Saturday, 18 February 2017

On Having Fallen (2)

My poem, published in my collection "The Angel on Next Door's Drive", based on the section from Mother Julian quoted in my sermon :-

I stumbled on my journey home, confused as the shadows lengthened,
and, looking back along the grey and darkening road,
I stood alone, my head bowed low,
to sense God meet my questioning sadness
with His blest word of grace.

It seems He allows us to fall so much harder and more painfully
than ever we did before,
having given ourselves at His call,
having been so quick and eager in our desire to serve.

And how easy then it is
for those of us who are not very wise
to imagine at the time of falling
that all that we have done has gone to nothing,
that having fallen here so hard, no-one could ever rise.  And so I thought;
and yet it is not so.

For these are words I found in my heart:  that here we need to fall,
need also to be aware of that falling;
for had we not fallen we should not know
what so much we need to know -
we should not know how weak and wretched in ourselves we are.
And neither should we know as a reviving warmth in our heart
our Maker’s true and marvellous, His own transforming love.

For in the heaven to come we shall truly see
and we shall know for ever
how through this life we bear the marks of our grave and grievous sin,
bear them as stains we could not clear;  yet we shall see in spite of this
how His love for us remained at all times
unharmed and undiminished - that for all our dirt and sin, even as we lay helpless in the ditch,
we were never less valuable to Him.

And so it will be
that through our experience of this falling,
we shall gain a knowledge great and wonderful
to sustain us - we shall know this for sure:
the love we have in God, He holds for us for all eternity.

And here is love
which cannot and shall not be broken by our sin;
here is love for ever strong to save, and - praise Him - all-sufficing.
In our fractured humility, and for all the sharp heart-pain of our falling,
we shall find ourselves upraised and lifted high, ever to be
held firm and sure and safe within His arms of grace.

For, as I paused in thought beside the road, these are the things I learned:
that I am nothing of my own, yet have everything in my God;  and
though we may fall, and may be allowed to fall,
yet our heavenly Mother
cannot and shall not permit Her child to die.
And praise be to Jesus, almighty, all wisdom, and all love:
may His name on lips of sinners, upon these lips of mine,
be now and forever blest!

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