Thorns Around Your Heart

Are those thorns around your heart a fortress for that within
Or do you wear them as a crown as Jesus did, for our sins
You might think your thorns will keep you safely enshrined
But instead they invite self to further seek, to hide behind

Thorns around your hardened heart yield hate not healed
When thorns lash outward towards others instead of shield
Silent prayers of thousands reach in hope towards this dread
Lord, feel my tears join with theirs in a river to end bloodshed

Melt these thorns, unwrap the vine, let peace’s fire ignite
Let these hearts fill with your wonder, sense your delight
For only then can these hearts grow, your joy felt within
can these hearts reach out to others in love, in peace as kin

Please let them see your crown will meet their every need
Let them feel your glowing warmth, when love proceeds
As they sense your glory, share your thorns in your place
So they can learn to wear them, to use them in your grace

In dignity and humility to feel the crown on their own head
Thorns worn in honor, deep in prayer letting your love spread
For these hearts are pure with peace, derived from sanctity
They know love moves mountains, moves souls collectively

Please let divinity help transform thorns from heart to soul
Where grace wounds in love, in faith, in hope to console
And yet sometimes the thorn turns around, towards the I
This type of thorn seems to confuse, to defy, to mystify

These thorns aim towards human flesh, not soul’s domain
They reduce our strength, bring suffering, bring undo pain
They damage lives in a ripple around, ways not seeming fair
Thorns cast about without regard, without reason, unaware

So Lord, in your sweet words that when two are in your care
You are there with us, to listen, to help, to hear our prayer
Remove these thorns, please put in them in our crowns instead
Undo the wrong, heal these hearts, let no more tears be shed

Occasionally I actually do not have to figure out a lesson God is giving me. In this particular case it was quite obvious. In the Sunday morning paper I had just read about another large suicide bomb in Iraq killing a number of people. Before Sunday Mass started a dear friend told me her husband had a virus attack his heart. I was lector and the reading included Paul’s discussing his thorn in his side. Within the gospel reading and the follow up homily, I heard the word heart at least a dozen times. I became to believe I was supposed to throw my prayers in with so many others that somehow we and God working together could find a way to ease the pain associated with all these thorns.

For further reflection: 1 Thessalonians 3