Lullaby of the Flesh
By Gene Brode, Jr.
copyright 2015

featured image from Pixabay

Away in a field of lilies I float
On my back through the air
Petals brushing my hair
And as they carry me, gently I go

The sun warms and woos and whispers to me,
“Rest your heavy eyes, Dear
We’ll have no worries here.
Though your eyes are closed, yet slightly you see

“I shall cause you now to rest in sweet peace.”
As soon as she finished
My breathing diminished
Hardly aware she bid all my thoughts cease

The lilies had vanished into thin air
Darkness fell on the scene
Bringing sleep so serene
I let her turn off my mind without care

As quickly as I had fallen asleep
A silver trump sounded
My body now grounded
And eyes staring at a hard trodden street

Propping myself up to rest on one knee
I rubbed my fists over
My eyes and then lowered
This near dead body to go back to sleep

A shout rang over to my drowsy ear,
“You there, get up and run
If you sleep you are done!”
The old man’s gruff voice was weighted by fear

Stirred through the fog that clung to the pavement
Peeking out a closed eye
And past a hazy sky
My conscience pricked by the elder’s statement

Who are you sir and why do you bother?
See my mind is a mess
So I must get more rest.
Then came his reply, “Keeper of brothers.

“Stand up and look to your left and your right
Man, the sun is shining
While you are reclining
The time for sleeping is only at night

“Stand erect, Son, and gaze all around you
The narrow track ahead
Which you’ve used as a bed
Behold all the others within your view!”

So lifting my head and blinking my eyes
The cloud had disappeared
My perspective was clear
The lilies, the field were both a disguise

I ran to the top of the trail’s next hill
Veins pumping, heart pounding
The vista—astounding!
At last the surety of pleasures fulfilled

The path unfolded through peaks and valleys
Where saints go together
Along streams and deserts
And Christ awaits at the end of that alley

The sun was set low at the finish line
Golden beams pierced the clouds
Brightened gathering crowds
Entering glory at the end of time

The sound, a stampede, then came to my ear
A small number running
The past they were shunning
Forging their way ahead into the clear

Sprinting along kicking dust with their feet
Pouring sweat from their brow
A sure hand to the plow
Each a stranger to that notion defeat

Cheering each other to keep pressing on
Dust quietly settled
On nearby rose petals
Moments passed quickly until they were gone

I marveled at the great distance ahead
How I had never fought
Left me deeply distraught
I’d used God’s road as a glorified bed!

So wandering back and turning a bend
I encountered a crowd
In dark robes like a shroud
A group of voices which dared not offend

The singers stood on a separate broad path
Leading into the hills
Plum full of carnal thrills
A sullied plaque hung on the gate marked ‘wrath’

When all at once, they burst forth into song
My soul full of delight
By the crowd’s words of blight
This tune almost had me singing along

“Praise God for He has saved us from chagrin
Call the lost to His joy
Using love as our ploy
(And prosperity to usher them in)

“Oh praise the Lord as we rest at His feet
We shall wait near the door
Let us travel no more
And those who enter the kingdom we’ll greet!”

After they’d finished singing in verse
Lying down in the grass
Not a few moments passed
Till sleep lured them with its deceptive curse

Bewildered, I turned back to the old man
What could this possibly
Mean, this hypocrisy?
Please sir, explain this to me if you can!

“A telling and subtle song they do sing,
Are you on the right track
If you stop or look back?
Instead you must sail on the Spirit’s wing

They’ve distorted the gospel for so long
And pitch bald-faced lies
To draw in the unwise
They preach a false Christ for their doctrine is wrong

The key to freedom is found through the Law
Cry out broken and bent
Then believe and repent
The heart you receive will fill you with awe

“Don’t be quick to pass judgment on others
Sin caught you on its hook
One thought was all it took
You’re no different than any true brother.

“Saved from apathy, you’ve become aware
That although you’re made new
This foe dwells inside you
And ever lives to trap you in its snare.

Then I responded in desperation
“How then shall I amend
So I’m not duped again?
How can I flee from this generation?”

A broad smile then formed on my new friend’s face
“My good man I suppose
You should start with your toes
Then move your feet and get back in the race

“Be watchful and pray to keep sin at bay
Guard your mind and your heart
Lest your will come apart
And fall victim to the flesh as its prey

“Stand on the Rock, for your debt has been paid
All those He’s forgiven
He’ll cause to be driven
Trust in this promise our Shepherd has made

“He’ll keep you, that’s the end of the story
Now stay on the alert
As you sprint on the dirt
Of this true path which leads you to glory.”

Many thanks to Kris Lundgaard for his excellent work in “The Enemy Within,” which was the original inspiration for this poem several years ago, and for his valuable input.

This poem is a bit of a personal testimony for me due to my frequent battles with remaining sin. The first several stanzas came to me quickly about 4-5 years ago after I’d gone through “The Enemy Within” and the poem kept growing and growing. Over the years I polished it but never felt satisfied with it. I looked for a place to publish but most magazines, either online or in print, are looking for poetry that’s much shorter. Sadly, the Christian magazines don’t seem to publish poetry at all unless it’s a very short one. So I offer it to you with the hope that it will encourage you to keep looking to Christ as you journey along this lifelong marathon heavenward. Do not give up and keep fighting sin!

Originally posted on the Grace Apparatus.

4 thoughts on “Lullaby of the Flesh (featured poem)

  1. Gene, I have enjoyed reading this poem!
    I will keep rereading it because as I do, the true meaning and purpose of your poem become more clear to me . I know writing is something that has always tugged at your heart to do…..and I look forward to reading more from you!!

  2. This is wonderful writing Gene. I have to admit I haven’t yet finished the entire poem as I am pressed for time, but enjoy very much

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