A Sacred Paradox

Fire and Flood

The floods of time
Are like a river, raging
Past boulders and snags
In a frenzy of foam and spray,
Then pouring, implacable,
In deep torrents through narrow valleys.
We are borne along, helpless,
Like flecks of foam thrust back and forth,
Crushed to nothing on a rock.
But the voice of God is in that river,
Thundering out of the deep currents
And over the boulders with the foam.
Fear not, for I have redeemed you.
You are mine.

The fires of loss
Are like a flame in forestland,
Starting small, a spark, a smolder,
Then growing, flaring, leaping
From branch to branch, grasping,
Consuming all it touches –
Here a nest of unborn birds,
There a bear cowering in its den.
Capricious, wayward in its greedy growth,
It skips a tree, passes over a glade of flowers,
Or pauses to devour a stand of oaks, acorns and all.

And loss is like that,
Striking here and there,
Taking one and leaving another whole,
Until, at last, all is consumed in loss,
Love, beauty, work, health, understanding, all
Burned away to ash and dust.
But the voice of God is in that flame,
And the light of God is in that fire,
Burning at the heart of being.
You are mine,
Whom I created for my glory.

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