Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Reading, Pondering, Yearning as I Pray
I have come to the last prayer suggestion from the book Prayer and Temperament (Different Prayer Forms for Different Personality Types). At least, the last suggestion for one particular personality preference. This suggestion is—yet again—a challenge to me. Not because I dislike the poem mentioned—by no means! However, the poem is lengthy. And takes some pondering.
“The Hound of Heaven” by Francis Thompson was the poem assigned for today. Yes, I have read this before, several times. But I haven’t read it for a few years, at least ten, if I remember correctly. Let me say that I reacted to this strongly. Because of my personal theological point of view as well as from my deep feelings from this first stanza, I was strongly moved. Yes, God is pursuing me. Not only in my external wanderings in life, but as I make my internal, labyrinthine travels, too.
Not only do I find that the imagery hits me deep, but the loveliness of the words draws me in. “In vain my tears were wet on Heaven’s grey cheek.” And, I yearn over these words. These ideas, phrased in such winsome ways.
And yet, the relentless words keep up their march. “I stand amidst the dust o’ the mounded years–/My mangled youth lies dead beneath the heap./My days have crackled and gone up in smoke.” I read these words, and tears come to my eyes.
“And is thy Earth so marred,/Shattered in shard on shard?/Lo, all things fly thee, for thou fliest me.” Beauty, words. You call to my heart; it delights in the rhythms and flows. And at last, “I am He (She?) who thou seekest.” Ah! Home at last! Or, is it that the Hound has reached its quarry?
I feel the words of this poem, down to my bones. Yes, it causes me to pray, to contemplate, to lift my voice/my heart in praise to God.
Thank you, gracious authors, for these prayer suggestions I’ve used during these past two weeks.
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