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  • Taryn Dunkin

The Rib Cages the Heart

Updated: Mar 15

Adam sits down with the dust

and counts the rivers that

flow and pulse through

the valley below


He ponders his vineyard

An undulating sea of jade

swallowing another sun

Plucking two figs

with soil nourished hands

he releases a sigh

like a gale through a canyon

then rubs them on the moss

until he can see himself in their skin

Two faces shining back at him

Four hands touching four brows


He sits still

palms pondering the flesh

beneath his fingers

One by one, each rolls

from his hand indecisively

down an onyx slope

until their mark is dashed by

two gazelles taking

the buoyant meadow


A couple of hummingbirds

shiver past his ear towards

the opalescent fog of wildflowers

hovering above the pasture


He tears off a handful of blue borage

and tosses it to the birds

dropping some of the seeds

near his foot, grinning expectantly

as feathers beat against his shin

He kicks a gentle foot at Grey

who brazenly stamps across

his toe like usual and then roams

under the cedars where his table

awaits singing the spectrum

Notes in the week's harvest

an overture of crimson, violet

and every run between


Twilight slips over the fire painted

sky like a glove and Yahweh

breathes sleep on Adam

His body lies limp in the red dirt

small against heaven's knife

The earth drinks like bread in wine

from the cut and the precise hand

takes out a part of him

although all is willing


Adam awakes to a warm sound

like honeycomb that rises an

unexpected sun within his skin

A melody like the cadence of the

stream that smooths the stones


His heart beats like a metronome

as the valley births the dawn

to strum a million strands of hair --

Dark spangled waves falling

like water around lips

that pour out his name like oil


Adam's eyes blink slowly

clearing the veil of slumber

and fill with his reflection

from polished grapes

only softer

like sandstone

sculpted by the wind

and eyes that search him

with moonlight

in the daytime




"I have found the one whom my soul loves."

Song of Solomon 3:4


If we pay attention, Jesus is displayed to us well before he appeared on the scene in the manger. He is the fabric that weaves together the redemption story of humanity since creation began. Everything foreshadows and celebrates the finished work of the cross, authored by the One who was and is and is to come. God's design of Adam with Eve is a moving reflection of Christ with his bride, the church. The story of Eden is not just a past that's been lost, but a promise of the Kingdom come.


The paradise enjoyed by Adam and Eve gives us a glimpse of the intended glory that God is going to restore the earth to at the day of the Lord - the wedding supper of the lamb. (Rev.19) Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 11 that man was created as an image of the glory of God and that woman was created to be the glory of man. In this mirror, both man and woman exhibit the image and personality of God.


The romantic depiction of God's passion and love for us is often sterilized by an overtly practical emphasis on the institution of the church and of marriage, which no doubt, have been given parameters through God's word. But let's not miss the live, tender intimacy with which God created us to experience in him. Anyone with faith in the bridegroom, Christ, can experience his interactive love. God is a rewarder of those who seek him diligently. (Hebrews 11:16)


"The Lord your God is with you, a Powerful One Who wins the battle. He will have much joy over you. With His love He will give you new life. He will have joy over you with loud singing."

Zephaniah 3:17


God's overtures to us are within his Word. But they are also sung through all of creation (which is also his word). David savors this language of God in Psalm 19. Paul, in Romans 1, tells us, "For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse."


God pours out speech in the daily sky and in blooms and grain and berries to a world that has turned away from him -- a long-suffering unrequited lover, who is, for now, still patient. For now, still opening arms of grace. The more we step into active awareness of his freely given love, the more we joyfully sacrifice our comforts and lives to serve him as he asks. In devoted obedience, God kisses us with even deeper revelations of his love. Wave after playful wave, he touches us with his embracing presence and smiling affection. That is the place to live. At the banqueting table. What a feast Jesus is.


And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:18


The attention deficit disorder of modern humanity keeps us in the dry outer courts of the tabernacle where we appreciate God in principal, but rarely experience his manifest presence. When we draw near to God, he draws near to us. (James 4:8) We wash all self-hood in the laver as we enter, humbly and boldly through his open door to his throne of grace. Let the church not be content to wade in the shallows of her inheritance as she awaits the bridegroom's return. The Holy Spirit invites us to abide in his love now, in both Spirit and in truth. The more we intentionally dwell in the flame of his burning love for us, in the holy of holies, the more we reflect his light as an open hand to a distracted, fallen world.



"Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth – for your love is more delightful than wine."

Song of Solomon 1:2


"He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him."

John 14:21


You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11






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