Thursday, 22 October 2009


I've got essays to write (yes!). I am a geek and unashamedly so. I don't care- the stuff I learn is really interesting. We have to do a close analysis of a poem from a selection for Literature. I'm not one of those people who get things straight away, so I chose the poem pretty blindly and only after having stared at it for literally 4 hours did I realise quite how intricately it describes spiritual isolation and depression. Check it out-
I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day.
What hours, O what black hoĆ¼rs we have spent
This night! what sights you, heart, saw; ways you went!
And more must, in yet longer light's delay.
With witness I speak this. But where I say
Hours I mean years, mean life. And my lament
Is cries countless, cries like dead letters sent
To dearest him that lives alas! away.

I am gall, I am heartburn. God's most deep decree
Bitter would have me taste: my taste was me;
Bones built in me, flesh filled, blood brimmed the curse.
Selfyeast of spirit a dull dough sours. I see
The lost are like this, and their scourge to be
As I am mine, their sweating selves; but worse.

It's by Gerard Manley Hopkins. I really like it. I found it amusing that I was all blue and managed to pick a potentially rather morbid poem to dwell on for a fortnight...but the cool thing is that I've been researching allusions and that in itself has led me to read a whole load of the Bible. Yesterday I sat enthusiastically reading out the entirety of Lamentations which is pretty amazing. I reckon God's planned this, knowing that I'd appreciate some extra chance to get into His word about this time. Incredible really. He's good.

It's been making me a little itchy in seminars and lectures recently, that we keep brushing past Christianity everso briskly, and often not in a positive way. In literature, it'll be cynicism in Emily Dickinson about the hope of of the sleeping dead waiting and waiting as the world spins perpetually on with no sign of a call for them to wake. In history...well, in HST114 it's all religion mixed, confused and saturated with superstition, harsh rituals and graceless persecution out of fear, with rationalisation being considered impossible to reconcile to belief in God. In HST112, it's the crusades, enforced conversion for political stability and persecution of heretics. All I want to do (apart from whack some sense into the majority of past generations) is to tell the people around me, be it 9 in a seminar or 300 in a lecture, that what they're seeing isn't it. That being a Christian isn't about violence and ritual arrogance and enforcement of law and control over society and intolerance of others...but that it's about love. Grace. Freedom. Truth. Peace. And relationship with an all-powerful, all-compassionate, all-faithful God who is jealous for our hearts and who knows each of us and wants each of us to know Him and enter into a true and incredible love relationship. A God who cries for the broken, weeps for the persecuted, fights for the oppressed and dies for the sinner. All I want is an opportunity...and the spirit to take it.

Going to be late for a lecture!

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