This sonnet is based on Luke 12:49-53 which reads,
“I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
You may listen here:
Returned from our folly where we roamed and fled
Going great lengths to be ready and stand
To refine our heart’s dross be loosed of its lead.
In the heat of this fire cast by your hand
“Blessed are the pure,” you say. “Welcome the trial
Which cuts to the quick, divides house and home;
Blessing comes to those who receive without guile
The scalpeled word which divides marrow from bone.”
Whence comes the strength to bear this affliction?
To stand patiently not give way to the blast–
Of curses and condemnings, every malediction,
Not demand entitlement, not be first, but last?
Cast upon the Blessed’s head the fire of judgment fell,
That he might cast his love on ours, to empower, send and tell.
© Randy Edwards 2016
artwork: Gustav Dore