A theodical poem -- the second in a row by R. S. Thomas -- for reflection in light of the present and potential suffering in the northeast. Living there ourselves, and on the coast, we pray for shelter for the homeless and safety for what matters (human lives) and wisdom for leaders called upon to make difficult decisions. Most of all, we pray for God to be present to and with and among us. See you on the other side.
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By R. S. Thomas
Yes, I know what he is like:
a kind of impossible robot
you insert your prayers into
like tickets, that after a while
are returned to you with the words
'Not granted' written upon them.
I repudiate such a god.
But if, as you say, he exists,
and what I do is an offence
to him, let him punish me:
I shall not squeal; to be proved
right is worth a lifetime's
chastisement. And to have God
avenging himself is to have
the advantage, till the earth opens
to receive one into a dark
cleft, where, safer than Elijah,
one will know him trumpeting
in the wind and the fire
and the roar of the earthquake, but not
in the still, small voice of the
worms that deliver one for ever
out of the tyranny of his self-love.