The silence is tremendous here;
My heart is sore and dry;
I’ve wrung out every bloody tear
And found it good to cry.
This emptiness that’s taken hold
Seems to be listening
For some word that cannot be told
Except in suffering.
I listen with my weary soul,
My spirit limp and still;
Like water welling in a hole,
Fair sights my worn mind fill.
The branches this spot encompass
And sprinkle streams of sun;
Leaves glowing green like bits of glass
Quiver while breezes run.
The grass gleams back; the insects whirl;
The flowers softly glow;
Blithe birds and little roguish squirrel
All scurrying by me go.
And spread out on majestic high,
Its blue and white aflame
With golden sun, the evening sky,
O’er all my world the same.
All these are breathing out to me
A signal growing strong,
One thought—joy, joy—pulsing lightly,
A sweet and throbbing song.
“Why joy?” I ask. “What is there here
That should my spirit start?
What does your beauty frail to clear
The burden in my heart?”
Swift they reply, “Man, we are more
Than only what you see.
Our beauty is not idle, for
It speaks reality.
“Such is your Father, such His hand!
Spilling His splendors forth,
Scatt’ring them so you’ll understand
How His love sets your worth!”
“Are you His splendors, then?” say I.
“Yet you are not like Him;
For you too change, and slip, and die—
Small joy in what grows dim.”
Swift they reply, “Rejoice we must,
And you too, more than all.
We each are bound to die in dust
Since Adam’s grievous fall;
“And so we groan in longing, yes,
But longing not in vain;
There runs a song of hopefulness
Through sun and cloud and rain;
“For in the second Adam’s rise
We all are made anew,
And though death swallow earth and skies
‘Tis but a passing through.
“O learn now what the seedling shows,
That all your suffering
Is but the sowing of what grows
Unto far greater spring.
“Rejoice with us, be sown with us,
And fear ye not to dream
That all griefs may joy-blossom thus,
However sight may seem.”
So is it thus that flowers fall,
That suns wear out and die,
That loss besieges sinners all
Beneath the dimming sky—
So that all things, consumed and spent,
May keep what seedlings hold,
And with the One Who death-bars rent
Spring up a hundredfold?
I see it not, it seems so far,
Yet this I shall not lose,
This glimpsing of the things that are—
This I embrace and choose.
The Spirit that gives silent things
A mission and a voice
In silence stills my questionings
And calls me to rejoice.