A Poem: To Follow

What does it mean to follow?

Sometimes it’s just to see your back,
your feet,
the dust of your sandaled prints
in the earth.
Sometimes it’s just a voice we
hear to urge us on.

Yes, some of us think to find you
is to put out our hands
in earnest supplication,
for you to fill with prayer answers
and things of proof
that we are loved.

And we, not understanding,
find that standing still
our prayers can falter and fall –
and its not until we rise to our feet
we find in following,
we become our need’s fulfilment.

Yes, what does it mean to follow?
In times of old
the bride would leave her home,
her family,
and her youthful belongings,
to make her place beside her groom.

To look back
was a fruitless thing, to add to grief;
to put her hands to anything but work,
and love and commitment,
was to hold them out
in vain.

Yes, some of us think to find you
is an easy road.
While for others it’s the least they can do,
the footsteps that you leave,
the patterns they follow,
the path you make, the road to take.

What does it mean to follow?
That you would move, so we do.
That you would stop, that we might rest,
that you might speak, and we would listen.
That you might give
and we partake.

Yes, might it be to reflect you?
To become the gift we covet,
that our hands would open to receive,
to become the prayers
we have not said,
to bear the one we seek.

Yes, in times of old,
the groom would receive his bride
and keep her close,
that one day in the evening light
she might surrender all
but the sight of him,

and in so doing make a life.

Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry
October 2019

But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God, my God.’
Ruth 1:16

‘The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.’
Revelation 22:17


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