Barnabas’ Lament

Barnabas’ Lament
on the parting with Paul over John-Mark.

O Paul! Paul, my dearest friend!
Do you remember?
How on that dusty road, the Christ,
Arisen, came to you in glory?
And you were saved and changed,
And made a cup to be poured out,
A drink offering.

Do you remember, after;
You preached courageous and true,
In the city you’d intended to persecute?
And I believed!
I believed in Christ’s work in you!

Do you remember?
The apostles, the pillars, were skeptics,
Thinking you were a ruse,
A screen of smoke, a cloud
Like the dust on that Damascus road.
But I believed, O dearest Paul!
And on my word they did too–
Accepted–embraced–your gospel call.

I believed! Yes, I rejoiced!
That Christ’s glory would abound through you;
Your learning made me bear no grudge;
No resentment did I feel;
And No! I did not doubt your call!
And Christ’s glory does abound through you!

Have you forgotten, dearest brother-friend?
Why do you not believe that useful in ministry
This Mark will be?
That the risen Christ will do abundantly?
Why will you not, O Paul, believe?
That Christ’s work can do in him
What it also did in you
(far beyond human belief)?

But I believe!
That Christ has chosen him
(as he indeed has chosen you)
To be a cup of gospel truth.

Dear Paul, I miss you, brother, friend.
May our paths, O Lord, please cross again.


About Danny Slavich

I am a Christian husband, father, pastor, and poet. I lead Pembroke Road Baptist Church a multi-cultural, multi-generational church in urban South Florida.
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