Lord make this useless beggar useful.
Like the returning Prodigal
Nothing recommends me,
And everyone but You
Condemns me,
For my rags declare my misery.

You see me
But You do not turn away.
You rush to my side,
And embrace the little one
Who wanders from Your side.

I am to You
The lost and longed for
Child of Your Heart.
My provident possibility
Is all but destiny
Awaiting my “Amen”.

You draw the bath Yourself.
You allow Your angels the joy
Of tending to my wounds.
They touch me in consolation
As they once ministered strength
To You in the garden,
For they beheld me then in Your Holy Agony.

I am the child of Your sorrow
And Your glory.
Wash me and lovingly dress me
In Your robes of holiness and light.
You are creating me even now
While You gaze on me
For I am all “Yes”.

Your kindness and Your gentleness
Convince me beyond doubt.
I yield to You my sinfulness.
Every moment in Your Presence is gracefilled.
I have but to stretch out my hand
That You might place Your ring on my finger,
Put forth my feet to see them shod for
The journey to Your house.

I walk now in Your Kingdom,
For Your Presence makes light my steps
And sure the Way.
In Your embrace I find that I can dance merrily,
For the mysterious steps
Seem to come quite naturally
As long as I follow Your gentle persuasions.

Dance on my Father,
My Friend, my King, my All.
In Your arms I have found myself.
I have become Onesimus.


By Joann Nelander

7 thoughts on “Onesimus

  1. We are all Onesimus–useless until the Lord cleans us up and set us aright.

    Thanks for this beautiful poem. Have a blessed week!


    • Thank you Evan.
      So many think they can be or are “good” all on their own. My atheist friend wrote me this: “So many people proclaim their loyalty and belief in a god but are not good people, I try to be good without the need of a god’s blessing or promise of eternal life. In other words, I try to be good for nothing…… joke here.”
      Without knowing it her joke speaks truth.

      • Trying to be “good for nothing”… Alas, probably true in too many cases. But atheists can’t provide a basis for their goodness. and frankly, I find it strange that they base their idea of goodness on Judeo-Christian ethical standards. I understand that existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre acknowledged that if there is no God, then life is downright absurd. Why more atheists refuse to see that I’ll never understand.
        And then there are those who profess to be Christians but live ungodly lives. The Catechism acknowledges that Christians themselves have to take responsibility for turning people away from the faith because of their behavior. I pray for the Lord to keep me a fit vessel for His service and that I never profess Christ with my words while denying Him with my actions.


        • Final perseverence and never tiring of doing good by the grace of God are high on my prayer list At mass this morning I thought I need to write something entitled, “Get Up!” to hurry me to my feet and confession after a fall. Beats beating oneself up.

          Thanks for the very thoughtful reply.

        • Evan, I forgot to tell you I especially liked your comment about atheists basing the measurement of their goodness on Judeo- Christian values.

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