Creative Christian Moments
“Reviews of up and coming Christians in the arts community.”
Blog Article 20: Poet James Thomas Thorn
James 4:6b states “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Throughout the Bible, there are many passages speaking this same concept of that if an individual humbles themselves before God, He will raise them up to success. Many within the Christian arts community are humble to the point of nonrecognition but I have felt it is my calling to identify these individuals as I have expressed again and again in my blogs. At times, our work feels tedious and to the point of where we want to quit but we keep going because our goal is to honor God with out talents. As I was reflecting upon this concept and what to write for my twentieth blog review, one such Christian artist came to mind: Poet James Thomas Thorn.
I discovered Thorn’s poems through a previous WordPress blog article after he commented on the review and offered his own poems to read. When I ventured to Poetry Soup to partake of his poems, I was enthralled at how many he had written and felt that God was calling me to review his material. If you are someone who enjoys a daily devotional, I found Thorn’s poems a good tool to use in connecting with the Holy Spirit. Many of Thorn’s poems are three to four stanzas long and are an excellent reminder to keep one’s focus on God throughout the day. Thorn’s words are like refreshing glass of water on a hot summer’s day for one’s soul. Each whimsical rhyming of his verses illustrates the simplicity of the Gospel message as well as Thorn’s own relationship with God.
“Believe and Receive” is my first poem I enjoyed reading from Thorn’s collection. It possesses a simple rhyming of words yet captivates the reader with a message about Thorn’s reflection of oneself looking back over life in a parallel comparison to the death and life process experienced in the Christian salvation process. Thorn describes how the captivating hand of God’s workmanship is observed in creation through various descriptions of mountains, forests, rain, the sun, and snow. As the poem progresses, the reader is left with the interpretation that Thorn is reflecting on his life and is nearing the end of this journey. My favorite stanza of the poem reads “lead me and love me and I will believe, it is You God who I am about to receive, into my body You did completely enter; My life have now become its center” (James Thomas Thorn, 2014b, n.p.).
“Futility and Humility” was my second poem I chose to review. I enjoyed reading this poem because Thorn provides a description of the short comings one experiences while ending with an encouragement of wanting to be a “Crazy Christian” for the Gospel message. My favorite line from this poem is “I have often found that failure and futility, should never have a home with humility” (James Thomas Thorn, 2014c, n.p.). The next verse identifies a theme of masks, concealment, and regret. I enjoyed this stanza, too, because the current church culture of concealment is often reflected well in Thorn’s description. While Christian churches proclaim that they are environments of transparency, openness, and acceptance, members still feel the need to conceal their shortcomings. Thorn’s poem spoke to me about how the Christian Church needs to do a better job of fostering transparency but in the same regard not compromise Biblical morals. This can only be achieved when we emulate the true love of Christ to the chaotic social culture around us.
“Always Remember Me” is a poem that describes the beauty of nature and acts as a farewell address to the listener. The poem felt morose and like a good bye address by Thorn. “So here on earth still live on and on, and even when I will finally be gone, often you still can remember me, who now is with God for all eternity” (James Thomas Thorn, 2014a, n.p.).
Many of Thorn’s works, I read, give the reader the feeling that Thorn is reflecting on life and how God was seen in different aspects of it. His writings remind me of the book of Psalms and even parallel some of King Solomon’s works in their poetic sense of reflection and self-examination of the world and God’s interaction within the realities of humanity. The Holy Spirit felt alive in all the works I read and the observance of God was expressed with humility and simplicity. Sometimes it’s just the simple explanations of God that are needed to bring us closer to Him. This review would reflect quite an analogous comparison to an anthology of stories if I had the time to write about every piece of poetry he has written but I will challenge the reader to seek out his other works for yourself at Poetry Soup or his WordPress blog below.
Thorn is an active member in his church and serves on the vestry board while also volunteering for Shallotte, North Carolina’s local Meals on Wheels program. You can help support Thorn in his pursuit of poetry first and foremost in prayer. You can also follow his WordPress blog at the link below, like his poems on Poetry Soup, and offer him a chance to publish his work! If you are ever in Shallotte, North Carolina, drop in on the St. James Episcopal Church’s Sunday service and you might have an opportunity to meet Thorn in person.
James Thomas Thorn, “Always Remember Me”, Poetry Soup (Blog), April 2, 2014, http://www.poetrysoup.com/poems_poets/poem_detail.aspx?ID=554282 (accessed April 7, 2014)
James Thomas Thorn, “Believe and Receive”, Poetry Soup (Blog), February 11, 2014, http://www.poetrysoup.com/poems_poets/poem_detail.aspx?ID=554282 (accessed April 7, 2014)
James Thomas Thorn, “Futility and Humility”, Poetry Soup (Blog), January 30, 2014, http://www.poetrysoup.com/poems_poets/poem_detail.aspx?ID=554282 (accessed April 7, 2014)
James Thomas Thorn, “Home”, WordPress (Blog), http://jthorn5656.wordpress.com (accessed April 9, 2014)
Thorn, James Thomas. “Poems by James Horn”. Poetry Soup. http://www.poetrysoup.com/poems_poets/poems_by_poet.aspx?ID=33466 (accessed April 9, 2014)