after Him
Persistent though the waters storm
We did not use the easy route
Our path was sure, our hearts were warm.

Our Master swam these waters once
A suffering and a downward way
We, strengthened by the Spirit now
See hope ahead, the light of day.

We sought Him now with all our strength
And found the river changed its course.
Caught up in Him, the waters now
Showed warmth and light and gentle force.

The river's new direction filled
The brightness of our hopes and dreams
The gladness of the heart of God
Is in our hearts with glory beams.

This poem was a finalist in the May 2023 poetry contest

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Book by Paul Purday

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