Those Who Are Well

The whole
The beautiful
The righteous

have no need
that can’t be stilled
within their own esteem


their relief
their sentiments
cry and build high
the power of man
extolling strength and excellence
displaced trusting
more and more their own

No wonder here

in the dark
they cannot see
their dire need
of the great Physician
who came not to call
the righteous
wholly deeply immersed
in man-made lights
they take cover
and leave


the Truth
of His Person
His Righteousness
His Strength and Purity His
His Satisfaction His


they scream
“I’m clean!”
and God delights
only in Him
and in them that are not
yet are


not bending
to their own good
works are not their savior
but quite sick
of themselves
of their fickle fame and fleeting
frames unsound


from the Crown
of the Head
to the sole of the foot
nothing good dwells
no creature sensible
of its own battle
wounds and putrid sores
would dare trust
intrinsic wisdom and strength
to lift all


infested flesh
covered in gold and spices
hungry and calling
and Good sin
blind to the One who was and is
and is yet
to come


and All besides
is of no value
to him whose blood is dead
by scarlet thoughts seduced and troubled
knowing destruction


of Him
whose blood is Red
is Cleansing
is Healing
is Life


In Him
conceived whole

By Him
made Beautiful

For Him
declared Righteous

she now lives!

Petra O. Hefner


I can get pretty unsettled when I am interrupted
forgetting time and time again
that time is a gift

interrupted solitude
is a gift

his gift

upset and unbalanced
I lose all things
all that life gives
it can take just as quick
interrupting eighty years
knocking knees rushing
yet still at the door
bell pushed
interrupting my duty
my searching
my plan

interrupted again
by eighty years pierced pressing
that cracked door chime in the dark
interrupting my plan to spill grace
while he holds his peace shattered
waiting to share his news

interrupted comfort
she went ahead not too late
just on time
just not his time
not my time
this time
he will miss her much
to his surprise
I stayed too long
at the door
letting him walk in and light scream out
into the dark broken
yet whole

interrupted silence
waiting to explode yet controlled
held tight by joy
great tidings pealing
from a very near distance interrupting
him interrupting me
interrupting his pain
my plan

interrupted again
cut from my kindness
joint and marrow trying to console
eighty years?

interrupted by a loss
lost gasps – groping prayers left hanging
still heavy from some dry adoration
suddenly fly
like arrows from a bent bow
high and higher still
her silenced hymns
to interrupt
even this
broken moment

this man of eighty long years
spilling new tears

Petra O. Hefner

“I can say from experience that 95% of knowing the will of God consists in being prepared to do it before you know what it is.” ~Donald Gray Barnhouse

Christianese or Churchese

Maybe you’ve heard it
maybe you speak it
I am guilty
I speak both
without thinking
claiming that my speaking and planning
and meeting and praying
bring honor
to our brothers and sister and God
most especially


think again
this time in English
or French – even Latin
just be warned that Christianese sounds nice
and Churchese even nicer
when it bites
its own


driven deep into the Savior
the One who has
and does
and will
always honor God


think again
this time in earnest
or bent – even broken
just beware that the truth sounds strange
and grace even stranger
when it calls out
deeply hid within the good sinner
the one who keeps braggin’
’bout honoring God


think again
this time in English
or Greek – Pig Latin even
just be aware that your words sound decent
and your bragging even humble
when you call
the shots
with big Word words
God is not impressed
when you think
you’re humble

Think again

this time in front of the Savior
and His sovereign Will

Petra O. Hefner

“The true way to be humble is not to stoop until you are smaller than yourself, but to stand at your real height against some higher nature that will show you what the real smallness of your greatness is.” ~ Phillips Brooks