Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Opus Magnum

Weary, worn, welts on hand
Work has whittled down the man
To the bare necessities
Of what he is, and what he’ll be
Was this then his destiny?

Defined, refined by what we do,
The toilsome tasks are never through
Thorn and thistle, dirt and dust
Sweeping clean, removing rust
All to earn his upper crust?

Sweat of brow, and carried weight
Rose too early, slept too late
Slaving, striving dawn to dusk
Til the shell is barely husk
Staunch the stench with smell of musk?

But work is not the curse or cure
By which we’re healed, or will endure
It will not save us in the end,
It is no foe, but rather friend
But while it molds us will we mend?

Task Master making all things new
Who makes the most of what we do,
Let our work an offering be
A timely gift from those set free
From earning our eternity.

When work is mission on the move
By those whose efforts serve to prove
That nothing’s wasted in God’s hands
When we respond to his commands
Then we shall hear him say “well done”
To those who worked under the Son.

Oct. 4, 2005



Matt said...

pretty good poem, dr w. i love poetry and write some myself. in fact, i'm thinking of taking a course on biblical poetry from dr. brent strawn (a former asbury assistant OT/NT professor) next semester at Candler.

i might also point out that while work became a lot harder in Genesis 3 with "the curse," it is already there in gen. 2:15 - "The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it."

matthew varnell

Ben Witherington said...

Hi Matt: I quite agree with that exegesis of Gen. 2.15-- work is not the curse. Please send my warm regards to Brent.

Weltanschauung said...

Nice poem Ben, and a timely reminder for me as I look to change jobs. I pray that Iw ould start in the new on in a way that honours God.

Stov said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Stov said...

I found that very stimulating. Thx brother.
I will suggest it to a friend to quote in his recent book on work and rest - a biblical view. Would that be ok with you?
blessings from Sheffield, UK

Ben Witherington said...

Sure Stov, no problem..... they are welcome to use it....


Unknown said...

nicely done. Not enough folks try their hand at poetry. If you ever have some time, I would love to share with you a few of my favorites.