Friday, December 7, 2018

He came because he loves you.

This week I heard the poem “The Coming” by R.S. Thomas. It’s a good poem for Advent, as we wait for the Lord’s coming to earth.
The Coming
And God held in his hand
A small globe. Look he said.
The son looked. Far off,
As through water, he saw
A scorched land of fierce
Colour. The light burned
There; crusted buildings
Cast their shadows: a bright
Serpent, a river
Uncoiled itself, radiant
With slime.
             On a bare
Hill a bare tree saddened
The sky. Many People
Held out their thin arms
To it, as though waiting
For a vanished April
To return to its crossed
Boughs. The son watched
Them. Let me go there, he said.
As in the stories of other globes, when the son in the poem looked at the small globe God held, he saw “as through water.” Some images I imagined:
  • Pippin, Aragorn, and Gandalf looking into the Palantir in The Lord of the Rings
  • Frodo looking into the mirror of Galadriel, also in The Lord of the Rings
  • Harry Potter looking into the memory bowl, or Pensieve
  • A gypsy looking into a crystal ball
As I’ve been reading and re-reading this poem, the beginning and ending lines especially stick in my mind. “And God held in his hand | A small globe. | Look he said | The son looked… | Let me go there, he said.”

It reminds me, too, of a scene in the beginning of the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which I watch every year at some point during the holidays. (My family refuses to watch it with me any more, and the movie is often ridiculed. I know it’s cliche’ and sappy, but, despite it all, I still love it and it makes me cry.) In the beginning of that movie, some angels look at the world, and specifically George Bailey’s world, past and present. They watch George’s life up to that moment, at which point George is feeling life isn’t worth living. Clarence the angel, too, looks … and then wants to go there.

The poem portrays a beautiful image, doesn’t it? Jesus looks, sees the scorched land, the slimy serpent, the sad bare tree, the waiting people, and says, “Let me go there.” Why would he want to go to such a place? Because he loves us -- us the people, and all of creation. He loves you.
from the Selene Data Archive. https://darts.isas.jaxa.jp/planet/pdap/selene/

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