Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Cold Within

The Cold Within
by James Patrick Kinney
Six humans trapped by happenstance
in black and bitter cold
Each possessed a stick of wood,
Or so the story's told.
Their dying fire in need of logs,
the first woman held hers back.
For on the faces around the fire
She noticed one was black.
The next man looking 'cross the way
Saw one not of his church
And couldn't bring himself to give
The fire his stick of birch.
The third one sat in tattered clothes
He gave his coat a hitch,
Why should his log be put to use
To warm the idle rich?
The rich man just sat back and thought
Of the wealth he had in store,
And how to keep what he had earned
From the lazy, shiftless poor.
The black man's face bespoke revenge
As the fire passed from his sight,
For all he saw in his stick of wood
Was a chance to spite the white.
And the last man of this forlorn group
Did naught except for gain,
Giving only to those who gave
Was how he played the game.
The logs held tight in death's stilled hands
Was proof of human sin,
They didn't die from the cold without,
They died from the cold within.

I am studying the Fruit of the Spirit through the Living Beyond Yourself study by Beth Moore. This past week I learned so much about joy. One aspect of joy that really hit me was that God wants us to experience joy through the body of Christ--to minister to and be ministered to brings joy! So many times I allow my busyness or selfishness get in the way of being a joy to those around me.

Sadly we can see this disconnect everywhere in our culture. We need those connections, we are designed for relationship. If you stop and look, people are dying inside all around us from "the cold within." May we strive to reach out to bring joy to the body of Christ and to those searching desperately for connection and love.

You have given me a great joy and encouragement, because you, brother (or sister), have refreshed the hearts of the saints.
--Philemon 7


Lisa said...

Speaking of Beth Moore, one of the things I learned through the Patriarchs study is that we are blessed in order to bless. God is about PEOPLE!

Jenny in Ca said...

wow Kelly, what a poem. Really sad, but thought provoking. And the last man, "giving only to those who gave Was how he played the game."
how easy it is to be that man without realizing it, doing and blessing others whom we like and connect with "naturally", but not wanting to put ourselves out on others who do not "give' to us..

deep post, thanks.

Susie said...

Great post, as usual. I want to do "Living Beyond Yourself" so badly. I think I have a lot to learn in the area of ministering to those around me. It is so easy to give to those you love and are friends with, but it is a totally different thing just to give when you see a need. Our church has really been focusing on blessing others over the last year, and it amazing to see what God is doing through his people.

janiswrites said...

The "cold within" is probably the hardest thing to get rid of, too. There is so much tied up in it-pride, hate, bitterness, etc. and these things are hard to rid your life of. Thanks for sharing, Kelly! Blessings!

Mike said...

I'm the newest fan of James Patrick Kinney.


Chris said...

This is such a powerful truth. It costs us nothing to give a few encouraging words, to bring joy to someone else, or to brighten their day. As always Kelly, you encourage me through your posts.

Cyndi said...

Kelly, what a powerful poem. It really made me think! (And I needed that today, sista.) I loved the LBY study, too. Thanks for this post today. :)

Kelly said...

Loved the poem! Great Truth!

daisyaday said...

"The cold within" speaks to me, too. I find myself swinging back and forth between two extremes...if I constantly am outward focused, I neglect my responsibilities at home, and if I only focus on myself, I begin to grow cold. I want to find a middle ground. I love the idea you shared about joy. Bringing joy to others also gives us joy. If we work on becoming willing to serve, simply being available, God can use that. It's not that we are going to become Superwoman, but God will multiply our weak efforts to display His glory.