On Sunday at Northstar, I shared this poem by John Oxenham. It’s powerful, and after teaching about demonology, I think it’s rather more important to dwell on what Oxenham did – how the people at Gadara prized pigs over people. How do we do the same?
GADARA, A.D. 31
Rabbi, begone! Thy powers
Bring loss to us and ours.
Our ways are not as Thine.
Thou lovest men, we—swine.
Oh, get you hence, Omnipotence,
And take this fool of Thine!
His soul? What care we for his soul?
What good to us that Thou hast made him whole,
Since we have lost our swine?
And Christ went sadly.
He had wrought for them a sign
Of Love, and Hope, and Tenderness divine;
Christ stands without your door and gently knocks;
But if your gold, or swine, the entrance blocks,
He forces no man’s hold—he will depart,
And leave you to the treasures of your heart.
No cumbered chamber will the Master share,
But one swept bare
By cleansing fires, then plenished fresh and fair
With meekness, and humility, and prayer.
There will He come, yet, coming, even there
He stands and waits, and will no entrance win
Until the latch be lifted from within.