And the Last Shall Be First…

Maya Angelou, author of “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” wrote the following poem titled “Christians.” An interesting thing to note is that Mary Angelou never claimed to be a Christian.

When I say… “I am a Christian”
I’m not shouting “I’m clean livin’.”
I’m whispering “I was lost,
Now I’m found and forgiven.

“When I say… “I am a Christian”
I don’t speak of this with pride.
I’m confessing that I stumble
and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say… “I am a Christian”
I’m not trying to be strong.
I’m professing that I’m weak
And need His strength to carry on.

When I say. “I am a Christian”
I’m not bragging of success.
I’m admitting I have failed
And need God to clean my mess.

When I say… “I am a Christian”
I’m not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible
But, God believes I am worth it.

When I say… “I am a Christian”
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches
So I call upon His name.

When I say… “I am a Christian”
I’m not holier than thou,
I’m just a simple sinner
Who received God’s good grace, somehow.

This poem has always been an encouragement to me because it outlines my inability to live the Christian life, and reminds me of God’s wonderful grace, mercy and forgiveness. Forgiveness is a funny thing, really. It is not a “get out of jail free” card, but rather a gift from God which serves to motivate us to live a life honoring to God. All the while, however, we know that we are forgiven in our failure.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” -2 Corinthians 12:9

“This is what the LORD says: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the LORD. “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.” – Isaiah 66:1-2

I plan to study this more, but I tend to believe that Goad is glorified in our weakness. When we have a broken, humble spirit, God can break through our pride and the walls we put around ourselves and begin to work in our lives and mold us into more Godly creatures. When we try to do it ourselves, we fail – as demonstrated through the Law in the Old Testament. But when we admit our inabilities and let the defensive walls fall down –

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:29-33

Just some of my 3am thoughts. Bedtime for me. 

3 thoughts on “And the Last Shall Be First…

  1. good post mel, it was very much appreciated. I’ve been struggling lately with making myself humble before God and allowing him to break me… so that was good to hear.:)

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