Friday, August 10, 2012

Devotional 8-10-12

This week marked the 203th birthday of Alfred, Lord Tennyson. ( I only know that because I heard it on the radio). Tennyson was the Poet Laureate of Great Britain from 1850 till his death in 1892. When I heard his name, I was instantly reminded of two things:

1. His poem Crossing the Bar (1889) which has been part of a number of funerals I have attended. It bears repeating.

Crossing The Bar

Sunset and evening star,
    And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

2. One of my favorite lines or quotes is from Tennyson's 1833 poem Ulysses, I am a part of all that I have met. That reminds me of the famous quote from Gandhi, Be the change you wish to see in the world.

In looking through some information about Alfred, Lord Tennyson, I found the following poem that makes me think he pondered the same question I often ask while working in my yard, "Why does grass grow in the cracks in the sidewalk and not in the bare patches in the lawn?"

Flower In The Crannied Wall  (1869)

Flower in the crannied wall,
I pluck you out of the crannies,
I hold you here, root and all, in my hand,
Little flower -but if I could understand

What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is.

That reminds me of Job 38: 33-38
Do you know the laws of the heavens? 
Can you set up God’s dominion over the earth?

“Can you raise your voice to the clouds   
and cover yourself with a flood of water?

Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?   
Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?

Who gives the ibis wisdom   
or gives the rooster understanding?

Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?   
Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens

when the dust becomes hard   
and the clods of earth stick together?

Anita Gardner Farrell
(On a personal note, my kid brother, Gene Gardner, the one who ruined my chances of being an only child, and his family are moving to Mississippi on Saturday. Please pray that they have a safe trip and a happy life in a new state. God Speed, Little Brother. Believe it or not, I will miss you).

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