Scorched by Self-Knowledge

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you men of double mind. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to dejection. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you." 1


This journey into self-knowledge,
A lonely trek through the desert,
Begins with His gift of courage,
Which will sustain me in my hurt.

Self-knowledge is the bitter herb,
Which lets me live through serpent bite:
Complacent hearts it will disturb;
Exposing their sins in its light.

This Divine Light's a scorching sun,
Which blazes on my exposed skin:
It roasts my pride beyond well-done;
Cauterizing lesions of sin.

When I look to the cross He's raised,
His purpose yields a living hope:
I follow Him where I am braised;
Where once, in darkness, I would grope.

Waters of faith, in this desert,
Flow when my heart of rock is struck:
I learn my limits in my hurt;
Without Him, in sin, I am stuck.

I enter His tent of healing;
My skin's soothed with salve of Mercy.
The fruit of this stark revealing:
Pride's displaced with humility.

Divine Love will sear off my sin;
Exposing my wounds to Mercy.
This is the way of conversion:
Transforming through humility.

(c) Paul Buis, 2000

1. James 4:7-10