The One Thing

The breeze stirs the leaves,

And under this canopy I sit,

And listen.


Living God,

Is whispering to my soul,

And I look up at the sky,

And I listen.


It’s a listening,

That strips away,

So many lesser things.


It’s a listening that is a quiet balm,

A shepherd’s rod.

A father’s correcting,

A gardener’s weeding,

A master’s gentle rebuke. 


It’s the patient voice,

Of a loving master,

Who wants more than just,

Fearful obedience,

But wants to cultivate,


In the deepest heart.


And I listen,

And it’s the gentle hand,

Of the loving Father,

Training and shaping His child’s heart,

Into all righteousness. 


I listen,

And I feel your fingers deep inside me,

Pruning away,

So many good,

But unnecessary things.


And You prune away,

That which is slightly fruitful,

So that the few remaining branches,

Might bear more and stronger and healthier fruit.


I listen,

As You prune away,

The good things,

That distract,

From the better things.


So much good,

That one day might be.

But not now.

For now there is only one thing,

That is needful.

And I sit and listen,

As You prune away the good things,

To give me this one thing. 


I sit here,

And I’m sitting at Your feet.

Restless heart that started out far from You,

Somehow finds its way,

To the quiet place,

At Your feet.


And You give me back the one thing.


You give me back the one thing,

That I really want.

You give me back the one thing,

That I really need.


You prune away the good things,

To give me back the one thing.

And my soul finds rest,

In the one and deep.


You give me back this one thing.

Just this one desire,

For just this one You.


And all else strips away in this moment,

And my heart begins to remember,

What it longs for.


I sit here in the quiet,

And I feel Your fingers weed.

And all these things that I have felt,

Starting to grow,

I sit here in the quiet,

And You begin to bring them out,

And cleanse the heart. 


I sit here in the quiet,

And I’m restless to create,

Something of true and real beauty.

And I’m restless to know,

That my life means something.

Restless to prove,

To belong,

To be right.


Restless for my words,

And my heart,

And my life,

To be right,

And to matter.


And I’m so confused,

About who and what and why,

I’m writing,

That words lodge in my throat,

And I just swallow down,

Lump after lump.


And I’m the man in the fable,

Walking with his son and his donkey,

And in trying to please everyone,

He ends up pleasing no one,

And losing everything he started with.


I find the treasure,

And it seems like a constant wrestling,

To keep it.

I delight in Your goodness,

And it becomes a constant war,

To stay in the place,

Of quiet satisfied.


For there’s always something,

And someone,

To come and steal the joy away.

And really,

The only enemy is me,

For I’m the one who decides,

To stand or waver.


Vessel of flesh,

I’m too weak to stand,

Like iron strength.

I wilt like a blade of grass.

I fall like an autumn leaf. 


Weak and foolish thing,

That can’t seem to walk in a straight line.

But keeps deciding,

That the path is moving,

And I keep changing my trajectory,

And second guessing the goal,

And I wonder why I’m confused,

And double-minded.


Terrified of failure,

Or being wrong,

In slightest sense,

I bend and shape and move,

Until I’m not sure who I’m living for,



And I just keep moving,


Busy with a million things,

To do,

To accomplish,

To create.


For if there is no output,

Surely there can be no value.

And I measure myself,

By myself.


I’ve fallen into quicksand.


But You drag me to the quiet,

And in the quiet place,

You pull me out.


And in the quiet place,

You prune,

And weed.

And all the roiling inside of me,

Turns into refining,

And all the dross is being lifted off,

And there are good things being left here.


And the Brita pitcher,

Takes it all in,

And drip drips slowly,

Until all that’s left in the reservoir to drink,

Is good.


And when I feel overwhelmed,

That’s when the head is full of ideas,

But the filter filters slowly,

And the drip drip takes time.


But there always ends up,

A weight of gold in my soul.

And a reservoir of good, clean water,

That I can pour out,

And give,

And drink.


Sometimes the filtering hurts,

And I wish the drip drip,

Would happen more quickly.

Sometimes the groaning of my soul,

Is so loud,

It keeps me up at night.


And I so ache,

To put off this body of flesh,

And join in the full completion,

And the full harvest.


You’ve given me a taste,

And I’m mad for more.

And I’m restless until I realize,

The full extent,

Of all there is to know.


And the day when everything,

Will be perfect and complete,

And lacking in nothing,

With no more weakness,

To bar the way,

Of perfect righteousness,

I’m mad for it.


I’d rip off my flesh now,

If I could,

To join the full completion.


But the harvest is not ready yet.

And my soul is not yet ripe for harvest.

And I’ve got so much more of patience,

And humility,

And love and righteousness,

To learn.


And I know You could do it in a moment,

If You wanted.

But You give me a lifetime,

And You make it to bear fruit.


And so I’m in the throes,

Of the pruning and the weeding,

And the fruit bearing.

I’m in the throes,

Of the growth and the holy and the redemption.


Perfected forever,

Yet being sanctified.

A soul being tilled,

That it might bear more good fruit.


And it hurts,

At times.

And there are times I wonder,

What fruit really means,

And if anyone feasts from my soul.


But where my fears are shallow small,

You plunge me deeper,

And give me better eyes.

You rip wide open my soul,

And I bleed out tears,

And finally my lungs can breathe.


Sometimes you have to crack a rib,

To save a life.

And sometimes you have to cut the body open,

To heal the hurting inside.


You pierce us,

To heal us.

You cut us,

To make us clean.


And it always feels good and right,

When it’s happened.

And no discipline for the moment,

Seems pleasant,

But painful.


But there’s that fruit of feeling clean,

And good,

And right,

And whole,

When it’s done.


The peaceful fruit,

Of righteousness.

When the heart and soul,

Are right with You,

And know peace with You.


And I want to abide,

In the place of knowing,

The peace with You,

You purchased.

And this is the one thing,

That’s worth the pruning,

Of many things.


And it’s the quiet places,

That test the condition,

Of my heart.


For it’s in the quiet places,

That I know,

Whether I am abiding with You,

Or running from You.


For if I can sit,

In the quiet place,

And know peace with You,

Deep in my soul,

Then I know that I am near You,

And abiding in Your light,

And fellowship,

I feel clean.


But when I hide my face,

And I can’t sit still,

And I ramble on like a madwoman,

And jump from here to there,

But find no rest,

In any of it,

Then I have let go my one thing,

And I must still before You,

As You sweep through my soul,

And we sweep through the house,

Until You find it,

And give it to me again.


And I rejoice like a soul,

That’s just won the whole world.


For I’ve got my one thing back,

And I’ve gained the King,

In fellowship,

Once more,

And the kingdom of heaven,

Burns within my soul.


I draw up close to the fire,

And my heart warms.

I let go the lesser things,

And cling again to the only thing,

To my God Himself,

And I have everything.

And I live.


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