The price willingly paid so long ago

In prayerful youth

In early zeal and conviction tasted

The bright cup of Life from the hand of the Lord taken in love,

Selfless commitment known early by so many as Job and Abraham

Their  drink of death to self a bitter-sweet experience,

To know His Cross is to know Him;

A Gate gladly followed through

As the gift of a share in eternal reality

Selflessness always a ready door to Heaven.

How truly great the cost

How pure Messiah’s heart

The blood that flowed

Down, deeply upon the newest reborn heart and spirit;

Body, soul and spirit,

A man, a woman as a little bird in a snare

While blinding death encloses

Human eyes unable to see, ears unable to hear,

But that snare is broken

The small bird flies free

Sense of well-being and good purpose soar on the wing

Suddenly become fully alive

Humanity made able to bask in purest enlightenment

As darkness and all fear flee.

Lies and deception no longer rule these ones,

Though the body destined to die

As the Baptist, as Paul, as Peter and James

And so many others gone before, death to self already fully experienced;

Whether sooner or later

A sword, a guillotine, a bullet, inverted cross

Starvation or worse,

In brief moments fully tasted,

Painful sips of that most bitter cup!

Many even led naked in chains with nameless others into a forgotten forest

Tortured, abused and martyred by dark forces,

Bodies left as filth and earthly waste;

Holy angels quickly lifted the spirits and souls away

Even before the bodies fell as red and yellow or brown leaves

Blown from trees by a cold autumn wind, drift to the ground,

Down to the common ground from which they once came.