This sonnet is based on Ephesians 3:14-19.
It seems to me that there are two kinds of grasping. There is the taking in hand of something so that one may posses it, control it, and own it, and there is the taking in hand of being taken in hand. It seems to me that Paul is speaking of the later.
Our comprehending the love of God is not something over which we get mastery but instead it is something which gets mastery over us. Love can become controlling and possessive — even if it is our love for another. The love of Christ is not of that sort. The “master-slave” sort of love is more akin to ‘dominatrix-submissive’ love (which has its reflection in Baal worship). Rather, Jesus’ love is the love that kneels down, takes the lowest place, and washes the feet of those he loves.
There is a grasping which is not stealing,
Nor taking what’s another’s for one’s own
But it is a child’s clasp — a hand sealing
Taken and given against the unknown.
There is a moment of comprehending
That avoids the pressing need to explain
And rather than being condescending
Knowledge is full yet the questions remain.
As one upon a canyon’s edge stands
After hours of climbing the narrow trail
Taking in the scope of sky, broad’ning land
You see your world’s concerns against the scale.
And your thoughts which cannot grasp, though you try
Take the hand of Love who dwells above sky.
© Randall Edwards 2019.
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: Gabriel Max. The Raising of Jairus’ Daughter , oil on canvas, 1878.