The Smile Of God

The Smile Of God

The Smile Of God 150 150 Robert Alan Rife

For all those whose cruciformity brings light to dark places, hope to bleak places and promise where there is none. God sees.

Dark and insistent the vultures come,
descending on unsuspecting lives.
Ripping and tearing this salty flesh,
distraught, disturbed, disjointed,
carrion fuel, bespattered spiritual spoil.

Stand your ground, oh lovers of day.
Plant the scarecrows of virtue,
your unmoving brokenness,
your gleaming dark,
your song of voiceless vagabonds.

Though preyed upon, yield not
your hidden beauty, prayed upon
with stubbornly sanguine faith.
Though experience tells you to run,
love bids you stay.

As blood is bridge built from richest vein,
so their sightlessness becomes our sight.
As the corners of simple garments
heal deep wounds and clothe
the healer, so the faceless ones become
in an instant –
the smile of God.


Robert Alan Rife

My friends think me complicated. My employer thinks me talented but at times, troublesome. God, and my wife see me as I am - a philosopher-poet with a rather circuitous journey of life and faith, the music and worship minister at Yakima Covenant Church, a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, poet and writer. I am a graduate from Spring Arbor University with an M.A. in Spiritual Formation and Leadership. These poems, and my life, are dedicated to those places where life, liturgy, theology and the arts intersect with and promote spiritual formation – who we are becoming. Join me on this journey to word-land. Maybe we'll find each other there and share a story or two.

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