So yesterday was my twelfth wedding anniversary. It has gone remarkably fast, probably because I dearly love my wonderful bride. She is compassionate, gracious, thoughtful, and kind in ways that I can only aspire to. This sonnet was a gift to her yesterday and hopefully it will be a gift to you who read it now.
Our kite hasn’t always been flying so high.
Rough winds and cold rain–too heavy and dark–
have kept it at times from soaring the sky,
have stifled its shining and smothered its spark.
Sometimes there’s no wind. The air feels so stale
that no dashing about will give it a lift.
Its frame feels flimsy, its paper too frail,
its string cut short, yet we know it’s a gift.
The gusts when they come, so fresh and so fair,
lift our kite higher to shine there so strong.
Each piece proven sturdy and lighter than air
We find we’ve been soaring the heights all along.
High winds or no winds our kite will not fall.
Our pilot’s too skillful, he’s Lord of us all.
July 10th will mark the 1 year anniversary of Chris Mitchell‘s death. Chris, in addition to being a C. S. Lewis scholar, a pastor, and a teacher, was also a friend and a mentor. It is fitting, I think, to remember Chris this week with a poem I began composing the day after I heard of his death. A special thanks goes out to Malcolm Guite who, four months later, helped me find the rhythm already present in the words and let it out.
You’re safe my friend,
at last you’re safe,
not from but for
each living soul
you’ll meet from this day forth.
No doubt each sees
your joy alive
in kind and gentle eyes,
your soul unbent,
your spirit full,
your heart ablaze, afire.
How could they not?
The One you love
has called you up:
out of darkness.
Between two breaths
from life to Life.
We feel your flight–
the ache of loss down deep.
We miss you here
and want you near,
yet you’re at last Alive.
O Bright of the Sky
lighten our mourning.
Warm our hearts with your dawn this day.
May we see his flight
from darkness to light
as a gift of your glorious grace.
O Lux Aeterna, Uncreated Bright,
kindle our hearts with flame unperishing
that we might shine, refractions of your light
aglow in your eternal cherishing.
May our love, as yours, be bright with splendor:
a beacon of hope, a torch in darkness,
that all may find your embrace so tender,
so welcoming, so kind, so free in us.
May our love lead home the lost and broken,
that seen and known their freedom they may find,
that they might hear afresh your love spoken,
that your love and light might unblind the blind.
Grace, let us be for them a lantern, a
window to your heart: Amor Aeterna.