Poetry from Michael Robinson

Middle aged Black man with short hair and brown eyes. He's got a hand on his chin and is facing the camera.
Poet Michael Robinson
WALKING with JESUS

Matthew 16:21 (NIV) -”Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”

My witness is that Jesus told me to pick up my Cross and follow Him. I have found my life in walking with Jesus, carrying my cross in all kinds of situations. Walking through the light and darkness. Walking through the dry seasons in my life and the storms in my life. Walking each step following You, Lord. Your yoke is easy for on my own there is pain and sorrow for what I have lost. Your salvation has removed that pain and loss. I have been restored. My salvation and redemption have brought me eternal salvation. For I walk with you, and each step is a step of joy and faithfulness. In this life, there is peace, contentment, and joy. In this life, there is freedom from the pain and suffering that had held me captive. 

My soul is following your commandments to love others as myself. I love myself because of your sacrifice on the Cross for me. It is that ultimate denial of self which brought my freedom. Freedom brought with Your suffering and humiliation and finally Your Crucifixion. A sacrifice of the ultimate love for me dying on the Cross. You gave me a glimpse of eternal life preparing me for God's Kingdom. You showed me the Kingdom within me: mercy and forgiveness and gratitude. It is this mercy that brings me before your Glorious Father, as I kneel, at the altar of my heart. Moments in solitude and quietness are the essence of who I was created to be. Yes, I will pick up my Cross and follow you for you are my Lord, King of my redemption. 



CONVERSATIONS with GOD

For Dee my mother


 My foster mother Dee always spoke about God and Jesus Christ. God knows, she would say, and God doesn't like ugly. She always listened to the gospel station that was her life and took care of us children. Washing and ironing clothes and cooking our meals and preparing us for school. Washing our faces and combing our hair and putting Vaseline on our ashy skin. 

Our clothes were always clean. We were taught manners and to be respectful to all adults. Mostly, I remembered feeling alone and empty since my biological mother had left me. Dee took me in when I was two weeks old. I lived with her until my aunt adopted me at eight years of age. My conversations with God started at eight. I remembered Dee always talking to God aloud. Talking to God came naturally to me. Dee always talked to Jesus and she insisted He listened. Maybe He would hear my prayers. My fears and loneliness and anxiety were overwhelming. Walking the streets of D.C., I was afraid and felt terrorized with good cause because of the violence and turmoil in the streets.  


My aunt adopted me at age eight.  My aunt was Catholic, and being Catholic, she took me to Mass every weekday and Saturday and on Sundays. It was at a morning mass when the priest summoned me to the altar. I was to assist him on the altar to serve communion. This was my invitation to serve God as well. I stepped onto the altar. God wanted me in my street clothes. God wanted me. I genuflected (kneeling and making the sign of the Cross). The priest opened the gate and I stepped onto the altar for the first time, standing to the right side of the priest carrying the host plate (this is used to catch the consecrated host so it won’t touch the floor if it falls.)  

He served communion to each person, as they kneeled at the altar to receive Communion. He walked to each person kneeling with their eyes closed and their tongue out receiving the body of Christ. There was a sense of reverence for helping serve the body of Christ. I felt a personal calling to serve God and a closeness to God. Looking back on this experience. I realized God was real and wanted me to serve Him. This feeling of connecting to God never left me. 


My conversations with God began shortly after that first encounter. I had a place where I felt wanted. It was Holy Redeemer Church. From ages eight to ten, my refuge was the church. The calmness of God’s presence was the same as that first time serving communion.  I longed for God’s calming presence within me. There was a calling within me to recapture that loving and warm presence of God. 

I sat in the front pew and observed the altar candle burning (which served as a reminder of God's light always burning). I studied the white candle burning as it flicked side to side. This was God’s light and I watched it calmly. The colorful votive candles burned with various colors. red, blue, and yellow as I sat  there alone with the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.) The ceiling was covered with murals covering the dome.  Angels adorned the dome in a pretty sky-blue background with white wings.  There were statutes of Mary and Joseph and other Holy figures. This was the Holy family of Jesus. 

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