Poetry and the Divine
I was introduced to a beautiful poem the other day by German poet Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926). I can’t stop reading it, and thinking about the truths it contains. I could spend paragraphs on each of the lines, talking about the doctrinal depths contained in each one, but that would take away from the beauty of the actual poem.
Poetry is, after all, designed to speak to our souls in a way normal words constructed into normal sentences cannot. Instead I will leave it here for you, and encourage you read and read it again. As you do, ponder your own relationship with God, or The Divine.
Shadows Big Enough for God to Move In
What were you sent here to do? Are you doing it? Do you shine so brightly that you give God shadows big enough to move in?
Go to the Limits of Your Longing
God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Flare up like flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.
(Rainer Maria Rilke, Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, trans. Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy (New York: Riverhead Books, 2005), 119.)