The Foundation of Living Systems

By: Nia Campinha-Bacote (Vol. II, Issue I)

Hear this poem read aloud here.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.

With all your heart. You are my heart. You are my oxygen. It is You
that is infiltrated through each and every molecule of hemoglobin. I
was created with such great affinity for You. For just as hemoglobin
must be bonded with oxygen in order to survive, I too must be bonded with
You in order to fulfill my purpose in life. And just as the oxygen
begins to bind with the hemoglobin, my affinity for you, too, increases,
except my affinity for you never levels off but continues to increase
exponentially until I am consumed by You. I taste more and more of
Your love, I begin to catch glimpses of the souls of Your Holy
feet, continually striving until I see Your glorious face. You, are my
heart, and I, the blood; the blood going out into high school, into college, into
the world, oxygenated by your loving and gracious Words. Yet, within
moments of leaving Your walls, my oxygen supply is already compromised,
already lowered, as I expend energy on crucial tissues and organs: social
life, academics, trying to make the sacrifices my family made for me worth it.
Yet before I know it, my oxygen level is critical, no longer able to
transport the nutrients, no longer able to edify the important organs
of family, friends. It is at this exact moment that I feel the warm
and familiar enclosure of the oxygen-rich walls of Jesus, my heart,
refilling me with His Holy Spirit, my oxygen, filling me once again
with a sense of purpose.

With all your soul. You are my very essence,
You inundate every part of my being that makes me, me. You are the reason that
I live the reason that I open my eyes anew each day, my daily strength.
My soul is so deeply intertwined with Your Holy Spirit that we are One,
Your words become my words, my hopes Your hopes, Your hopes my hopes.
Your desires my desires. You are what makes me tick, the very breath
that You breathed into my body is the very essence of my being, of my soul,
simply traveling in this temporary vessel as a whisper of the wind to the next,
ultimate destination.

With all your mind. My mind. My mind made up
of innumerable neurons. Neurons forever at a resting rate of negative
seventy millivolts, just as I seem to rest in negative. Just as I am
constantly brought back to my fleshly desires, my lusts, my worldly
concerns; I need Your voltage-gated channels to depolarize me: Your
Word, Your Holy Spirit, Your Wisdom and Guidance to make me positive.
Bring me into Your loving embrace that You created me to reside in,
resisting, not conforming to the ways of this world. Trusting You,
devoting and wholly consecrating myself to You, the Saviour of the

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.


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