…heaven cannot hold him,
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When he comes to reign…
(Christina Rossetti, “In the Bleak Midwinter”)
While fires burned, I retreated
to safer, internal climes, denying heat.
Discomfort seemed unreasonable,
inconvenient that we should be so troubled.
Yet world rarely does as it’s told,
pointing a finger at us as we point back at it.
If world won’t be bullied, how much less so God
who bursts mightier than fire
and shakes out our smug contentment
with the mountains and the stars.
If earth will melt, how much more our pride
when kingdom comes in blaze,
If no good as a tree –
no fruit budding,
no birds to rest in its shade –
then cut it down.
The wood may serve for a building or,
at the very least, a fire.
Get in first before inferno comes;
better to be a stump when the fires rage.
Resignation rests in the undergrowth,
but the faint song of Maranatha stirs
the itchy roots that remember praise…
The overture of forests, dead, remade,
Whispers pianissimo through leaves.
Although the burnt-out wilderness still grieves
And ashen dust hangs densely in the shade,
The smallest stems of green, a micro-glade,
Peek out through fire-black trunks in smoky breeze,
The first-fruits of our chlorophyll reprieves,
The peaceful eye after the storm is paid.
All this shakes truth into my watching eye,
A child-explorer longing for new lands.
As eucalypts bring me back to the earth
And disappointment whimpers like a sigh,
Green miracles are woven by Your hands
And I am caught by wonders of new birth.