Lamb Unto Slaughter, Unto Savior (poem)
Whatever good there is of me it is because of the holiness and glory of Him.
Lamb Unto Slaughter, Unto Savior
Wretched I am by pebblestones and cockleburs
as I walk this lonely night, wondering who I am.
What is a lamb worth who has sinned as I have sinned?
Thickets of dead meadows follow me,
tangling once white wool
wondering if I can still be loved.
Shadowing groves of ghastly things charge me of how lost I am.
Where is the shepherd to whom my flock he tends?
Behold... beyond this curséd acre, a lamb is coming for me!
The lamb is the kind shepherd who picks burs and pebbles
in our days, and seeks us in the night.
From the thickets, from the coppiced briars, He carries me
yet Himself is thorn-scarred and bur-laden from the wicked wood.
Together, He takes me home and together we look for sheep,
but alone He is my shepherd, who alone pursued me
as a lamb going where only lambs can go.
"Coppicing is a traditional method of woodland management in which young tree stems are cut down to near ground level. In subsequent growth years, many new shoots will emerge, and, after a number of years, the cycle begins again and the coppiced tree, or stool, is ready to be harvested again." (Wikipedia).
I like this image -- and the general image found in the poem -- because it is a nurturing one. We know God prunes for His good, and His good is ours. It is violent, taking from chaos and unruliness that which is hurting what could be magnificent, leaving what can be used and grown into a healthy brush. God's hand is harsh if looked at only from the perspective of the cut branch, but, if we see the fruit growing the following season, we see His hand is kind, and, in reality, good.
See CS Lewis' The Great Divorce for an excellent metaphorical tale on this theme.