Plaster saint

II Corinthians 4

i am a plaster saint:
i am a hurriedly painted,
pained and harried mock-up.
A model saint? A plastered saint.

Clean hands?
My whitewashed appearance belies the truth:
i’m stained by the thoughts
that nest in my head.

These fault lines that craze my hands and face
betray my scared scarred heart’s disgrace:
i am brittle
i am broken.

Look at my feet of clay:
you will see they are brittle, too,
and worn out standing on their pedestal.
They have often tried to walk, but fallen.

Look at my hands:
i can hold nothing in these statuesque hands.
i can only hold them out towards others,
and hope, somehow, that warmth and love
will escape their cold clay confines
and be a living memorial.

Like the statue, like the clay, i am dust.
Clay enclosing God’s treasure trove:
i am animated by the gospel of God
Who said, “Let there be light,”
Who caused His light to shine
in the darkness of my heart:
God Who put His treasure in me,
in this earthen vessel, this plaster saint,
that the excellence of the power
may be of Him, and not of me.

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