By Nicole Carline

I Thirst

‘I thirst’ were the words from God above
God who left immortal to show his eternal love
‘I thirst’ is what he said
What he gasped as his lungs began to fill and collapse
As he hung there in agony on a tree to die
I sit, I think, and wonder….why

What was this thirst that he dispellingly cried?
Was it for water or for wine? No. I don’t think so.

That wasn’t the rhyme, that wasn’t the thirst that was rolling through his mind
So what was it then this thirst that he craved that day
A thirst so great he used his last breath of life to proclaim

…I thirst…

Maybe this thirst was something deeper inside
Something that couldn’t be quenched with mere water or wine
Let’s slip into the skin of our Savior divine
And contemplate the meaning of his thirsty cry.

I thirst for the chosen ones who think they know all that there is above and below.
Who think that keeping the rules is all it takes
To please God the father, and someday meet him at his pearly gates
I thirst for them to come and realize that I AM the way the truth and the life,
That I AM the God they worship and seek,
That I AM the Messiah who saves the redeemed.

There’s more to the rules, there’s more to the stakes
It’s not just about punishing, but all about grace

I thirst for the orphans to find a home
With a family they can trust, a family they can know
I thirst for justice, for humanity to stand,
For people to walk with my feet and my hands

When I say ‘I thirst’ let me tell you what I’ve seen,
So you can understand my position and propensity.

Death, murder, and lies, sex war, violence, and crime
Stealing and oppression, corruption and deception
Is what draws the break of the invisible lines
That ties this earth down to these things I despise

Orphans are crying, widows are dying
Because nobody will care for them, no one’s even trying.
There are people wracked with disease, being thrown into the streets
Their bodies breaking down, and they are never even seen
Despair and hate, depression and suicide
This world is full of chaos, self-righteousness, and pride.

Empty souls walk these grounds,
Searching for salvation where none can be found
Your life feels compound, and you’re looking around
You cry your cries, with your faces to the ground.
But the great I AM turns away, because you came to him in scorn,
After abandoning your mother, and abusing the poor.

So this is what I mean when I say ‘I thirst’

I thirst for creation to see what it was intended to be
For the light to shine with no animosity
I thirst for chains to be broken and torn away
From the people who are trapped, from the people who are enslaved
I thirst for the poor and my children in poverty,
That they would be fed, that they would see my sovereignty.

I thirst for the wicked to stop and know God
That they would leave deception, come to my correction,
And seek justice through hope and love.
I thirst for the blameless to walk in my ways
For the righteous to speak truth from his heart when he prays and proclaims
I thirst for no slander to rest on your tongue
And spare your neighbor from evil deeds that you would have done
I thirst for you to fear the Lord, despise the vile, and evil born

I thirst for the oath to be kept in pain
Even when the cut is so deep and seems in vain
For it will reveal the kind of person you are
The person you never knew you became.
I thirst for your religious activities to hold some ground
And be more than festivities with people and symbols making their rounds
In my name claiming that they alone, and no other, has been found.

I thirst for generosity to be shown without expectation
And bribes to not be taken and used in exploitation
I thirst for the harmonies of the angels’ song
When one more child prays and walks into my heavenly home.
I thirst for all humanity to see, that my love reaches so deep,
That I gave myself to your death on this tree.

So when I say ‘I thirst’ this is what I mean.
I thirst that you will see that I came from the Father
To save you from the eternal sleep,
So you can at last live fully and freely in me.

So when we hear the Holy One say with great suffering, but never disdain, “I thirst”
Let us remember that it was for us he gave into that pain
For a small token of the purse, and betrayed

Man of Sorrows, God divine,
Let us exclaim “I thirst”

and your heart become mine.

Nicole Carline is a campus staff worker at West Virginia University who loves to interpret scripture and thoughts of theology into artistic and tangible means so people can experience God. She loves to incorporate her creative abilities for Kingdom service.  In addition to writing poetry and short stories, Nicole enjoys music, photography, theater, snuggling with her puppy dog, long walks on the beach (true story), and drooling over the next tech gadget that she won't be able to afford until it's outdated.
(this blog post first appeared on InterVarsity Arts Ministry blog)

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