Saviour in a Swampy Land

There’s a swamp of secrets here

stretching as far as the eye can see.

Secrets, crossed over with lies, half-submerged,

the muck of deception clings close

and there is something rotten in the state of grace.

You speak about your life, lightly,

and politely comment on the weather.

Your eyes tell a different story.

You are mired here, bone-mired,

in mud that will not let you go.

You are trapped and alone

and this may be the end.


It’s no good talking about the wise man

who built on the rock.

It’s no good talking about the disciple

who walked on the sea.

It’s no good talking about the tree

planted by streams of living water.

What we need is a Jesus

like an amphibious tank

a thousand horsepower strong

roaring into view

spinning mud like geysers

clambering across every obstacle,

against all odds,

in this bleak landscape

a vehicle of hope.

New Book Coming Soon!

Carol Penner has written a devotional book for Lent that explores the challenges of repentance and forgiveness. Forty reflections and prayers to deepen your walk with God as you prepare for Easter.  

You can order it here!

About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at

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    Are you looking for resources for a Christian service? Feel free to use or adapt my prayers, poems and litanies. They are written in a Mennonite voice, for ears of all kinds. 

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