Look For Me in the Nurseries of Heaven

image via pinterest // poem by francis thompson
...as you search with unaccustomed glance 
The ranks of Paradise for my countenance, 
Turn not your tread along the Uranian sod 
Among the bearded counsellors of God;...

Once upon a time last night I was again locked in combat with insomnia. Now that my child is sleeping through the night, it seems cruel to have insomnia rear its head. I habitually take something to help calm my brain down enough for me to sleep, but that doesn't last long, and in the middle of the night, my mind will frequently race as much as ever.

For if in Eden as on earth are we, 
I sure shall keep a younger company: 
Pass where beneath their ranged gonfalons 
The starry cohorts shake their shielded suns,

Last night, around that magical hour of 1:30, my brain was awake again and mulling over the difficulty of reading one's Bible. Don't feel guilty - I know you're feeling guilty now, because we all fail to read as much as we think we ought, and when it's mentioned, our instinctive reaction is to get cross. Don't. It won't serve anyone any good.

The dreadful mass of their enridged spears; 
Pass where majestical the eternal peers, 
The stately choice of the great Saintdom, meet - 
A silvern segregation, globed complete 
In sandalled shadow of the Triune feet;

A means of getting more good into one's soul is to be continually in the way of it. If you are naturally lazy, like I am, perhaps keep your Bible by your bed at all times, so you have it there when you are going to bed and ready to be quiet. If you do even the least, like set a trap, you are likely to catch more than if you did nothing. If you go even casually to church, at least you are under the preaching of a living and active word of God. And I am quite sure, if you manage to push yourself to hunt down your quarry, you will most certainly be rewarded with bounty. That's the beauty of God's word, you know. It will come to you as much as you go to it, and you will find it more alive if you give it the mere catalyst of putting it in your mind.
"Why did you not steer by the great leading lights? And what ought we to say to a man who gives up reading the Bible because it contains hard things, when his own state, and the path to heaven, and the way to serve God, are all written down clearly and unmistakably, as with a sunbeam?"
If you feel daunted by the Scriptures, I wouldn't blame you, of course. It is dealing with an infinite and holy God. Why shouldn't it daunt us? It was given to winnow and to thresh. But it was also given to chart the means of mending the breach between God and his best creation. We should certainly come with awe - but we should also come with delight. These storehouses of wisdom, the maps of the highway to Zion, these treasures, are not dead when we come to fetch them; they come bounding, full of the fullness of life-giving life. It takes concerted effort on our part to go after them, but while this world remembers Nimrod, the world to come will remember the children of God who went hunting for the Lord and found him.

Pass by where wait, young poet-wayfarer, 
Your cousined clusters, emulous to share 
With you the roseal lightnings burning 'mid their hair; 
Pass the crystalline sea, the Lampads seven: - 
Look for me in the nurseries of Heaven.

2 ripostes:

  1. Thank you for this. It was something I needed to read.

  2. I definitely needed this. I read my Bible daily, but reading with a present mind is something I am far from conquering. I have to constantly be reminded that knowledge is an escalator going backwards, and by standing still, I fall quickly behind.