by Nick Whitehorn
Who is this who leaves us signs,
whose glory sweetly, briefly shines,
in sun and water, earth and air,
in love and beauty, truth and prayer,
round the corners of our minds
and through our hearts’ half-shuttered blinds.
Who flashes codes with morning dew
and neatly paints each shadow’s clue,
smiles in rippled sunlit pools
and scatters gleaming flies like jewels,
conducts the dappled dance by breeze
and winks with evening light in leaves.
Who waits for us beyond this world,
whose light and heat grow dark and cold—
shining still in sleeping hearts
like gentle light from distant stars.
Childhood’s fading Eden embers—
carefree days of dreams and pleasures,
mystic stories, golden places,
cherished friendships, warm embraces,
all we’ve loved in time and space
are just a passing glimpse or trace
of him who gives and takes all this
so we would yearn for lasting bliss.
Death and sorrow’s growing shadows,
weary days and anguished hours,
the guilt that haunts us down the years
lead us, broken, full of tears
to turn, at last, on bended knees,
with ardent prayers, cries and pleas,
to One both human and divine
who answers humbled hearts and minds.
Jesus Christ, our Tender Brother,
who loves us more than any other,
Mary’s Child, the World’s Creator,
Love the Son and Love our Savior,
drew the poison from our Root,
in shame and torment, bore us Fruit,
died, our Victim, rose, our King,
triumphant over death and sin.
In him, our deepest hopes fulfilled,
we find, enraptured, meek and thrilled,
Love our Father, all-surpassing,
mighty, gentle, everlasting,
and Love the Fire of Love from both,
their Gift to us, the Holy Ghost—
Love who’s Three and Love who’s One,
Love our Light and Heat and Sun.
Love’s our souls’ resplendent Spring,
in whom we rise to live again
and, living, love and, loving, give
and, giving, die and, dying, live.
Ransomed slaves, who serve our Lord,
we’ll share in Love’s sublime reward.
Sinners, saved, who sing of grace,
we’ll sing to Love with angels’ praise.
Little children, lost and found,
we’ll come back home to Love’s own land,
one boundless, blissful, holy day
of sacred sunshine, friends and play,
free from sorrow, filled with pleasure,
always perfect, new forever,
lost in wonder, face to face,
in Love’s eternal, sweet embrace.