The Fig-Tree and the Worm

When complaint has its basis in the nature of the divine,
           appealing to justice and mercy and truth,
                        waiting for signs which tarry now yet
                        will come without delay,
           when complaining stands
                      at the ramparts and waits,
                      and wears as its armour thick faith,
                      then the fig-tree will bud and the olive crop soon
                                   will blossom where now it yet
                                            fails.

But you, indomitable Jonah, beneath your angry shade, are
            more my mirror. Grace frustrates you and you fly
                        against its Ninevah-bound commands,
                        to Tarshish, pride wounded,
            rebellion grounded
                        in the soil of shame,
                        and wearing the armour of Self.
                        Then the palm-tree withers and the worm consumes
                                    the shelter of deflected
                                                guilt.

Better be Habakkuk, waiting with truth, waiting expectant;
            better hope, trust and complain in the same breath:
                        for hope grows where doubt cannot fester
                        and worms eat at the dawn.
            Better confess first
                        then obey in truth, than                  
                        obey with scaly skin and forked
                        tongue (turning fists inwardly to the sky); better
                                  to trust with the rigour of
                                              grace.

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