Yet again this morning, Amy Carmichael's poetry, which Linda loved, has been a comfort.
So He Bringeth Them to Their Desired Haven
Soft thunder of great waves and splash of spray
And little sparkling laugh of breaking bubbles,
And then a gradual glory swept the sea
And thrilled the air (the outgoings of the day
Rejoicing thus). While moving as aware
Of measured music beating time for him,
The sun descended, touched the waiting sea,
And with majestic movement-and yet swift-
Sank till the utmost rim of ocean drowned
His last, thin line of light.
A pause and then
A luminous loveliness, as if all precious things-
All crystals, jewels, creatures iridescent-
Lent of their spirit to the atmosphere.
All colors mingled, and all glories met
In that bright moment. And the track of sun,
Himself departed but still looking back,
Lay red-gold on a waste of violet.
Then, while the hush of golden afterglow
Held us in silence, a small fishing boat
Sailed on the darkening sea that pressed upon
The lighted path, until she entered it.
And now no more could we perceive her form
Or dull brown sails distinguish, but she seemed
An amethyst that hung in amethyst air.
A pearl that floated on a sea of pearl
Mingled with fire. And all the colors bent
To welcome and embrace her as she passed
Within their radiant kingdom.
Then my soul
Sprang forth to meet him who is ever wont
To speak in parables. For often I,
Smitten by fear, despondent, dare not think
How it may fare at the end with me
Who am the least of all my good Lord's ships,
Not worthy to be reckoned in His fleet.
For see, my hull is battered, my sails torn,
Not one fair space of deck is found in me-
Oh, not in me is any single good!
Yea, but that fishing boat, that three logged boat,
Was not in itself worthy, but rough hewn,
Like other Indian boats, in no wise meet
To take a place in any battle line,
Or sail in a regatta of swift yachts,
Or even carry costly merchandise;
Not of itself its glory.
O most good
Most reassuring thought. Go on, pursue,
Thy healing ministry, for shall it not
Be even thus, my Lord, with this, thy ship?
Once, all but wrecked, it drifted;
Rocks roared to devour it,
Sending fierce outriders bidden to seize it;
Winds howled about it;
Whirlpools sucked beneath it;
And neither sun nor stars in many days appeared.
Then, at what time the wild storm fell upon me,
I called, and on the instant Thou didst draw me
Out of those many waters. Thy right arm
Doth still sustain me and I cannot fear
Abandonment; O Lord, I will not fear
Ill (Thou granting succor) for my last voyage.
No shock of tempest, no supreme eclipse,
No inward deviation of my helm,
Will thou long proved love permit to end
What that same love began. Thy word is pledged
To perfect that which doth concern the least
Of thy small fishing boats.
I shall not slip
Out of thy love and find myself forlorn,
Lost in the dark upon an unknown shore;
But drawn by invisible currents, I shall move
Upon the golden pathway of the sea at sunset,
With my old, torn sails full set
To catch the colors til (for sweet,
is thy mercy to thy wind worn ships)
I shall be changed and fashioned otherwise.
And I who long time bore in heaviness
The image of the earthly then shall bear
The image of the heavenly; And this flesh
Being no more, my base corruptible
Shall put on incorruption. Mortal, I
Shall put on immortality, and pass
Out of the temporal into the eternal-
Out of night into the welcoming light
Of the pure shining of Thy countenance.