As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Again, the Unexpected Delights

At a family gathering this weekend, my mom picked up a book of poetry by Christina Rossetti from our school stack, and thumbed through it.

Who knew that the baby shower for Alaine would turn into an impromtu poetry recitation? But that's exactly what happened. Maddie was excited about the poem she had learned this week and wanted to share it, so, right there in the kitchen, she flawlessly recited "Mice" by Rose Fyleman. (That poem is SO Maddie!) Then Owen wanted to say his poem, and our shy little Owen (who used to hide in a corner during extended family parties) came front and center and recited Robert Louis Stevenson's "Time to Rise." Next, Bekah got in on the act and shared "The Owl and the Pussycat" by Edward Lear. So of course, we pressed Kati to recite "Paul Revere's Ride" and she complied.

Mom, not knowing that a poetry recitation would be happening (no one knew), still had her finger marking the Rossetti poem that had spoken to her. She said that, although she could not recite this poem that she had just discovered, she would like to read it to us. And what a gem it is!

Thank you, Mom, for finding this will be our featured poem for a while!

Read it slowly...out loud even...several times...and let the ideas settle into your heart.

God strengthen me to bear myself;
That heaviest weight of all to bear,
Inalienable weight of care.

All others are outside myself;
I lock my door and bar them out
The turmoil, tedium, gad-about.

I lock my door upon myself,
And bar them out; but who shall wall
Self from myself, most loathed of all?

If I could once lay down myself,
And start self-purged upon the race
That all must run ! Death runs apace.

If I could set aside myself,
And start with lightened heart upon
The road by all men overgone!

God harden me against myself,
This coward with pathetic voice
Who craves for ease and rest and joys

Myself, arch-traitor to myself ;
My hollowest friend, my deadliest foe,
My clog whatever road I go.

Yet One there is can curb myself,

Can roll the strangling load from me
Break off the yoke and set me free.

1 comment:

  1. Cheryl, this has always been my very favorite Rossetti poem ... I think because I can SO relate to it. What a prayer! What a picture of the human condition, in need of a Deliverer! One Who can break that yoke! Set us free.

    And I really love picturing your family having this impromptu poetry recital. Your life is such an inspiration to me.


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