Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Other authors -- In No Strange Land

Not sure how well known this poem is, certainly a couple of lines are! And of course to keep the meaning, I have to change the English references to an Australian locale (Ironically, I actually live closer to the Holy land than to England, but both are a VERY long way away.) But the principle is universal: God, Who is so evidenced and delineated in the historical story, is not confined by it. He is here, in our midst, in our lives, intimate beyond the formal constructs of our imaginations. And we, who are His, are truly His, even here, even now ..

In No Strange Land

The kingdom of God is within you

O world invisible, we view thee,
O world intangible, we touch thee,
O world unknowable, we know thee,
Inapprehensible, we clutch thee!

Does the fish soar to find the ocean,
The eagle plunge to find the air--
That we ask of the stars in motion
If they have rumor of thee there?

Not where the wheeling systems darken,
And our benumbed conceiving soars!--
The drift of pinions, would we hearken,
Beats at our own clay-shuttered doors.

The angels keep their ancient places--
Turn but a stone and start a wing!
'Tis ye, 'tis your estrang├Ęd faces,
That miss the many-splendored thing.

But (when so sad thou canst not sadder)
Cry--and upon thy so sore loss
Shall shine the traffic of Jacob's ladder
Pitched betwixt Heaven and Charing Cross.

Yea, in the night, my Soul, my daughter,
Cry--clinging to Heaven by the hems;
And lo, Christ walking on the water,
Not of Genesareth, but Thames!

Francis Thompson

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