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From Acts 16:23-28
© 9-23-04 by Steve Wessels @ Hispoetry.com

We didn’t run that wondrous night,

though some have asked us why

when freed from all the prison’s bars,

we didn’t even try.


Two guys were thrown into our cell

and bound down tight in stocks

by guards who knew the order given

and used up all the locks. 


But we through candle shadows saw

the ripped up clothes and skin,

the caked on blood in matted hair,

the pain they held within.


The older said his name was Paul,

his friend was nearly dead. 

The floor of stone would sooth the burn

but for the stocks of dread.


What did you do?” we all did ask

to warrant such a treat.

It must be bad beyond the norm,

beyond the ken and beat.


Then Paul began, ignoring pain,

to softly sing a verse,

a simple hymn that we all knew,

it from his soul did burst.


Silas joined the worship tunes

of faith and hope and trust,

A psalm from David’s heart and soul

transcended time and dust.


Between the hymns Paul gently said

what on earth they’d done,

and what we heard amazed us all

our souls were all undone.


Paul spoke of God, of Jesus Christ,

of times when he’d been Saul,

of others he’d so wrongly beat

because they’d loved their all.


He seemed to think his suffering

was not just simply trust

of God in him, but open doors

to prove his own true lust


to look for chance, retaliate

against the Evil One,

for all the suffering he had caused

before he’d been undone.


Their praise soon drowned all earthly pain,

their focus evident.

They sang the truth of His true Reign

His Spirit’s provident.


We had to hear, we could not sleep,

there was no sure escape

eternal words of truth and love,

the worship of such faith.


When the earthquake hit so strong

we thought that we were through.

Yet doors and chains just fell away

as integrated proof.


We sat in awe, we could not flee

the power of loving praise,

the truth of God before our eyes,

the proof of love and grace. 


When one asked what we should do

the voice we knew as  Paul

told a simple choice to make,

to surrender all.


I’ve stayed in touch with most of them

my cell mates from that night,

our lives were changed from deep within,

Paul gave us such insight


to understand the consequence

of sins and praise of Him,

the need to worship and to live

so fully free of sin.


Looking back I can now see

the chains of love within

the power of His simple love,

expressed in simple hymns.


We didn’t run ‘cause deep inside

we could no longer flee

the truth of sin and sin’s release

we knew we’d been set free.



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