Sheep Among Wolves - Poem

Posted by James Hahn on

October 5th, 2017

Luke 10:1-12

From the dark the wolves do watch,
As naked lambs travel to and fro,
No bag, no cloak, no sandals,
As to every town they go.

Messengers of the One to come,
To each house they bleat out peace,
Announcing to all the Kingdom of God,
And His eternal feast.

To make such a feast the field must yield,
Its bounty in due time,
Laborers are few so pray the Lord,
Send those to tend, to prune and vine.

The bleating peace does go out,
And often times returns,
And those who accept that potent peace,
Give the laborer what he deserves.

Relying on the Shepherd,
The sheep heal by word and by hand,
No mind to wolf with fiery eyes,
God's Kingdom is at hand!

Author's Note:  I realize that not everyone appreciates poetry.  In speaking with friends and family, this disdain for poetry often arises from confusion or the inability to understand exactly what the poem is getting at.  I completely understand this situation.  I too struggle and find myself reading a poem or even a stanza over and over trying to catch the meaning.  I believe it's taboo for a poet to explain his or her work.  That, so the thought carries, should be done by scholars and students in the years to come.

I think that's a load of you know what.  I developed a love for poetry when I understood what the poet was saying.  I fell in love with Gerald Manley Hopkins after taking a class in college where I learned how to read his work and many others.  I was trained to see the words used, meter, style, and pace.  G.K. Chesterton's Ballad of the White Horse was a pleasure to read once I got into the story behind the lines.  Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, translated by J.R.R. Tolkien is still one of my all time favorites.  There is a simple beauty in poetry than cannot be found in traditional styles of writing.

Below you will find my explanation of what I have written and why.  I want you to enjoy my poems.  I want you to understand the poetry and fall in love with the art.  In November, God willing, I'll be publishing a book of poetry that follows this style.  The front of the book with be filled with my poetry.  Some of it with be about personal events I have experienced and some of it will be stories and lessons about life, love, and family.  Much of it is my interpretation of certain Scripture passages in a poetic form like what you just read.  In the back of the book, each poem will have some commentary that explains the words used, the context, and why it was written the way it was written.  My hope is that you, the reader, will be lifted up to another level of seeing, of understanding.  It is my hope that you too will fall in love with the poetic form and it's power.  Thanks for reading!  If you'd like to be the first to know when the book is available, send me an email and you'll be the first to know!

1st Stanza - I believe this poem is easier to understand after reading the Scripture passage.  In this passage Jesus instructs the 72 disciples to go out and proclaim the Kingdom of God.  He tells them to take nothing with them and that He is sending them out as sheep among wolves.  They will have to trust in the providence of God.

2nd Stanza - Here we continue with the disciples as lambs giving them the attributes of a lamb "bleating out peace".  They are wishing peace on each and every person and home along their travels. 

3rd Stanza - Jesus tells us and the disciples that the harvest is plentiful.  There's no shortage of souls to be brought into the great feast, the heavenly banquet.  However, there is a shortage of workers to help reap this harvest.  So we must ask the Lord of the harvest to send more laborers.  Those laborers are men and women, religious and laity, people of every kind.  They - we each have a role to play.

4th Stanza - Jesus tells the disciples and us to wish peace on everyone, to bless everyone.  Those who accept that peace and joy we spread are moved to conversion.  That in itself can be a great reward for the laborer as well as other earthly comforts.

5th Stanza - We are instructed to teach and heal, bring blessings, joy, happiness, and love to the world.  It's the command of God and as such we have no cause to pay any attention to the wolves.  If we worry about the wolves, we take our eyes off of our mission.  God will provide and protect.

More poetry by James M. Hahn available in The Last Dragon and other Poems, available November 2017.

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* Contains affiliate links.  No, that doesn't mean that the kids should leave the room.  Rather, it means that if you click on a link, and if you purchase something, I may get some financial remuneration for that click and buy.  All that means is that my kids will finally get to eat, just kidding but I may get something, just so you know...

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