An Irish Tell

//An Irish Tell

An Irish Tell

In keeping with the happy tone of the month of March, I offer you my Irish poem. And in keeping with another Irish tradition, the celebration of a wake, I encourage you to raise a glass to the death of the myth that you’re on your own.

AN IRISHMAN DOES THE TELL

When me “I” was me.
Me alone.
I was free.

Free to be.
Free to be me.
Free as stone;

selfish, afraid and alone.

So, over the years,
I filled up my house;

friends, family,
children,
neighbors
and spouse.

I worked hard to impress
with things that mattered;

job titles,
cars, trophies,
and me wallet
was fatter.

Still something was wrong,
something inside,

an emptiness,
people
and things

could not hide.

Then in the midst
of my full empty life,
the flipside of grace
invaded my strife.

When He die for me,
I forgiven be.
Me debt was paid.
He set me free.

But more than free
and empty be,
more than cleansed
and made amends.

Yes, died to free,
but raised was He,
to take His place
on heaven’s lee.

Seated there
first born,
new race.

Then sent His Spirit
to fill
me space.

Came in
re-rooted,
revived alive.

Cleansed to
fill
me empty “I”.
Now me, “I”,
no longer
ME,

but henceforth
and forever
WE.

In my poetry/devotional book, The Grace of Rain, this piece is accompanied by the following backstory.

This poem was originally triggered by a simple comment that a friend of mine made at the end of a phone conversation. It was just a little line, but for me, it was a spark that God fanned into a flame that is still burning within me. It was a slight variation on the common phrase, “Well, I’ve got to go, talk to you later.”, but it caused a big change in my life.

Years ago a mentor friend of mine, Gene, moved from where we both were living in Southern California to upstate New York. We’ve stayed in touch, through the occasional “catch me up” phone call. Gene ended one such call by saying, “Well, Jesus and I are going upstairs now to fix a door.” After I hung up, I thought to myself, What did he say? I smiled. That phrase has continued to echo through my soul. It has slowly, over the years, gathered the weight and significance of bible verses and experiences. All summed up in the thought, I am never alone, “I equals We,” (Jesus and me).

The Apostle Paul said it this way;

…and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.  (Galatians 2:20 NASB)

The distinction between the pronouns in that verse has become so important to me. When I look toward the future, my hope is no longer in Kirk (I alone) achieving, but in Jesus (in me) achieving what He is leading me to do, Jesus living out His life through me (I=We).

May the thought, I equals We, guard against the two extremes of the driven life; the ego-driven push to achieve as me, or the fear-driven life, to not fail, because its I alone.

May it become a meditation phrase that fills your day with a burden lifting smile. And on this St. Patrick’s Day let’s lift a glass with the internal toast, I equals We!

By | 2018-03-31T12:44:09+00:00 March 5th, 2018|Poems|4 Comments

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4 Comments

  1. Amanda DeVore Broderick March 5, 2018 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    I adore this poem and the depth, moreover promise, that it carries with it. Exactly what I needed to marinate in today, thank you!

    • Kirk Manton March 6, 2018 at 1:40 pm - Reply

      You are welcome, Amanda. I pray my little Irish piece finds you well and well marinated indeed! You are a joy and bring a smile to all you meet.

  2. Mike Haynes March 5, 2018 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    Enjoyed your Irish poem!

  3. Carl Linhardt March 6, 2018 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    I liked the poem too. Love the back story.

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