Why delay O God?
When pain beyond purpose
Comes repeatedly through histories annals
Three stories told:
Death undefeated, sin not yet overcome,
when tears dispelled and eternity come –
Pentecost’s revolution – a kingdom heralded now
but what of the first incarnation, was it so inept?
And in the second, if all is waited for, why was Christ’s blood spent?
Red flowered Somme crushed day-dreams of millennium power
What is the merit of waiting for that hour
When justice flows?
Yet in eschaton’s triumph something is lost
as something is gained
So Parousia is delayed
In this momentary staying, (by divine clock at least),
centuries of human time unfold
good springs forth in faith filled souls and
a repentant bride is prepared perfect for God’s son
the wedding planned
creation was a
On that day
Heaven heals creation, all darkness restored
But in this momentary time new beginnings are valued high
Courageous moments abound
As Srewtape feared
In tear filled valleys good rises
That otherwise might never been seen
Diamonds devised in dark depths
Stretch out hands of healing forgiveness to oppressors
Overcome the odds and construct the best of humanity
Through brave, self-less history making, marked by a grace
That can only otherwise be seen
In heaven’s lamb
His story unfolding confused to view
Like tapestries’ threads
Seen from behind the frame
Inexplicable for us, but no accidental design
Yet was every thread of that handiwork
As intended by the Craftsman’s hand?
Did thread, of their own account, turn
Too often in their own direction?
Diving back to the rear of the canvas
Hiding their heads from engagement with beastly foes
Ducking the challenge of the crucified
To imitate his path?
What is faithful living now to be?
what justifies a delayed perusia
When so much suffering accumulates
In Sudan, and Somalia
Is a balance of Kingly behaviour enough to
In some divine scales,
Make sense of divine decisions to stay his hand of power?
When on one side of those scales lies
Birkenau and its Cyclone B?
Evil’s absent weight outdone by you who
Through faith, hope and love, trusting in
the tale of the past, hoping for
the future and living now
for an agenda not our own
divinely dismiss the demagogue’s desire to
displace gratitude with gratification
dialogue with destruction
humility with entitlement
understanding with bitterness
compassion with cruelty
patience with blame
grace with greed
saving gems each prized on heaven’s tableau floor.
(Sam Wells lecture: 11.1.17 – outside Auschwitz)