Thank you, God for peeling paint,
tumble-down sheds and shattered glass.

Thank you for cracked plaster
and burnt-out light bulbs.
Thank you for moldy food, abandoned fields
and mangled automobiles.

These rips and shreds, the fallen fences
and broken promises, the sere orchards,
devious betrayals, harsh winds
and desiccated crops of life --
all these keep me reminded
that this continually-decaying
and corroding world
is not my home forever.

This is but a stopping stone,
where rust and moth consume,
and thieves break in to steal,
a temporary antechamber
in which to cleanse myself and test myself,
and groom myself and make myself
ready and worthy of admittance
to the shimmering entrance halls of heaven
and the radiant throne-room
of my beloved Redeemer God.

Let all these earthy deteriorations
be reminders of how temporary and fleeting
is this imperfect earth,
and how brief my days upon it.

Yes, yes, You have given me glories here, too, Good God: mirrored lakes and snow-topped peaks, star-showered skies and fresh-baked muffins.

I catch glimpses of You now in sudden rainbows and children's innocence,
even as I see mortality in my ever-decaying temporary abode: my weakening body
in this shabby passing world.

Godly gracious marvels, briefly seen
hint to me the unseen mansions beyond
the sky, and I remember that I am made
not for this ragged vagabond world
but for high heaven, for You,
and for eternity.

After my fear-filled days of testing
in this never-fully-satisfying earth
are over, God, O God, please bring me to You.
Unworthy as I am, please wash me clean
and array my soul in a robe of light.

I await Your call with fear and trembling,
but with the greatest faith and hope
the most tender love and confidence,

and the sweetest anticipation,
Lord Jesus, Redeemer, my God, my King,
my Savior, my All.



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