At the Border – A Poem

Today at dVerse Poets Pub, Claudia has challenged us to write a poem about borders – either physical borders between countries or states or intangible borders between cultures or beliefs. As I read her wonderful article about borders, I immediately thought of the border between Christians and atheists. I decided to try my hand at putting my thoughts on this subject into poetic form.

In years past, the border between these groups was largely ignored as they largely ignored each other. But in recent years they have both approached the border and a clash between faith combined with reason and reason without faith has become almost impossible to avoid. I have crossed the border once or twice to engage in conversation with atheists in my life. I find they often refuse to see their own bias in their reasoning, a bias towards the non-existence of God. The conversations seldom seem fruitful or useful, and so I have retreated to my side of the border, choosing to cross the border only in prayer.

I decided to write this poem in the pantoum form that I learned from one of the contributors at dVerse Poets Pub. This is my third pantoum, and I find I really like this form. I particularly like how it ends where it starts.

At the Border

At the border, leaning on this tree
Seeing blind fools on the other side
They cannot see what I clearly see
The invisible God our great divide

Seeing blind fools on the other side
What an unthinking fool they think I be
The invisible God our great divide
They scoff at faith, my reason and reality

What an unthinking fool they think I be
But I know I understand the truth
They scoff at faith, my reason and reality
God plainly revealed to me since my youth

But I know I understand the truth
All life evolved from nothingness?
God plainly revealed to me since youth
He created all life, I must profess

All life evolved from nothingness?
They cannot see what I clearly see
He created all life, I must profess
At the border, praying beneath this tree

I am a Jesus Freak, and I don't care who knows it. I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. My blood family is only part of the larger family of Christ that I belong to. I love to write, especially about my dear Savior.


14 Responses

  1. Linda, great great job with the pantoum, with the topic, with the poem itself. You wowed me. God wows me through you. God bless you and all the borders you cross with your Jesus.
    love and prayers!

  2. Thanks, Linda

    I know where my own struggles have taken me and all I can say is that I am thankful that He loved beyond my ignorance.

    God bless you. You have brought up many memories. Many reasons to give Him thanks and endless praise.

    Here’s Sandi Patty’s “Unexpected Friends”

    “With some unexpected friends
    Never asking where I’ve been
    Just a hand of mercy and words of love
    Call me back again

    Oh, it feels like home
    With unexpected friends
    A soothing balm for the wounds I suffer along the way
    A fervent prayer giving courage and hope for another day
    Through the help of my friends
    Ones I may never see again
    Seem like angels that were sent by heaven for me”


      • Thanks! You’re always so gracious with helpful suggestions for me–I seriously appreciate you taking that kind of time and interest; anything I can do for you, other than prayers for your health concerns?

  3. Beautiful, poignant and rich in meaning. The form works well in this instance. I stood there with you once, but then it came to me, watching species adapt, grow new appendages, reproduce from one leg cut off as the star-fish, that there is some kind of intelligence in the very cell– call it God, call it life. xx I’m at – my difficulty with many believers is that they turn the mystery of the universe into a cliche; humankind has invented many Gods ergo the world’s great religions. xj

  4. Well, first I think this is a marvelous border to write about; not a physical border, but a divide made of differing beliefs.

    As neither a Christian nor an atheist, my observation is that both camps can be thoroughly intractable. It’s not entirely mysterious, I don’t think. As the man said, to those who don’t believe, no proof is possible, and to those who do, none is needed.

    • Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a nice and thoughtful comment. As one who didn’t come to a level of certain faith as a small child, though, I wouldn’t say that I needed no evidence that God exists before I believed. I do not require 100% proof, because such does not exist on either side of the border. Peace, Linda

  5. Linda, I agree so heartily with Claudia. Jesus crossed all borders and hung out with people many would not have associated with. I do think that both Christians and Atheists need to listen to one another. I do wish they would find common ground, but it doesn’t seem likely. Thank you for presenting your viewpoint unashamedly. I do think, as poets, we all cross borders and respect one another, as I know what Jesus have!

  6. nice…great use of form and repitition in this…and yes there are stanch fools on either side this line that would much rather throw stones than come together…one of the big things about jesus was he hung out not with the religeous usually unless he was smiting them around a bit…haha

  7. you know…jesus was the greatest border crosser ever.. he always saw the people, no matter where they came from and if they were acceptable..just think of mary who washed his feet…think we need his open eyes to see and understand and build bridges

    • Claudia, That is so true. I must confess, though, that I find this easy to do with most people. There is something about atheists and their refusal to see anything Divine, as well as their tendency to call people of faith unreasoning, that has been a struggle for me. I do know, however, that there have been many famous atheists who eventually became believer, and usually because someone loved them in spite of their lack of faith. Peace, Linda

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