Awaken Competition Winners Part 1: Poetry and Art


“Even our soul itself becomes more beautiful when beauty meets us, takes holds of us, and fires us with enthusiasm.”
– Dietrich von Hildebrand

What Is Awaken?

SEEK21 Participants from across the nation answered the call to create in the chaos of 2020. With their music, art, and writing, the finalists of the Awaken 3.0 Competition shared their gifts to give SEEK21 attendees the chance to see beauty as a bridge to the Divine, a window to encounter the Person of Christ. To congratulate our winners of Awaken 3.0, we’d like to share their work with the world! On behalf of the Beauty Initiative within FOCUS, Papercastle Records, and Love Good, we invite you to awaken to the mystery of Christ through Beauty.

Visual Art Winner

Maria Diaz – FOCUS missionary at Texas A&M University, Kingsville, TX

Our Lady of Guadelupe at the Annunciation


Poetry Winner

Jennifer Bossert – Student at Lindenwood University, St. Charles, MO

Glass and Alabaster Stone

All the day, I wander in the wood,
Through trees of glass and alabaster stone.
The only life that lives here never lives,
No fruit nor flower growing here was grown.
Without You, all creation walks alone,
In this world of glass and alabaster stone.

And I… I live within this lie,
I, an effigy resembling flesh,
A mimicry of beating, bleeding heart.
Without your breath to fill my lungs they seize,
And inside out, I freeze, my final breath I breathe,
And I become just like the trees,
In this world of glass and alabaster stone.

For centuries a statue I remain.
How long I would have stayed I do not know.
Then someone whispers softly something only I can hear,
Holy breath so warm upon my alabaster ear,
So loud and clear, it breaks my heart of stone.
Something rushes past me, dashing, flashing through the trees.
With every time He passes by some more of me He frees.
I blink away these ancient tears that locked both my eyes closed.
Sorrow frozen on one’s face adheres itself in place for years.
The tears that waited long to reach my cheeks,
Now trace my rosy face in happy streaks.
My expression may look dead, but a dead face never cries.
When will opposes flesh it feels like one is speaking lies.
Like saying that I’m praying when I’m shouting at the skies,
It’s precious blood freshly poured, disguised as humble wine.
If I want to live, I must decide to be alive.
Flesh is now at war with will, and I must choose a side.

Together through a silent wood like rushing wind we go,
Weaving in and out of moonlit figures all aglow.
Their faces are a blur, all their names I used to know.
Like a prince and pauper in a moonlit ballroom all alone.
Lead me past my idols,
Burn these altars, build the pyres,
Break these windows, stoke the fires.
Until all that I hold dear, all anxiety and fear,
False security, dependency,
Every tree and rock and deer,
Every stone cold lie that’s here,
Is consumed by flame and rust,
Is pulverized and pounded into dust.
Until this world is clean and clear.
Until my flesh and blood and bone, my heart is Yours alone.
Hand in hand I want to dance with You, chasing, racing home,
Through this world of glass and alabaster stone.


Thank You to Our Awaken Partners


Carly Rupp
Carly Rupp
After serving at Coastal Carolina University as a FOCUS Missionary, Carly now serves the Beauty Initiative in the Formation Department of FOCUS. She holds a Bachelors in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Violin Performance from Belmont University in Nashville, TN. Before joining FOCUS, she spent her time serving as Concertmaster of the Belmont Symphony & Chamber Orchestras, playing concerts at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, and studio recording in Nashville. Her violin has taken her around the world for concerts in NYC, Disney World, the Czech Republic, and Germany. When she’s not playing violin, Carly enjoys hiking 14ers, reading Josef Piper in her hammock, expensive coffee, golfing, and lake life at her family cabin in Wisconsin. She currently resides in Denver, CO.

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