Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Hound of Heaven

written by Francis Thompson
adapted by Gina Etherton

I fled Him down the nights and down the days.
I fled Him down the arches of the years
I fled Him down the labyrinth ways
                      of my own mind and in the mist of tears.
I hid from Him even under running laughter
          up vistaed hopes I sped
          and then down glooms of chasmed fears.
Running from those strong Feet that followed after
          with an unhurried pace,
          deliberate speed & majestic presence,
those Feet and a Voice beat—
          a beat more constant than the Feet—
that said, “All things betray you, you who betray Me.”

I clung to every shallow friend,
the whistling mane of every wind.
Across the world I fled,
troubling the gateway of the stars
          seeking the shelter of their clanged bars
          chained to melodious songs,
          slave to every cultural tune.
Their treacherous trueness and their loyal deceit
Kept me ahead of the tread of His Feet—
          still with unhurried chase & unperturbed pace
          deliberate speed & majestic presence,
Came the following Feet
And a Voice above their beat—“Nothing will shelter you, you who will not shelter me.”

I know the significance of the willful state of my demise—
          of the welcome face of dame & skies.
I sought rest & peace in delicate fellowship—
          first with one and then with nature.
My own moods rose and fell with the changeling gathered—
I triumphed and saddened with all weather—
          Heaven & I wept together.
But never did either bless my thirsting soul—
The night draws near and the chase goes on—
          with unperturbed pace,
          deliberate speed & majestic presence,
And past those noisy Feet
a Voice comes yet more fleet—
          “Lo, nothing will content you, who is not content with Me.”

Finally, I am utterly defenseless & stricken to my knees.
I pulled my life around me, grimey with smears.
I stand amid the dust of wasted years,
my mangled youth lies dead beneath the heap.
my days have crackled and gone up in smoke—
          and fail me now
          as if a bad dream.

Now in that long pursuit
comes the Hand of the brute…
That Voice is round me like a bursting sea—
          “And is your world so marred
          shattered—shard on shard?
          Lo, all things fly thee, now fly to Me.”

Finally, I can flee no more
          I yield to Love’s open door
          I said to the Voice:
          The prize You sought for so long is finally Yours.
          in dark & gloom, You have hounded me
          for so long  now that I cannot see.
          I surrender all those things You’ve taken from me.
Came back the Voice,
          “I only wanted You to seek them in my all.
          The dark and gloom you said you could no longer stand
          was after all the shadow of my Loving Hand.
          How little worthy of My Love could anyone be?

             Who else could ever love you, save only Me?”

1 comment:

Kirsten said...

Love it! Praising Him for pursuing us with His unfailing and unwavering love! Makes me think of this scripture "He bowed the heavens also, and came down; and thick darkness was under His feet." Psalm 18:9