A Note to My Readers -
I've decided to remove my Sunday posts from the weekly cycle. Although I hope they've been of benefit to some of you, they are necessarily secondary to my regular work of sermon preparation each week. I've found that having that extra post to write simply added to the burden of my work. For those readers who would still like access to my weekly work in Scriptural exposition, I would ask them to access the podcasts of my sermons (available through a link in the sidebar), since that remains the primary form of my Bible teaching each week.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Thus Ends the World, Scene 7 (Final Scene)

Scene 7

[Richard returns to his manor house to find Mary there]

Richard: My wife! In too much haste I left thee.

Mary: I knew thine absence would not last.
            Is thy soul settled?

Richard: Settled, yes, but still it mourns.

Mary: I mourned, too—awhile, at least.
            For Charles, more than for myself.
            He would have been so great and good,
                        Had not fate untimely ripped him
                                    From our embrace—
            Oh, Richard!—so great and good.

Richard: Weep not bitterly, my love—
            Our son is still thus great and good, and shall be so eternally,
                        For he’s upheld in God’s vast love.
            All things are small in God’s eyes—
                        The cosmos and the stars,
                                    The world and its kings,
                                    Yea, and Charles too—
                                    All are small, yet great in that he loves them.
            We shall see our Charles again,
                        See him greater and better than ere we knew him here,
                                    For he has passed through the kilner’s fire
                                    And is made himself at last.
            I shall pray for thy healing, Mary,
                        But if God’s mercy tarries till the end,
                                    Then thou shalt soon enjoy bright Charles’ smile.

Mary: This I know, and I thank thee, Richard.
            Thy faith heartens mine.
            Forgive me my accusations,
                        My wild violences of speech and heart.
                                    A wounded creature lashes out.

Richard: I know, dear wife, and understand,
            Though before I saw it not.
                        We are all wounded creatures, all—
                        But ‘tis our wounds that give us space
                        To heal into a new creation.

[Ailred, the steward of the estate, enters]

Ailred: My lord. My lady.
            Accept the consolations of a friend’s grieving
                        To echo alongside thine.

Richard: Accepted, friend.
            Grief is the song of the spinning wheel
                        That molds us toward unending joy.
            We know not why, exactly,
                        Nor how the potter works this way,
            But we accept the hope that blessed writ foretells,
                        That steadfast anchor for our souls,
                                    That God shall make all these things well.

Ailred: Truth, my lord. So I believe.

Mary: And I, with tears, as well.

Richard: Methinks we all believe with tears.
            Tearfully, grievingly, we cling unto the splintered wood
                        Where fought and bled and died the Lord,
                        Where blood of heaven matched our grief
                        In words that no one understood.
            But understand we shall one day,
                        When the endless passion of our God
                                    Ends sorrow with a word, an act,
                                    A miracle of long-suff’ring grace.
            Thus ends the world,
            And thus we meet our blessed end:
                        In joy no language can portend,
                                    When Christ makes all things well.

The End

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