The Poem That Made Me Cry . . . Like a Sissy.

American author, Sheldon Vanauken. (August 4, 1914–October 28, 1996).
American author, Sheldon Vanauken. (August 4, 1914–October 28, 1996).

I’m currently reading Francis Collins’ (the bloke who lead the project which mapped the human genome—no biggy). book, “The Language of God.” In it he quotes a sonnet by Sheldon Vanauken. When I read the third stanza, I got that stabbing, breathless, I’m-about-to-cry-like-a-little-sissy-girl feeling.

Here’s the sonnet. If you don’t like it, it’s totally your fault. 🙂

Did Jesus live? And did he really say
The burning words that banish mortal fear?
And are they true? Just this is central, here
The Church must stand or fall. It’s Christ we weigh.

All else is off the point: the Flood, the Day
Of Eden, or the Virgin Birth – Have done!
The Question is, did God send us the Son
Incarnate crying Love! Love is the Way!

Between the probable and proved there yawns
A gap. Afraid to jump, we stand absurd,
Then see behind us sink the ground and, worse,
Our very standpoint crumbling. Desperate dawns
Our only hope: to leap into the Word
That opens up the shuttered universe.

4 thoughts on “The Poem That Made Me Cry . . . Like a Sissy.

  1. Hi! I love reading your blog, you have a great way of writing things and I learn so much about church teachings! I have a question and I couldn’t find a place to email you. I was wondering if you would do a post on what the Pope has said about atheists. I’ve seen lots of people posting to facebook etc about it and I wanted to hear what you think about it. What I had thought already was that Jesus died to save us all, even those that don’t want to be. So his death could redeem everyone not just specific people but an atheist would need to convert and believe to be saved. I guess that everyone has the option because God gave us that but we also have the free will to reject it and not choose to be saved.

    I’m confused about it because everyone seems to be using this to say that an atheist who rejects the idea of God will be saved if he is doing good things even though he may not even believe in a heaven. I just don’t understand if you can’t stand before God in sin how can you stand before him if you spent a life not believing? Maybe I am misunderstanding the whole thing but I’m just confused by it, hoping you have some great insight! I hope it’s okay to post this here, I wasn’t sure how else to ask you a question!

  2. I think the idea of “men of Good will” is at the center of what the Pope said. Meaning Men of truly good will are being led by the grace out poured upon the world at Christ’s death and resurrection. Salvation can come therefore just before or immediately after one’s death. This is Gods domain and only the Father knows the Souls state at and immediately following death.

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