The Peace of Wild Things

 

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron
feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

– Wendell Berry

Our Warring Madness – a poem for Good Friday

Our Warring Madness – a poem for Good Friday

God of grace and God of glory,
on your people pour your power;
crown your ancient church’s story,
bring its bud to glorious flower.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
for the facing of this hour,
for the facing of this hour.

Lo! the hosts of evil round us
scorn the Christ, assail his ways!
From the fears that long have bound us
free our hearts to faith and praise.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
for the living of these days,
for the living of these days.

Cure your children’s warring madness;
bend our pride to your control;
shame our wanton, selfish gladness,
rich in things and poor in soul.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
lest we miss your kingdom’s goal,
lest we miss your kingdom’s goal.

Save us from weak resignation
to the evils we deplore;
let the gift of your salvation
be our glory evermore.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
serving you whom we adore,
serving you whom we adore.

Written by Harry Fosdick in 1930 (italics mine)

I bought his book The Meaning of Prayer when I read that Eugene Peterson had been deeply influenced by him and his devotional/prayer life.

I’m posting this because we all need help!

The Preface states our perennial human problem:

“This little book is written in the hope that it may help to clarify a subject which is puzzling many minds.  Prayer is the soul of religion, and failure there is not a superficial lack for the supply of which the spiritual life leisurely can wait.  Failure in prayer is the loss of religion itself in its inward and dynamic aspect of fellowship with the Eternal.  Only a theoretical deity is left to any [person] who has ceased to commune with God, and a theoretical deity saves no [person] from sin and disheartenment and fills no life with a sense of divine commission.  Such vital consequences require a living God who actually deals with people.”

The Crib and the Cry

The Crib and the Cry;

The animals in wonder.

*

The Cross and the Why;

The people in blunder.

*

Was this Jesus the Son of God?

As a baby surely not!

As a man, upon a cross, surely, no.

What would it look like if God came to earth;

*

In disguise, as one of us?

Would we see it?

Would we know?

Of course we wouldn’t, so off we go.

*

Doing our thing, without a thought;

Of the One who made us,

And saved us, our salvation bought.

*

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Clown Europe

Sea

Call them what you want,

Asylum seeker, migrant, refugee;

But see, a face that looks like me.

*

Watch them flee from land and sea,

Shining out from our latest HD TV.

Packed in boats and rafts;

Longing for half a chance.

*

Despising even the rank air they breathe.

No room to move or sit,

No food to eat no drink to drink;

While Europe waits and chats and thinks.

*

They want to live and work and play,

To see a new day, as the sun goes higher;

Just trying to live that’s all, beyond the dire,

But is this necessary, brand-new razor-sharp wire?

*

And they’re the lucky one’s,

For too many drown,

In the not too funny sea,

While Europe looks on, like a clown.

*

We all know this world is unequal,

Too few have had too much for too long.

“Fortresses of wealth in many seas of mass misery,”

No act of God, but acts of man,

A kind of perverse and sinful symmetry.

*

It is time to wake up, look up and see,

These are not asylum seekers, migrants or refugees;

But a stunning and worthy humanity. . . . seeking dignity.

Look closely:  they are all just like you, and just like me.

Goodbye My Boy

What joy you gave, from pain so deep;

A miracle in progress, a work of art!

Flesh of my flesh, not quite but still,

You may as well have been.

Goodbye my boy!

* * *

Sometimes a year comes and goes,

Lost to the mists of time, forgetful minds and ordinary lives.

But 2014 will always be,

Etched in the mind, carved in the heart!

The year we met you, unforgetable.

Goodbye my boy!

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