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Poetry

An ark of acacia wood

You shall make an ark of acacia wood,

covered with gold.

If I were an Israelite, just out of Egypt,

wandering who knows where,

following a fiery, cloudy pillar

and a crazed old man,

what would this command signify?

I and those with me,

no home and no possessions

beyond what we carry with us,

make such a thing,

another thing to carry,

for the fiery, thunderous Voice

that makes us tremble?

Why?

How?

You shall make an ark of acacia wood,

covered with gold.

When I was a child I was told

one day I could be in a place

with streets made of gold,

gates of pearl,

miraculous trees

watered by a living river.

God lived there,

and one day, so might I.

It still captures my imagination.

You shall make an ark of acacia wood

covered with gold.

I never think about building heaven,

actually piecing it together

with my own hands.

It’s something provided,

provisioned by God himself.

It’s beyond me

my talent

my resources

my scope.

Only God builds heaven.

You shall make an ark of acacia wood,

covered with gold.

If I were an Israelite, just out of Egypt:

The wood, right here in the wilderness;

the gold, we carried as gifts out of Egypt;

the ark, something we never imagined,

but shown to us;

the skill, right here among us.

You shall make an ark of acacia wood,

covered with gold.

You shall make it.

See, everything is provided.

You shall make it;

and when you do,

I will dwell just above it,

hovering over your creation.


Grace and peace to you…

dw

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Other Writings

Thomas Merton on ‘salvation’

 

What every man looks for in life is his own salvation and the salvation of the [ones] he lives with. By salvation I mean first of all the full discovery of who he himself really is. Then I mean something of the fulfillment of his own God-given powers, in the love of others and of God. I mean also the discovery that he cannot find himself in himself alone, but that he must find himself in and through others.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island