So often it’s the artists who most effectively capture the heart of something and express it in a deep, articulate way, that sneakily side steps our suspicions and biases, bypasses our cognitive processes, and transcends standard prose. In studying Jonah for our current preaching series, I came across some poetry which I believe is by Thomas Carlyle. I think it’s pure genius! He’s captured so much of the challenging raw essence of the story of Jonah. Read through the following little poems and reflect on it’s commentary of the story of Jonah and it’s implication for you and your life. You may find it beneficial to do this with friends, or perhaps as your Connect Group.
Let’s Cool Down:
I know a better way to circumvent your silly streak of mixing love with righteous judgement
All I need to do is take the next flight west, beyond your jurisdiction
This will give you time for sober second thoughts to swear off this kick of simple minded kindness
Inside the Monster:
I was as low as I could get when I remembered God, odd, that my distress impressed me with his apparent absence
When his premised daily presence hadn’t meant a blessed thing
Finding myself in that hole with my soul fainting and rolling
The swell of my swollen ego
Was good enough to kill me, good,
Instead I saw stars in the dark and started home on a welcome water spout
Counsellor to the Almighty:
Think twice before you pardon
Men repent even in ashes, but repent again of their repentence
Take a wiser bias of my advice
Confine your charity to such good neighbours as your humble servent
Consistently Jonah chided his stupid and incredible creator for his addiction to mercy
As though it were some miracle drug.
A deity ought to be dependably capricious to keep the natives in line
Decimating that overpopulated slum would wipe out delinquency in a hurry
Naturally, Ninevah would make a perfect target
Once he was safely outside.