Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Caught in the Paradox of Worlds
Life and Death
One glance in the mirror:
In my eyes I see
A woman who is bearing on her shoulder
The weight of the world, its tragedy...
(How can this be?
From one who has just sipped her tea
By the side of her true love,
Watching the beauty of God's world
Stretched out before me~
From white-breasted sparrow to black-capped chicadee
To house finches all around the feeder unfurled
While cardinals perch, looking out on their world:
All God's handiwork captured
In these frailest of creatures,
Frailer even than this daughter-less mother
Who from her troubles wants to run for cover...
Can I not see God's light shone in these
Frailest of creatures...yet noblest in ways
To exemplify the Creator's noblesse oblige:
"The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil."*
Why do these visions of "grandeur" pale out
So quickly with one walk inside
Upon seeing my unknowing, but revealing pout
That unmasks this grieving mother's apparent need to hide?
Perhaps like Eliot, I could remember,
"The wounded surgeon plies the steel
That questions the distempered part;
Beneath the bleeding hands we feel
The sharp compassion of the healer's art."**)
May God touch my wounds
As He once touched Christ's tomb,
Bringing life to the dead,
Yielding His light despite Death's darkest tread,
Resurrecting my heart
With "the sharp compassion of the Healer's art,"
To restore my childlike wonder
Despite the ravages of Death's lightning and thunder
That threaten daily to take me under...
Like the prodigal's father, may He run to meet me,
Overriding my pleading words
Full of the frailty of the helpless birds,
Showering me with a Father's grace
Shown by the love that lights up His face,
Melting the hardness that's crept within,
Restoring the softness of the pardoned sin,
(Despite the Serpent's ever sly coil)
Once again charging my world "with the grandeur of God,"
Flaming out Death "like the shining of shook foil."
Amidst the ravages of Death's daily devastation,
O Lord, restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation!
"Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me."
~Psalm 51:12 NIV
*Gerard Manley Hopkins
**T. S. Eliot
Poem - Caught in the Paradox of Worlds Between Life and Death - Angie Bennett Prince - June 5, 2012