This sonnet is based on Matthew 13:45-46, and is an example of how a question I heard in another context, “Would you sell everything you had to buy just one thing?” set my imagination running.
I heard a story of a man traveling by boat, and the boat began to sink. The man gathered all his gold and jumped into the ocean, but because he wouldn’t let go of the gold, he drowned. The question asked by the parable is, “Did the man have the gold or did the gold have the man?”
The Jesus’ parable of the Pearl of Great Price illustrates that that there is one treasure that is worth everything, a treasure worth holding onto even if it costs you your life.
If it’s helpful, you may listen to me read the sonnet via the player below.
Would you sell everything you had to buy
Just one thing? Would you lose you life — dying
Before you died to gain the world and sky?
For one thing lose all and so all things buying?
What would that one thing be that’s worth all things?
Significance, perfect intimacy?
Or would you settle for what merely seems–
Other’s envy, your legitimacy?
Me? I want everything, I want it all, both
And; I don’t want to let go, lose one thing —
Guarding as a dragon what I am loath
To let go, ensnared in my hoard’s coiling.
But I, treasured as a pearl of great price,
The Son sold it all, bought me with his life.
© Randall Edwards 2018.
This poem is for Christ’s church. If it is helpful, please feel free to copy or reprint in church bulletins, read aloud, or repost. I only ask that an attribution be cited to myself (Randall Edwards) and this blog (backwardmutters.com). Thanks.
artwork: By artists from New York hired by Pacific Press Publishing Company expressly to illustrate this book (page 8) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons