Sunday, 12 November 2006

The Narrow and Wide Gates

By Lucy Wall

Inspired by Matthew 7:13-14

“The Narrow And Wide Gates” is the first poem I wrote after giving my heart to Jesus in August 2006. I felt inspired to write it after reading Matthew 7:13-14 which reads: “Enter through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction and many enter through it. But narrow is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it.”

Immediately after reading these verses I started to picture very clearly in my mind the two contrasting gates which Matthew describes. I began to write down what I could see in my mind’s eye and as the poem developed I realised I was writing about the spiritual journey I had just been on as the Holy Spirit called my heart to follow Jesus.

Being just a few months old in the Lord when I wrote “The Narrow And Wide Gates,” this poem is not filled with Scriptures and Biblical references but it is full of symbolism. I used this to expose the seemingly harmless but deadly temptations of the Devil and show how Jesus is the only One who truly leads to peace, joy and most importantly, life!

One day I wandered through the trees and found myself a gate.
"What paths will lie beyond these bars?" my thoughts did contemplate.
The shining, golden, gleaming front was pleasing to my eye.
"Whatever lies behind such beauty must be worth a try!"

I noticed then the looming doors had jewels down every side,
Encrusted treasures hidden deep within these gates so wide.
The gems began to dazzle me, blinking, full of promise
And whispering their songs so sweet, reciting "Come and join us!”

My eyes I could not tear away from these gates before me,
Hypnotised I stood and stared at this resplendent glory.
I noticed then there was no lock and no need for a key;
These gates were opened many times and very easily.

Transfixed was I and in a spell, no chance to run and hide.
Towards the gates my limbs were pulled, my feet began to glide.
As I approached the massive gates swung open without strain,
From deep within, melodic voices beckoning my name.

The scented air was filled with fragrance, wonderfully sweet.
Henceforth came creatures from the dark to welcome and to greet.
They reached for me with baleful grins, "Come with us!" they'd insist.
By now the tempting ways they had I found hard to resist.

I lost control of mind and movement, senses in a trance
As round and round into the dark I joined their merry dance.
Their machinations tricked my mind, I found this place delicious.
Obliviously unaware of plans or schemes pernicious.

They led me to a place so full of promises and dreams,
A myriad of swirling colour bursting at the seams!
Far behind those gates of gold I felt I found a place
Where one could do just as they please and never have to face

A reprimand or consequence, you had to pay no fee.
Yes all this came without a price, apparently for free.
So further on and deeper still I ventured in this land
Though deep recesses of my mind could hear a ticking hand.

Yet lustfully my eyes would bathe and drink in lustrous wonder
At lightening skies and diamond stars and looming clouds of thunder.
I found myself engulfed in petals, flowers crimson deep,
Soft as velvet to the touch like kisses in my sleep.

'Twas as I lay in false pretence warm feelings were enfolding
Then just like that within my gut, sensations so foreboding.
My eyes shot open, snapped awake, I came to realise,
Despite the promise this land held perhaps there was no prize.

I looked around and what had seemed at first so full of beauty
Was now a pallid, fetid place, full of sin and cruelty.
The acrid air, it filled my lungs poisoning my soul.
My every fibre suffering as evil took it's toll.

Surrounding me, the many eyes were staring, full of guile
And from the shadows they would watch and with a furtive smile.
So languidly I hauled myself and forced my legs to run
And just in time I realised this place was not such fun.

I tore through branches, weeds and vines, I had to find that gate
And get myself away from here before it was too late.
I felt my strength recovering as through the brush I'd hack.
I would not stop until I knew my self-control was back!

I found the path that was so wide, the gate lay up ahead.
I noticed then that from this side the gate was black and dead.
No glittering or promises enticing me to stay,
By now I knew of my mistake and fought to get away.

A mighty battle then commenced between my soul and body.
"How could these charms have kept me here?" I scolded my own folly.
I dragged my legs through air so dense like running through thick liquid.
My muscles burned and weighed me down, my soul grew dim and timid.

At last I reached the rotting gates and threw my weight upon them,
Bursting through my soul released from dark despair and mayhem.
My legs collapsed and there I lay, gasping on the ground.
So silently the gates slid shut without a single sound.

Trembling and in despair I tried to sit up straight
But could not bare to turn around and face that awful gate.
So all alone and very lost that no one heard my cries
And then I looked and looked again, could I believe my eyes?

The golden gate had markings now or did my eyes play tricks?
Upon the front a serpent sat with numbers "666."
My blood ran cold, I turned away, my throat let out a cry
Then in the midst of my despair a new thing caught my eye.

A gentle calm and quiet peace, it filled my very core.
I looked upon another gate, a slender, subtle door.
Made of wood and painted white, I saw this gate so humble.
I forced myself to stand up straight, my feet began to stumble.

Surrounded by the foliage, entwining convolution,
This gate was pure but most of all was free from sin's pollution.
No magnet force was pulling me, no hypnotising voice.
This time I staggered to the gate entirely by choice.

As I approached my soul grew strong, my heart lit like a candle.
On close inspection there I found the absence of a handle.
I raised my hand and pressed with force, ’twas then I felt quite shocked
To find this tiny, narrow gate was very firmly locked.

I knocked three times and called aloud then gave another nudge.
So in despair and quite perplexed at how it would not budge.
Frustration then possessed my heart, I fell down on my knees.
I clasped my hands and wept and prayed, "Just open for me, please!"

So as I sat besides myself, I felt quite at a loss
I noticed then upon the door the marking of a Cross.
A desperate longing filled my soul to see the other side.
"I need your help, O’ mighty Lord" still on my knees I cried.

Face in my hands and sobbing hard, I felt my torment peak
Then just as I thought all was lost it opened with a creak.
So through my tears I looked ahead and saw a dazzling light
Peeking through in rays and beams so wonderfully bright.

I reached my hand in front of me, I felt I'd need a guide
To take my hand and comfort me and help me walk inside.
I felt a warm, assuring grip clasp round my trembling hand
And lovingly He raised me up, helping me to stand.

Step by step I made my way, guided to the door,
My beating heart had heard a call, a call I'd not ignore.
By now the door was open wide, the whiteness blinded me.
I closed my eyes as from now on I'd use my heart to see.

Already I could feel the joy that this new land would bring,
I felt renewed and born again like bluebells in the spring!
This time I walked with confidence and disappeared for good
Behind that gentle, quiet door of soft white paint and wood.

And as it shut my spirit soared, filled deep with joy and wealth.
All that was left among those trees? A shadow of myself.
Although I'd strayed and wandered far, my mind had tried to roam,
I know that now I'm through that gate I've found my way back home.

Jeremiah 29:12-13
“Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”

John 8:32
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

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