Thursday, August 10, 2006


Shimmering, glimmering
Enticing to a fault
Always in the distance
Beckoning to be caught.

The illusion, projection
Of what we hope and dream
Always better imagined
Not being what it seems.

Leading the thirsty one
Down a dusty track
Through a blistering desert
Never turning back.

Oasis, respite
Mirror or mirage
Foretaste of glory
Or desert camouflaged?

Fantasies, fairy tales
Broken or borrowed schemes
Dead end ideas
Ephemeral as moonbeams.

Prosperity, wealth
Beyond one’s wildest dreams
Pleasure though fleeting
Glistens and it gleams.

Longing, lusting
For things beyond our reach
Driving our behavior
Not practicing what we preach.

Consumer, consumed
By the inner fire
Not the Holy Spirit’s,
Insatiable desire.

Transitory, temporary
Shelter from the storm
Something to nurse a life along
Someone to keep you warm.

Like David, wizened
And his Shunammite
A beautiful young virgin
To get him through the night.

Settling’s unsettling
To the heart and soul
Made for everlasting love
Not fleeting human dole.

Look now in the mirror
Remember what you saw
The person you’ve just glimpsed
Is you in the raw.

Stop praying for mirages
To suddenly be real
Stop measuring yourself
By how it makes you feel.

Stop measuring your worth,
By how much you’ve achieved
How much you have bought or won
Or suffered or have grieved.

God loves you as you are
Though the image has been broken
Grasp the everlasting life
Not its ghost or fleeting token.

Aug. 9th 2006

1 comment:

Janet E. Macor said...

Dear Dr. Witherington III,
I am a student at a non-denominational seminary in a doctorate program in Christian Philosophy and Apologetics. I am leaving this email here (appropriately I believe, due to the title of your poem "The Mirage" and the topic of my email) because I don't know how else to get in touch with you, and I just had to write and tell you how much I appreciate the book you wrote - The Problem with Evangelical Theology.

I am a 10 year old Christian (42 yr old woman) and I have been through the Pentecostal, United Reformed, Lutheran, Welseyian, Calvary Chapel, Evangelical Missionary - looking for the Christians that hold to the Truth of the Scriptures. I recognized a part of what was wrong through years of study (of which I have taken a lot of heat for, because of the tone about women and Scripture knowledge/teaching etc), but it wasn't until I read your book that it really sunk in about what the Holy Spirit has been showing me.
For example, when I read on p.37 about Calvin and the new covenant turning out to be a renewal of the old ones, including the law - I had an aha moment. So, that's what I was seeing in the URC - everything is starting to make sense now and has renewed my desire for Bible Study back to the original Greek.

Thank you SO MUCH for writing this book. There are many of us out there that sense something is wrong about these distinctives (man-made rules and commandments) and are writing about it on blogs and our seminary discussion groups, so a movement is afoot in the Church I believe.

I just wanted to let you know that your book has impacted me in such a mind renewing way. May God Bless you and your family greatly!!

Sincerely, your friend in Jesus Christ,