Saturday, September 26, 2015

Eternal Ways

By Jim Rapp

 (I tell you the truth, he who believes
     has everlasting life. John 6:47) 

He stumbled down a
     fearsome way,
     so hard it cut his feet,
     so steep it took his
     breath away,
     so long and bleak
     it broke his heart
     and made him say,

“I cannot see an end to it;
     no hope that
     I will ever find –
     though I descend
     forever more –
     the unknown Thing
     my aching soul
     is longing for.”

The path down which he trod
     was killing him;
     had killed his spirit miles ago.

“Is this,” he asked, “the road
     they call Mortality?”
     He called it Hell!

But then he met a stranger
     coming to him,
     walking up the very path he trod –
     walking to him on the road
     that he called Hell.

He stopped and gazed at her
     because her visage
     bore the image of a god.

He turned to watch her
     as she passed,
     convinced that none
     who walked the road to Hell
     could be as beautiful as she.

He called to her
     and asked her turn
     and speak to him.

But when she turned,
     the light that he had seen
     upon her face was gone,
     replaced by pain and urgency.

“I cannot look this way for long.”
     she said, “The darkness blinds
     my eyes and breaks my heart.
     But turn, my friend,
     and come with me. The road
     this way is so much brighter.”

Then turning once again
     she went her way.

But in the moment that he turned
     he saw what lit her face with beauty;
     he saw the path they walked upon
     was not two roads but one,
     each way a different destiny.

“Oh, foolish me!” he thought,
     “If I had known
     that I was walking in eternity;
     I had supposed that it was what
     all souls were walking to.”

How changed the path,
     the scene, the hope he felt
     when he, at last, had turned.

He named this new-found way
     the only thing his happy heart
     allowed – he called it Immortality.

And those he met
     seemed now to pause
     and look on him with awe.

He wondered if the beauty
     of the path ahead –
     the hope and joy
     he traveled toward –
     had shown upon his face.

He bid them all to turn
     and walk with him,
     up Heaven’s path – In Eternity.

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