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“Is Anyone Thirsty?”

On Wednesday, October 28th, John Stumbo, the Alliance Board of Directors, and Salem Alliance Church hosted the The Alliance’s fourth Livestream Praise and Prayer event based on “Is Anyone Thirsty?” Isaiah 55:1 (NLT). Area churches were welcomed to attend in Salem, Oregon, while the entire Alliance family around the world was invited to participate online. The livestream video can be viewed here. (Poem performed at the 11:30 time-stamp.)

The following original spoken word poem was written and performed by Jessica Murdoch for the aforementioned event.

Spoken Word 54
Murdoch performing her spoken word at Salem Alliance on October 28th. Photo credit:

“Is Anyone Thirsty?”

© 2015 Rhetorical Redhead All Rights Reserved

Faith made me a listener
but through my listening I find faith
This world in all her temptress trifles
lays waste to promised offerings
greatly misinterpreting these pages
oh how they sit and wait
These cracks along the weathered spine
made leathered skin out of biding time
for Time is part of the American Dream
nay, the American Scheme—
“show up, sell your soul, you’ll be richly rewarded in no time at all”
bartering the Bride for a shotgun wedding shot at success
find out too late the scheme is soulless
your grace-given dowry made useless for the sake of looking important
Tearing up the pages of Truth
to ignite with our self-hatred
we taste it
the ashes on our thirsty tongues
and pray on bloodied knees for something to save us
Smiling for the pulpit’s name
such shame as our light is traded for the darkness
our worth measured in paychecks and profits
not faith-checks and prophets
starving ourselves, buying lies that won’t fill us
and this, oh, this broken and borrowed life is no fault but mine
We, neglecting dried-up pages, shout out:
“Help, dear God, please save us!”
while bleeding ears and bleeding hearts beat on in beating back the silence
but are we really listening in the space that bears our ignorance?
We’re drowning in our man-made desert of wasteland fears
feeding on the sands of sin and wasting years
trying to find sustenance in a cactus buffet
too busy digging for gold to break our teeth on
when the answers to our empty bellies, empty souls,
are not so far gone as we thought they were
Stop looking down, child,
stop the feast of dust
stop scraping up the dead and lifeless
stop screaming for the answer and stop wishing you would cry less
Let the salt water flow
get it out, let it go,
for what’s an empty vessel if not something to be full—so—
aren’t you thirsty?
But really, it’s not a question of
are you
will you?
Will you come when He calls you? He’s waiting for you,
anticipating every day He’s appealing to
your parched lips, parched throat, parched heart
Not a matter of do
or don’t
but why not
He who is, who was, who’ll forever be
not born, not dying
and from death He set us free
Our freedom bought and paid for
long before the earth was made or
before the heavens’ expansiveness was formed
laid down our foundation
to come
Come forth, buy and eat
wine and milk without the bleak
and heavy weight of cost
because Love has no cost
Nor does His solicitation, His invitation:
“Sons and Daughters—
be not led sheepishly into the slaughter which awaits
for I have everything in Grace to offer
and satiate your hunger forever
My Children, be not afraid, be not swayed
by the enemy’s open mouth
for open mouths from which venom abounds
pour out black holes and invisible lies which you know nothing about”
There is a covenant made by the Lord our God
His Word, this Word
no man nor demon could tear asunder
How He glorifies you, oh precious one,
and Grace such as this cannot be undone
what was won is won
and by faith we’ll be restored
and what is restoration if not the beautiful byproduct of being filled?
Oh, Spirit come and fill me now!
Pour out, pour in your blessings therein,
forgive my flesh for betraying my spirit
it knows not what it does,
but no—that’s a lie—
‘cause as far as I see, it
is still part of me, it
has free will, it
is free still, it
is free
I am free to accept Your cup
My God, don’t let me
let it pass me by
See these desperate hands reaching past
what the forkéd tongues are preaching
I am thirsty
this well is dry
and so am I
Dear God,
I hear what you are teaching me
In faith, I’m here
I’m listening.

©2015 Rhetorical Redhead All Rights Reserved
Written and Performed by Jessica Murdoch

Published inPoetry
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