The Charcoal Fire

From night to night,
In cold and fright,
Stood I near charcoal fire,

And, warming there,
Did curse and swear,
And show myself a liar.

“Are you not he
From Galilee,
The friend of Him all meek?”

The cock did crow.
“I do not know
The Man of Whom you speak.”

But then He turned,
And in me burned
A flame, lit from His gaze,

At which I wept
For oaths unkept
And all my lukewarm days.

When He was tried
Him I denied
And failed to pass the test,

Though promised I
With Him to die,
Should fail Him all the rest.

Filled with regrets
And empty nets,
I turned to former hire.

But when dawn came,
He spoke my name,
While burned the charcoal fire.

Now at the shore,
He asks once more
If I will be His friend

And, on the sands,
With pierced hands,
Gives me His sheep to tend.

-Fr. Timothy J. Draper

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Featured Image: Jan van de Venne, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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