Thursday, November 20, 2008

I rise again

I have said before here that this would seem to be a season of death and disease in our lives. And so it continues, with the death of my Uncle Joe yesterday, my father's only brother, and the death of one of his cousins the day before. So, I found it poignant to find that Kris had posted the following John Donne sonnet today:
Thou hast made me, and shall Thy work decay?
Repair me now, for now mine end doth haste;
I run to death, and Death meets me as fast,
And all my pleasures are like yesterday.
I dare not move my dim eyes any way;
Despair behind, and Death before doth cast
Such terror, and my feeble flesh doth waste
By sin in it, which it towards hell doth weigh.
Only Thou art above, and when towards Thee
By Thy leave I can look, I rise again;
But our old subtle foe so tempteth me,
That not one hour myself I can sustain.
Thy grace may wing me to prevent his art
And thou like adamant draw mine iron heart.

~John Donne, 1635

Donne was so perceptive: I run towards death, it runs towards me, despair behind and death before and terror all around. This is a season when such sentiments ring true. And yet, Donne knew the importance of fixing his gaze on Christ:
Only Thou art above, and when towards Thee
By Thy leave I can look, I rise again

What a blessing of grace that God gives us leave to fix our eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. He draws us like a magnet unto Himself, and in the light of that radiance, the darkness and terrors of death lose their strength. He sustains us.

Please pray that my uncle's wife, JoAnn, and his children and grandchildren and siblings, would be so sustained and visited by God's grace.

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