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Letters to the Seven Churches

When a friend and I decided to read the book of Revelation without trying to figure it out, and setting aside as far as possible the “Adventist explanations,” we found ourselves on a fairly strange journey. Here is my poetic response after reading the first three chapters.


Seven stars. Seven lamps, burning golden. And a white stone, smooth-soft, in the palm of my hand — a secret, a name.


I have seen who you are.

You are good.

You are bad.

Here is what might happen:

good, and bad.

In this way I am calling you —

can you hear me?


The sun rose

     and it was Him.

Stars burst across heaven

     and it was Him.

Thunder rippled

     like silken surf

crashing, splintering over earth —

     that too was Him.

It is no wonder when He spoke

     I only heard the ringing

          of my ear.


“Well, kiddo,” he said, his left arm swiveling lazily at the elbow, “you’ve done alright.” I didn’t say anything, knowing he wasn’t done. He glanced at me, a bit amused, either at my silence or at himself, making this speech. “There are, of course, some things you might… want to work on. For instance — ” he paused. “Oh, the usual things.” He put his arm down on the chair arm. “But you have a future, kiddo. Stick with it.” He looked into my silence, almost tenderly. “Well then,” he said, pushing himself out of the chair, just brushing my shoulder as he left the room.


To the angel of the church at the crossroads write: I have seen your heart, and it is an intersection. You are divided by the four roads that brought you here. I have stood in your four corners, where people may be trapped but not lost, and asked what road to take. Nobody knows for sure. You have found the maps, which all give different directions, and in your confusion have taken all, and none.

I wish that you would buy a travel guide, that you might travel all roads well.


And the everlasting pillar shall shine like the roar of burnished bronze, filling the girdled cloud temple of the seven suns like bleached cloud fire, forever.


He who loves us

     and freed us from

our sins with his life’s blood

     brings grace and peace,

who was, who is, who always will be —


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