How impassively God views a tidal wave
and all the scurrying of beasts and people,
cowards heroes stoics; love panic desperation;
time flows onward evenly; they struggle; they drown;
some live; insufferable pain and loss-
this is the cold random real world at its work.
And where was He? Was that His Work? Ask not.
(The faithful marvel – He didn’t lift a Finger!
to save His own, under those broken walls.)
It is a Warning, to fear and tremble, to bow, pray,
to mortify the flesh, and purge our sin:
our wickedness has surely brought this Trial.
The faithful nestle in the grace and comfort,
in the assurance, and the warmth, of faith
where not the least sparrow falls unnoticed,
small comfort to the sparrow, but it does count.
And they find strength, each, in secret communion
from whence they take a sense of peace and worth,
and that communion, like a sparkling symphony,
addresses each richly, but not with word or reason,
just as the eager breast assures the newborn
the world is good and made for him to suckle;
just as the wind, rounding and fattening sails,
shows to the sailor there is power to capture.
Yet comes a time, that good is gone from sight.
The howling wind blows onto reefs and crags,
and the sailor is his own chaplain and shaman
saying, as we go down with all hands – yes,
even so, like the sparrow, we are of some account.
From The Long Shadow of the Bush
By JK Burnham