LXIV

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

One of the great mysteries of God’s work for our salvation in Christ is the doctrine of Effectual Calling.  How does God call us to repentance and faith in such a way that, despite their sinful hearts, Christ’s people find themselves responding to Him?  How does God get us to do something contrary to our very self-centered and rebellious natures yet without violating our free will?  Mysteries are often better portrayed than explained.  That is where poetry comes in.

TWO ESSAYS ON EFFECTUAL CALLING

I

The fire danced upon the hearth;

The shadows leaped across the wall.

The hobbits stared up at the man,

Travel-worn, but strong and tall,

And wondered how far, if at all,

They dared to trust him.  Slow and strained

Had been his words; white and pained

His face.  They heard of death and fear

And things they had no wish to hear,

And doubted not the words, but yet the man.

Why should this queer wandering stranger

Seek them out to tell of danger?

They knew not what he stood to gain,

But all to well what they could lose.

They did not know—yet it was plain

They’d shortly have to choose.

The shadows flickered on the paneled wood . . .

And then the ranger stood.

II

The sunlight danced upon the sand;

The breakers leaped across the waves.

The fisherman’s heavy, calloused hand

Clenched the net until it tore,

For he was troubled by Prophet’s lore.

The stranger spoke of life and death.

His words were like a salty breath

Of sea-wind on a sun-baked day.

The fisherman reddened, looked away,

And doubted not the truth, but yet the man.

Why should this queer wandering stranger

Seek him out to tell of danger?

He knew not what he stood to gain,

Nor clearly what he stood to lose.

He did not know—yet it was plain

He’d shortly have to choose.

“Leave your nets and come!”  He heard him say.

The stranger walked away . . .

 

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://www.createspace.com/3562314 and order Stars Through the Clouds!  Also look for Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest book from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  https://www.createspace.com/3767346.

Donald T. Williams, PhD

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About gandalf30598

Theologian, philosopher, poet, and critic; minister of the Gospel who makes his living by teaching medieval and renaissance literature; dual citizen of Narnia and Middle Earth.

Posted on June 21, 2012, in Christianity, Donald Williams, J.R.R. Tolkien, Poetry, Theology and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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