“Why One Prodigal Writes Poetry: A Personal Reflection”
Please enjoy The Gospel as found in the writings and poetry of Mr. Tom Green. Green is one of my Linkedin “friends.” This is a service of the https://www.invertedchristian.com/ A ministry of The Duke Consulting Group drrogerdduke.com
“Why One Prodigal Writes Poetry: A Personal Reflection”
(Used by permission, slightly edited)
" . . . I come from a typical American family. I am a product of divorce and remarriage. Some of the members of my family experienced a high level of dysfunction. Of course, you can replace this with the words ‘sin patterns’ or ‘strongholds’. And I was one of them.
I was saved at age eight in a Southern Baptist church in Virginia. At the beginning I wanted to do better than what I did. At age eleven I began to clothe myself in ever deepening darkness. I was soon keeping house in a deeply ingrained stronghold of sin. Though I attended church regularly at a United Methodist denominational structure I was being molded into a definite prodigal.
At age eighteen, thinking I knew best how to live my life, I plunged even deeper into an unscriptural existence. And I thought I was living. I was living out the negative side of truth as described in the bible. By this time my conscience was seared, and no one could convince me that I was wrong. I had certainly abandoned church attendance. Others around the country were following the same course I had chosen. And our culture began to believe a lie. It was a lie I was helping to promote in my own manner and spheres of influence. I had even deceived myself into believing that I was satisfied with the life and home I’d built.
When I was nearly twenty-nine, I had an experience that changed my perspective rather dramatically. At this time I’d become acquainted with Adult Children Of Alcoholics, also known as ACOA, and had been involved in 12 Step recovery work. What I did not comprehend is that the Lord was orchestrating His will in my life through this. I attended my first meeting in May of 1989. But in September of 1989 I was thrown unexpectedly onto a fast track for change and inner healing.
I had a rather eye-opening ‘road to Damascus’ type of encounter on September 2nd of 1989 while driving into Chicago. The Lord chose to make His very real and powerful presence known while I was moving at 65 mph. The details are not so important but that proved only to be the beginning. The next day, at my sister’s urging, I purchased a bible. I hadn’t cracked one in years.
Within a two-week time span I found myself planted in a church where I would eventually meet my wife. And I joined a ‘start with the basics’ bible study conducted by another church I’d also visited. Both choices turned out to be highly instrumental in my early development as a prodigal who chose to abandon his rebellion.
By this time, I had begun writing some poetry. Over the next several years many changes took place in my life. I needed to be re-parented while walking through a process of being sanctified and growing up. God knew best and sometimes I understood that truth. At other times, some hidden rebelliousness has shown through.
During living, I’ve chosen to continue writing poetry. At first it was haphazard but eventually it has grown to be a daily discipline. Someone is always needing encouragement, instruction or to be challenged in some manner. This is true of me as well. I have found poetry to be a means of shedding a great deal of truth into a noticeably short span of words.
Early in my efforts of writing I had my ego bruised when seeking the approval of college English professors. I finally came to realize that the only approval that truly matters is that which comes from the Lord. And He has creative ways of extending such assurances into the lives and hearts of His children. So too He brings correction in a variety of ways when such is warranted by the condition of our thinking and behavior.
I also came to understand that the way I write is meant more for the average person. Nearly everyone listens to music. Music is in essence poetry with a melody to accompany it. The poetry I write tends to by rhythmic and I incorporate the use of rhyme. I’ve decided not to battle the urge.
Back to the question of why I write poetry. To some degree I write it out of obedience in utilizing a gift the Lord has bestowed. A large reason I continue writing is because of the affect I’ve seen it has on others. Many times, I’ve determined to quit writing thinking that it brought me little or no monetary compensation. And right away the Lord would bring someone to me who needed a poem quoted or a special poem written. During it I’d ask myself why I was doing it and had I not promised to not write again.
There is also an aspect to my writing to which I’ve had to grow accustomed. At times I write poetry for individuals that contains information about them of which I have no knowledge. I’ve written poems about sermons, including the main topical words that are going to be used, before I’ve heard the sermon. I’ve written about the contents of Christian meetings, usually encapsulating succinctly the flow of random conversation, sometimes years in advance. On three occasions I wrote poems about 9-11 before it took place. And I wrote about the 2005 Gulf Coast disaster back in May of 2000.
The way I explain the gift to people is that it is like being a telegram deliverer. While I have an active role to play in the delivery of a particular message, I am not necessarily the originator of the message. I may write the words but the thoughts are not merely my own. When this takes place, I am not generally aware it is taking place. I get surprised on the back end when the true reason behind the writing of the poem is revealed by time and circumstance. I am “clueless in Seattle”.
I do hope that should you choose to partake of any of the poetry I write that it proves in some manner to be a blessing. Or if you choose to give it to others that they are blessed as well.
And one final point. I encourage everyone to utilize the gifting and talents the Lord has bestowed into your life. Just like the boy with the simple lunch comprised of five loaves and two fish you do not know how many thousands will wind up being fed by a single act of generosity when placed in God’s hands."