Christianity is full of surprising reversals. Just think of Good Friday, where the King of Heaven abolishes the power of death—by dying in our place! He said, “unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit.” And that’s exactly what he did—first the dying, then the bearing much fruit. Now, he calls us to follow him in the same way: “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” As we approach Easter, I’ve been thinking a lot about this–what does it look like for me, right now? How is my own life reshaped and redirected by these reversals? These are the things I was thinking of when I wrote this poem:


Unless you can learn how to die
You’ll never learn how to live
You’ll never know what you have
Unless you know how to give

Unless you hold your hands open
Your fingers will lose their grip
Unless you expect to stumble
Your feet will surely slip

Unless you swallow your pride
It will eat you up, my friend
And those who humble themselves
Are lifted in the end

Unless you hunger and thirst
For righteousness and peace
You’ll never taste the fullness
Of the King’s eternal feast

Unless you fall like a grain
Into the ground to die
You’ll never see his life
Bursting from inside

2 thoughts on “Unless”

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