Divine grace suffuses a seemingly mundane reality in these lyrical Christian devotional poems.
Schmit (Jesus Inside, 2015), a poet and writing instructor at the Bethel School of Supernatural Discipleship, offers 60 poems featuring vivid imagery of everyday life lit by epiphanies that bring God onto the scene. Nature vignettes (“The branch at bud point, / lightly bears the warbler’s weight, / shakes free of frost, / and offers a blossom peek / to the sun”), vegetable stands (“A roadside cascade of tumbling tomatoes / splits its sides laughing”), and holiday decorations (“The wren wonders at outdoor / Christmas lights, / not much there for nesting, the wires make poor worms”) make typical homespun backgrounds. Jesus appears in humble guises as an ordinary workman “in jeans /…a tool belt, thermos, / some decent boots” or a car passenger on a shopping trip (“Tuesdays I drive into town with Jesus. / We don’t talk much. He gives me / His ‘What more needs to be said’ look and fiddles with the radio to get psyched. / We pour love at the Walmart, walking down the aisles like they were water”). God figures in as a numinous, loving omnipresence (“Grace spins in spontaneous space, / the fingertip of His creation…every breath, / from the mouth of God, / is a song”). Some poems deftly call readers to a Christian engagement with worldly concerns, from homelessness (“Rainy season; plastic tarps / rumble in the wind, blankets / become roofs. /…any question where He’d be born / again this Christmas?”) to climate change and renewable energy (“The commonsense of the sun, / the compassion of the wind, / will steal the thunder of hard blowing coal fire. Cool water will yet have its day”). A few brief, punchy prose essays are sprinkled in that treat political issues more directly (“If we truly wish to make America great, let’s enlist the words of Jesus Who admonishes us to become servants of all”). The result is a stimulating volume of down-to-earth writings that will spur a deep reflection on Christian faith and values.
A fine collection that expresses ardent religious feelings in fresh, evocative language and metaphors.