Tides and Rivers

written by Lin Warfel, friend of Urbana Seminary

Tides and Rivers


Taking two giant, sweeping steps back,

to think about the tides and rivers of mankind

and history, the currents across the face of earth

it strikes me how good and evil

rise and fall


Some strains are so obvious

with time, looking back

Like evil doomed, but nevertheless,

waiting with power, in the wings

to rise and twist in ugliness


Sure, Germany was a mess

paving a way for Hitler

to organize, motivate, energize

So we have pictures of soldiers,

rivers of them streaming

into parts of Europe


And Japan, too,

their soldiers, planes, ships

growing like a tide

rolling into China, Island after island

even Hawaii


Russian troops, unleashed,

binding neighbor nations

strangling them with communism

grinding them in poverty


June, 1944, Normandy,

the greatest tide of history

as the collected strength of Allies

poured onto the beaches

then surged inland

like a new Mississippi

of troops and tanks and artillary

of wave after wave of fighter planes

and bombers by the hundreds


Evil unleashed

or saviors

to push evil down

get the lid back on

we need to be careful

to step back

and see ourselves as others see us

ask ourselves what values we have

and how are we doing


No question both good and evil

can unleash energy

My favorite movie story

puts the anger of a poor Jewish athlete

up against a flying Scott, Harold.

Both run fast, motivated

by opposite extremes

of love and hate


Love doesn’t come easy

nor is it kept clean

since Adam and Eve

it’s been a struggle


What a contrast

to understand, that this is earth

and up there, out there, is heaven!

Here what’s normal is ‘all messed up’

To make it better

it’s gonna be work

hard work

step by step

three steps forward, two steps back


So we have a model

God in human form

who came, lived among us

spoke and ate and slept


A baby in a manager

a man nailed to a cross

Precious baby, nursed by his mother

a boy,taught by his father

a young man, who brought evil to focus

let it pour out on him


In Him we see answers

how to value each other

“Behold thy mother; behold thy son.”

Man, woman, each one valued

treated with respect

Little man, big man,

fisherman, scholar

tax collector, Roman

no matter

Here is the way, the truth, the life…


For a person or a nation

by Him we can measure

where we are

By Him we can set our goals

and find the paths to get there.



Lin 2/2013