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Tommy Teoli

Poetry

Prose

Awe & Wonder

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Unfailing_Faithfulness2Your loving-kindness, O LORD,  extends to heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the skies. From the midst of depravity’s depths, You save me. From the deep wells of perversion, You are drawing me out.

I know what it is to have my eyes opened in the dark, to see myself immersed in the rank and spattered muck of my own making, to realize the abject horror and shame of my sin.

I know how it feels to suffer the sorrow of guilt, to allow its piercing pain to penetrate into the absolute center of my soul, to allow my heart to break beneath its unabating stare.

I know what a horror it is to stand ashamed in the presence of the Almighty God, to pale before His holiness in realization of my diseased and desperate condition.

Yet in my weakness, in the face of all my dogged determination to sin, You cover me. Your eyes, without accusation or anger, take pity on me. You see my hopelessness. You feel the agony of my hidden shame. When You took on flesh and tied Yourself to the tether of death, You shattered the shackle of sin on my behalf.

When You took on flesh and tied Yourself to the tether of death, You shattered the shackle of sin on my behalf.

You reach into the vile pit and lift me into Your arms. You carry me in my naked squalor. You wash me in calm and cleansing waters. You wrap me in soft linen and swaddle me in love.

You feed me warm milk as a newborn babe. You sing songs to me. You dance. You laugh. You weep. You tickle me with laughter and smile as if I’ve never known sin. You love as if I’ve never drowned myself in the intoxicating liquor of death. You treat me as if I’ve never chosen to revel in evil, as if I’ve never fed the unyielding appetite, the urging, longing, craving desire to satisfy my lustful flesh.

You make me new. You recreate me. You speak the name of a new being, and birth me within the Spirit’s rushing storm. With eyes wide open, I gape, I marvel, I see.

I celebrate in the splendor of light. My heart sings unheard symphonies and laughs in violent bliss. I see my name written in the heavens. I hear your love-song peel across the skies.

In my deep desire to follow You, why do I still fail You? I celebrate my victories of faith, but I mourn over the sins I still struggle to escape.

Even now, You will not leave me, neither will You leave me in my sin. You fight for me. You admonish, comfort and forgive me. When I fall to temptation, time and time again, and my spirit weeps in horror over my sin, You show me the marks of Your nail-scarred hands. You beckon me to rise once more.

You lead my eyes away from my inward self, and show me the smiling lips of grace. You slay my shame and self-loathing with arms outstretched into eternity. You show me the glory of Your goodness, Your humility and Your gentle unfailing love.

With weeping, I walk through the waters. You take me aside and cleanse me in Your love. You heal me with gentle absolution. You give rest to a heart worn weary with wickedness.

I remember once, I asked You why You keep forgiving and restoring my soul.

“You’re the only one of you I’ve got,” You said, and You kissed my forehead with tender mercy and grace.

“You’re the only one of you I’ve got,”

You cry out for the billions of lost souls sinking in the silent misery of secret shame. You cast off all pride and dignity for the sake of love. You see a forsaken child turn his head towards home, and You run! You cast aside all ceremony. You bypass all religious ties and stipulations for the sake of a sick and starving child in need of restoration.

You sell all Your possessions for love. You cover us all with Your very own cloak. You parade us through the streets in celebration of our penitent return. You make no reference to the past. You ask us no reparation for our wrongs. You only celebrate the precious life that has been reclaimed and restored.

This, O world, is the nature of God. This is the heart of His ever pleading love. This is why He sent and sacrificed His Son. Look on Him whom you have pierced and be healed by the power of His redeeming love.

This, O world, is the nature of God. This is the heart of His ever pleading love.

Thank You Father for Your unfailing love! I have nothing if I have not You. No height surpasses the richness of Your restoration. No depth outdistances the reach of Your right hand.

O World, if you would fathom the outstretched palms of love! If you would but come to the life-giving hands of God! There is no distance He would not dive to draw you out from death into eternal life. Come and crawl into the cradle of new and everlasting life. Come and find, in Him, a home.


Psalm 36:5 – Your lovingkindness, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

2 Timothy 2:13 – If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is.

1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

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