John Shirk grew up loving Jesus and hating poetry. If it had been up to him he would have spent his life following Jesus and fleeing poetry. Then he discovered that following Jesus leads you to places you wouldn’t otherwise go. In John’s case, he wandered into the Mental Graffiti poetry slam in Chicago and fell in love with the people and talent he observed there. The story of how God used the spoken word artists of Chicago to teach him important lessons about faith and what it really means to be a follower of Jesus are recorded in John’s first book, “a sacrificial poet” which was released in the Spring of 2013.
Now John is seeking submissions for a second book, which will be an anthology of poems about Jesus of Nazareth. The goal of this book is not to collect devotional poetry for Christians, but rather to answer Jesus’ question, “Who do men say that I am?” John describes it this way;
Growing up I was taught that Jesus was the Son of God who came to earth to live a perfect life, die as the sacrifice for sin, and rise again to conquer death making a way for men to be reconciled to God. Most people are familiar with this message as Christians spend a lot of time talking about Jesus. What we don’t always do is listen. When Jesus asked His disciples “Who do men say that I am?” They were able to give several answers. This implied that they not only told others about Jesus, they listened to when others spoke. I’ve come to realize that listening shows respect. If Christians want others to listen when we speak about Jesus, maybe it is time we start listening to them.